Rattled by all the chaos and unpredictability in the markets? Get used to it.

Predictions from global professional services company Towers Watson say dramatic financial developments over the past week or so – like S&P's downgrade – are likely to keep happening for a number of years.

Perhaps there's something reassuring about the fact that analysts have been expecting this even before the debt-ceiling mess triggered investor mayhem. "The events of the past several days are consistent with the outlook we had prior to these global events," says Carl Hess, Towers Watson's global head of investment.

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