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From wine to Chinese medicine, risk of bubbles rises globally

Indicators show overheating potential higher than dot-com bubble or financial crisis

Speculative money is pouring into cryptocurrencies and auctions of luxury goods. (Source photo by Reuters)

TOKYO/SHANGHAI/NEW YORK -- Governments and central banks around the world continue to implement unprecedented fiscal stimulus measures and monetary easing to prevent an economic crisis arising from the pandemic -- to the point that investors and analysts are now starting to spot signs of asset bubbles.

In China's Hebei province, the price of cow gallstones, which are used in Chinese traditional medicine, has surged: four years ago it was a little more than 100,000 yuan ($15,400) per kilogram, but the price offered by traders has now quadrupled to 500,000 yuan. Speculators have cited scarcity of the gallstones for their rising price.

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