A History of the United States in Five Crashes describes the 1907, 1929, 1987, 2008, and 2010 stock market crashes. Scott Nations’ thesis is that crashes tend to follow a pattern where some new financial construct causes investors to let their guard down. The false sense of security allows for a rapid market run, then some event triggers it to come crashing back down. The introduction of algorithms and computer-directed trading has also sped up this process and created new vulnerabilities in the market. Continue reading “Book Review: A History of the US in 5 Crashes”
- Investors feeling safer than they should is the primary cause of market crashes.
- Consumer debt is at unhealthy levels, but it is not reflected in consumers’ credit scores.
- Bonds in every sector have the potential to be much riskier than their credit ratings indicate.
- It may be a good time to avoid long-term bonds and securitized debt and to look for investments less exposed to high levels of debt.
Stock market crashes, like those that hit the U.S. markets in 1929, 1987, and 2008, tend to follow the same formula. This makes people wonder why they keep happening and we cannot prevent or even predict them. In fact, the act of thinking that we can prevent or predict them can at least partially be credited with causing them.
The formula is essentially as follows…
Timothy Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003 to 2009 and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under from 2009 to 2013. Many people would have loved to be a fly on the wall in some of the meetings that Geithner was in during the financial crisis, the Great Recession, and the recovery. Geithner provides some insights, but he is also overly concerned with addressing his critics, especially those he calls “moral hazard fundamentalists.” Continue reading “Book Review: Stress Test”