Jamie Griffiths tour through the arcane world of CDSs (credit default swaps) and CDOs (credit default obligations) might not sound like your idea of an hour of entertainment, but you could be missing something rather fun.
A certain interest and sense of déjà vu took this reviewer along to ‘The Quant’ at Hill Street Theatre.
Back in the day when the refugees were pouring out of Lehmann Brothers, carrying away their family photos and lucky rabbit’s feet in cardboard boxes, this reviewer woke up, powered up his PC and discovered he’d lost the price of a three bedroom bungalow in Fife overnight.
A little later, still in shock, he came across a former university lecturer who’d put his savings into Royal Bank of Scotland shares (this was immediately before the really big crash).
Good luck and sound advice made up this person’s personal loss, but that took time and there are many still ‘recovering’, i.e., a damn sight poorer than they were before 2007/8.
Griffith’s show is a cautionary tale of everyday financial folk – in particular the boy and girl wonders whose financial modelling has become the tool of choice for major investment banks and stockbroking firms.
It’s a switchback ride of chicanery punctuated by cautionary tales of those whose very savvy proved their undoing.
Griffiths portrays the upsides and more especially the downsides of the way high finance now operates, with pin-stripe suited city gents replaced by tireless computers programmed to trade that neither reflect on the wisdom of making trades nor ask ethical questions about their actions.
This makes for a series of ongoing crises, a point Griffiths makes without labouring his message.
Sharp, wittily to the point and very much a show for our troubled times, ‘The Quant’ is well worth your time and money.
Hill Street Theatre 1-24 August (not Tuesday 12th) 20.00