Document Type


Publication Date





Boston University School of Law




Volatility is as old as the financial markets. The bull market of 1986 and the crash that followed in 1987 were but the latest of periodic market gyrations that started with the South Sea Bubble and the Lombard Street run on commercial paper and have continued ever since.' Volatility in the financial markets would not be very important if market activity simply mirrored economic activity. Volatility would be much less important if the markets moved independently of the economy. But if we believe, as I do, that the markets and the economy are interdependent, and that their volatility is generally out of sync (because financial assets move much faster than the economy), then volatility in the financial markets can create "bubbles" and "runs."2 Therefore, instability in the financial markets can magnify instability in the economy.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.