Investors in the ’70s were stunned by an alarming rise in volatility. The comfortable, ordered system of international exchange, in place since the Bretton Woods accord at the end of World War II, had come apart, leading to violent fluctuations in currency values. Grain shortages sent food prices soaring, and memorably, OPEC put the squeeze on oil. The cumulative effect was a loss of faith in money itself. (Doomsayers urged redeploying assets into metals, oils — anything other than paper.) Inflation, a virulent form of instability, terrified investors, who duly stayed on the sidelines.
Roger Lowenstein captures the investor mood. Good background for Stock-Trak.