"U.S. shale plays share many characteristics with the gold rushes of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Both phenomena result from extreme promotion. Anyone can join. Every participant believes that they will get rich. Great amounts of capital are destroyed as entrants try to get a position. The bonanza is exhausted sooner than most expected and few profit in the end except for the vendors that serve participants." (Source: The Oildrum)
Another great contribution by Arthur Berman on the shale gas "gold rush" in the US.