During the late 1990s, stock markets became beguiled by the rise of internet companies such as Amazon and AOL, which seemed to be ushering in a new era for the economy.Their shares soared when they listed on the Nasdaq stock market, despite that fact that few of the firms actually made a profit.
The boom peaked when internet service provider AOL bought traditional media company Time Warner for nearly $200bn in January 2000.
But in March 2000, the bubble burst, and the technology-weighted Nasdaq index fell by 78% by October 2002.
The crash had wider repercussions, with business investment falling and the US economy slowing in the following year, a process exacerbated by the 9/11 attacks, which led to the temporary closure of the financial markets.
But the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, cut interest rates throughout 2001, gradually lowering rates from 6.25% to 1% to stimulate economic growth.
By Steve Schifferes
Economics reporter, BBC News