Why Stock Markets Crash

Author: Didier Sornette
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400885094
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The scientific study of complex systems has transformed a wide range of disciplines in recent years, enabling researchers in both the natural and social sciences to model and predict phenomena as diverse as earthquakes, global warming, demographic patterns, financial crises, and the failure of materials. In this book, Didier Sornette boldly applies his varied experience in these areas to propose a simple, powerful, and general theory of how, why, and when stock markets crash. Most attempts to explain market failures seek to pinpoint triggering mechanisms that occur hours, days, or weeks before the collapse. Sornette proposes a radically different view: the underlying cause can be sought months and even years before the abrupt, catastrophic event in the build-up of cooperative speculation, which often translates into an accelerating rise of the market price, otherwise known as a "bubble." Anchoring his sophisticated, step-by-step analysis in leading-edge physical and statistical modeling techniques, he unearths remarkable insights and some predictions--among them, that the "end of the growth era" will occur around 2050. Sornette probes major historical precedents, from the decades-long "tulip mania" in the Netherlands that wilted suddenly in 1637 to the South Sea Bubble that ended with the first huge market crash in England in 1720, to the Great Crash of October 1929 and Black Monday in 1987, to cite just a few. He concludes that most explanations other than cooperative self-organization fail to account for the subtle bubbles by which the markets lay the groundwork for catastrophe. Any investor or investment professional who seeks a genuine understanding of looming financial disasters should read this book. Physicists, geologists, biologists, economists, and others will welcome Why Stock Markets Crash as a highly original "scientific tale," as Sornette aptly puts it, of the exciting and sometimes fearsome--but no longer quite so unfathomable--world of stock markets.

Market Risk and Financial Markets Modeling

Author: Didier Sornette
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642279317
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The current financial crisis has revealed serious flaws in models, measures and, potentially, theories, that failed to provide forward-looking expectations for upcoming losses originated from market risks. The Proceedings of the Perm Winter School 2011 propose insights on many key issues and advances in financial markets modeling and risk measurement aiming to bridge the gap. The key addressed topics include: hierarchical and ultrametric models of financial crashes, dynamic hedging, arbitrage free modeling the term structure of interest rates, agent based modeling of order flow, asset pricing in a fractional market, hedge funds performance and many more.

How Nature Works

Author: Per Bak
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1475754264
Format: PDF, Docs
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Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from stock market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties. "...a'must read'...Bak writes with such ease and lucidity, and his ideas are so intriguing...essential reading for those interested in complex systems...it will reward a sufficiently skeptical reader." -NATURE "...presents the theory (self-organized criticality) in a form easily absorbed by the non-mathematically inclined reader." -BOSTON BOOK REVIEW "I picture Bak as a kind of scientific musketeer; flamboyant, touchy, full of swagger and ready to join every fray... His book is written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." -NEW SCIENTIST

Man made Catastrophes and Risk Information Concealment

Author: Dmitry Chernov
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319243012
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book discusses the risks of information concealment in the context of major natural or industrial disasters – offering detailed descriptions and analyses of some 25 historical cases (Three Mile Island nuclear accident, Bhopal disaster, Challenger Space Shuttle explosion, Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster, Enron’s bankruptcy, Subprime mortgage crisis, Worldwide Spanish flu and SARS outbreaks, etc.) and applying these insights to selected on-going cases where such information concealment is suspected. Some successful examples of preventive anti-concealment practice are also presented. In the book, the term ‘concealment’ is used to represent the two distinct behaviors uncovered in the investigations: (i) facts and information about an organization and its functioning being hidden from those that need them – here the concealment can be due to various factors, such as complexity and miscommunication, to name but two – and (ii) the conscious and deliberate action of keeping important information secret or misrepresenting it. This second meaning makes up a surprisingly important part of the evidence presented. Accordingly, emphasis has been put on this second aspect and the approach is more pragmatic than academic, remaining focused on evidence-based practical and useful factors. It raises awareness and provides valuable lessons for decision- makers, risk specialists and responsible citizens alike. This work is also intended as a fact-based reference work for future academic and scholarly investigations on the roots of the problem, in particular regarding any psychological or sociological modeling of human fallibility.

Profiting from Monetary Policy

Author: Thomas Aubrey
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 1137289716
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Financial Crisis has brought the pensions time bomb centre stage due to a decade of low returns increasing unfunded pension liabilities and lowering future retirement incomes. This is because most investors have been unable to avoid the substantial volatility in asset prices and capital destruction that has accompanied the business cycle. Until investors reject the prevailing monetary policy consensus as an investment framework based on price stability and general equilibrium, pension schemes will continue to suffer poor returns due to periodic downturns. Alternative credit-based disequilibrium frameworks exist, originating with the work of Knut Wicksell that was subsequently developed by the joint winners of the 1974 Nobel Prize, Friedrich Hayek and Gunnar Myrdal. Credit-based frameworks can measure the extent of disequilibrium in an economy signaling to investors when to switch from equities to bonds and vice versa, thus preserving capital as the business cycle shifts. Empirical analysis on multiple countries demonstrates that investment strategies that track the business cycle generate equity like returns with bond-like volatility. The provision of business cycle tracking funds will therefore at least go some way to defusing the shortfall in pension provision. Profiting from Monetary Policy is a highly innovative book that provides new insights on the business cycle and exposes the flaws in current monetary policy. It advocates a new, credit-based framework which can provide investors with the returns they need whilst eliminating the volatility that has plagued the industry in recent years, and will prove to be an invaluable guide for investors in today's post-crisis landscape.

Econophysics

Author: Sitabhra Sinha
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 3527408150
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Filling the gap for an up-to-date textbook in this relatively new interdisciplinary research field, this volume provides readers with a thorough and comprehensive introduction. Based on extensive teaching experience, it includes numerous worked examples and highlights in special biographical boxes some of the most outstanding personalities and their contributions to both physics and economics. The whole is rounded off by several appendices containing important background material.

The Physics of Wall Street

Author: James Owen Weatherall
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547618298
Format: PDF, ePub
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A look inside the world of “quants” and how science can (and can’t) predict financial markets: “Entertaining and enlightening” (The New York Times). After the economic meltdown of 2008, Warren Buffett famously warned, “beware of geeks bearing formulas.” But while many of the mathematicians and software engineers on Wall Street failed when their abstractions turned ugly in practice, a special breed of physicists has a much deeper history of revolutionizing finance. Taking us from fin-de-siècle Paris to Rat Pack–era Las Vegas, from wartime government labs to Yippie communes on the Pacific coast, James Owen Weatherall shows how physicists successfully brought their science to bear on some of the thorniest problems in economics, from options pricing to bubbles. The crisis was partly a failure of mathematical modeling. But even more, it was a failure of some very sophisticated financial institutions to think like physicists. Models—whether in science or finance—have limitations; they break down under certain conditions. And in 2008, sophisticated models fell into the hands of people who didn’t understand their purpose, and didn’t care. It was a catastrophic misuse of science. The solution, however, is not to give up on models; it’s to make them better. This book reveals the people and ideas on the cusp of a new era in finance, from a geophysicist using a model designed for earthquakes to predict a massive stock market crash to a physicist-run hedge fund earning 2,478.6% over the course of the 1990s. Weatherall shows how an obscure idea from quantum theory might soon be used to create a far more accurate Consumer Price Index. The Physics of Wall Street will change how we think about our economic future. “Fascinating history . . . Happily, the author has a gift for making complex concepts clear to lay readers.” —Booklist

Predatory Trading and Crowded Exits

Author: James Clunie
Publisher: Harriman House Limited
ISBN: 0857191519
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this book, James Clunie looks at a series of market phenomena that involve security prices moving temporarily away from their 'fair value', creating opportunities for traders to profit (and the risk of losses for the unaware). These phenomena have only recently begun to be well understood and key among them are those known as 'predatory trading' and 'crowded exits'. The author examines these on three levels. Firstly, he describes the basic principles and theory behind each phenomenon, to build a solid framework for the way a trader should think about these situations. Secondly, he examines the accumulated empirical evidence of these situations. This gives an idea of what generally happens in these situations, and what the profit opportunity and the risks might be like. Finally, the author considers a number of individual cases to illustrate what can happen to traders in practice. Often, these will be special situations or extreme events from history, but always cases from which the trader can learn. By understanding these phenomena thoroughly in this way, a trader can gain an edge over others in the market. In the first instance by avoiding becoming the victim of the phenomena and secondly by using detailed knowledge of these situations to (legally and ethically) profit from the events. This book is for traders looking to gain an edge through a superior understanding of how markets work, both in theory and in practice. It will also be of interest to longer-horizon investors who are seeking to avoid timing errors, and to risk managers wanting to understand better the subtleties of risk beyond traditional risk statistics.

Irrational Exuberance

Author: Robert J. Shiller
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865530
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this revised, updated, and expanded edition of his New York Times bestseller, Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Shiller, who warned of both the tech and housing bubbles, cautions that signs of irrational exuberance among investors have only increased since the 2008–9 financial crisis. With high stock and bond prices and the rising cost of housing, the post-subprime boom may well turn out to be another illustration of Shiller's influential argument that psychologically driven volatility is an inherent characteristic of all asset markets. In other words, Irrational Exuberance is as relevant as ever. Previous editions covered the stock and housing markets—and famously predicted their crashes. This edition expands its coverage to include the bond market, so that the book now addresses all of the major investment markets. It also includes updated data throughout, as well as Shiller's 2013 Nobel Prize lecture, which places the book in broader context. In addition to diagnosing the causes of asset bubbles, Irrational Exuberance recommends urgent policy changes to lessen their likelihood and severity—and suggests ways that individuals can decrease their risk before the next bubble bursts. No one whose future depends on a retirement account, a house, or other investments can afford not to read this book.