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What the South Sea Company can teach us

Financial bubbles are a perennially fascinating phenomenon. Some modern economists, notably of the Chicago variety, deny their very existence, arguing that investors are rational and markets are efficient in the sense that prices accurately reflect all known, relevant information. 

Others offer refined versions of the irrationality thesis advanced by Charles Mackay in 1841 in his celebrated book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

John Plender FT 4 November 2020



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