David McWilliams on four very expensive words: ‘This time it’s different’

Bitcoin and financial markets are rising disturbingly fast. Let’s not forget our history

Bitcoin boom: the cryptocurrency’s price has risen by 1,525 per cent this year. Photograph: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Bitcoin boom: the cryptocurrency’s price has risen by 1,525 per cent this year. Photograph: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Much of today’s economic and financial discourse revolves around the impact of new technology on our lives, as if this were something new. But it’s not. The repetitive economic cycle is also old as the hills, as is speculation.

If you doubt this think about the Book of Genesis. Remember when Pharaoh awoke petrified by a dream? He dreamed he saw seven cows, “attractive and plump”, feeding by the Nile. But soon these beasts were followed by seven skinny, ugly cows, which proceeded to eat the fat cows.

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