The rally that drove oil to a record $139.12 a barrel last week surpassed the gains in Internet stocks that preceded the dot-com crash in 2000.
Crude rose 697 percent since trading at $17.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in November 2001, and reached 28 record highs this year. The last time a similar pattern was seen in equities was eight years ago, when Internet-related stocks sent the Nasdaq Composite Index up 640 percent to its highest level ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Bespoke Investment Group LLC.
The Nasdaq tumbled 78 percent from its March 2000 peak, erasing about $6 trillion of market value, as investors concluded that prices weren't supported by profits at companies such as Broadcom Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. Billionaire investor George Soros and Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., say oil is ready to tumble because prices aren't justified by supply and demand.
``There's nothing different between this mania, the dot-com mania, the real estate mania, the Dow Jones mania of the 1920s, the South Sea bubble and the Dutch tulip-bulb mania,'' said Schork, whose Villanova, Pennsylvania-based firm advises the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Wall Street firms and oil companies on the outlook for energy prices. ``History repeats itself over and over and over again.''>>>MORE