Over the years, August has gained a reputation for causing turmoil on the financial markets. A few examples: in 1998, Russia defaulted on its debt, leading to the collapse of the LTCM hedge fund. August 2007 marked the start of the financial crisis, when the US money market displayed the first signs of the problems that led to the global financial crisis over the following weeks.
In August 2011, in the middle of the European debt crisis, the downgrading of US sovereign debt by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s sparked turmoil. From a Swiss perspective, these events were memorable because they led to the Swiss franc falling almost to parity with the euro for the first time and, a little while later, to the Swiss National Bank introducing the minimum exchange rate. A surprising devaluation of the Chinese renminbi triggered a downturn on the stock exchanges in August 2015, and, last August, the trade dispute between the USA and China escalated after the Chinese authorities further devalued the renminbi.