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hey folks, gave my students the following sentence in an article for reading, then couldn't answer a student's question regarding the final word: "what part of speech? assuming it's an adjective, can an adjective follow a preposition without a tailing noun to modify?"

here it is; your expository assistance greatly appreciated:

For tens of thousands of wholesalers, farmers and other Chinese citizens who poured their money into compressed disks of tea leaves, the crash of the Pu’er market has been nothing short of disastrous.

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It's a predicate adjective. Nothing unusual about it - it's just separated a little more than usual from the noun it's modifying (market).
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Modifies "crash," yes?
AnonymousModifies "crash," yes?

Yes.