Tulip mania (Dutch: tulpenmanie) was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637.It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble; although some researchers have noted that the Kipper und Wipper (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. 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. Also, from about 1600 to 1720 the Dutch had the highest per capita income in the world. The term "tulip mania" is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values.
The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first section is characterized by the Eighty Years' War, which ended in 1648. The Golden Age continued in peacetime during the Dutch Republic until the end of the century.
Tulips (Tulipa) form a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophytes. The flowers are usually large, showy and brightly coloured, generally red, pink, yellow, or white. They often have a different coloured blotch at the base of the tepals, internally. Because of a degree of variability within the populations, and a long history of cultivation, classification has been complex and controversial. The tulip is a member of the lily family, Liliaceae, along with 14 other genera, where it is most closely related to Amana, Erythronium and Gagea in the tribe Lilieae. There are about 75 species, and these are divided among four subgenera. The name "tulip" is thought to be derived from a Persian word for turban, which it may have been thought to resemble. Tulips originally were found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia, but since the seventeenth century have become widely naturalised and cultivated. In their natural state they are adapted to steppes and mountainous areas with temperate climates. Flowering in the spring, they become dormant in the summer once the flowers and leaves die back, emerging above ground as a shoot from the underground bulb in early spring.
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 tulip mania.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 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.
An artisan is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example furniture, decorative art, sculpture, clothing, jewellery, food items, household items and tools and mechanisms such as the handmade clockwork movement of a watchmaker. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist.
Hyacinthus is a small genus of bulbous, fragrant flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae. These are commonly called hyacinths. The genus is native to the eastern Mediterranean.
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 is available to prove that a tulip-bulb bubble actually occurred.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The book was published in three volumes: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions". Mackay was an accomplished teller of stories, though he wrote in a journalistic and somewhat sensational style.
Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet, journalist, author, anthologist, novelist, and songwriter, remembered mainly for his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
The acre is a unit of land area used in the imperial and US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong, which is exactly equal to 10 square chains, 1⁄640 of a square mile, or 43,560 square feet, and approximately 4,047 m2, or about 40% of a hectare. Based upon the International yard and pound agreement of 1959, an acre may be declared as exactly 4,046.8564224 square metres. The acre is a statute measure in the United States and was formerly one in the United Kingdom and almost all countries of the former British Empire, although informal use continues.
The introduction of the tulip to Europe is usually attributed to Ogier de Busbecq, the ambassador of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, to the Sultan of Turkey, who sent the first tulip bulbs and seeds to Vienna in 1554 from the Ottoman Empire.Tulip bulbs were soon distributed from Vienna to Augsburg, Antwerp and Amsterdam. Its popularity and cultivation in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands) is generally thought to have started in earnest around 1593 after the Southern Netherlandish botanist Carolus Clusius had taken up a post at the University of Leiden and established the hortus academicus . He planted his collection of tulip bulbs and found that they were able to tolerate the harsher conditions of the Low Countries; shortly thereafter, the tulip began to grow in popularity.
Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, sometimes Augier Ghislain de Busbecq, was a 16th-century Flemish writer, herbalist and diplomat in the employ of three generations of Austrian monarchs. He served as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople and in 1581 published a book about his time there, Itinera Constantinopolitanum et Amasianum, re-published in 1595 under the title of Turcicae epistolae or Turkish Letters. His letters also contain the only surviving word list of Crimean Gothic, a Germanic dialect spoken at the time in some isolated regions of Crimea.
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1556, king of Bohemia and Royal Hungary from 1526, and king of Croatia from 1527 until his death in 1564. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Also, he often served as Charles' representative in Germany and developed encouraging relationships with German princes.
Vienna is the federal capital, largest city and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today it is the second largest German-speaking city after Berlin and just before Hamburg. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
The tulip was different from every other flower known to Europe at that time, with a saturated intense petal color that no other plant had. The appearance of the nonpareil tulip as a status symbol at this time coincides with the rise of newly independent Holland's trade fortunes. No longer the Spanish Netherlands, its economic resources could now be channeled into commerce and the country embarked on its Golden Age. Amsterdam merchants were at the center of the lucrative East Indies trade, where one voyage could yield profits of 400%.
A status symbol is a perceived visible, external denotation of one's social position and perceived indicator of economic or social status. Many luxury goods are often considered status symbols. Status symbol is also a sociological term – as part of social and sociological symbolic interactionism – relating to how individuals and groups interact and interpret various cultural symbols.
Spanish Netherlands was the collective name of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries, held in personal union by the Spanish Crown from 1556 to 1714. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.
The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (voorcompagnieën) in the early 17th century. It was established on March 20, 1602, as a chartered company to trade with Mughal India during the period of proto-industrialization, from which 50% of textiles and 80% of silks were imported, chiefly from its most developed region known as Bengal Subah. In addition, the company traded with Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. It has been often labelled a trading company or sometimes a shipping company. However, VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade, shipbuilding, and both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South African wine. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. The Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by widely issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, VOC became the world's first formally listed public company. In other words, it was the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange. It was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalisation in the early modern period.
As a result, tulips rapidly became a coveted luxury item, and a profusion of varieties followed. They were classified in groups: the single-hued tulips of red, yellow, or white were known as Couleren; the multicolored Rosen (white streaks on a red or pink background); Violetten (white streaks on a purple or lilac background); and the rarest of all, the Bizarden (Bizarres), (yellow or white streaks on a red, brown or purple background).The multicolor effects of intricate lines and flame-like streaks on the petals were vivid and spectacular, making the bulbs that produced these even more exotic-looking plants highly sought-after. It is now known that this effect is due to the bulbs being infected with a type of tulip-specific mosaic virus, known as the "tulip breaking virus", so called because it "breaks" the one petal color into two or more.
Mosaic viruses are plant viruses that cause the leaves to have a speckled appearance. Mosaic virus is not a taxon.
Tulip breaking virus is one of five plant viruses of the family Potyviridae that cause color-breaking of tulip flowers. These viruses infect plants in only two genera of the family Liliaceae: tulips (Tulipa) and lilies (Lilium).
Growers named their new varieties with exalted titles. Many early forms were prefixed Admirael ("admiral"), often combined with the growers' names: Admirael van der Eijck, for example, was perhaps the most highly regarded of about fifty so named. Generael ("general") was another prefix used for around thirty varieties. Later varieties were given even more extravagant names, derived from Alexander the Great or Scipio, or even "Admiral of Admirals" and "General of Generals". Naming could be haphazard and varieties highly variable in quality.Most of these varieties have now died out.
Tulips grow from bulbs, and can be propagated through both seeds and buds. Seeds from a tulip will form a flowering bulb after 7–12 years. When a bulb grows into the flower, the original bulb will disappear, but a clone bulb forms in its place, as do several buds. Properly cultivated, these buds will become bulbs of their own. The mosaic virus spreads only through buds, not seeds, and so cultivating the most appealing varieties takes years. Propagation is greatly slowed down by the virus. In the Northern Hemisphere, tulips bloom in April and May for about one week. During the plant's dormant phase from June to September, bulbs can be uprooted and moved about, so actual purchases (in the spot market) occurred during these months.During the rest of the year, florists, or tulip traders, signed contracts before a notary to buy tulips at the end of the season (effectively futures contracts). Thus the Dutch, who developed many of the techniques of modern finance, created a market for tulip bulbs, which were durable goods. Short selling was banned by an edict of 1610, which was reiterated or strengthened in 1621 and 1630, and again in 1636. Short sellers were not prosecuted under these edicts, but futures contracts were deemed unenforceable, so traders could repudiate deals if faced with a loss.
As the flowers grew in popularity, professional growers paid higher and higher prices for bulbs with the virus, and prices rose steadily. By 1634, in part as a result of demand from the French, speculators began to enter the market.The contract price of rare bulbs continued to rise throughout 1636, but by November, the price of common, "unbroken" bulbs also began to increase, so that soon any tulip bulb could fetch hundreds of guilders. That year the Dutch created a type of formal futures market where contracts to buy bulbs at the end of the season were bought and sold. Traders met in "colleges" at taverns and buyers were required to pay a 2.5% "wine money" fee, up to a maximum of three guilders per trade. Neither party paid an initial margin, nor a mark-to-market margin, and all contracts were with the individual counter-parties rather than with the Exchange. The Dutch described tulip contract trading as windhandel (literally "wind trade"), because no bulbs were actually changing hands. The entire business was accomplished on the margins of Dutch economic life, not in the Exchange itself.
By 1636, the tulip bulb became the fourth leading export product of the Netherlands, after gin, herrings, and cheese. The price of tulips skyrocketed because of speculation in tulip futures among people who never saw the bulbs. Many men made and lost fortunes overnight.
Tulip mania reached its peak during the winter of 1636–37, when some bulbs were reportedly changing hands ten times in a day. No deliveries were ever made to fulfil any of these contracts, because in February 1637, tulip bulb contract prices collapsed abruptly and the trade of tulips ground to a halt.The collapse began in Haarlem, when, for the first time, buyers apparently refused to show up at a routine bulb auction. This may have been because Haarlem was then suffering from an outbreak of bubonic plague. The existence of the plague may have helped to create a culture of fatalistic risk-taking that allowed the speculation to skyrocket in the first place; this outbreak might also have helped to burst the bubble.
The lack of consistently recorded price data from the 1630s makes the extent of the tulip mania difficult to discern. The bulk of available data comes from anti-speculative pamphlets by "Gaergoedt and Warmondt" (GW) written just after the bubble. Economist Peter Garber collected data on the sales of 161 bulbs of 39 varieties between 1633 and 1637, with 53 being recorded by GW. Ninety-eight sales were recorded for the last date of the bubble, February 5, 1637, at wildly varying prices. The sales were made using several market mechanisms: futures trading at the colleges, spot sales by growers, notarized futures sales by growers, and estate sales. "To a great extent, the available price data are a blend of apples and oranges", according to Garber.
|Basket of goods allegedly exchanged for a single bulb of the Viceroy|
|Two lasts of wheat||448ƒ|
|Four lasts of rye||558ƒ|
|Four fat oxen||480ƒ|
|Eight fat swine||240ƒ|
|Twelve fat sheep||120ƒ|
|Two hogsheads of wine||70ƒ|
|Four tuns of beer||32ƒ|
|Two tuns of butter||192ƒ|
|1,000 lbs. of cheese||120ƒ|
|A complete bed||100ƒ|
|A suit of clothes||80ƒ|
|A silver drinking cup||60ƒ|
The modern discussion of tulip mania began with the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds , published in 1841 by the Scottish journalist Charles Mackay; he proposed that crowds of people often behave irrationally, and tulip mania was, along with the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company scheme, one of his primary examples. His account was largely sourced from a 1797 work by Johann Beckmann titled A History of Inventions, Discoveries, and Origins.In fact, Beckmann's account, and thus Mackay's by derivation, was primarily sourced to three anonymous pamphlets published in 1637 with an anti-speculative agenda. Mackay's vivid book was popular among generations of economists and stock market participants. His popular but flawed description of tulip mania as a speculative bubble remains prominent, even though since the 1980s economists have debunked many aspects of his account.
According to Mackay, the growing popularity of tulips in the early 17th century caught the attention of the entire nation; "the population, even to its lowest dregs, embarked in the tulip trade".By 1635, a sale of 40 bulbs for 100,000 florins (also known as Dutch guilders) was recorded. By way of comparison, a ton of butter cost around 100 florins, a skilled laborer might earn 150–350 florins a year, and "eight fat swine" cost 240 florins. According to the International Institute of Social History, one florin in 1637 had the purchasing power of €11.51 in 2016.
By 1636, tulips were traded on the exchanges of numerous Dutch towns and cities. This encouraged trading in tulips by all members of society; Mackay recounted people selling or trading their other possessions in order to speculate in the tulip market, such as an offer of 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land for one of two existing Semper Augustus bulbs, or a single bulb of the Viceroy that, Mackay claimed, was purchased in exchange for a basket of goods (shown in table) worth 2,500 florins.
Many individuals grew suddenly rich. A golden bait hung temptingly out before the people, and, one after the other, they rushed to the tulip marts, like flies around a honey-pot. Every one imagined that the passion for tulips would last for ever, and that the wealthy from every part of the world would send to Holland, and pay whatever prices were asked for them. The riches of Europe would be concentrated on the shores of the Zuyder Zee, and poverty banished from the favoured clime of Holland. Nobles, citizens, farmers, mechanics, seamen, footmen, maidservants, even chimney sweeps and old clotheswomen, dabbled in tulips.
The increasing mania generated several amusing, if unlikely, anecdotes that Mackay recounted, such as a sailor who mistook the valuable tulip bulb of a merchant for an onion and grabbed it to eat. According to Mackay, the merchant and his family chased the sailor to find him "eating a breakfast whose cost might have regaled a whole ship's crew for a twelvemonth"; the sailor was jailed for eating the bulb.In fact, tulips are poisonous if prepared incorrectly, taste bad, and are considered to be only marginally edible even during famines.
People were purchasing bulbs at higher and higher prices, intending to re-sell them for a profit. Such a scheme could not last unless someone was ultimately willing to pay such high prices and take possession of the bulbs. In February 1637, tulip traders could no longer find new buyers willing to pay increasingly inflated prices for their bulbs. As this realization set in, the demand for tulips collapsed, and prices plummeted—the speculative bubble burst. Some were left holding contracts to purchase tulips at prices now ten times greater than those on the open market, while others found themselves in possession of bulbs now worth a fraction of the price they had paid. Mackay claims the Dutch devolved into distressed accusations and recriminations against others in the trade.
In Mackay's account, the panicked tulip speculators sought help from the government of the Netherlands, which responded by declaring that anyone who had bought contracts to purchase bulbs in the future could void their contract by payment of a 10 percent fee. Attempts were made to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of all parties, but these were unsuccessful. The mania finally ended, Mackay says, with individuals stuck with the bulbs they held at the end of the crash—no court would enforce payment of a contract, since judges regarded the debts as contracted through gambling, and thus not enforceable by law.
According to Mackay, lesser tulip manias also occurred in other parts of Europe, although matters never reached the state they had in the Netherlands. He also claimed that the aftermath of the tulip price deflation led to a widespread economic chill throughout the Netherlands for many years afterwards.
Mackay's account of inexplicable mania was unchallenged, and mostly unexamined, until the 1980s.Research into tulip mania since then, especially by proponents of the efficient-market hypothesis, suggests that his story was incomplete and inaccurate. In her 2007 scholarly analysis Tulipmania, Anne Goldgar states that the phenomenon was limited to "a fairly small group", and that most accounts from the period "are based on one or two contemporary pieces of propaganda and a prodigious amount of plagiarism". Peter Garber argues that the trade in common bulbs "was no more than a meaningless winter drinking game, played by a plague-ridden population that made use of the vibrant tulip market."
While Mackay's account held that a wide array of society was involved in the tulip trade, Goldgar's study of archived contracts found that even at its peak the trade in tulips was conducted almost exclusively by merchants and skilled craftsmen who were wealthy, but not members of the nobility.Any economic fallout from the bubble was very limited. Goldgar, who identified many prominent buyers and sellers in the market, found fewer than half a dozen who experienced financial troubles in the time period, and even of these cases it is not clear that tulips were to blame. This is not altogether surprising. Although prices had risen, money had not changed hands between buyers and sellers. Thus profits were never realized for sellers; unless sellers had made other purchases on credit in expectation of the profits, the collapse in prices did not cause anyone to lose money.
There is no dispute that prices for tulip bulb contracts rose and then fell in 1636–37, but even a dramatic rise and fall in prices does not necessarily mean that an economic or speculative bubble developed and then burst. For tulip mania to have qualified as an economic bubble, the price of tulip bulbs would need to have become unhinged from the intrinsic value of the bulbs. Modern economists have advanced several possible reasons for why the rise and fall in prices may not have constituted a bubble, even though a Viceroy Tulip was worth upwards of five times the cost of an average house at the time.
The increases of the 1630s corresponded with a lull in the Thirty Years' War.In 1634/5 the German and Swedish armies lost ground in the South of Germany; then Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria moved north. After the Peace of Prague the French (and the Dutch) decided to support the Swedish and German Protestants with money and arms against the Habsburg empire, and to occupy the Spanish Netherlands in 1636. Hence market prices (at least initially) were responding rationally to a rise in demand. The fall in prices was faster and more dramatic than the rise. Data on sales largely disappeared after the February 1637 collapse in prices, but a few other data points on bulb prices after tulip mania show that bulbs continued to lose value for decades thereafter.
Garber compared the available price data on tulips to hyacinth prices at the beginning of the 19th century—when the hyacinth replaced the tulip as the fashionable flower—and found a similar pattern. When hyacinths were introduced florists strove with one another to grow beautiful hyacinth flowers, as demand was strong. As people became more accustomed to hyacinths the prices began to fall. The most expensive bulbs fell to 1 to 2 percent of their peak value within 30 years. Garber also notes that, "a small quantity of prototype lily bulbs recently was sold for 1 million guilders ($US480,000 at 1987 exchange rates)", demonstrating that even in the modern world, flowers can command extremely high prices. Because the rise in prices occurred after bulbs were planted for the year, growers would not have had an opportunity to increase production in response to price.
Other economists believe that these elements cannot completely explain the dramatic rise and fall in tulip prices.Garber's theory has also been challenged for failing to explain a similar dramatic rise and fall in prices for regular tulip bulb contracts. Some economists also point to other factors associated with speculative bubbles, such as a growth in the supply of money, demonstrated by an increase in deposits at the Bank of Amsterdam during that period.
Earl Thompson argued in a 2007 paper that Garber's explanation cannot account for the extremely swift drop in tulip bulb contract prices. The annualized rate of price decline was 99.999%, instead of the average 40% for other flowers.He provided another explanation for Dutch tulip mania. The Dutch parliament had, since late 1636, been considering a decree (originally sponsored by Dutch tulip investors who had lost money because of a German setback in the Thirty Years' War ) that changed the way tulip contracts functioned:
On February 24, 1637, the self-regulating guild of Dutch florists, in a decision that was later ratified by the Dutch Parliament, announced that all futures contracts written after November 30, 1636, and before the re-opening of the cash market in the early Spring, were to be interpreted as option contracts. They did this by simply relieving the futures buyers of the obligation to buy the future tulips, forcing them merely to compensate the sellers with a small fixed percentage of the contract price.
Before this parliamentary decree, the purchaser of a tulip contract—known in modern finance as a forward contract—was legally obliged to buy the bulbs. The decree changed the nature of these contracts, so that if the current market price fell, the purchaser could opt to pay a penalty and forgo receipt of the bulb, rather than pay the full contracted price. This change in law meant that, in modern terminology, the futures contracts had been transformed into options contracts—contracts which were extremely favorable to the buyers.
Thompson argues that the "bubble" in the price of tulip bulb futures prior to the February 1637 decree was due primarily to buyers' awareness of what was coming. Although the final 3.5% strike price was not actually settled until February 24, Thompson writes, "as information ... entered the market in late November, contract prices soared to reflect the expectation that the contract price was now a call-option exercise, or strike, price rather than a price committed to be paid."Thompson concludes that "the real victims of the contractual conversion" were the investors who had bought futures contracts prior to November 30, 1636, on the incorrect assumption that their contracts would benefit from the February 1637 decree. In other words, many investors were making an "additional gamble with respect to the prices the buyers would eventually have to pay for their options" —a factor unrelated to the intrinsic value of the tulip bulbs themselves.
Using data about the specific payoffs present in the futures and options contracts, Thompson argued that tulip bulb contract prices hewed closely to what a rational economic model would dictate: "Tulip contract prices before, during, and after the 'tulipmania' appear to provide a remarkable illustration of efficient market prices."
The popularity of Mackay's tale has continued to this day, with new editions of Extraordinary Popular Delusions appearing regularly, with introductions by writers such as financier Bernard Baruch (1932), financial writer Andrew Tobias (1980),psychologist David J. Schneider (1993), and journalist Michael Lewis (2008). At least six editions are currently in print.
Goldgar argues that although tulip mania may not have constituted an economic or speculative bubble, it was nonetheless traumatic to the Dutch for other reasons. "Even though the financial crisis affected very few, the shock of tulipmania was considerable. A whole network of values was thrown into doubt."In the 17th century, it was unimaginable to most people that something as common as a flower could be worth so much more money than most people earned in a year. The idea that the prices of flowers that grow only in the summer could fluctuate so wildly in the winter, threw into chaos the very understanding of "value".
Many of the sources telling of the woes of tulip mania, such as the anti-speculative pamphlets that were later reported by Beckmann and Mackay, have been cited as evidence of the extent of the economic damage. These pamphlets were not written by victims of a bubble, but were primarily religiously motivated. The upheaval was viewed as a perversion of the moral order—proof that "concentration on the earthly, rather than the heavenly flower could have dire consequences".Thus, it is possible that a relatively minor economic event took on a life of its own as a morality tale.
Nearly a century later, during the crash of the Mississippi Company and the South Sea Company in about 1720, tulip mania appeared in satires of these manias.When Johann Beckmann first described tulip mania in the 1780s, he compared it to the failing lotteries of the time. In Goldgar's view, even many modern popular works about financial markets, such as Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street (1973) and John Kenneth Galbraith's A Short History of Financial Euphoria (1990; written soon after the crash of 1987), used the tulip mania as a lesson in morality. Tulip mania again became a popular reference during the dot-com bubble of 1995–2001.
In the 21st century, journalists have compared it to failure of the speculative dot-com bubbleand the subprime mortgage crisis. In November 2013 Nout Wellink, former president of the Dutch Central Bank, described Bitcoin as "worse than the tulip mania," adding, "At least then you got a tulip, now you get nothing."
Despite the mania's enduring popularity, Daniel Gross of Slate has said of economists offering efficient-market explanations for the mania, that "If they're correct ... then business writers will have to delete Tulipmania from their handy-pack of bubble analogies."
A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds. A Ponzi scheme can maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as new investors contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and still believe in the non-existent assets they are purported to own.
A commodity market is a market that trades in the primary economic sector rather than manufactured products, such as cocoa, fruit and sugar. Hard commodities are mined, such as gold and oil. Investors access about 50 major commodity markets worldwide with purely financial transactions increasingly outnumbering physical trades in which goods are delivered. Futures contracts are the oldest way of investing in commodities. Futures are secured by physical assets. Commodity markets can include physical trading and derivatives trading using spot prices, forwards, futures, and options on futures. Farmers have used a simple form of derivative trading in the commodity market for centuries for price risk management.
Contango, also sometimes called forwardation, is a situation where the futures price of a commodity is higher than the anticipated spot price at maturity of the futures contract. In a contango situation, arbitrageurs/speculators, are "willing to pay more [now] for a commodity [to be received] at some point in the future than the actual expected price of the commodity [at that future point]. This may be due to people's desire to pay a premium to have the commodity in the future rather than paying the costs of storage and carry costs of buying the commodity today." On the other side of the trade, hedgers are happy to sell futures contracts and accept the higher-than-expected returns. A contango market is also known as a normal market, or carrying-cost market.
A stock market crash is a sudden dramatic decline of stock prices across a significant cross-section of a stock market, resulting in a significant loss of paper wealth. Crashes are driven by panic as much as by underlying economic factors. They often follow speculative stock market bubbles.
A stock market bubble is a type of economic bubble taking place in stock markets when market participants drive stock prices above their value in relation to some system of stock valuation.
Speculation is the purchase of an asset with the hope that it will become more valuable in the near future. In finance, speculation is also the practice of engaging in risky financial transactions in an attempt to profit from short term fluctuations in the market value of a tradable financial instrument—rather than attempting to profit from the underlying financial attributes embodied in the instrument such as capital gains, dividends, or interest.
An economic bubble or asset bubble is a situation in which asset prices appear to be based on implausible or inconsistent views about the future. It could also be described as trade in an asset at a price or price range that strongly exceeds the asset's intrinsic value.
The lily family, Liliaceae, consists of about 15 genera and about 705 known species of flowering plants within the order Liliales. They are monocotyledonous, perennial, herbaceous, often bulbous geophytes. Plants in this family have evolved with a fair amount of morphological diversity despite genetic similarity. Common characteristics include large flowers with parts arranged in threes: with six colored or patterned petaloid tepals arranged in two whorls, six stamens and a superior ovary. The leaves are linear in shape, with their veins usually arranged parallel to the edges, single and arranged alternating on the stem, or in a rosette at the base. Most species are grown from bulbs, although some have rhizomes. First described in 1789, the lily family became a paraphyletic "catch-all" (wastebasket) group of petaloid monocots that did not fit into other families and included a great number of genera now included in other families and in some cases in other orders. Consequently, many sources and descriptions labelled "Liliaceae" deal with the broader sense of the family.
In finance, a futures contract is a standardized forward contract, a legal agreement to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future, between parties not known to each other. The asset transacted is usually a commodity or financial instrument. The predetermined price the parties agree to buy and sell the asset for is known as the forward price. The specified time in the future—which is when delivery and payment occur—is known as the delivery date. Because it is a function of an underlying asset, a futures contract is a derivative product.
"Irrational exuberance" is the phrase used by the then-Federal Reserve Board chairman, Alan Greenspan, in a speech given at the American Enterprise Institute during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s. The phrase was interpreted as a warning that the stock market might be overvalued.
The Tulip Period or Tulip Era is a period in Ottoman history from the Treaty of Passarowitz on 21 July 1718 to the Patrona Halil Revolt on 28 September 1730. This was a relatively peaceful period, during which the Ottoman Empire began to orient itself towards Europe.
A financial crisis is any of a broad variety of situations in which some financial assets suddenly lose a large part of their nominal value. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many financial crises were associated with banking panics, and many recessions coincided with these panics. Other situations that are often called financial crises include stock market crashes and the bursting of other financial bubbles, currency crises, and sovereign defaults. Financial crises directly result in a loss of paper wealth but do not necessarily result in significant changes in the real economy.
A bear raid is a type of stock market strategy, where a trader attempts to force down the price of a stock to cover a short position. The name is derived from the common use of bear or bearish in the language of market sentiment to reflect the idea that investors expect downward price movement.
Tulipa gesneriana, the Didier's tulip or garden tulip, is a species of plant in the lily family, cultivated as an ornamental in many countries because of its large, showy flowers. This tall, late-blooming species has a single blooming flower and linear or broadly lanceolate leaves. This is a complex hybridized neo-species, and can also be called Tulipa × gesneriana. Most of the cultivars of tulip are derived from Tulipa gesneriana. It has become naturalised in parts of central and southern Europe and scattered locations in North America.
The Duin- en Bollenstreek is a region in the western Netherlands, that features coastal dunes and the cultivation of flower bulbs. Situated at the heart of historical Holland nearby the city Leiden, South Holland, and boundered by The Hague and Haarlem, the combination of beaches, flower fields, lakes and history makes this area attractive to tourists.
Flower bulb cultivation is an economic activity in the provinces of North Holland, South Holland and Flevoland. The colourful flower fields that have come to symbolise Holland can be seen in these areas around April.
An exchange, or bourse also known as a trading exchange or trading venue, is an organized market where (especially) tradable securities, commodities, foreign exchange, futures, and options contracts are sold and bought.
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