Andrew Lo, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, was asked by the Journal of Economic Literature to write a review of three or four of the more important academic books on the crisis. The initial sample, he thought, was too small. There were lots of useful books on the topic, from journalists as well as academics. Widening the spectrum would also highlight areas of disagreement between authors.
As the Greek government appears increasingly likely to default on its debt, economists are envisioning potential dire spillovers to the United States, with anxiety afflicting the financial system, making money tight and possibly tipping the American economy back into recession. MIT Sloan Professor Andrew Lo says, "We may see a number of banks go under."
With shock waves roiling financial markets worldwide, investors are seeking new ways to protect their portfolios from the next upheaval. MIT Sloan Professor, Andrew Lo, says that key strategies to eke out a profit include minimizing costs and getting as much diversification as you're comfortable with."
Day after day, stocks swing sharply by hundreds of points. Some experts see volatility as a problem. Another viewpoint is that stocks are rightly volatile now because there is so much uncertainty about where the economy is heading. MIT Sloan Professor Andrew Lo says that the last few years have been the most volatile for all of recorded history—10 of the biggest 20 daily upswings and 11 of the largest 20 daily drops since the beginning of 1980 to the end of August have occurred in just the last three years.
MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) welcomed its first full-time member from the MIT Sloan School of Management: Andrew Lo. While the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence may seem atypical for the work of an economist, Lo feels that joining CSAIL is a natural extension of the research path he has forged for many years.
Stock markets have calmed down over the past few days, but economists and analysts warn that investors face years of severe market swings until national debt crises and other threats to the global financial system are finally resolved. MIT Sloan Professor, Andrew Lo, notes that "What's unique is the volatility of the volatility."
More than ever on record, individual stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index are moving in unison, according to data from the stock market research and money management firm Birinyi Associates. Andrew Lo says "When you have overriding political considerations hanging over the market, all stocks are going to respond in kind."
Experts say investors should expect even more volatility in stocks, as herd trading by hedge funds, knee-jerk trader reaction to news and lightning fast computer programs combine to make for a new and uncomfortable normal on Wall Street. MIT Sloan Professor, Andrew Lo, says "We are seeing extraordinary emotional reactions from central banks, politicians, regulators and investors. That kind of reaction is not conducive for building long-term wealth."