What could be done to prevent another Black Monday? Paul Camilleri, assistant manager of the Southfield, Mich. office of E.F. Hutton, recently-acquired by Shearson Lehman Brothers, paused for a split second. Then:
``We could start every week on Tuesday.''
Ah, were it so simple. Analyzing the causes of - much less the solutions to - the 508-point drop on the stock market on Monday, Oct. 19 has occupied thousands of column inches and several official investigations.
On Friday, the commission headed by Nicholas Brady, a former United States senator and current chairman of Dillon, Read & Co., gave its long-awaited report to the President. It makes some startling, already controversial recommendations (see story below).
In light of this and other recommendations by other commissions, the Monitor asked some of those in the financial trenches - brokers, individual investors, securities lawyers, politicians, and academics - to answer the question that supersedes all others: How can another Black Monday be prevented?
Austin Kiplinger, The Kiplinger Letter. ``In commodities markets, you have daily limits,'' says the publisher of this financial newsletter. If the price of soybeans swings more than 30 cents, for example, soybean trading stops for the day. ``I've often thought something like that would be useful for stocks.''
Apparently, the Brady Commission held a similar view. In intentionally vague language, it recommended creating a ``circuit breaker'' mechanism that would halt trading if the selling pressure became too great.
Richard Baldwin, Columbia Business School. By October, the stock market had become a ``speculative bubble'' - overvalued and just waiting to be popped, Professor Baldwin observes. ``If someone in, say, June or July had sold a lot of stocks and bought bonds, that might have burst the bubble sooner, and the crash would not have been as great,'' he says.
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