The Art and Science of Delay
By Frank Partnoy
(PublicAffairs, Hardcover, 9781610390040, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 2012
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A renowned financial commentator and consultant explains the mysteries and transformative power of the well-time pause, and how delay can improve all kinds of decision-making
Frank Partnoy is the author of F.I.A.S.C.O., Infectious Greed, and The Match King. Formerly an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a practicing corporate lawyer, he is one of the world’s leading experts on market regulation and is a frequent commentator for the Financial Times, the New York Times, NPR, and CBS’s 60 Minutes. Partnoy is a graduate of Yale Law School and is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and the founding director of the Center for Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego.
Roger Lowenstein, author of The End of Wall Street and When Genius Failed
“Having mined the best of American research in fields as wide-ranging as finance, behavioral economics, and law, Frank Partnoy has written a beguilingly readable treatise that boils down to a single, easily digestible conclusion: in our busy modern lives, most of us react too quickly. Wait will naturally and rightly be compared to Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow as a trail-blazing book exploring the hidden crannies and the treacherous pitfalls of human decision-making. I whole-heartedly recommend it."
Bethany McLean, co-author of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here
“Wait is one of those rare books that will change not just the way you think, but the way you act. The book is full of ideas that are fascinating, useful—and at times mind-blowing. I was captivated.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A fascinating addition to the study of decision-making…. While there is a high premium today for speed, the author suggests that there are serious downsides to rapid decision-making.… Partnoy’s results are groundbreaking and a potential corrective to modern pressures for rapid response, whether on the playing field, in high-speed computer trading and corporate boardrooms, or on the battlefield…. File alongside Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Ariely, [and] Jonah Lehrer.”
Jack Covert, 800-CEO-READS
“Well-written…. Chapter Three is particularly fascinating in its implications for how we make decisions and manage the world.”
Margaret Heffernan, CBS Money Watch
“Marvelous … Wait is an impassioned and thought-provoking book."
Christopher Chabris, Wall Street Journal
“Mr. Partnoy's intention in Wait is to take on those who evangelize the power of thinking quickly, ‘getting things done’ and leading an organized life. We can praise efficiency but fail to take note of what is sacrificed in its name. Wait offers a valuable counterweight to this attitude, reminding us that quality should matter as much as speed."
“A popular new book…. Mr Partnoy argues that too many people fail to recognize what good public speakers and comedians all understand: that success depends on knowing when to delay, and for how long.”
“Partnoy draws on the latest research in neuroscience and behavioral economics to provide a delightful, insightful and often surprising ‘Wait, wait, do tell me’ account of decision-making in many areas of everyday life, ranging from sports to surgery to speed-dating and stock-picking…. Wait is chock-full of arresting insights about the complexities of decision-making"
"A lively, reader-friendly survey of scientific research into the pros and cons of rapid decision-making."
“An intellectual romp through the science of how timing influences human decision-making.”
“Fascinating, engaging…. This isn’t a book of platitudes, but one built on one simple imperative. Partnoy just wants us to think before we act or speak. Wait serves as excellent reminder that, when humanly possible, it’s best not to hurry.”