How to Spot a Financial Crisis

By Dr. Bill Acheson via

Man, I didn’t see that coming. Ever said that before? I have. September 2008. Right after AIG went down – and this was six months after Lehman Brothers’ BK and the S&P 500 touched 666 on March 6, 2009 (for comparison, the S&P stands today at 2,450). So, I should have been on notice to say the least.

Like a lot of people, I thought we were riding through a short-term problem that might hurt a few firms, but would be isolated from the overall economy.

Nine years later, it’s easy to see how wrong I was. This was a crisis that rolled through the economy and we are still experiencing shockwaves from it in regulations and investor behavior.

Could I have seen it coming? Could I have predicted the crisis? Can anyone? I think the answer is broadly “yes”. So how does one go about crisis spotting? I suggest the following three steps:

  • Develop a crisis-spotting mechanism

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