Volatile markets aren’t as whacky as they seem:

Even in a going-nowhere year like 2006, the ups and downs of the financial markets strike a lot of people as too much. Stock prices, in particular, are constantly described as volatile-swinging in arcs far wider than economic conditions could possibly warrant. Look at emerging markets stocks, which jumped 25 percent in the first few months of this year, then gave the whole gain back again in less than six weeks. These stocks from economies on the frontiers of capitalism,…

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