The bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble and subsequent market meltdown in the summer of 2007 vividly illustrate Karl Marx's adage that history tends to repeat itself: the first time as tragedy; the second time as farce.1 This summer's farce showcased the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, the failure of overleveraged fixed-income hedge funds, and sharp losses by quantitative hedge funds. The sad part: these debacles were made possible by players, both sophisticated and ...

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