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Handbook of Market Risk by Christian Szylar

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Introduction

The last five years have been driven by the credit crisis that started in the United States in 2008 before spreading all around the globe and affecting all of major economies. The severity of this crisis can be compared to the 1929 crisis. Charles Kindelberger,1 a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), analyzed all financial and economic crises since the seventeenth century, and it seems that all crises seem to follow the same steps: (1) a boom (often driven by new product(s); (2) keen interest/enthusiasm/frenzy and transaction speed and volume until its maximum, and then the crisis starts; (3) fear and mess/chaos, and behavior/reference marks are lost; (4) a consolidation phase where we decrease what has increased in an overly excessive way and has contaminated the entire economy—recession starts; and finally (5) the recovery with usually public and state support. The 2007 crisis is not different from this pattern formalized by Charles Kindelberger. The amplitude and severity of this recent crisis has nevertheless something that is different from the other ones. The big difference is that all of the models, assumptions, and practices we knew from the past about investing and managing market risk will not be working again. This crisis led to a new investment paradigm, hence modifying our market risk perception and management. This is a major change for the investment community, and today's investors and those who manage money try to identify ...

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