Wall Street Rocket Scientists Crash to Earth - AFP 4/7/09
Written by Petter Kolm   

NEW YORK (AFP) — There's a reason Wall Street resembles a rocket experiment gone wrong: rocket scientists helped make it happen.

Known as quants, these are the mathematicians and physicists who devised the financial instruments and computer programs fueling stock markets' spectacular rise and collapse.

And while in good times they became financial rock stars, quants -- short for quantitative analysts -- are now being cast as villains of an industry that abandoned its values.