“The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought, and that’s sort of exactly the Mexican story,” said Dornbusch, who died in 2002. “It took forever, and then it took a night.”
Dornbusch’s observation was the pithiest and most lyrical summation of what analysts feel when watching countries whose policies are driving them toward some seemingly inevitable catastrophe. You think, “This is mad, it can’t go on,” and then somehow it does go on — and on and on and on — and you think, “Maybe I was wrong, and it can.”
Then one morning you wake up and it’s over; every slow-moving independent trend has become quite sudden, and all at once, and the thing that has so long seemed like it had to happen, finally does.