Today 1637, Tulip Mania or “Tulpenwoede” collapsed. Mark by hauling out your Beanie Babies and Tickle-Me Elmos and putting them on the bonfire, because those toys were just creepy!
Here’s a description from The Economist:
At the beginning of 1637, some tulip contracts reached a level about 20 times the level of three months earlier. A particularly rare tulip, Semper Augustus, was priced at around 1,000 guilders in the 1620s. But just before the crash, it was valued at 5,500 guilders per bulb—roughly the cost of luxurious house in Amsterdam. Prices collapsed in February 1637—although data here are particularly poor—and a few investors were left bankrupt.
It’s one of the things that I am always surprised that people keep being surprised at – as though it is some kind of contemporary phenomenon that we place value in worthless things and vastly overinflate their prices. This has been going on for-freaking-ever!