The next time the Securities and Exchange Commission stops a financial fraud, it might be partly because of work that physicist Gregg Berman did studying the tiny particles spun off by exploding stars and distant galaxies. The Washington Post reports that today, the Princeton-trained nuclear physicist is investigating for the SEC what was behind the massive flash crash that sent the stock market into a tailspin last month. A specialist at culling conclusions from masses of chaotic information, Berman is in part trying to ascertain whether wrongdoing played a role. Although lawyers fill most of the SEC’s ranks, the agency has been hiring experts with specialized quantitative skills and those who have worked on Wall Street who are hip to its tricks.
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