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ROBERT SHILLER: Bitcoin is the 'best example right now' of a bubble

Robert Shiller, the Nobel-prize winning author that predicted the two biggest speculative markets in recent history, is repeating that bitcoin is in a bubble.

The cryptocurrency is “the best example right now,” Shiller told Quartz’s John Detrixhe in an interview published Tuesday. Back in 2014 at Davos, he called the cryptocurrency “an amazing example of a bubble,” adding that there was “no question about it.”

Bitcoin has exploded in price and popularity since then. From about $US800 a coin during the World Economic Forum in January 2014, bitcoin gained to as much as $US4,337 on Tuesday, or about 442%.

For evidence that bitcoin is in a bubble, Shiller pointed to “a fundamental deep angst of our digitization and computers, that people wonder what their place is in this new world.” This fear gives some people a sense that they know the future and can profit from it, he told Quartz.

It’s the same kind of angst that President Donald Trump addressed while he was campaigning, Shiller said.

Shiller’s “Irrational Exuberance” is a seminal book that forecast the tech-stock and housing crashes, and outlined the investor behaviour that created both bubbles. The speed of bitcoin’s rally has far outpaced most recent bubbles, as the chart below shows:

Shiller also told Quartz that there were “aspects of a housing bubble and a stock-market bubble right now.” The cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio that he popularised shows that stocks are the most expensive since the tech bubble collapsed in 2000.

Head over to Quartz for the full interview »

Get the latest Bitcoin price here.

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