Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems


Didier Sornette,"Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems"
Publisher: Princeton University Press | ISBN-10: 0691096309 | edition November 18, 2002 | PDF | 448 pages | 4.2 mb

It’s everybody’s favorite topic of conversation at the moment: why did the Dow and the Nasdaq tank so horrifically, and where did all the money go? UCLA professor Sornette does his best to tackle those questions. While CNBC anchor Ron Insana’s recent Trend Watching took a reader-friendly look at the history of market bubbles, Sornette’s approach is decidedly different. Befitting his status as an expert in geophysics, the author loads the text with enough charts, graphs and advanced economic theory to choke John Kenneth Galbraith (one chapter subheading, for instance, is "The Origin of Log-Periodicity in Hierarchical Systems"). It’s a meaty book, with helpful autopsies of past crashes ranging from tulip mania in the Netherlands to the Nasdaq crash of April 2000, as well as information on how crashes might be predicted in the future. Unfortunately for the average investor who tends to get burned after these bubbles, Sornette’s conclusion is that a mixture of "systemic instability" and plain old human greed means that market bubbles aren’t about to disappear anytime soon. And neither, of course, will the subsequent crashes.
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