One day, a fruit and vegetable seller was arrested in Tunisia, sparking social unrest, and a few weeks later the government of Egypt was set to topple.
Such is the nature of complex, chaotic, and unpredictable systems. The stresses build for years and years, and nothing really seems to be happening, but then everything suddenly changes. Egypt is therefore emblematic of what we might expect in any complex system in which pressures are building, such as the US Treasury market.
Can events in complex systems ever be predicted? No…and yes. No, because the precise timing and details can never be predicted. Yes, because we can be certain that anything that is unsustainable will someday cease to continue and things that are horribly imbalanced will someday topple. We can also be certain that the change, when it comes, will be rather sudden and abrupt, rather than gentle and linear.
That is, we can easily predict that a complex system will shift, and that it will probably do so rapidly, but not exactly when or by how much.
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