"Railway Mania was an economic bubble in the United Kingdom in the 1840s that involved a railroad development frenzy and a speculative bubble in the shares of railroad companies. ... [T]he British Railway Mania was the result of overexuberance toward the business prospects of a disruptive innovation; though railroads are now a part of everyday life, they were once every bit as revolutionary as the internet was when it was first introduced."
Once the financial sector achieves a certain size, its continued expansion reduces economic growth, according to a new study by two senior economists at the Bank for International Settlements, Stephen Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi, using a large international data base stretching back more than 30 years.
Peter Wallison, an economist who arguably predicted the housing crash and bailout in 1999 explains his current views on the crash: "Other players...played a part" but "...government policy over many years--particularly the use of the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to distort the housing credit system-- underlies the current crisis."
By one measure, this stock market is as bad as any in the last 180 years.
Influential billionaires like Carl, Thomas, Kirk, and Warren have been losing their shirts. And it's being felt around the world. [more inside]