Take the Bubble Quiz

How much do you know about irrational exuberance?

The first five readers who answer all these questions correctly will receive a free copy of Pop! Why Bubbles Are Great for the Economy. Please send answers to

1. Which technology skeptic wrote the following about the telegraph? “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas. But Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.”

2. In what Mark Twain novel does a character capture the spirit of railroad fever by saying: “The country is opening up, all we want is capital to develop it. Slap down the rails and bring the land into market. The richest land on God Almighty’s footstool is lying right out there. If I had my capital free I could plant it for millions.”

3. What was the name of the character?

4. Which critic of capitalism, reveling in the disaster unfolding in the United States after the 1929 stock-market crash, said, “We are attacking capitalism all along the line and defeating it.”

5. What was the approximate value of the stock that Global Crossing CEO Gary Winnick sold in the company before it went bankrupt? And whose house did he buy with some of the proceeds?

6. Which right-wing chief executive publicly announced in November 2006 that he had changed his tune on global warming and embraced alternative energy?

a. Lee Scott of Wal-Mart
b. Rupert Murdoch of News Corp.
c. George W. Bush of the United States

Read Daniel Gross’s essay in praise of bubbles, tour the Bubble Hall of Fame, and buy his new book, Pop! Why Bubbles Are Great for the Economy.