Andy Lo (MIT Prof, founder of AlphaSimplex) wrote a paper on the topic of the August 2007 crisis: http://web.mit.edu/alo/www/Papers/august07.pdf Lo hypothesizes that quants had become too highly correlated in their portfolios and risk tools, and that one fund unwinding triggered a snowball effect.
I'm not sure anyone has drawn a connection between the quant crisis in '07 with the credit crash in '08. That said there were some funds that went under in 2007 in an early version of the credit crisis - maybe looking at returns from different fund strategies could be indicative of market regime changes. One similar approach is to track "representative factors", which are almost like trivial investment algorithms. I've heard them called "probe strategies" as well. Based on the simulated returns of these representative factors/probe strategies, some quants try to predict their own algorithms' performance, or the market's behavior.
Example probe strategies: N month mean reversion, N month price momentum, changes in analyst coverage, share buy backs, insider buying/selling, credit rating risk, default risk, small market cap, large market cap, analyst rating revisions, analyst earnings revisions.
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