4 global flash points make this August a hot one

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
By Paul Martin

Commentary: Maybe it’s the heat, but the month is ripe for crisis

MATTHEW LYNN
MarketWatch.com
July 25, 2012

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Maybe it’s the sultry weather. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the world’s leaders are on holiday, leaving the office in the hands of a couple of interns too busy updating their Facebook pages to worry about minding the shop. Or maybe it’s simply a coincidence. Whatever the reason, August is the most turbulent month of the year for the financial markets – and often for politics as well.

Just take a look at the record. Last August, Standard & Poor’s cut the U.S.’s triple-A rating, a bombshell that started the stock market rout of last autumn. In August 2007, the credit crunch started when BNP Paribas closed a couple of its hedge funds amid a shortage of liquidity. Almost a decade earlier, the Russian markets collapsed in August 1998.”

There isn’t always a crisis in the eighth month of the year, but more often than not there is,

So can this August be a rare month of calm? No chance. It is set to be as stormy as any of its predecessors. The real question is not whether there will be an August crisis, but which one it will be.

There are four simmering volcanoes that could erupt at any moment — and ruin everyone’s summer.

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