Dilbert Explains The Tech Bubble With A Cartoon... From 1996

Tyler Durden's picture

It's never different this time...



Source: Dilbert, 3/15/1996

h/t @gubbmintcheese

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mvsjcl's picture

Dilbert was almost Zero Hedge before Zero Hedge.

Newsboy's picture

It Worked, Didn't It?

MalteseFalcon's picture

It's different this time.  The FED controls the punch bowl as always, only this time they're not removing it.


Jim in MN's picture

Even long after we're all floating face down in it.

NidStyles's picture

Hyperinflation would be the end result. As in the punch drunk is still drinking until it's pouring out of his eyes. 

gold-is-not-dead's picture

Hyperinflation in dollars already started in Venezuela. You can sell used Renault for $30k which costed $7k new. That's the impact of wortless paper on the chain of supply.

bigrooster's picture

1969:  Should I buy petrock stock?  1999:  Should I buy Pets.com stock?  2014: Should I buy Twitter stock?

HungryPorkChop's picture

2000: Should I buy Cisco, Dell or Microsoft stock?  Both has split and doubled in price during the past year.  Rumor has it that Dell is about to split again. Hmmmm?

2007: Real Estate market is on fire.  Country Wide stock is going through the roof.    Maybe I should buy a house on the lake instead, after all they're not making anymore land so it's a very limited commodity and especially lake views.

2014: Wow!  The DOW, Russell and NASDAQ is going through the roof.  Keep pumping FED as I'll get to retire early at this rate.  Defense stocks and oil stocks are going gang busters!  Can't lose this time around..

2021: Wished I had one gram of gold or silver everytime I heard that tech, defense and energy stocks were great investments.  I'd be rich!!  After the last bust, the only thing that went through the roof was inflation. 

fockewulf190's picture

2025:  "A fella, a quick fella, might have a weapon under there...I´d have to pin his head to the panel!"


ben_bernanke's picture

Another Tyler Durdur idiot bomb. Just because stocks are going up doesn't make it a bubble. I'm sure there were people just like Durden in 1980 as the market was pushing to all time highs, thinking "it's all about to end." Oh wait. It went on to gain another 14x until 2000. No one in gen x is even invested in the market. How can this possible be comparable to 2000? Ever heard of a GENERATIONAL CYCLE. It lasts 20 years. 

But all hail Tyler Durden, who was preaching doom in 2009 at the market bottom and hasn't been right since.

huggy_in_london's picture

Look at the price action in multiple time frames.  Frenzied markets display similar traits (be in soft commods, equities, whatever).  It rachets, never pulling back, has manic moment, then a frenzied desperate ramp.  Then there are the fundamentals!  

Sure, you might make money being long here, perhaps on paper.  But when it turns you a) won't know when to get out and b) may not be able to for the first 10%

nmewn's picture

"No one in gen x is even invested in the market."

Its hard enough working two "service economy jobs" in order to preserve ones dignity and not go on welfare without you rubbing it in Ben.

Tall Tom's picture

Few Baby Boomers are invested in the market. They were wiped out in 2008


It is a casino and the game is played by Large Financials playing Algorithm Games.


You know that it is fake when Ben opens his ASSHOLE...and shits on you.


(Ok..Yeah...I know how that feels...I got this kitten...I named him Monster...you know...Monster Kittiies...you know...appropriate...A cute cat that someone else thought that I needed...And the first thing that he does is shit on my chest. It seems similar to the Stock Market...You know?)

Quinvarius's picture

He just reports the economic facts.  They happen to suck.  We are in a depression, looking at WW3, while the USD is being globally shitcanned.  Enjoy your printed stock rally.  Hope the DOW goes to 100K.  Then you can use that money you make to buy 2 eggs. 

willwork4food's picture

Not if you buy some chickens BEFORE that happens.

Implied Violins's picture

I think I'll buy some tar, too. So I'll have a use for those feathers.

Seer's picture

Sounds like a perfectly workable plan, assuming one can escape from ebola...

MalteseFalcon's picture

It is a bubble, but so what?  If the FED doesn't deflate it and instead feeds it, it will live and grow.

And there's nothing, nothing you can do about it.

Think Like A Crook's picture

Why do you keep saying the FED won't deflate and instead feeds it as if in perpetuity?  What makes you think they won't crash it?  Especially after what little retail is left is all in.

But more importantly, why do a lot of posters on here think the FED is now GOD?  My God look what happened in 1999- 2000. 2007-2008?

You don't think they are capable of that again?  Why not?

NidStyles's picture

I don't think you understand the actual situation as it is.


If the Fed were to deflate their positions now, they would lose everything, and like the little puppet statists they are, they are deathly afraid of losing it. If they lose the position they have now, they will pretty much lose their lives, as they pretty much leveraged EVERYTHING in order to prop their opulent lifestyles up. Their entire lifestyle is based upon the clever little accounting tricks and silent theft covered with propaganda and deception.  


These are not the kind old professors at your local Uni. These are dyed in the wool statists that truly believe that they are doing God's work here. These people actually believe their own hubris, and their positions in the economy mean EVERYTHING to them. 


These people would rather start a world war than give up their positions or their grasp on these currencies.


Think Like A Crook's picture

I don't think the DHS purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammo for kicks and giggles.  Insurance just in case things go awry.  My position is that they know exactly what they are doing.  These are not stupid people.  The are nefarious and "bought" people.

They'll do by God what they are told and when they are told to do it.  imo of course.

Seer's picture

I think the predicament you describe is applicable to a LOT more than just the Fed.  As a matter of fact, it pretty much describes our entire social structure...

Captain Jack Sparrow's picture

I'm gen x and I'm invested in the market?

I read ZH to get the real facts on current issues so I know where to invest...

Bernanke'sDaddy's picture

You need to get balls deep in LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, yelp, and 30 year t bills.

Am I missing anything?

Captain Jack Sparrow's picture

haha you are getting your generations mixed up.  All that shit is gen y and I have never really been into social media.

Old saying "if you don't understand a company why would you invest in it" 

My portfolio:

- 30% Gold physical (in a hired vault)

- 20% Military

- 20% Healthcare

- 20% Insurance Industry

- 10% speculative (Biotech/ internet of things etc)

And I've returned an average of 15% per year for the last 4 years.  Not bad for a hobby.

What have you returned, besides negative votes? :)

Seer's picture

"Am I missing anything?"

Tuplips, don't forget the tulips!

ebworthen's picture

"Look at that Tyler Durden talking down South Seas Company stock when he could be rich by now.  Next he'll tell us that there is a bubble in the black tulip market!"

ncdirtdigger's picture

What's the matter, did you miss out on the Missispppi company?

Bernanke'sDaddy's picture


You've been nothing but a disappointment to me and your mother.

Implied Violins's picture

Wow. Ummm...did you know Warren Buffet's daddy? Because you both coulda saved the world by sending your boys downriver.

BeetleBailey's picture

Helicopter Beanie Ben? Is that you motherfucker?


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The oldest tricks are usually the best....if properly updated to include the latest tech.

Supafly's picture

Yep.  "Don't miss out on (insert shitfuck idea here)!

RockyRacoon's picture

Reminds me of a commercial I saw:

"Looketh over there...."    "Ha!"

Also like the 1 inch ads that run in the back of Popular Mechanics... been running for years/decades since the early days of the magazine when it was just a pulp. 


Because they draw.

willwork4food's picture

Did Jesus find you and give you stock tips?

Taint Boil's picture



The Dilbert Principle:

I wrote The Dilbert Principle around the concept that in many cases the least competent, least smart people are promoted, simply because they’re the ones you don't want doing actual work. You want them ordering the doughnuts and yelling at people for not doing their assignments—you know, the easy work. Your heart surgeons and your computer programmers—your smart people—aren’t in management. That principle was literally happening everywhere.

OldPhart's picture

It's originally defined as 'The Peter Principle".


My personal definition of the Peter Principle is the biggest dick in the office moves ahead quickest.


Tall Tom's picture

One of the best early reads which I made long ago.


I strongly suggest reading it so that it will all make sense...before the Economy crumbles into the ash heap and be, deservedly so, swept into the dustbin of History.

Otrader's picture

When he saw homer's picture in the space shuttle, he went ape sh*t. lol

SweetDoug's picture




Love the reference!

Saw this episode and it just was like receiving a message from God.


I'm saying you're what's wrong with America, Simpson. You coast through life, you do as little as possible, and you leech off of decent, hardworking people like me. Heh, if you lived in any other country in the world, you'd have starved to death long ago.
?Frank Grimes, referring to the Simpsons' house[src]

There's a large power company in Canada, that it's employees regularly chant about their bosses…

Fuck up!? Move up!
Ain't it the truth.
Turds that won't flush.


shovelhead's picture

No lie.

At a boozy night with a guy I worked for, I asked him, "Just what the fuck is it that you do, exactly?"

He laughs, "I yell at you to make sure you do the stuff that I suck at doing."

"That's for sure." says I.

"And I also sign the checks that keep you coming back to do it."

You can't argue with impeccable logic like that.

TheRedScourge's picture

Well, I guess it seems to work. However, if you can't figure a way to eliminate the middleman, you're bound to have one anyway, so I guess it's your own fault in a way.

backrecord's picture

More scott adams investment opinion:

If you say you "do your own research," you're probably a liar, possibly an idiot, and maybe some sort of analytical genius. And frankly, I can't tell you guys apart.


PT's picture

and "There are two types of companies.  Ones like Dilbert's company, and ones that are like Dilbert's company but they won't admit it."

Do your kids a favour.  Buy them "The Dilbert Principle" and "Dogbert's Top Secret Management Guide".  They're gonna learn all that stuff anyway.  Why drag the experience out over five or ten years when they can just read about it in Dilbert books?  Save them some time so they can get on with their lives.


No, my name is not Scott.

Quaderratic Probing's picture

One of their duties is to introduce stupid changes made to interfere with productive workers.