"Pet rocks” were a fad in the 1970, started by advertising executive Gary Dahl. Dahl sold the worthless rocks, along with a joke insruction booklet for handling the “pet.”
Gary Dahl died in March 2015. Wall Street Journal “MoneyBeat” columnist Jason Zweig published “Let’s Be Honest About Gold: It’s a Pet Rock” on July 17, 2015. Zweig ripped into the value of gold as an investment, comparing owning gold to the ownership of worthless pet rocks. The “MoneyBeat” column was frequently cited.
Gold had been discussed along with pet rocks in a few tweets before 2015. “Gold is a ‘fiat commodity’, much like a pet rock” was cited on Twitter on December 19, 2009. “What if gold becomes as valuable as a pet rock?” was cited on Twitter on April 15, 2013.
Gold has also been called an “anti-dollar,” a “barbarous relic,” a “currency of last resort” and a “yellow dog.”
Wikipedia: Pet Rock
Pet Rock was a collectible conceived in 1975, by advertising executive Gary Dahl.
In April 1975, Gary Dahl was in a bar (which is now Beauregard Vineyards Tasting room in Bonny Doon) listening to his friends complain about their pets. This gave him the idea for the perfect “pet”: a rock. A rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed, or groomed; and would not die, become sick, or be disobedient. He said they were to be the perfect pets, and joked about it with his friends. Dahl took the idea seriously, and drafted an “instruction manual” for a pet rock. It was full of puns, gags and plays on words that referred to the rock as an actual pet.
Good title @RichardBeddard: Reading Willem Buiter (tx @gpietersz): http://bit.ly/5cqYmM Gold is a ‘fiat commodity’, much like a pet rock
5:53 AM - 19 Dec 2009
What if gold becomes as valuable as a pet rock?
2:53 PM - 15 Apr 2013
Life goal: get wealthy enough that my pet rock is made of solid gold
7:03 PM - 11 Nov 2014
Daily News (New York, NY)
Gary Dahl, the man who sold 1.5 million Pet Rocks, dead at 78
BY JASON MOLINET Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 12:54 AM
Gary Dahl, the advertising copywriter who struck marketing gold with the Pet Rock, has died.
The California copywriter dreamed up the novelty item that became all the rage in time for Christmas 1975 and made its inventor rich.
Never was a million-dollar idea simpler or more baffling.
The Wall Street Journal—MoneyBeat blog
12:13 pm ET Jul 17, 2015 COMMODITIES
Let’s Be Honest About Gold: It’s a Pet Rock
By Jason Zweig
Wall Street would like us to consider Gold to be just ‘a pet rock’. Yet central banks have turned to be net buyers....
11:08 PM - 18 Jul 2015
Before It’s News
Is Gold a Stupid “Pet Rock” or a Bedrock Asset?
By Clint Siegner
Monday, July 20, 2015 12:54
Jason Zweig, from the Wall Street Journal, thinks so. He’s deriding gold, calling it a “pet rock.” Given this month’s disappointing price action, he does have a point. But he needs to distinguish the physical rock from the paper rock.
We could forgive Mr. Zweig for drawing his conclusion if he was he simply looking at the spot (paper) price. To be sure, paper gold and silver are weak.
The “rock” itself is doing something else entirely. There has been a huge demand for physical metal in the past four weeks. Zweig knows it, but he dismisses it in the same condescending way so many on Wall Street do.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • Monday, August 03, 2015 • Permalink