Photograph by Benedict Evans

There are many worthwhile candidates on Wall Street for the Greatest Trade of All Time. There’s Jesse Livermore’s bet that the stock market would fall in 1929. He pocketed something like $100 million in profit, akin to $1.5 billion today. There is George Soros’ 1992 bet that the British pound would fall against a basket of other currencies. When it did, the Hungarian-American investor made $1 billion. Then, of course, there is John Paulson’s extraordinary bet in the years leading up to, and through, the 2008 financial crisis that the market for mortgage-related securities would collapse. He made a profit on the order...

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