Backblaze’s storage infrastructure

Today’s Wikipedia safari

I saw a brief reference to the 1987 stock-market crash online, so I looked up the Wikipedia article to refresh my memory about the event and BAM off I went into wikiwandering. After the jump, in the order I clicked the links, and with each article’s first full paragraph (minus links within it) included for context:

  1. Black Monday (1987): In finance, Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed, shedding a huge value in a very short time. The crash began in Hong Kong, spread west through international time zones to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already declined by a significant margin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 508 points to 1738.74 (22.61%). By the end of October, stock markets in Hong Kong had fallen 45.8%, Australia 41.8%, Spain 31%, the United Kingdom 26.4%, the United States 22.68%, and Canada 22.5%. New Zealand’s market was hit especially hard, falling about 60% from its 1987 peak, and taking several years to recover. (The terms Black Monday and Black Tuesday are also applied to October 28 and 29, 1929, which occurred after Black Thursday on October 24, which started the Stock Market Crash of 1929. In Australia and New Zealand the 1987 crash is also referred to as Black Tuesday because of the timezone difference.)

  2. List of Black Mondays: Black Monday is a term used to refer to certain events which occur on a Monday. It has been used in the following cases.

  3. Stock market crash: A stock market crash is a sudden dramatic decline of stock prices across a significant cross-section of a stock market. Crashes are driven by panic as much as by underlying economic factors. They often follow speculative stock market bubbles.

  4. List of largest daily changes in the Dow Jones Industrial Average: This is a list of the largest daily changes in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

  5. Black swan theory: The Black Swan Theory (in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s version) refers to high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events beyond the realm of normal expectations. Unlike the philosophical “black swan problem”, the “Black Swan Theory” (capitalized) refers only to events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. “Black Swan” events are considered extreme outliers. Note that in his writings Taleb never uses the phrase “Black Swan Theory”; instead, he refers to “Black Swan Events” (capitalized).

  6. Market liquidity: Market liquidity is a business, economics or investment term that refers to an asset’s ability to be easily converted through an act of buying or selling without causing a significant movement in the price and with minimum loss of value. Money, or cash on hand, is the most liquid asset. An act of exchange of a less liquid asset with a more liquid asset is called liquidation. Liquidity also refers both to a business’ ability to meet its payment obligations, in terms of possessing sufficient liquid assets, and to such assets themselves.

  7. Soft landing: A soft landing in the business cycle is the process of an economy shifting from growth to slow-growth to potentially flat, as it approaches but avoids a recession. It is usually caused by government attempts to slow down inflation. The criteria for distinguishing between a hard and soft landing are numerous and subjective.

  8. MV Sea Isle City: MV Sea Isle City, ex-Umm al Maradem, was a Kuwait Oil Company oil tanker that reflagged during Operation Earnest Will. The ship was completed in 1981 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan, as hull number 1867, for the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company.

  9. National Resident Matching Program: The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) is a United States-based non-profit non-governmental organization created in 1952 to help match medical school students with residency programs. The NRMP is sponsored by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS).

  10. Stock market index: A stock market index is a method of measuring a section of the stock market. Many indices are cited by news or financial services firms and are used to benchmark the performance of portfolios such as mutual funds.

  11. Market trend: In investing, financial markets are commonly believed to have market trends that can be classified as primary trends, secondary trends (short-term), and secular trends (long-term). This belief is generally consistent with the non-scientific practice of technical analysis and broadly inconsistent with the standard academic view of financial markets, the efficient market hypothesis. The belief in trends incorporates the idea that market cycles occur with regularity and persistence.

  12. Ticker tape: Ticker tape was used by ticker tape machines, the Ticker tape timer, stock ticker machines, or just stock tickers.

  13. Crisis (Marxian): In economics, crisis is a term in Marxist theory, referring to the sharp transition to a recession. See for example 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, Argentine economic crisis (1999-2002), South American economic crisis of 2002, Economic crisis of Cameroon. A financial crisis may be a banking crisis or currency crisis. It is used as part of Marxist political economy, usually in the specific formulation of the crisis of capitalism. It refers to a period in which the normal reproduction of an economic process over time suffers from a temporary breakdown. This crisis period encourages intensified class conflict or societal change—or the revival of a more normal accumulation process.

  14. Trading curb: A trading curb, also known as a circuit breaker, is a point at which a stock market will stop trading for a period of time in response to substantial drops in value.

  15. Trading day: In business, the trading day is the time span that a particular stock exchange is open. For example, the New York Stock Exchange is, as of 2008, open from 9:30 AM Eastern Time to 4:00 PM Eastern Time. Trading days never take place on weekends. When a trading day ends, all share trading ends and is frozen in time until the next trading day begins. There are several other special circumstances which would lead to a shortened trading day, or no trading day at all, such as on holidays.

  16. Global financial crisis of 2008–2009: The global financial crisis of 2008–2009 began in July 2007 when a loss of confidence by investors in the value of securitized mortgages in the United States resulted in a liquidity crisis that prompted a substantial injection of capital into financial markets by the United States Federal Reserve, Bank of England and the European Central Bank. The TED spread, an indicator of perceived credit risk in the general economy, spiked up in July 2007, remained volatile for a year, then spiked even higher in September 2008,[4] reaching a record 4.65% on October 10, 2008. In September 2008, the crisis deepened, as stock markets worldwide crashed and entered a period of high volatility, and a considerable number of banks, mortgage lenders and insurance companies failed in the following weeks.

  17. Counterfactual history: Counterfactual history, also sometimes referred to as virtual history, is a recent form of historiography which attempts to answer “what if” questions known as counterfactuals. It seeks to explore history and historical incidents by means of extrapolating a timeline in which certain key historical events did not happen or had an outcome which was different from that which did in fact occur.

  18. Force majeure: Force majeure (French for “superior force”), also known as cas fortuit (French) or casus fortuitus (Latin), is a common clause in contracts which essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, or an event described by the legal term “act of God” (e.g., flooding, earthquake, volcano), prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. However, force majeure is not intended to excuse negligence or other malfeasance of a party, as where non-performance is caused by the usual and natural consequences of external forces (e.g., predicted rain stops an outdoor event), or where the intervening circumstances are specifically contemplated.

  19. List of cognitive biases: A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgment that occurs in particular situations (see also cognitive distortion and the lists of thinking-related topics). Implicit in the concept of a “pattern of deviation” is a standard of comparison; this may be the judgment of people outside those particular situations, or may be a set of independently verifiable facts. The existence of some of these cognitive biases has been verified empirically in the field of psychology, others are widespread beliefs, and may themselves be a consequence of cognitive bias.

  20. Financial crisis of 2007–2009: The financial crisis of 2007–2009 has been called the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression by leading economists, with its global effects characterized by the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars, substantial financial commitments incurred by governments, and a significant decline in economic activity. Many causes have been proposed, with varying weight assigned by experts. Both market-based and regulatory solutions have been implemented or are under consideration, while significant risks remain for the world economy.

Then I had to do some work.