The Hour Between Dog and Wolf by John Coates

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf

A successful Wall Street trader turned Cambridge neuroscientist reveals the biology of financial boom and bust, showing how risk-taking transforms our body chemistry, driving us to extremes of euphoria or stressed-out depression. The laws of financial boom and bust, it turns out, have a lot to do with male hormones. In a series of startling experiments, Canadian scientist Dr. John Coates identified a feedback loop between testosterone and succes...

Details The Hour Between Dog and Wolf

TitleThe Hour Between Dog and Wolf
Release DateMay 15th, 2012
PublisherRandom House Canada
GenrePsychology, Nonfiction, Economics, Finance, Science, Business

Reviews The Hour Between Dog and Wolf

  • John
    An interesting read for someone interested in research study results in psychology, neuroscience and the behavioral effects of hormones. Coates is clearly very familiar with both the world of the trading floor and the science he writes about. I was disappointed, however, in the lack of a real punch line as far as workable strategies to take advantage of these effects to make money in the markets. Male hormones increase volatility. OK, I was convi...
  • Nichole Smith
    Is there a duck nearby? Because I hear a quack. In this book, Coates posits that rather than the rational economic beings we like to think make major financial decisions, we are actually driven by physiological impulses much more so than intelligent thought. I'll give Coates props for knowing his biology --but that's about the only redeeming characteristic of this book. First, I'm not sure what is particularly novel about his theory. There's been...
  • Pavlo Illashenko
    I knew about author's research and had a basic knowledge of neurophysiology and neurobiology before reading this book . I don't feel that I've learned anything new. It was fun to read stories from the trading floor, in some sense even nostalgic. However, nothing beyond that. One unexpected drawback is related to authors style. I was expecting to read more or less scientific book, but Coates writes more as a journalist or a wall street guy - to mu...
  • Harshad
    Fascinating book! Completely changes the way you would look at risk taking. Lot of interesting things to think about on evolution of human brain too. The story of human body and brain, evolution, hormones and risk taking: told in a very accessible and engaging style.
  • Mike Scialom
    Like war, activity on the trading floor "consists of long stretches of boredom punctuated by brief periods of terror", writes John Coates in The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (Fourth Estate, £20).What follows is a minute-by-minute analysis of the trader's metabolism which reveals the effects of the euphoria, the stress, the boredom and the heart-stopping moments of hyperactivity where "nature and nurture conspire to produce an awful train wreck, lea...
  • Lone Wong
    The unique title is taken from a French since the Middle Ages have called "L'heure entre chien et loup" and refers to the moments after sunset when the sky darkens and vision becomes ambiguous, making it difficult to distinguish between dogs and wolves, friends and foe. John Coates has brilliantly interpreted this unique title that it is this moment that we human being irrational and euphoric that makes us become appetite for risk and making a ba...
  • Gumble's Yard
    A complex, wide ranging and thought provoking (although far from flawless) book.The book includes a fictionalised account of a trading desk during the period leading up to, through and after the financial crisis. This is interspersed with detailed neuro-science and (more crucially) bio-chemistry/physiology.One of Coates crucial assertions is that the mind/body divide (with an implicit belief that the mind is superior and the body becoming increas...
  • Andrew Griffith
    I read John Coates, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, another in a series of books on behavioral economics, from the interesting perspective of someone who has been both a trader as well as a researcher. Again, much like other work in this field, such as Thinking, Fast and Slow by Kahneman, largely demolishes the classical economic rational decision-making, as it maps out the linkages between our conscious and unconscious systems. Quote:"Today Plato...
  • Jeremie Averous
    This author is a former trader turned neuro-scientist and he explains how stress and hormones drive the behavior of traders, leading to irrational exuberance and well as irrational panic on the markets.The interesting side of this book is how our physiology is influencing our decision-making, and how it can be contagious in a group. The book describes in minute detail the working of our nervous and hormonal system when we are faced with the stres...
  • Aaron Terrazas
    For someone who's pretty familiar with financial markets but not at all familiar with biology, this was a fascinating read. The author describes how the human body reacts to risk taking, victory and defeat through both neurological and endocrine responses, and due to evolutionary biology. On the downside, I think it could have been shorter and the "recommendations" aren't very compelling. The book might read better if the author had just ended wi...
  • Kris
    Good, quick read. Mixes some interesting trading anecdotes with some neuroscience pretty well, going back and forth between providing examples and explaining. That well-executed interweave is probably one of the best points of this. A lot of the neuroscience was somewhat familiar from related works, such as Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, but there were some interesting new points as well, and some framed in different manners. Also fun to have...
  • Mark James
    This book is a delightful concoction of the sciences and humanities. Coates dechipers the deeply rooted aspects of human nature and paints a brilliant image on how factors such as stress and exuberance impact the financial world. I would recommend this for any reader , for it has something to offer for everyone.
  • Celeste Chia
    I immensely enjoyed this book. The insights Coates shared were illuminating, especially in an era where people prize logic without knowing the limits of their rationality. It's a shame such findings would hardly be shared in business schools, where theoretical academic knowledge would be conferred instead.
  • Sophia Dunn
    Everyone interested in the current state of global economics really needs to read this book. Written by a neuroscientist, who is also an economist and an ex-Wall Street trader, Coates is uniquely qualified to give us a neurobiogical understanding of how we got into our current situation. It is simply a FASCINATING read.
  • Ted Lehmann
    This book goes a long way toward clarifying issues of the mind/budy connection in trading in the financial markets. Implications for management in that world and, more broadly, for understanding our political world in different ways are exciting and challenging. I've posted the review on my blog.
  • Laura Kinsale
    Gave this 5 stars for the subject matter. Very readable, but mainly this is a topic that REALLY needs some airing. The impact of our biology on our behavior is profound. I've always thought "rational markets" were BS. Very interesting and quite fun to read.
  • Abhishek Upadhayay
    Beautiful. A definitive read. It reinforces the belief system through science.
  • Nazrul Buang
    Just finished reading 'The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk-Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust' (2012) by John Coates. I first heard of this book several years ago while reading books by Kahneman and Taleb, while browsing books that discusses economics, psychology and philosophy; and have since bookmarked it. It's been on my list for a long time, and it occurred to me only recently to borrow a copy and read it once and for all n...
  • David Wilusz
    I read this book after hearing John Coates speak in NYC. In it, he presents a somewhat uncommon marriage between Wall Street trading and neurobiology. As such, this isn't a book for everyone, but I happen to be interested in both subjects, and enjoyed it. His thesis is presented as the search for the "molecule of irrational exuberance" in the context of a London trading floor on the day of a Fed announcement on interest rates. The reader is given...
  • Anand Iyer
    "The nineteenth-century German physiologist Rudolf Virchow once remarked that politics is medicine writ large, and today we could extend his dictum to economics." The entire book revolves around this concept of biology in economics and financial markets. It's a step beyond behavioural finance: the book recognises the importance of hormones in guiding the mind and thus judgements. Too technical for a non-biology student, but must read if you are a...
  • Alberto
    The premise: centuries of platonic and cartesian pure rationality have clouded our understanding of how our minds and bodies work together, modern science is slowly discovering the feedback loops that exists between the two. There are vast areas of neurology and endocrinology that are only vaguely understood, but that nonetheless echo learnings that can be found in separate sources throughout history such as Aristotle and Buddhism.The problem: ev...
  • Jina
    This was a very well written book. A bit repetitive about some of the hormones and their roles, but overall it was a very interesting read. While I enjoyed learning how the brain works under stress, it was a bit frustrating to also learn that it’s the young male’s biology that mostly contributes to the financial market crashing. It just creates this nasty image in my head of young, rich men not really caring how their actions affect the rest ...
  • David Maurer
    Somewhat disappointing. No real take away, other than our hormones affect our bodies, stress affects our bodies' production of hormones, which affects our bodies, etc. And probably one of the most unsympathetic subjects (traders on Wall Street for big banks) that I have read about. Poor Scott, the banker who lost millions of dollars, won't be able to afford his beach house and can't get an erection because of the stress he is under from blowing u...
  • Nilesh
    The book discusses our biological responses and their behaviour when we take risk. The setting is primarily the financial trading floor. The book is very interesting till half and then sort of tapers off. However, it is a good read for a trader. He may possibly find some cues to improving his performance.
  • Michelle
    The physiology/neuroscience is good, as is his trading context. Where this falls down is on the behavioural outputs. Not his bag. But,'s full of the clever stuff and worth a read for sure.
  • Leah
    I found this book surprisingly interesting. Despite not following the actual financial stock market parts of it, I enjoyed the biological and social science aspects and wanted to talk about it with everyone.
  • Craig
    Some interesting conclusions but took a little while to get to them. I think the middle of the book dragged a bit. A quick, interesting read but feel free to gloss over the parts you find uninteresting.
  • Timur
    excellent one
  • Katharine Rudzitis
    Especially as I sit on the commodities trading floor, this book held many truths. An intelligent and engrossing evaluation of risk and why our physiology matters more than we think.
  • Harsh Thaker
    Eye Opener on the human biology and its relationship to financial markets. How this pull & push determine our Profit and Loss records.