The Tech bubble (also referred to as the Internet bubble, Dot-com bubble or IT bubble) was a worldwide overleveraging of stocks driven by the boom of internet and computer-based technology and commerce in the 1990's and early 2000's. The collapse of the bubble, which began with the decline of the American stock market in December 2001, caused a two-year recession in the United States while triggering far more catastrophic reactions in overseas markets. The collapse of the American tech bubble is widely attributed to triggering the 2002 Asian financial crisis and the 2002-07 French economic turmoil, as well as other lesser affects in South American and African markets and in countries belonging to the United States' general sphere of economic influence. Much like land-grabs and overspeculation of resources in the 1910's, the tech bubble of the 1990's caused only the second true global economic downturn since the 1919 Parisian stock market crash.
The United States recovered from the 2002-03 recession in the third quarter of 2003, but the economic decline is believed to have cost the then-popular Nationalists a chance at keeping control of the Presidency in the 2004 election. The tech bubble was followed by one of the longest sustained periods of economic growth in American history, lasting deep into 2010 before the early 2010's recession began. However, in places such as China, Korea and Vietnam, the economies have yet to recover to the boom-times of the late 1990's. In France and amongst many of its European economic partners, economic recovery did not begin until late 2006 through early 2008, leading many to dub the 2000's as France's "Lost Decade." Some economists have surmised that since the United States was exiting two decades of low growth and frequent contracting trends when the tech bubble hit, the government was prepared to deal with the fallout better than countries such as France, China and Korea, which had enjoyed fifteen to twenty years of unbridled economic expansion.