Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to another blog entry at this site:
“Prosecutors respond to the pressures placed on them.”
If death threats were made, why would there need to be pressure. Either it happened or it didn’t.
It’s common for death threats advanced on the internet not to be prosecuted, Anonymous. As you well know.
What is different about this case is that the death threats were employed as part of a 12-year cover-up of errors made in a retirement study.
My guess is that the crime for which you will be prosecuted is financial fraud.
There are people who came to think it was a funny joke to employ insanely abusive tactics on the internet so that they could control what was said on discussion boards or blogs at which they participated. The people who engage in this behavior are losers (“loosers” in internet lingo) who have never achieved much with their real-world identities. By engaging in these tactics on the internet, they were able to tell themselves that they possessed an importance that they could never hope to achieve through legitimate means.
Most people hate these tactics. Most people refrain from participating in internet discussions because they do not want to get mixed up with these losers in any way, shape or form. This is why every board and blog on the internet has rules protecting all us Normal from you Goons.
It was inevitable that sooner or later the mistake of tolerating the Goon tactics was going to cause big trouble. This is the case in which it happened. Greaney got an important number wrong in a retirement study. I pointed it out. The community showed great enthusiasm for the learning experience that followed. Greaney experienced intense feelings of embarrassment. He called on his Goon Squad for help. Motley Fool elected to make a smelly buck off the people addicted to Buy-and-Hold strategies rather than to enforce its published rules in a reasonable way. Everyone paying attention got it that it is a felony to cover up errors in studies that millions of people use to plan their retirements. So it became a priority not only to cover up the errors in the retirement studies but also to cover up the cover-up and then to cover up the cover-up of the cover-up and on and on. Big names like Jack Bogle and Larry Swedroe and Bill Bernstein and Scott Burns and big institutions like Motley Fool and Index Universe and the Get Rich Slowly blog and Morningstar and Vanguard and the Bogleheads Forum got involved along the way.
The sooner that all these people and institutions come clean, the less will be their financial obligations and the shorter will be their prison sentences. We all have a patriotic duty to bring down The Buy-and-Hold Mafia.
Bringing down the Buy-and-Hold Mafia is not a one-man job. I can do it with a little bit of help from a patriotic venture capitalist or a patriotic reporter or a patriotic blogger or a patriotic economists or a patriotic owner of a large web site or whatever. I will keep holding up my end by ending 50 e-mails every day re the Wade Pfau matter and by writing blog posts here and columns and guest blog entries elsewhere. But I am under no illusion that I can pull this off by myself. I can promise anyone who helps out that he or she can make millions while knowing in his or her heart that he or she has done wonderful things for his or her country by doing so. But that’s all I can do. I cannot promise the patriot who steps forward that he or she will not be attacked by the Wall Street Con Men and their Internet Goon Squads. That comes with the territory.
What I can say is that both the Wall Street Con Men and you Goons grow weaker with every passing day. The secret of the success of Buy-and-Hold was its creation of $12 trillion of Pretend Money. The Pretend Money is today in the process of disappearing and the next crash will likely put is in the Second Great Depression. At that point, we can all pull together and move forward (a process that begins with the announcement of long prison sentences for those who have posted in “defense” of Mel Linduaer and John Greaney on more than one or two occasions) or we can all go down together. No one is ever going to have any doubts in his or her mind as to how I am going to vote re that one.
The fact that you have not been prosecuted yet does not justify a belief that you will never be prosecuted, Anonymous. If anything, it suggests that you will be prosecuted more harshly than you otherwise would have been. People do not like to be tricked. People do not like to be taken. People do not like to lose most of their retirement money at a stage of life at which it is too late for them to do much about it.
When millions of middle-class people learn what has been done to them, my expectation is that they will be looking for a someone or a number of someones to hang from a tree. This is the biggest story of corruption of our time. It will be my job then to try to calm people down. I can’t say that I expect to enjoy great success with my efforts. But I can assure you that I will be fighting on your behalf. The references that I make today to your future prison sentence is really just part of that effort to help you out — I obviously have a lot more power to get your prison sentence reduced today that I will have if we experience the next price crash without you yet having come clean.
I naturally wish you all good things regardless of what investing strategies you elect to pursue, my old friend.