Summary of Why Stock Markets Crash

Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems

Princeton UP, more...

Buy the book

Why Stock Markets Crash book summary
Can you read the tea leaves that portend a crash? Just try applying science to the behavior of financial markets.


7 Overall

6 Applicability

9 Innovation

6 Style


The word crash strikes fear into any investor’s heart. Fear not, writes scientist Didier Sornette, who has crunched the numbers (not to mention the probabilities and log periodicities) and has determined that crashes are, in fact, quite normal and predictable. If prices are soaring and everyone you know says profits are guaranteed, get ready. Sornette backs up his argument with countless charts, formulas and phrases such as "spontaneous symmetry-breaking regime." Still, there’s enough plain English here to enlighten the lay reader. getAbstract suggests this book to traders and investors looking for a unique analysis of market crashes.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why stock market crashes are logical and predictable;
  • How herds affect bubbles and crashes; and
  • What sign portended the 1987 stock market crash.


New Thinking about Market Crashes
Government officials, traders and investors widely fear market crashes, yet explanations of how past crashes occurred almost always are flawed by simplistic thinking. Conventional wisdom says short-term events, such as external shocks or revelations of...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Didier Sornette is professor of geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a research director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France. Sornette specializes in scientifically predicting catastrophes in complex systems. He is the author of the textbook Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category