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Boom-Bust Cycles And Trading Practices In Asset Markets, The Real Economy And The Effects Of A Financial Transactions Tax

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Executive Summary

This paper begins with a puzzle. Over the past three decades, trading in asset markets has become progressively more short-term oriented ("Faster"), with traders attempting to exploit intraday price trends. Yet, over this time, asset prices have continued to move in a sequence of alternating "Bull markets" and "Bear markets", often lasting several years. Which type of trading behavior over the (very) short run leads to the irregular bull and bear phases over the longer run? The paper finds that "Bull (bear) markets" are brought about because upward (downward) price runs last longer than counter-movements for an extended period of time.

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