Bassil Alomari, a fall 2017 finance graduate, didn’t experience the common struggle of senioritis. Instead, Alomari completed his undergraduate education with a “daunting research task,” in which he explored the similarities of U.S. market crashes in a 30-page report, said Derek Horstmeyer, finance assistant professor.
“His work is highly inventive and helps reduce incredibly complex issues into their core common features, and yields many predictive features of crises for future research exploration,” Horstmeyer said.
Alomari, who’s passionate about finance, said he was interested in the topic because he’s currently in the market. “I’m trading, so I’m concerned about my investments,” he said.
He examined multiple financial crises form the 20th and 21st centuries, including the 1929 crisis, 1987 fall, 2001 dot com bust, and the 2008 housing crisis. He used his findings to evaluate the current market and make predictions for future crises.
“What interested me in the topic is that we’re now in a market condition where the market is overvalued, so I was interested to see if there was going to be a correction soon in the market or a crash,” Alomari said. “I found that there are actually similarities and it’s not in the best shape at the moment.”
Alomari found certain factors were present in each crash. “All the crashes that happened had three main causes, which are the press outlets pushing fear into the market, regulation, and operating on debt.”
He was surprised by regulations taking place before crashes, explaining that they were mostly too late. “I wonder why these regulations took place,” he said. “We see that sometimes the people that come up with regulations didn’t learn from their past mistakes.”
Based on his findings, Alomari said concerns for today’s market include debt and the new tax cut. In the future, he’s interested in learning more about the regulation side of finance, but prefers investing.
Alomari, who graduated in winter 2017, credits the independent study with Horstmeyer as an enriching experience for his academic career. He returned home to Saudi Arabia and would like to be his own boss. “The first thing I’m going to do when I land there is start my hedge fund, and I’m going to apply what I learned here at George Mason.”