Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
And, if we just look empirically. There are less than 5 posters out of hundreds of thousands who actually care when/after you are banned. I don’t read anything on any message board bemoaning the loss of Rob Bennett’s contribution.
And I have a feeling its not because they are ‘scared’ of being banned from an Internet message board – LOL!
It’s exactly that.
If someone participates at a discussion board and enjoys it, why would he not want to avoid getting banned at that board? It’s common sense that he would avoid behavior (posting honestly) that he knows will make you Goons demand that he be banned.
This all began when I put forward my famous post pointing out the errors in the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies. John Greaney was embarrassed to have people learn about his mistake.
That’s understandable. What’s not so understandable is the manner in which he dealt with that embarrassment. He lashed out at the person who brought the error to his attention.
I didn’t cause Greaney’s embarrassment. His embarrassment was caused by the fact that he got an important number wrong in a retirement study. He got the number wrong because he used the same methodology that was used in the Trinity study, a peer-reviewed study. He ASSUMED that the methodology employed in the Trinity study was analytically valid. But of course it wasn’t. The Trinity authors should have corrected their study a long time ago. If they had, Greaney never would have been embarrassed. His gripe is with the authors of the Trinity study, not with me.
Of course we can take it back even a step farther. Why didn’t the Trinity authors correct their study a long time ago?
The Trinity authors didn’t get called out on their b.s. for many years any more than Greaney did. They too would be embarrassed to acknowledge their error today, after it has caused millions of failed retirements. The Trinity authors are pretty much in the same situation as Greaney.
And of course we can take it back even farther than that. Bogle knew about Shiller’s 1981 findings when they came out. Why didn’t he make a statement then acknowledging that there was now peer-reviewed research showing that there is precisely zero chance that Buy-and-Hold could ever work for even a single long-term investor?
If men were angels, he would have done that. Men are not angels. Bogle did not acknowledge his mistake at the time when the peer-reviewed research in the field first showed it to be a mistake. He ignored the new research. He went into cover-up mode. And, now 33 years later, here we are. Bogle’s unwillingness to acknowledge his mistake has now brought on the biggest economic crisis in U.S. history. Whachagonnado?
Our understanding of how stock investing works is still in its primitive stage, Laugh. That’s the bottom line here. We like to think we know all there is to know. But we don’t. Not even close.
So the most important quality that anyone working in this field needs to possess is an ability to say the words “I” and “Was” and “Wrong.” Mel Lindauer lacks that ability. John Greaney lacks that ability. Jack Bogle lacks that ability. That’s why we are in this economic crisis. That’s why we are in the process of seeing millions of middle-class people suffer failed retirements. That’s why you will be spending a big stretch of years in a prison cell. That’s why we are in this big mess.
Yes, people are scared to be banned from discussion boards. And yes, people are scared to have you Goons threaten to kill their loved ones. And yes, people are scared to have tens of thousands of acts of defamation directed at them. And yes, academic researchers are scared to have internet Goons threaten to send defamatory e-mails to their employers in an effort to get them fired from their jobs and to see leading figures in the field like Jack Bogle raise not a finger to deal with the problem when they learn about it.
And of course you understand full well that intimidation tactics work when trying to silence people on the internet. If you didn’t know that intimidation tactics worked so well, you wouldn’t employ them so frequently.
I am not engaging in intimidation tactics when I note that you have committed the biggest act of financial fraud in U.S. history and that you are now on your way to serving a long stretch of time in a prison cell. All that I am doing is letting you know how the people of the United States elected to protect themselves from Goons like you.
But the announcement of your prison sentence WILL serve a similar end as your intimidation tactics. People respond to incentives. During the Buy-and-Hold Era, lots of people got filthy rich pushing the purest and most dangerous Get Rich Quick scheme ever concocted by the human mind. Those who posted honestly re the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research saw their careers destroyed by the Buy-and-Hold Mafia. Huge incentives were provided for pushing smelly garbage and huge disincentives were provided for letting people know what the peer-reviewed research in this field really says.
That is in the process of changing.
When your prison sentence is announced, people are going to be running away from statements in “defense” of Buy-and-Hold at the speed of light. When my settlement check for $500 million is mailed to me, we are going to see HUNDREDS of blogs opened that will be exploring the implications of the past 33 years of peer-reviewed research in great depth.
The usual rule is that research-based strategies are what work and that Get Rich Quick/Buy-and-Hold strategies are what sell.
But the relentless promotion of the Get Rich Quick garbage ALWAYS causes an economic collapse.
And, following the economic collapse, Get Rich Quick doesn’t sell so hot anymore. Following the next price crash, the phrase “Buy-and-Hold” will be spit out of people’s mouths like an obscenity.
I will have 12 years of articles and podcasts and calculators at my site showing that I have done everything in my power to see you Goons shut down.
What will you have?
You will have a few kind words from me arguing that as a society we should act with charity toward those of our Buy-and-Hold friends who have put up posts in “defense” of Mel Linduaer and John Greaney.
And how much will that hold back the millions of people who will have seen their financial futures destroyed by your death threats and your deceptions and your word games?
Even then I will wish you all the best that this life has to offer a person.
That much will not change.
How much will it help you at that point?
I don’t think it will help too much at that point.
But I’m not God. I don’t know for sure. We will just have to wait and see how things play out.
Hang in there, my long-time abusive-posting friend.