Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the Goon Central board:
if he would try to claim in court that his internet business was ruined he would likely be asked why he was the most prolific poster at the website he is claiming harmed him.
What you are saying here would be so if it were ONLY the Goons who were doing me harm, Ataloss. That’s what I thought the situation was when I sent my first e-mail to Motley Fool about the Greaney problem.I learned something when that e-mail didn’t get the job done. And of course I learned more when my good friend Jack Bogle didn’t respond to my four e-mails to him re the Lindauer matter.It ain’t just the Goons who are a problem here. Not by a long shot. I don’t say anymore that it is only the Goons.
This is a society-wide problem. Dab brings up a telling point when he says that, when he goes on Google to find the value of his portfolio, they tell only the nominal number. You can find the P/E10 value on Google. They give you what you need to figure out the real numbers. But they don’t assemble them for you. And they should. Why don’t they?
Shiller’s advance was HUGE. His word was “revolutionary.” That ain’t hype. The move from Buy-and-Hold to Valuation-Informed Indexing is the biggest advance in the history of investing analysis. By a factor of 10. Reducing the risk of stock investing by 70 percent is no small thing. We need to rewrite all the textbooks. Experts are people who spend a lot of time in school. The more time you spent in investing school, the more you believe in Buy-and-Hold because that is what is taught there. So we are in a situation where the experts are the people least able to see the straight story. It’s a mess.
We’re not going to put everyone in jail who doesn’t understand this stuff. That’s 90 percent of the freakin’ population! You don’t put 90 percent of the population in jail. It’s not a practical idea.
But this is the greatest act of financial fraud in U.S. history. So there obviously need to be prison sentences. So what the heck do we do?
We bring out our old friend Cognitive Dissonance. Cognitive Dissonance is real. It is written up in the psychological literature. It explains what we have seen. Jack Bogle is a great man, a good man and a smart man and a hard-working man and a pioneer in an important field. He is also a human. This is bigger than him. He had no idea that this Shiller stuff was so important. He believes in Buy-and-Hold on at least one level of consciousness and so he had to tell himself things to persuade himself to keep doing that when he was faced with evidence that the Shiller stuff is right. Millions of people did similar things. All of those people are going to be left off the hook. They messed up. Humans mess up from time to time. They also did lots of good things. Case closed.
That’s true with the Goons too. Greaney and Lindauer believe in this stuff on some level of consciousness. So in an ideal world they would be off the hook too. But we have a problem.
You can’t use cognitive dissonance as an excuse for putting forward death threats and tens of thousands of acts of defamation and threats to get academic researchers fired from their jobs. Permit that and you might as well take all the laws off the books. There’s an additional dimension to this for you Goons because you were tricked into believing that these nasty internet tricks that low-lifes use to deal with “trolls” are not in the most extreme cases violations of law. We haven’t had people go to jail for this sort of thing yet because the internet is a new communications medium. But all the elements of crimes are there and recorded in Post Archives.
That’s why you Goons cannot back down now. Fail to back down, you go to prison. Back down, you go to prison. So your attitude is: In for a dime, in for a dollar and hope for the best. I get it. Loud and clear.
There’s not anything that I can think of that I can do to help out. I obviously want to bring the economic crisis to an end. That’s job #1. But if I lie and say that I don’t think you’ll go to jail, you don’t believe me. And, if I tell the truth and say you’re going to jail, you are too afraid to come clean.
My thought is that the best thing to do is to focus on the positive side of the story, which is huge. The positive is so big that I believe that we can get lots of people to let the bad stuff go.
But can we get enough people to let the bad stuff go to keep you out of prison? Before the Wade Pfau thing, I thought there was a small chance that we could pull that off. I no longer believe that. I feel obligated to tell you what I believe re this matter because going to prison is a very big deal and I do think of you as friends whatever you say about it. So, following the Wade Pfau thing, I started mentioning this point with the hope that we could at least keep the prison sentences as limited as they possibly can be at this point.
It does nothing for me to see my friends go to prison. I am not going to say that I believe this can be avoided at this point because I personally do not believe it can be avoided. But there has of course never been a situation quite like this one before. So no one knows anything with certainty.
The reason I post here is that Job #1 is to bring the economic crisis to an end. None of us make it to the other side if we don’t figure out a way to pull together and make that one happen. The fear you Goons have of going to prison is part of the reason why we cannot pull together. So I have a responsibility to come here and do what I can do.
If you Goons didn’t matter, I wouldn’t be here. Bogle’s unwillingness to deal with the Lindauer matter gives you Goons a power to do yourselves and others harm that otherwise you would not possess. If Bogle does his part, I am out of here. If Bogle does his part, this place no longer exists. I have ASKED Bogle to do his part on numerous occasions. I am clean re this aspect of the question, Ataloss.