Accident Prone Autumn

When Keats talked about autumn as a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, I doubt he was thinking about market uncertainty and plentiful harvests of failing banks. Yet August/September and, to a lesser extent, December, contain more than their fair share of financial crises.

Chart 1 from the IMF’s recent chronological update – Systemic Banking Crises Database: An Update, IMF Working Paper, Jun 2012 – is revealing. Moreover, their post-1970 database does not include the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the 1931 collapse of the Gold Standard, both occurring in Wordsworth’s “pensive beauty” of autumn.