Often at the biggest speculative peaks people latch on to something to go crazy about. This time its cryptocoins.
People are treating them like the beanie baby mania on steroids, since many of them just don’t have any real value.
Tulip mania, tulipmania, or tulipomania (Dutch names include: tulpenmanie, tulpomanie, tulpenwoede, tulpengekte and bollengekte) was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulipreached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble (or economic bubble); although some researchers have noted that the Kipper- und Wipperzeit (literally Tipper and See-saw) episode in 1619–1622, a Europe-wide chain of debasement of the metal content of coins to fund warfare, featured mania-like similarities to a bubble. In many ways, the tulip mania was more of a hitherto unknown socio-economic phenomenon than a significant economic crisis (or financial crisis). And historically, it had no critical influence on the prosperity of the Dutch Republic, the world’s leading economic and financial power in the 17th century. The term “tulip mania” is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values.
In Europe, formal futures markets appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. Among the most notable centered on the tulip market, at the height of Tulipmania. At the peak of tulip mania, in February 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsworker. Research is difficult because of the limited economic data from the 1630s—much of which come from biased and very speculative sources. Some modern economists have proposed rational explanations, rather than a speculative mania, for the rise and fall in prices. For example, other flowers, such as the hyacinth, also had high initial prices at the time of their introduction, which immediately fell. The high asset prices may also have been driven by expectations of a parliamentary decree that contracts could be voided for a small cost—thus lowering the risk to buyers.Article Continues Below
The 1637 event was popularized in 1841 by the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written by British journalist Charles Mackay. At one point 12 acres (5 ha) of land were offered for a Semper Augustus bulb. Mackay claims that many such investors were ruined by the fall in prices, and Dutch commerce suffered a severe shock. Although Mackay’s book is a classic, his account is contested. Many modern scholars feel that the mania was not as extraordinary as Mackay described and argue that not enough price data are available to prove that a tulip bulb bubble actually occurred.
People are taking out mortgages to buy bitcoin, says securities regulator
- Bitcoin is in the “mania” phase, with some people even borrowing money to get in on the action, regulator Joseph Borg said.
- “We’ve seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin. … People do credit cards, equity lines,” he said.
- Bitcoin has been soaring all year, starting out at $1,000 and rocketing above $19,000 on the Coinbase exchange last week.
Bitcoin is in the “mania” phase, with some people even borrowing money to get in on the action, securities regulator Joseph Borg told CNBC on Monday.
“We’ve seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin. … People do credit cards, equity lines,” said Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, a voluntary organization devoted to investor protection. Borg is also director of the Alabama Securities Commission.
“This is not something a guy who’s making $100,000 a year, who’s got a mortgage and two kids in college ought to be invested in.”