I'm not sure if you're familiar with the stories of Asterix the Gaul. As a child I grew up on them and couldn't wait until they published the new stories. The stories are about a small village in Gaul (France) in Roman times that is the last bastion of resistance to the mighty Roman Empire. The reason they have held out is that they have a druid who makes a magic potion which gives you temporary super-human strength and speed. The happy go lucky Gauls readily imbibe the potion and then merrily go about bashing the Roman cohorts to smithereens (when they dare attack the village). Asterix always has his trusty pal Obelix with him. Although Obelix's profession is a menhir maker, they find time to get a little boar hunting done, a little internal squabbling and an adventure here and there outside the village. One of the stories is titled "Obelix & Co." and it is about a secret Roman plan to destroy the village by destroying its financial foundation. The Romans hire a slick con man (who looks suspiciously like a young Jacques Chirac): who begins to put into motion the plans to take over the village by taking over the financial basis of their econmy. He offers Obelix to buy all the menhirs he can produce. Soon Obelix is producing at a furious pace and no longer has any time for his old pal Asterix or for any boar hunting. He delivers his first shipment to discover to his amazement that the prices have gone up and is given the explanation that "its all very complicated" when he wonders why this is so. Pretty soon the other villagers get wind of the news that there is a huge demand of menhirs (from the Romans) and each in turn gives up their profession to make and sell menhirs. The fishmonger, the blacksmith, etc. they all change professions. But they can't satiate the demand of their sole buyer. And what does the slick character do with all those menhirs he is buying? Why he manufactures demand in all of the Roman Empire by advertising them as the perfect gift for your loved ones, the perfect decorating touch, etc. Soon the Roman Empire is flooded with menhirs as the masses begin to buy into the fashionable idea of owning and giving menhirs. Here is Obelix busily chipping away making a fresh batch: Before long this craze has taken a life of its own. It morphs and changes causing exotic shapes and styles of menhires to appear on the market. It comes into maturity as a full blown mania! But unexpectedly the whole machination goes badly awry (for the Romans). As you would expect, the artificial demand for menhirs causes a huge shock to the society because they are redistributing their resources (changing professions, etc.) all in a crazy pursuit of a mere idea, making, selling and owning a piece of large rock. The sesterai (currency) becomes almost worthless. No one is producing goods/services which have utility. No one is fishing, no one is baking, etc. Until it almost brings down the whole Roman Empire in one financial disaster. The slick con man (who suspiciously looks like Chirac) is fired by Caesar angrily as he turns his attention to rescuing his crumbling Empire. Meanwhile the villagers, turn back to their traditional jobs and resume their normal life. Never the wiser that they have just survived another Roman attack. But this time without the help of a magic potion. In the end Obelix says (as he usually does): "These Romans are crazy !!" So why am I telling you this? Well, if it hasn't already become obvious....I was thinking this story was published in 1976 and how wonderful it would have been if Greenspan had read it as a bed time story to his children/grandchidren.