Deja vu all over again: regulation in reaction to the financial crisis may miss the target

Financial markets (or politicians) are not known for their long memories. Judging from the latest rash of erratic and somewhat irrational behaviour one could easily believe no one has ever read a history book.


Deja vu: the illusion of having already experienced something actually being experienced for the first time. (a) An impression of having seen or experienced something before: old-timers watched the stock-market crash with a distinct sense of deja vu. (b) Dull familiarity; monotony: the deja vu of the tabloid headlines.

From the tulip crash of 1637 to the latest market debacle, mankind has exhibited resilience and a breathtaking inability to learn from mistakes. Memory is important.

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