To the list of speculative market bubbles popping around the world, add this: Thai religious talismans. Last year, prices for the small discs inscribed with an ancient mythological figure soared as ordinary Thais — some hoping for good luck, others looking to make a fast baht — forked over big-time…In a pattern now painfully familiar to investors the world over, the boom was so great — some amulets sold for as much as $75,000 — that the bust could only be close behind. A glut, combined with growing suspicions that many amulets hadn’t been properly blessed by Buddhist monks, has blown the bottom out of the market in the past few weeks. Most of the little clay objects, part of a billion-dollar-plus industry just a few months ago, are now practically worthless.

– Extracted from James Hookway, “Lucky Charms In Thailand Are Out of Luck”, The Wall Street Journal, 7 April 2008.