Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
I am certain that Jack has devoted a good bit more than one minute’s thought to my demand that every board and blog on the internet be opened to honest posting on SWRs and many other critically important investment-related topics and to my request that he get the ball rolling by walking to the front of a large room and giving an “I Was Wrong” speech.
Certain based on what evidence?
1) The question of whether honest posting should be permitted on the safe-withdrawal-rate matter dominated discussion at the Vanguard Diehards board for the 18 months during which I posted there. There were some days in which there were four or five different threads examining some aspect of this general question. Jack said that he visited that board weekly to check out what was being said. It is impossible to imagine that he was not exposed to NUMEROUS threads discussing this matter.
2) Jack obviously reads the Wall Street Journal. A few years after the ban was imposed at Vanguard Diehards (which became the Bogleheads forum), the Journal published an article saying that I was right all along re the SWR matter. Jack obviously saw that article and regretted the many acts of financial fraud that had taken place at a discussion board bearing his name.
3) Before honest posting was banned, there were community members arguing both for and against the ban who contacted Morningstar, Vanguard and Jack Bogle.
4) When Morningstar refused to ban honest posting at Mel Lindauer’s urging, Lindauer asked the entire board community to move to a private board where he and his Goons could control who was able to speak and what they were able to say. Bogle obviously noticed that the entire board community was moved to a different location.
5) After the board community was moved, a number of community members who liked the idea of honest posting being permitted remained at the Morningstar site and asked that honest posting be permitted there. Lindauer hotly opposed the idea. Again, both sides contacted Morningstar, Vanguard and Bogle.
6) Lindauer had been using threats of physical violence to intimidate community members who tried posting honestly for years before I came on the scene. It is all but impossible to imagine that some of these incidents did not come to Bogle’s attention.
7) I wrote Bogle three times asking him for help with the Lindauer matter.
8) Larry Swedroe was banned for a time for the “crime” of posting honestly. This would obviously be brought to Bogle’s attention.
9) When Wade Pfau posted honestly about the research that I did with him, Lindauer accused him of engaging in unethical research practices. This was obviously both a crime (financial fraud) and a tort (defamation). It is hard to imagine that Linduaer would engage in this behavior without first having assured that Bogle would be backing him up.
10) You Goons have yourselves interpreted Bogle’s failure to act re your numerous acts of financial fraud as an indication of his support. Why would Bogle permit his reputation to be damaged in this way if he was not aware of the threat to Buy-and-Hold represented by my call to permit honest posting on safe withdrawal rates?
11) Bogle knows about the Bennett/Pfau research showing the superiority of Valuation-Informed Indexing over Buy-and-Hold. He obviously would be doing all he could to make every investor alive on the planet aware of it if he were not involved in the cover-up himself.
12) At the first meeting of the Vanguard Diehards held after the Ban on Honest Posting was adopted, numerous questions about the effect of valuations were asked of Bogle. He obviously would be curious as to why this had suddenly become such a hot topic.
13) Bogle obviously saw the article by Bret Arends in the Wall Street Journal pointing out that the Buy-and-Holders have “left out half the story” re what the research says about how stock investing works. Again, he made no effort to publicize this hugely important article. If he were not involved in the cover-up, he obviously would have done so.
14) Bogle gave an interview to the Index Universe site in which he referred to my claim that the need to change one’s stock allocation in response to big valuation shifts is a strategic need rather than a tactical need. I am the only one who has said that. He picked up that language from listening in on the discussions held at the various forums.
15) In that same interview, Bogle said that allocation shifts are needed six times in an investor’s investing lifetime, three times when valuations are stupidly high and three times when valuations are stupidly low. Again, this is a claim that I had been making for years that he picked up from our discussions.
16) Bogle included language in his book that helped me understand that the Old School SWR studies got the numbers wildly wrong. He obviously read his own book.
17) Bogle gave an endorsement to Bill Bernstein’s book, in which Bill said that two percentage points needed to be subtracted to get the accurate safe withdrawal rate at the time he was writing the book because of the high valuation that applied at that time. Bogle would not have endorsed the book without reading it. So he knew all along (Berntein’s book was published in April 2002) that the Old School SWR numbers were wildly wrong.
18) Bill Bernstein said in an e-mail to Ataloss that it was his view that anyone who used the Old School studies to plan a retirement would have to be out of his or her mind. Bernstein and Bogle are friends and the cover-up of the errors in the Old School studies is the biggest act of financial fraud in U.S. history. It is impossible to imagine that Bill did not let Jack know of his views on the SWR matter, given that the errors in those studies are in the process of causing millions of failed retirements.
19) Shiller’s book is available in public libraries and was widely reviewed when it was published. Bogle either read the book himself or had someone who had read it describe its contents to him.
20) Shiller was awarded the Noble Prize in Economics for his “revolutionary” (Shiller’s word) findings. Bogle obviously would have been curious to know how Shiller’s revolutionary findings discredited Bogle’s investing ideas.
21) Rob Arnott copied Bogle on his e-mail to me in which he told me that my investing work is “Solid.” Arnott is a personal friend of Bogle’s. So he obviously read the e-mail.
22) Arnott’s e-mail referred to the article that I wrote on The Silencing of Academic Researcher Wade Pfau by the Buy-and-Hold Mafia. Bogle obviously would have felt a responsibility to learn all he could about this massive act of financial fraud given that it was conducted by people who follow and promote his investing strategies.
23) One of my e-mails to Bogle described unethical practices being followed by the owners of the Bogleheads Forum. Again, Jack would obviously want to know about felonies being committed by people who owned a board carrying his name.
24) Michael Kitces told me following the 2008 crash that many practitioners where talking amongst themselves about the need to come clean about the dangers of Buy-and-Hold strategies. Word of this would obviously have gotten to Bogle given that he is viewed as the lead advocate of this strategy.
25) Arnott’s e-mail described acts of intimidation by Buy-and-Holders that have been experienced by Arnott. Again, the e-mail was forwarded to Bogle, who is a personal friend of Arnott’s.
26) You Goons have been trying for 12 years to “persuade” me to post dishonestly re the SWR issue. You are at obvious risk of going to prison for financial fraud. It is more than a little hard to believe that you would put yourselves at such great personal risk without some promises of protection from Bogle.
27) I wrote to 30,000 academic researchers to let them know about the intimidation tactics that the Buy-and-Hold Mafia used to silence Wade Pfau. It is all but impossible to imagine that none of these people alerted Bogle. I even received responses from people who have posted to the Bogleheads Forum. Are we to believe that those people contacted me and not Bogle?
28) Vanguard’s research arm recently published a study showing that valuations (as measured through use of the P/E10 metric) predict long-term returns. Bogle founded Vanguard. It is hard to imagine that he would not be informed of the publication of a study by his own firm that discredited the investing strategy that he has been promoting for decades now.
He knows, Anonymous.
I don’t say that he knows every detail. I don’t believe he does.
And I don’t say that he doesn’t rationalize his bad behavior in his own mind. I believe that he does.
But it is silly to pretend that my good friend Jack Bogle does not possess a basic understanding that there has been a huge cover-up of the errors in the Old School retirement studies and a basic understanding that he has a responsibility to take prompt and effective action re this matter.
We will all learn more when he is put under oath.