The case for Tulipmania.

Commentary about business and finance.
July 16 2004 5:05 PM

Bulb Bubble Trouble

That Dutch tulip bubble wasn't so crazy after all.

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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 a longtime Slate contributor. His most recent book is Better, Stronger, Faster . Follow him on Twitter.