Odd Lots Podcast: The Surprising Story of How Beanie Babies Turned Into a Bubble

One of the weirdest market manias of all time.

Every week, hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so-random walk through hot topics in markets, finance, and economics.

It's just a few days before Thanksgiving and your hosts are feeling a little nostalgic. This week we go back in time to the late 1990s, when the Internet had only just begun to capture consumers' minds (and wallets), tech stocks were going to make everyone rich and so were ... Beanie Babies? 

We talk to Zac Bissonnette, author of The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute, to explore one of the weirdest asset price bubbles of all time and figure out exactly what made millions of people believe that mass-produced stuffed animals priced at $5 each were destined to soar in value. We hear how Beanie Babies were entwined with the other speculative frenzy of the day—the dot-com bubble—to the extent that sales of the plush toys were even cited as a risk factor in eBay's initial public offering.

And finally, we look at the psychology behind market manias to try to figure out exactly what propels people to buy into speculative bubbles, be they for tulips, tech stocks, or stuffed animals named TURK-e the turkey.

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