Session B8: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Redux: The Physics of Global Catastrophes and Global Countermeasures

11:15 AM–2:15 PM, Monday, March 15, 2010
Room: Portland Ballroom 255

Sponsoring Unit: FIP
Chair: John W. Clark, Washington University in St. Louis

Abstract ID: BAPS.2010.MAR.B8.5

Abstract: B8.00005 : Economic Fluctuations and Statistical Physics: Quantifying Extremely Rare Events with Applications to the Present Worldwide Crisis

1:39 PM–2:15 PM

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  H. Eugene Stanley
    (Boston University)

Recent analysis of truly huge quantities of empirical data suggests that classic economic theories not only fail for a few outliers, but that there occur similar outliers of every possible size. In fact, if one analyzes only a small data set (say data points), then outliers appear to occur as ``rare events.'' However, when we analyze orders of magnitude more data (200 million data points!), we find orders of magnitude more outliers---so ignoring them is not a responsible option, and studying their properties becomes a realistic goal. We find that the statistical properties of these ``outliers'' are identical to the statistical properties of everyday fluctuations. We report a recent discovery that the same laws govern the formation and bursting of large bubbles as tiny bubbles, over a factor of 1,000,000,000 in time scale. This work was carried out in collaboration with a number of colleagues, chief among whom are T. Preis, J. J. Schneider, X. Gabaix, V. Plerou, and P. Gopikrishnan.

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