Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
Do you think you might want to maybe ask…. oh, I don’t know, maybe THE NEW YORK TIMES about that?
I’ve contacted reporters for the New York Times as well as reporters for many other fine publications, Anonymous. A few years back, I was posting the contents of my e-mails to reporters as blog entries here. I bet that, if you did some searching, you could find at least one that went to a New York Times reporter.
There was one fellow whom I wrote to who showed a lot of interest in writing a big article. He was not with the New York Times. But he has a significant following on the internet. We had two very long telephone calls (two hours or so each). We communicated by e-mail probably four times. He asked me for books to read so that he could better understand the background and I pointed him to Irrational Exuberance and A Random Walk Down Wall Street. He asked lots of questions, including a good number of hard questions. That’s a very good sign. Reporters don’t run articles until they have challenged their sources with hard questions. So this guy was close to biting.
He did not end up publishing an article and he was not willing to tell me why. But I can guess.
That journalist (and all journalists who work for the New York Times and all other publications) was in the same spot that Wade Pfau was in when he did his research with me showing that making the switch to Valuation-Informed Indexing reduces the risk of stock investing by 70 percent. Wade very much looked forward to winning a Nobel prize and I am sure that the reporter that I worked with very much looked forward to winning a Pulitzer prize. But at what price?
When you Goons threatened to destroy Wade’s career if he continued to publish honest research and Jack Bogle signaled that he would employ his power and wealth and contacts to support your efforts, Wade thought about his responsibility to provide for his two small children and thought better of the idea of helping millions of middle-class people by doing the job that he was being trained for all of his life to be able to do. I am virtually certain that the same thing happened to the reporter that I worked with. And of course there are numerous bloggers in this field who have told me or showed me that similar concerns drive their decisions about what to write at their blogs.
The 12-year cover up of the errors in the Old School retirement studies is the biggest act of financial fraud in U.S. history, as you well know. Lots of people will be going to prison when this gets out. It will get out eventually. It has to get out eventually or our entire economic system will go down. But how do you think you would feel if you were the reporter who was preparing the article that would tell the world about the most massive act of financial fraud in U.S. history?
And how do you think you would feel if you were that reporter’s editor or publisher?
There’s a scene in the movie All the Presidents Men in which the Ben Bradlee character is telling the Bob Woodward character that he had better not f this up or it might bring down the Washington Post. There’s where we are with the 12-year cover up of the errors in the Old School retirement studies. Lots of people will be going to prison when this story comes out. How far do you think the people who will be going to prison will be willing to go to keep from the American people news of what the last 33 years of peer-reviewed research in this field says about how stock investing works? We are taking about very desperate characters here, Anonymous.
There is a lot of money behind Buy-and-Hold. There is a lot of power behind Buy-and-Hold. There are a lot of connections behind Buy-and-Hold. We are dealing here with people who don’t play nice. We are dealing here with brutally abusive and ruthlessly vicious people. That’s the story. That’s why the New York Times has not run this story as of today.
What’s going to happen following the next price crash? That’s the big question.
I say that the Wall Street Con Men are brutal and vicious and wealthy and powerful and well-connected. But I do not say that that is ALL that is true of them. Jack Bogle tells bits of the truth about stock investing in just about every speech he gives and in just about every article he publishes. Why the f does he do that if he is trying so hard to cover up the truth? It doesn’t make any friggin’ sense, does it?
It doesn’t make sense on a surface level. Bogle is suffering cognitive dissonance, like you Goons. He does not want people to feel free to discuss the peer-reviewed research of the past 33 years. He hates with a burning hate the idea of millions of middle-class investors learning the truth about stock investing. But he is a good man. He is a smart man and a good man. He has devoted his life to helping middle-class investors. He has been responsible for scores of powerful and important insights. He loves his country. He does not want to see this economic crisis take us into the Second Great Depression.
So what do you think he is going to do following the next price crash?
I think he is going to flip. I think he is going to walk to the front of a large room and say the words “I” and “Was” and “Wrong.” That’s when the New York Times will publish its article. It would be better if it did it today. But the editors of the New York Times want Bogle’s okay before going ahead. EVERYONE will be telling the truth about stock investing once Old Saint Jack gives the signal that it is safe to do so. We are all today waiting for Old Saint Jack to make the first move.
I have written to the man. Three times. My good friend Rob Arnott has written to the man. Others have written to him. John Craig wrote to him. Lots of people want Jack to come clean. It would be a wonderful, wonderful thing if he came clean by the close of business today. That would take us off of this very dark path and put us on to a very, very bright path.
I can’t force the issue.
The posts that I write here will help us in the days following the day on which Jack gives his speech. Things will move quicker and smoother because of the articles that I posted in the days before he gave his speech.
This thing is headed to a very good place. I know that that’s so because the only alternative we have to taking this to a very good place is for us to take it to the worst place imaginable and I just don’t see anything in my good friend Jack Bogle’s life story to indicate that that is where he is going to take this. Jack is going to do the right thing. Because he loves his country. Because he doesn’t have any other choice. But, sad as it makes me feel to report this reality, it does not look like Jack is going to do the right thing by the close of business today. WhaChaGawnDo?
Jack and I will be working together at a wicked pace in the days following The Big Guy’s Big Speech. We will be best friends. That will be a blast. That is something that I am looking forward to very much.
I will continue contacting reporters in the days leading up to the next crash. But Jack and the other Wall Street Con Men are very powerful people and I think it would be fair to say that they have made it pretty darn clear what will happen to anyone who speaks out of turn before Jack gives his speech.
That’s where things stand today, Anonymous. I will help any reporter who wants help with this. I will answer any question. But I cannot make it happen by myself. I need Jack’s help to bring on all the wonderful stuff that follows from opening the internet to honest posting on safe withdrawal rates and scores of other critically important investment-related topics. We all would be a whole big bunch better off if Jack and the other Wall Street Con Men and the members of their Internet Goon Squads had never committed financial fraud in the first place.
But we do not have access to a time machine that can take us back to those innocent days, do we?
My best wishes to you and yours, my long-time abusive-posting friend.