ISDEX, an authoritative and widely cited internet stock index, rose from 100 in January 1996 to 1100 in February 2000 an incredible increase of about 1000% in four years - only to fall down to 600 in May 2000 - an incredible decrease of about 45% in four months. Amongst big rises and falls in the history of stock market prices, this episode ranks amongst
the most spectacular. The RFS-IU conference focuses on these recent
financial market bubbles. It aims to address the following three questions:
a) Was it a bubble? (How do you define bubbles ex-ante?
Can you even define bubbles ex-post?)
b) What caused it? (Investors? Managers? Financial advisors? Government
policies? Media? Academics?)
c) Did it matter? (Any real effects?)
The answers to these three research questions touch upon all sub-disciplines of finance - asset pricing, corporate finance, market microstructure, behavioral finance, international finance, law and finance, and real estate finance.