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A stock market panic like 1987 could happen again

A powerful feedback loop from human to human can set the market spinning.

The New York Stock Exchange has instituted a "circuit breaker" that shuts down trading for the day if the Standard & Poor's 500 index falls 20 per cent from the previous close.

New York

OCT 19, 1987, was one of the worst days in stock market history. Thirty years later, it would be comforting to believe it couldn't happen again.

Yet that's true only in the narrowest sense: Regulatory and technological change has made an exact repeat of that terrible day...

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