Impact of unexpected events, shocking news, and rumors on foreign exchange market dynamics

Mark McDonald, Omer Suleman, Stacy Williams, Sam Howison, Neil F. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The dynamical response of a population of interconnected objects, when exposed to external perturbations, is of great interest to physicists working on complex systems. Here we focus on human systems, by analyzing the dynamical response of the world's financial community to various types of unexpected events-including the 9/11 terrorist attacks as they unfolded on a minute-by-minute basis. For the unfolding events of 9/11, our results show that there was a gradual collective understanding of what was happening, rather than an immediate realization. More generally, we find that for news items which are not simple economic statements-and hence whose implications for the market are not immediately obvious-there are periods of collective discovery during which opinions seem to vary in a remarkably synchronized way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046110
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 17 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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