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Petromania: Black gold, paper barrels and oil price bubbles by Daniel O'Sullivan

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1: The Ascent

‘At first, as in all these gambling mania, confidence was at its height, and every body gained.’

Charles Mackay, “The Tulipomania” in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841)

1.1 The Triple-Digit Threshold

Global markets opened 2008 in a jittery mood as January 2, the first trading day of the New Year, saw leading share indices stumble in turn across the time zones. While the main equity boards in Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Paris and London would all close down more or less a percentage point, the real upset was in New York where, following the release of particularly weak US manufacturing data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was heading for a 1.7% drop – its worst first-day percentage performance since ...

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