The conference began with an introduction discussing the origins of the Conference and NJIT’s School of Management’s interest in Financial Bubbles. Arthur Hoffman then discussed the origins of the Leir Center and the reasons for the Conference.
The issue of what is a bubble and how to define one was then introduced as an important consideration if one is going to understand them. The idea that there are different types and sizes of bubbles was introduced almost immediately. Schumpeterian or industry bubbles were one example. The question of gold as being different was then considered because some people view it as an alternative currency. The idea of movements above equilibrium and movements back [cobwebs] are not bubbles. The question then arose whether this also occurs in biology when there are no natural predators or one outruns a host. In these cases the system changes and there is a crash. Chain reactions until there is an explosion may be a similar idea. New types of leverage or resources feed the systems until that source is used up. Then there is a crash due to no further support. This may be true of natural excesses as well.