Bulb Bubble Trouble
That Dutch tulip bubble wasn't so crazy after all.
So, the swift rise in prices for contracts on tulip bulbs in late 1636 and early 1637 was less a speculative frenzy than a market rationally responding to rule changes.
If they're correct—and it'll take someone with far more economic and data-crunching expertise than Moneybox to ratify or debunk their argument—then business writers will have to delete Tulipmania from their handy-pack of bubble analogies.
Daniel Gross is the Moneybox columnist for Slate and the business columnist for Newsweek. You can e-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter. His latest book, Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation, has just been published in paperback.
Photograph of tulip © Royalty-Free/Corbis.