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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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Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:48 | 5111685 mvsjcl
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Dilbert was almost Zero Hedge before Zero Hedge.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:52 | 5111725 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

It Worked, Didn't It?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:06 | 5111823 Manthong
Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:29 | 5111953 MalteseFalcon
MalteseFalcon's picture

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


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:48 | 5112038 Jim in MN
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Even long after we're all floating face down in it.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:17 | 5112166 NidStyles
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Hyperinflation would be the end result. As in the punch drunk is still drinking until it's pouring out of his eyes. 

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 07:57 | 5113523 gold-is-not-dead
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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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:51 | 5111710 bigrooster
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1969:  Should I buy petrock stock?  1999:  Should I buy stock?  2014: Should I buy Twitter stock?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:38 | 5111997 HungryPorkChop
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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. 

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:37 | 5112266 fockewulf190
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!"

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:52 | 5111713 ben_bernanke
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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:56 | 5111748 huggy_in_london
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%

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:08 | 5111847 nmewn
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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:19 | 5111904 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

Job? What's that?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:29 | 5112218 Tall Tom
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 know...Monster 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?)

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:12 | 5111866 Quinvarius
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. 

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:45 | 5112024 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Not if you buy some chickens BEFORE that happens.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 02:15 | 5113186 Implied Violins
Implied Violins's picture

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

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:43 | 5113063 Seer
Seer's picture

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

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:33 | 5111975 MalteseFalcon
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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 22:52 | 5112647 Think Like A Crook
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?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 23:08 | 5112704 NidStyles
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.


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 23:38 | 5112830 Think Like A Crook
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.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:45 | 5113068 Seer
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...

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:33 | 5111978 Captain Jack Sparrow
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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...

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 22:49 | 5112631 Bernanke'sDaddy
Bernanke'sDaddy's picture

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

Am I missing anything?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 23:31 | 5112798 Captain Jack Sparrow
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? :)

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:46 | 5113072 Seer
Seer's picture

"Am I missing anything?"

Tuplips, don't forget the tulips!

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:35 | 5111989 ebworthen
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!"

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:47 | 5112035 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

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

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:56 | 5112070 Bernanke'sDaddy
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You've been nothing but a disappointment to me and your mother.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 02:17 | 5113191 Implied Violins
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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 22:10 | 5112451 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Helicopter Beanie Ben? Is that you motherfucker?


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:52 | 5111717 Cognitive Dissonance
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The oldest tricks are usually the best....if properly updated to include the latest tech.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:16 | 5111886 Supafly
Supafly's picture

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

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:38 | 5111988 RockyRacoon
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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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:52 | 5111724 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

I was once Dilbert.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:58 | 5112078 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Did Jesus find you and give you stock tips?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:55 | 5111740 Taint Boil
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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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:58 | 5111760 OldPhart
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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.


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:34 | 5112251 Tall Tom
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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:57 | 5111764 huggy_in_london
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Frank Grimes 

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:24 | 5111920 toady
toady's picture


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 23:13 | 5112729 Otrader
Otrader's picture

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

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:39 | 5111991 SweetDoug
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.


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:14 | 5111874 shovelhead
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.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:32 | 5112234 TheRedScourge
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.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 04:19 | 5113299 backrecord
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.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 07:36 | 5113483 PT
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.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:12 | 5114136 Quaderratic Probing
Quaderratic Probing's picture

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

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:54 | 5111743 Jack D. Ripper
Jack D. Ripper's picture

The cartoon is from 1996, but the bubble didn't pop until 2000. Just because a lot of crazy stuff is going on doesn't mean the bubble will pop next week.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:01 | 5111788 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Ah yes, I remember it well.  A waiter at the fancy beanery was up $300,000 in the late 90s.  All tech stocks.  Lost every dime.  He and his wife were Chinese.

I've often thought, if I had a video of the ass chewing he got from her,  I'd be a billionaire;)

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:12 | 5111861 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

When you step out a High Rise window you don't immediately hit the ground and die either.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:10 | 5112128 Policraticus
Policraticus's picture

That is correct.  You do have a few seconds to think about it.  Then reality sets in, and only the observers have anything to talk about.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:10 | 5112949 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

I am reminded of Edward Gorey -

“The Suicide, as she is falling,
Illuminated by the moon,
Regrets her act, and finds appalling
The thought she will be dead so soon.”

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 02:20 | 5113196 Implied Violins
Implied Violins's picture

...but it does go a little faster if you were pushed...

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:11 | 5111862 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

When you step out a High Rise window you don't immediately hit the ground and die either.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:33 | 5111974 toady
toady's picture

I remember when .com was crashing. This dude I was working with was going insane, selling low, buying high, getting reemed for nearly two weeks.

Any of you that still works in an office is in for a treat. When this mother blows up watch the people in your office. At least one of them will probably lose everything. It truly is a sight to see.

Just don't be that guy....

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 23:12 | 5112723 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I work from home to avoid awkward conversations with people I likely don't care for anyways.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:43 | 5112021 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

No shit, I personally scored a six-bagger off of 4 Kids Entertainment, AKA 'The Pokemon Stock' back in the day.  I still have the New Yorker cover from that Halloween with Pikachu dragging a big sack of cash past the stupefied kids on the sidewalk......

But, don't gamble anything you can't afford to lose.....and......expect ZERO REAL returns across all major asset classes given the hideous distortions in interest rates and capital formation that the morons/criminals/losers in charge keep thinking is the best possible policy.

It boils down to stay diversified but adjust expectations down and expect to get brutally robbed one nest egg at a time.   Hopefully not all at once!

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:01 | 5111794 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Dilbert is Krugman

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:15 | 5111810 Tinky
Tinky's picture


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:07 | 5111835 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

And for 4 more years the trick worked really well. And has worked really well in the recent 10 years tech stock run-up of things like FB and Twitter and even Apple. And has work well so far in the fracking industry. So I seriously doubt we've seen the last of these plays.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:35 | 5112247 TheRedScourge
TheRedScourge's picture

Calling the top now. When Zerohedge commenters think it could go on for years to come, i think that's when finally the SHTF. Only problem is that I am also a ZeroHedge commenter, so clearly, what will happen instead is the markets will go flat for a year or two,

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:08 | 5111841 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

So is this a good time to jump in?

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 02:22 | 5113200 Implied Violins
Implied Violins's picture

From 30 floors up? Sure! ...need some help?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:10 | 5111849 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

"Man who stands on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in." -- Confucius, BC 551-479

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:18 | 5111893 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

Dilbert also did a nice take on gov't bond and currency bubble busts in 2009.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:10 | 5112135 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

"Forage during daylight, hide at night" is still a good mission statement. At least it's actionable. And you don't have to know what a synergy is.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:24 | 5112999 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

I remember, from a previous life, coming back to the office after an exteneded weekend retreat during the TQM heyday.  We had received T-shirts that had the mission statement (MS) that came out of that weekend, and were encouraged to put them on ahead of a staff meeting.  A coworker and I retired to the restroom.  Before removing my shirt, I placed the MS shirt on top of an ample ledge formed by the toilet paper holder.  Unbeknownst to me, the locking mechanism was broken and it suddenly popped open, pitching the shirt into the toilet.  The thought crossed my mind, but my coworker voiced it - "Do you think someone's trying to tell us something?"

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:39 | 5112002 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

It's one of the best kept secrets in DC, but if you look at the floor plan of the Ronald Reagan Building.....rotate it a bit....get the little rounded part in the 'front' if you will and....GUESS WHO???


Mon, 08/18/2014 - 20:52 | 5112055 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture

that's pretty fuckin' brilliant

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 21:38 | 5112277 homiegot
homiegot's picture

I miss 1996.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:21 | 5112986 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Michael Jordan was unguardable that year, but 96 gave us the Macarena, so maybe its better to leave it in the past.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 02:24 | 5113204 Implied Violins
Implied Violins's picture

I'd almost forgotten that.

Junking for the memory. Sorry, it just has to die.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:09 | 5112947 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Though it pains me to do so, my too many years of Latin require I mention that prospectus in Latin means to foresee, literally forward view.

I remember this cartoon. It was nearly 4 years after that the market corrected and it never got back to 96 levels.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 00:26 | 5113002 DeusHedge
DeusHedge's picture

dilbert's more furry friend was a financial manager.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 06:14 | 5113382 Raoul_Luke
Raoul_Luke's picture

It's funny 'cause it's true...

But the suggestion that we need the government to protect us from ourselves because we are too stupid to keep from being fleeced by evil businessmen is an inherently anti-capitalist notion.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 09:06 | 5113798 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

Again the market is busy taking on a life of its own.  What do stock markets around the world have in common with "girls gone wild" the video of college girls on spring break? The answer is both are crazy out of control. We have grown very complacent as money around the world has continued to flow into intangibles and promises.

Currently the market is all a twitter and locked in a "greed and stupidity loop." The loop can be explained as follows, stocks are rising so why get out, not getting out is causing the stocks to rise. When stocks do pullback it is a buying opportunity. Yes, we are indeed experiencing a double down and let it ride mentality. I don't have to explain the greed part. More about this subject in the article below.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 19:45 | 5117463 Ariadne
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