Chapter 1. The Fearful Rise of Markets

“A rising market can still bring the reality of riches. This, in turn, can draw more and more people to participate.... The government preventatives and controls are ready. In the hands of a determined government, their efficacy cannot be doubted. There are, however, a hundred reasons why a government will determine not to use them.”1

J.K. Galbraith, 1954

World markets are synchronized, and far more prone to bubbles and meltdowns than they used to be. Why?

It was in March 2007 that I realized that the world’s markets had each other in a tight and deadly embrace. A week earlier, global stock markets had suffered the “Shanghai Surprise,” when a 9 percent fall on the Shanghai stock exchange led to a day of ...

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