Sunday, March 13, 2005
Why Stock Markets Crash
Inspired by an article in MIT's Tech Review on using Physics models to predict book sales (No longer online, you would think MIT Tech Review would know better?) I just read: Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems, by Didier Sornette. Here is UCLA's press release on the work. The book is a well-done overview of complexity work as it relates to financial markets. Though technical, the book spends much time in setting up coherent descriptions of how models link to financial problems. Leading to an 'autopsy' of major crashes. I can't speak to the validity of the conclusions in detail, since finance is not my world. Many, many useful references here to related work, and good thumbnail descriptions of advanced modeling work in finance. Obvious overlap with Benoit Mandelbrot's The Misbehavior of Markets. The last chapter addresses the question of if we are in for a end of growth by 2050. Optimistic overall. Here is chapter 1, though its the least technical.