Yesterday’s blog entry reported on an e-mail sent to me by Academic Researcher Wade Pfau on April 7, 2012. I sent a response within 20 minutes. The text is set forth below.
I’m happy to use the entire text of the first e-mail, Wade.
Is it your preference that I run the entire text of your other e-mails?
Wade responded within 25 minutes. He said: “My preference is that you do not write about any of my emails!” He then identified the e-mail that he wanted me to run in full text. He said: “Beyond that email, I feel that my emails to you are meant to be private, and I don’t want them posted publicly. As long as you posted the entire above email first, please then just summarize any other emails I sent you without using quotes or excerpts. I wrote the first email under the assumption that you would post it publicly, but my other emails to you were written under the assumption they would be kept private. Also, please do not mention that I am looking for a job in the United States, as this is something I do not want my university to know. Some of these matters are very private!”
I responded the next day. The text of my response is set forth below.
There obviously would be no good purpose served in reporting on matters that are entirely private.
The issue of your job search is NOT entirely private. It goes to motive. Most people have common sense and so most people understand that the price they pay for stocks must affect the value proposition they obtain from them. I have asked people why the general rule does not apply in the case of stocks. The answer I get is that “the experts say that is so and I presume that they know what they are talking about.” So it is of the utmost importance that we make clear to people WHY so many experts fail to speak out against Buy-and-Hold 30 years after the academic research showed that there is zero chance that it would work for any long-term investor.
The obvious (to those who have watched The Great SWR Debate) explanation is that the experts are AFRAID to express their honest views in public. It is certainly not only you. You are in very good company. Bogle is afraid to speak in complete honesty. Bernstein is afraid to speak in complete honesty. Tressider is afraid to speak in complete honesty. Burns is afraid to speak in complete honesty. And on and on and on. (These are all great people who have provided many powerful insights — that should go without saying but I don’t think it hurts to say it often given the circumstances.)
This is the problem that has to be overcome. When this one is overcome, all our problems are over. We will not all be in agreement, nor should we be. But at that point all this ugliness will be behind us. We won’t be associated with people who engage in death threats and defamation and board bannings and all this sort of thing. We will be free to do the work we all want to do and to feel good ourselves while doing it.
So THAT sort of thing I very much need to report on. That’s the thing no one else is doing. And it is because no one else is doing this important work that we are in an economic crisis today.
I offer this preface so that you understand where I am coming from. There is ZERO desire here to do anything to cause you any discomfort. I want to see you win the Nobel Prize. That will be one of the happiest days of my life. It is not going to happen until we get to a point where we are all posting in complete honesty and moving things forward at a good pace. I didn’t ask for the job of doing this important work. I was volunteered. I obviously have never been offered any other options. So I obviously just have to do what I have to do, even when it pains me to see that the situation as a whole has caused some pain for people whom I think of as good friends and good people.
I think it is probably possible to avoid mentioning your interest in a job in the United States. I can’t make a commitment at this moment because I haven’t given much thought yet to how these articles would be put together. But my first thought is that it would be okay for me to say something like “Wade mentioned a private matter that caused him to not want the articles to appear at this time.” I don’t at the moment see why people would need to know more than that. [Please see the note at the bottom of this blog entry re Wade’s blog post to understand why I ultimately decided that it was necessary to include Wade’s words re the job in the United States to tell this story in a complete manner.]
That’s not the case with the earlier threats by the Goons to get you fired from your job in Japan. Those threats appear to have played a big role in your move to the dark side. Those threats are already public. The Goons posted them at Greaney’s board for all the world to see. So that stuff is already public and serves as a powerful demonstration of the the power of the Goons to block the public’s ability to learn about very important matters.
One of my jobs is to bring lawsuits against the Goons and those who have permitted them to post at their sites and those who have failed to speak up when they posted at sites at which they post and thereby have lent credibility to the Goons. I think it would help to diminish people’s anger for us to see that there are prison sentences served by those who have posted in “defense” of the Goons on more than a small number of occasions.
A showing that the Goons made threats to get a respected researcher fired from his job for the “crime” of speaking honestly about a matter of great public policy significance and that the researcher did indeed feel intimidated by this threat is PRECISELY the thing we need to get before people to get the major political blogs writing about this story. I believe that this story is going to break as a political story rather than as an investing story because most of the owners of the investing blogs are too compromised by their desire to be on good terms with the hot shots in this field.
I am not going through all this to further inflame you. That’s the last thing in the world I want to do. I am going through all this in an effort to help you better understand how you have managed to get yourself entangled in some very, very dangerous and foul stuff. My personal belief is that your worry about the U.S. job is trivial compared to what is coming down the road. After the next crash, people are going to be very, very angry about what has been done to them and will be looking for people to hang from a tree. Anyone who has put forward words in “defense” of the Goons has set himself up for a world of pain at that time, in my assessment. I pray that my friends will soon catch on to this reality and cease engaging in further acts of self-destruction, Anyway, the purpose here is to help you understand the realities. If you are not capable of appreciating them today, I hope that perhaps you will reread this e-mail at some later date when you are in circumstances that help you come to a better appreciation of what is going on here.
I love you, man. I believe that my appreciation of your research is greater than your own (because I am in circumstances which permit me to see implications that follow from it that you are not able to let into your consciousness today). My hope and belief is that there will be a day when we are both on the other side of the Big Black Mountain of hate and anger and shame and guilt that separates us today and have a beer together and laugh together at the craziness that for a time caused us to think there was some significant difference in our self interests. I don’t think there is. I think we are very much on the same side, regardless of how things may appear to look on the surface..
If you have any further concerns or questions re what I will write or what I have written, please always feel free to drop me a note. My aim is be FAIR both to my readers and to those I write about. I work that side of things very, very hard. I think about it and think about it and think about it. I lose sleep over it. So don’t ever think that I dismiss any request you make casually. Never do I do that. I obviously cannot promise to go along with every request. There are millions of people today who have lost jobs because of all this Buy-and-Hold garbage and I obviously need to worry about the career prospects of those people too. But I care about you and I will always remain open to spinning things in your favor to the extent that it is possible for me to do that in good conscience.
Hang in there. It is my strong sense that things are in the process of getting better. The Goons are feeling more and more desperate every day. Perhaps there will come a time in the not too distant future when all the ugly part of this will be behind us and we will have only the fun, fulfilling parts of the project to work together on. Let us pray!
This e-mail was my last communication with Wade.
Wade wrote a blog entry at his site making defamatory comments about me (while also making a number of legitimate points) on May 16, 2012:
He deleted the comment that I posted to that blog entry. I checked his site a few weeks later to see that he had deleted comments that I made to other blog entries at his site.