Image Credit: Frank Bellew, “Panic, as a Health Officer, Sweeping the Garbage Out of Wall Street,” The Daily Graphic, Sept. 29, 1873, Library of Congress
By Jason Zweig | March 28, 2020 12:00 am ET
How could a microscopic organism destroy nearly $15 trillion in global stock-market wealth in five weeks?
Until recently, many investors believed central banks and other policy makers had repealed the business cycle and that making money in the stock market was something you could take for granted — in much the same way that science and technology seemed to have beaten back diseases that had been the scourge of humanity for millennia.
Maybe investors a century ago and more had a wiser view. They believed the world was governed by unseen, omnipresent powers that could be appeased but never controlled — and that financial panics were a form of divine retribution for the sinful excesses of prosperity.
We shouldn’t regard market panics as quaint artifacts from the days of ticker tape and trading by telephone. Rather, they are forces that can be hidden or delayed but never eliminated. And believing that panics have become obsolete is a precondition for their recurrence.…
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For further reading:
Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor
Jason Zweig,The Devil’s Financial Dictionary
Jason Zweig, Your Money and Your Brain
Jason Zweig, The Little Book of Safe Money
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