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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.
This title brings together frontier research on complex economic systems, heterogeneous interacting agents, bounded rationality, and nonlinear dynamics in economics. The book contains the proceedings of the CEF2015 (21st Computing in Economics in Finance), held 20-22 June 2015 in Taipei, Taiwan, and addresses some of the important driving forces for various emergent properties in economies, when viewed as complex systems. The breakthroughs reported in this book are a result of an interdisciplinary approach and simulation remains the unifying theme for these papers as they deal with a wide range of topics in economics. The text is a valuable addition to the efforts in promoting the complex systems view in economic science. The computational experiments reported in the book are both transparent and replicable. Complex System Modeling and Simulation in Economics and Finance is useful for graduate courses of complex systems, with particular focus on economics and finance. At the same time it serves as a good overview for researchers who are interested in the topic.
The economic crisis is also a crisis for economic theory. Most analyses of the evolution of the crisis invoke three themes, contagion, networks and trust, yet none of these play a major role in standard macroeconomic models. What is needed is a theory in which these aspects are central. The direct interaction between individuals, firms and banks does not simply produce imperfections in the functioning of the economy but is the very basis of the functioning of a modern economy. This book suggests a way of analysing the economy which takes this point of view. The economy should be considered as a complex adaptive system in which the agents constantly react to, influence and are influenced by, the other individuals in the economy. In such systems which are familiar from statistical physics and biology for example, the behaviour of the aggregate cannot be deduced from the behaviour of the average, or "representative" individual. Just as the organised activity of an ants’ nest cannot be understood from the behaviour of a "representative ant" so macroeconomic phenomena should not be assimilated to those associated with the "representative agent". This book provides examples where this can clearly be seen. The examples range from Schelling’s model of segregation, to contributions to public goods, the evolution of buyer seller relations in fish markets, to financial models based on the foraging behaviour of ants. The message of the book is that coordination rather than efficiency is the central problem in economics. How do the myriads of individual choices and decisions come to be coordinated? How does the economy or a market, "self organise" and how does this sometimes result in major upheavals, or to use the phrase from physics, "phase transitions"? The sort of system described in this book is not in equilibrium in the standard sense, it is constantly changing and moving from state to state and its very structure is always being modified. The economy is not a ship sailing on a well-defined trajectory which occasionally gets knocked off course. It is more like the slime described in the book "emergence", constantly reorganising itself so as to slide collectively in directions which are neither understood nor necessarily desired by its components.
Economists broadly define financial asset price bubbles as episodes in which prices rise with notable rapidity and depart from historically established asset valuation multiples and relationships. Financial economists have for decades attempted to study and interpret bubbles through the prisms of rational expectations, efficient markets, and equilibrium, arbitrage, and capital asset pricing models, but they have not made much if any progress toward a consistent and reliable theory that explains how and why bubbles (and crashes) evolve and can also be defined, measured, and compared. This book develops a new and different approach that is based on the central notion that bubbles and crashes reflect urgent short-side rationing, which means that, as such extreme conditions unfold, considerations of quantities owned or not owned begin to displace considerations of price.
European Financial Systems in the Global Economy provides an overview of sources of finance, types of financial intermediation and financial systems in Europe and their relative importance in the world economy. It describes market mechanisms and prices and gives a broad introduction to the relevant regional financial and monetary issues (including those countries that will join the EU in the future) and makes an ideal primer for those new to the world of finance.

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