Harvard historian Niall Ferguson
wonders whether the events of 1914 could repeat themselves:
try rereading the events of 1914 with the place names changed. Imagine the assassination of the U.S. Vice President in Baghdad this coming June. The U.S. suspects Iranian involvement and sends an ultimatum to Tehran. Israel takes the American side; Russia lines up with the Iranians ... It's not a wholly implausible sequence. And some central bankers admit privately that they would have to struggle to counter the liquidity crunch that such a geopolitical shock would trigger. A stock-market shutdown in 2007? History warns us not to rule it out.