Photographer: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP

Odd Lots: Revisiting The Strange Story Behind the Beanie Babies Bubble

The mania around a $5 mass-produced stuffed toy.

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

To wrap up our series on financial bubbles, the Odd Lots podcast looks back at an early episode, focusing on one of the most iconic bubbles of the 20th century: Beanie Babies.

Two market bubbles stand out from the late 1990s. Technology stocks that were supposed to make everyone a billionaire. The other: A series of mass-produced stuffed animals priced at $5 each. Odd Lots hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway speak with Zac Bissonnette, author of "The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute," to figure out exactly what made millions of people believe that these plush cuties were destined to soar in value. We dive into the psychology behind one of the weirdest speculative manias of all time and draw a connection with the dotcom bubble.

 

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