January 1, 2012

Stock market gorilla fails for the first time in 11 years

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 3:16 pm

In 2000, gorilla Jacko picked a banana with a basket of shares attached to it, and those shares have since then outperformed the AEX (Amsterdam) index handsomely.

Z24 now reports that last year the gorilla’s random pick fared worse than the AEX for the first time. In 2011 AEX only dropped by 13%, whereas Jackos stocks decreased 45%.

Measured over 11 years the gorilla is still doing much better than the market. Jacko’s basket rose more than 30%, whereas AEX dropped by 55%.

See also: Dolphins outperform market analysts

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May 23, 2010

Richest self-made men and women of 2010

Filed under: General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 3:17 pm

Glossy money magazine Quote presented its 100% Selfmade list last week, an overview of the 100 richest self-made Dutch people of under the age of 40.

The Top 5 is:

  1. David Slager (37), 270 million euro, stock trader
  2. Reinout Oerlemans (38), 73 million euro, TV director and producer
  3. Roger Hodenius (38), 60 million euro, stock trader
  4. Andruw Jones (33), 54 million euro, professional baseball player
  5. Ruud van Nistelrooij (33), 53 million euro, professional football player

Quote regularly publishes a list of the 500 richest people of the Netherlands, including those who inherited their fortunes, and the difference with the self-made folks is stunning. The latter only lost half a million euro per capita in the past 12 months, whereas all the rich combined lost 17.8 billion, which comes down to 36 million euro per person.

In fact, only the losses of one man, Maasbert Schouten (banker, 38), who saw 200 million of his 235 million euro evaporate last year, stunted the growth of the self-made rich. Collectively they went from 2 billion euro to 1.95 billion euro.

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May 28, 2007

Tulipmania myth debunked

Filed under: General,History by Branko Collin @ 8:01 pm

For the casual observer looking at the Netherlands, the Tulipmania story has it all: tulips, the Golden Age, the start of modern capitalism, windmills, clogs… OK, so everything but the last two. For the puritans among you, this tale has even got a moral. Here’s a quick recap of how the story goes:

In the 17th century, the Dutch were at the top of their wealth, both financially and culturally. The Dutch trading ships controlled the seas, and brought the treasures of foreign countries to these shores. This wealth ignited the local Renaissance, giving artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer, and scientists like Van Leeuwenhoek and Grotius a chance to plie their trade. A story from that time goes that the first economic bubble was also created by the Dutch. Among the many things they imported were tulip bulbs, which started to fetch higher and higher prices. At one point, a box of bulbs would cost as much as a house. But in the spring of 1637 the bubble was burst; Dutch pride was punished, and thousands of traders went bankrupt.

At least, that’s the popular version of the story. According to a recent book written by Anne Goldgar, most of what we know about the bubble stems from propaganda from the period. An interesting review from the Financial Times tells more:

Some contemporary pamphleteers attacked the trade, baffled by what one Englishman called the ”incredible prices for tulip rootes”, and disquieted by the godless materialism of it all. […] Most tulip tales we know, scolds Goldgar, ”are based on one or two contemporary pieces of propaganda and a prodigious amount of plagiarism”.

In fact, during her research Goldgar could not find the name of a single person who had been bankrupted by the burst of the bulb bubble.

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