In my last post on Benoit Mandelbrot’s final TED talk, I mentioned that he had begun his career in finance. The article ‘Economist’ Obituary Recalls Mandelbrot’s Scrutiny of Financial Markets goes into more detail about this. The article discusses the obituary written in the Economist for Mandelbrot (he died on October 14, 2010).

Benoit Mandelbrot believed that fractals could be used to model financial markets. The Gaussian (normal) distribution had been being used to model financial markets, and if Mandelbrot was correct, the Gaussian distribution would not be an effective means of modeling. While it has not been proven that fractals can be used to model financial markets, it is now widely accepted that such markets are not Gaussian.