Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to the Goon Central board in response to a question from Drip Guy.
Before you came to enlighten the World, everyone who mentioned SWRs before you was lying?
Was everyone who believed years ago that the earth was the center of the universe lying, Drip Guy?
Humans don’t know everything. We learn over time. I was certainly the first person who reported the SWR accurately.
Now — was Greaney lying when he said that I was on medications and that I stalked women?
So he made a mistake and then lied to cover up the mistake.
How about Scott Burnszzz and the other “experts” who made clear that they are aware of the research showing that valuationszzz affect long-term returns and yet have done little or nothing to get the Old School studies corrected?
Are they lying? I think it would be fair to say that they are not behaving with a high degree of integrity. How would you feel if you were one of the millions of middle-class investors who will be suffering a failed retirement because of their failure to speak up?
Our economic crisis started with a mistake, the idea that the market is efficient. But it’s not a mistake when John Bogle fails to do anything about the Lindauer matter after I have sent him three e-mails asking for his help. If Bogle were a used car salesman, I think it is clear that he would not permit the sorts of people who have put up posts in “defense” of Lindauer to post at a board with his name in the title. Why does he do it as an investment expert in which millions of middle-class people have placed their trust? Should the ethical standards that apply in The Stock-Selling Industry be that much below those that apply in the used car business?
I say “no.”
I find no fault with those who developed mistaken ideas about how stock investing works in the days before all of the research was available to us. I view that as just one of those things.
But, yes, I absolutely think that people should correct their mistakes when they learn of them.
If you want to say that the errors in the Old School studies were just mistakes in early 2002, I have no problem with that. That’s what I think too.
But I put forward the post that kicked off The Great Debate nearly ten years ago. Are we to believe that it’s all just an innocent mistake to this day?
We are going to need to rebuild the economy that was destroyed through the relentless promotion of Get Rick Quick strategies for 30 years after the research was published showing that Get Rick Quick never works. I am going to do my part to defend those whom I view as pioneers in the field. I certainly include people like Bogle and Burns in that group. But I am not going to lie in their defense. I am going to spin things in their favor to the greatest extent possible. But I am not going to say that Burns wrote a series of articles demanding that the Old School studies all be corrected as soon as he received my e-mail or that Bogle demanded the removal of all posters who had posted in “defense” of Lindauer or Greaney as soon as he became aware of what the Sewer Rats were doing to the Vanguard Diehards board.
What I conclude about these matters is not going to count for all that much in the grand scheme of things, Drip Guy. It’s what millions of middle-class investors whose lives are in the process of being destroyed in this economic crisis conclude that matters.
I will be in there pitching, putting things in the most positive light possible for the Buy-and-Holders. But there are limits to my powers of persuasion, Drip Guy. I think it would be fair to say that the Buy-and-Hold dogmatics are not exactly making my job an easy one.
If you cared about your long-term self-interest one-tenth as much as I care about your long-term self-interest, I think it would be fair to say that these matters would have been put to rest in the Spring of 2002.
I will continue to extend the hand of kindness to you and to all others who have gotten caught up in all the ugliness visited on us by the Internet Sewer Rats who have elected of their own volition to put up posts in “defense” of Lindauer and Greaney. But I won’t post dishonestly on SWRs. If you think I will, you’re living in a dream world. It would be cruel of me to suggest to you that any fantasies you are counting on in this regard have even the tiniest chance of ever coming true.
Be well, my old friend.