From Millions to Dead URLS - - 2017 versus 1999

From the Slope of Hope blog: On my crowded bookshelf of history texts is one book called Dot Con, which recounts the build-up to, and the bursting of, the Internet bubble. I hadn't read this book in many years, but I pulled it from the shelf yesterday to thumb through it, since we seem to be living in identical times right now (although with a far more pervasive and much, much bigger, bubble). Here's one quote I typed in for your reading pleasure. You're welcome.

"All speculative bubbles go through four stages, each with its own internal logic. The first stage, which is sometimes referred to as the displacement, starts when something changes people's expectations about the future.......a few well-informed souls try to cash in on the displacement by investing in the new vehicle of speculation, but most investors stay on the sidelines.

The early investors make extremely high returns, and this attracts the attention of others. Next comes the boom stage, when prices are rising sharply and skepticism gives way to greed. The sight of easy money being made lures people into the market, which keeps prices rising, which, in turn, attracts more investors. Eventually, those upstanding citizens who haven't' joined in the festivities feel left out. Not just left out. They feel like fools.....

Boom passes into euphoria. Established rules of investing, and often mere common sense, are dispensed with. Prices lose all connection with reality. Investors know this situation can't last forever, and they vie to cash in before the bubble bursts......a larger and larger group of people seeks to become rich without a real understanding of the processes involved. Not surprisingly, swindlers and catchpenny schemes flourish. Finally, inevitably, comes the bust. Sometimes there is clear reason for the break; sometimes, the market implodes of its own accord. Either way, prices plummet, speculators and companies go bankrupt, and the economy heads into recession. A few months later, everybody looks back in amazement, asking, 'How did that happen?'"

Sound like anything that might be going on right now?

Since so many years have passed, some of us have forgotten how insane the Internet bubble was, and how optimistic people were about the future. Take note: "The epic stage of the Internet bubble lasted from October 1998 to April 2000. During that period, more than 300 Internet firms did IPOs." President Clinton declared the national debt would be paid off by the year 2015 (excuse me for just a moment: HA! BWA HA HA! OH MY GOD! BWA HA HA HA HAHHHHH! HAAAAAAA!!!!!!!)

Dot Con also adds this hilarious anecdote "On Sunday, January 30, 2000, Super Bowl XXXIV took place....dotcom companies had sent the cost of a thirty second Super Bowl spot to about $2 million. Seventeen Internet advertisers paid that price, including Computer.com, Epidemic.com, Onmoney.com, Lifeminders.com, kForce.com, and Ourbeginning.com".

OK, have you heard of ANY of those companies? And yet they were so loaded with venture capital funds, they were able to pay for insanely expensive advertising. I decided to look at these URLs, out of curiosity more than anything else. Here's what I found:

Computer.com - a really boring site based in Wyoming with articles about technology.

Onmoney.com - doesn't even load.

Lifeminders.com - a few junk ads. A parked domain.

kForce.com - actually seems to have survived. Still never heard of 'em.

Ourbeginning.com - looks like the domain was taken over by a children's pre-school.

And as for Epidemic.com...........

epidemic

Everything that's going on right now -- from the sky-high equity market, to the President's endless tweeting about record asset values, and the madder-than-a-hatter activity going on with cryptocurrencies, seems to me like a jumping-up-and-down market of bubbles. For safety's sake, every person with a pulse (including Jim Cramer) has offered up the limp phrase, "This will end badly someday", more as a verbal insurance policy than anyone else, but their words say one thing and their actions another.

I believe it's going to end badly someday too. What's different about my opinion is that I think that "day" is extraordinarily close, if not immediate. Want to see the future? Just hop over to epidemic.com and find it.

Comments

DC Beastie Boy Wed, 12/06/2017 - 13:42 Permalink

My favorite justballs.com they fucking imploded in less than six months, go figure.Actually, my very favorite site was fuckedcompany.com which tracked all of the failed dot com companies, those were the glory years!

Iconoclast421 Wed, 12/06/2017 - 13:47 Permalink

Except the euphoria stage has been going on for 4+ years now. And thats if you believe the true nuttiness didnt start until 2013. I think that is the case. There were parts of 2011 and 2010 that were pretty nutty but they were met with corrections. Since 2013 its been a complete nutterfest of money printing, backed by almost no profit growth at all.

BarkingCat Wed, 12/06/2017 - 14:01 Permalink

Most people are still on the sidelines. This is not driven by retail but the FED pumping the pump. Once they suck in the retail suckers they will pull the plug and down it will go.

aloha_snakbar Wed, 12/06/2017 - 14:18 Permalink

I think that cryptos are in the 'euphoria' phase right now. I actually saw an ad, here on ZH, that was blaring "The blockchain is bigger than the internet"....LULZ....

General Fuster Cluck aloha_snakbar Wed, 12/06/2017 - 18:16 Permalink

It could all crash tomorrow. I mean really crash, not ZH "crash". Or it could be at $1,000,000 within 3 years or any thing in between. Nothing like a 10 fold run up in 11 months to get the euphoria started.

One scenario where Bitcoin could be stopped: WAR. It would be hard to justify simply banning Bitcoin under normal circumstances. If WWIII breaks out then I could see the possibility of Bitcoin trading being banned as well restrictions on cryptography, the internet, and even cell phones and towers.

"The blockchain is bigger than the internet". I doubt it. Newer crypto coins may have a scheme that doesn't even have a "blockchain".

In reply to by aloha_snakbar

vulcanraven General Fuster Cluck Wed, 12/06/2017 - 22:35 Permalink

Has anyone ever pondered the theory that Bitcoin was created as a government/central banker stealth wealth transfer scheme? Let all the sheep pile in and willingly throw their money into this shadowy creation so at the moment of their choosing they can declare it illegal in whatever way they decide (terrorism, money laundering, etc.) and then just confiscate and divvy up the spoils amongst each other. 

In reply to by General Fuster Cluck

negan2 armageddon addahere Wed, 12/06/2017 - 21:54 Permalink

Just FYI: Maybe your question is rhetorical or sarcastic, however, there are trading sites for short interest and many trader platforms offer information on stocks to short. I have scanners for increase in short interest and tend to follow those. For the past week have been shorting XNET and others have been shorting HMNY. Depends if ones broker has shortable shares available. Also, UVXY has so much short interest that Brokers have reduced margin available. Meant to be helpful.

In reply to by armageddon addahere

nmewn Wed, 12/06/2017 - 21:10 Permalink

(Ring...Ring)Me: Hey there buddy-ro, how's final exams going son?Squire: Have you seen what BitCoin is up to? I'm so glad I got in, there's practically no risk!Me: Yeah, uh huh. Well, you know its a ponzi right?Squire: Yeah but I don't think anyones going to jump out right now, its getting a lot of publicity. It just went to...(followed by ten minutes of what a smart guy he is and how many of his friends are in it and me rolling my eyes silently)...and the skies the limit. I'm rich!Me: Well, technically its just digits on a screen so, you can't be rich until you actually sell it. Sayin.Squire: I know that. But I'm not selling now. Maybe in a week or so. But I don't know.Me: So, ummm...how's the exams going? Squire: Good. I don't think I'll take the final on philosophy, I'm at a B...Me (interjecting): Only a B, why not get an A then?Squire: The B is a sure thing with all the grades I got so far and the way he grades out.Me: Sounds like you got it all figured out son. What about algebra? Squire: I can use the time not taking the philosophy exam to study up on the algebra and...Me: Or doing something besides studying. Bud I got to go back to work. You're coming home this weekend right?Squire: Yeah. Thursday or Friday depending on whats going on.Me: I love you. Be careful. I'll see you when you get home.Squire: Love you too Dad. Bye.////////And so it goes. Some things they just have to learn on their own ;-) 

SgtShaftoe Wed, 12/06/2017 - 22:08 Permalink

Based on the inflows, this could run a while. I really would like to see a healthy correction, but could see this going another 1,000% before it crashes a little bit. Though I hope for a correction. This is getting kinda hyperinflation creepy.

Imagine a world where cash was all shit, and stocks were all shit, and bonds were all worse than shit (kinda like now). Where does one put currency? Gold, silver and palladium are great for long-term but very much remain under the fat ass of the FED, squashed and sharted upon. If I were playing this market. I would take strength in BTC to purchase gold and silver for long-term assets if you think you'll live long enough to enjoy it. Short term, at-risk assets, I consider putting some into bitcoin for now. Bitcoin is probably the sneakiest and most efficient way to transport wealth. It's volatile, but nobody is going to stop you at the border for it.
Sneaky portability of wealth, even with volatility is far better for the individual than staring down a rifle barrel in some shithole while unarmed after the fucker just found 50 gold eagles in your vehicle upholstery. If I ever had to live through that moment, I would choose Bitcoin for the trip.

Thom Paine Wed, 12/06/2017 - 23:28 Permalink

so cryptocoins are like dot.comI do remember dot.comHundreds line up in Hong Kong to buy into tom.com  which was nothing...all did their money with these dot.com 

stacking12321 Liberaldisdain Thu, 12/07/2017 - 02:31 Permalink

your statement is clearly false.peter schiff has been right on many, many things.some examples:the federal government has taken on too much debtthe economy is driven by production, not consumptionthe productivity and wealth of people are increased when government refrains from interfering in the marketplace i could probably give 100 more examples of things peter schiff has been right about, if i were more familiar with his work.in the future, refrain from making false statements.thanks.

In reply to by Liberaldisdain