Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
Your headline is wrong. You just listed out a number of things that you say Shiller isn’t talking about. Therefore, what you mean is that you think your ideas should be treated as mainstream ideas.
I want to hear what EVERYBODY thinks are the implications of Shiller’s ideas.
I have been writing about what I believe are the implications of Shiller’s ideas for 13 years now. But who am I? I’m some fellow whose “expertise” in this field is that he figured out how to get his words posted to the internet. We need to hear a lot of voices other than my own address themselves to this topic.
How does Bogle think that investors should have changed their strategies in response to Shiller’s “revolutionary” findings? I want to know. You should want to know too, Anonymous. You have your retirement money tied up in this. It’s been 34 years now and Bogle has not seen fit to address this question. That’s okay by you? Huh?
It would be weird if Bogle’s take was identical to mine. I don’t expect that. I don’t even want that. If he agrees with me on some things, great. If he disagrees with me on some things, that’s great too. I learn more when people disagree than when they agree. But I can only learn from Bogle re this matter if he addresses himself to the question. And for 34 years now he has failed to do that.
I have said that we need a NATIONAL DEBATE. Not a Rob Bennett debate. A national debate. I want to see everyone participating. I want to see lots of healthy and respectful disagreement. That’s how we all learn. I want to see thousands of people trying to find holes in all the stuff that I have put forward. That’s how I make my stuff better. We’re not getting that today.
We’re not even getting that from Shiller!
Shiller said following the 2008 crash that investors should not put their money back into stocks until the P/E10 dropped below 10. It hasn’t gone below 10 since. Yet in more recent days he has said that it would be okay for investors to have 50 percent or more of their money in stocks. Huh? Shouldn’t reporters be asking him about that contradiction? That’s how we learn. That’s how Shiller comes to enhance his ideas over time.
Shiller predicted an economic crisis that he said would come by the end of the first decade of the new century if we continued pushing Buy-and-Hold strategies. Then he failed to attribute the crisis to Buy-and-Hold after it arrived. Huh? Why did he do that? Millions of people were affected by the economic crisis. We all should want to know what caused it. No?
Shiller knows about the 4 percent rule. He knows that leading names in this field like Ed Easterling have said that millions of retirees are going to end up as greeters at WalMart as a result of the false claims made in the Old School SWR studies. Does Shiller not realize that this will be the biggest social crisis ever experienced in our nation’s history? Why is he not speaking up?
Rob Arnott told me in an e-mail that I posted at this site that he has seen things similar to what happened to Wade Pfau; he has seen academic researchers told that their careers would be destroyed if they did honest research showing the dangers of Buy-and-Hold strategies. Shiller has surely been seeing similar things. There is no one who has done more to show the dangers of Buy-and-Hold than Robert Shiller. Why doesnt he write a book describing the abusive tactics that the Buy-and-Holders have employed to persuade him to keep it zipped? Would that not be front-page news? Does he not have an obligation to a country that has given him many blessings to do that? It sure seems to me that he does.
I want to see EVERYONE talking about this stuff. Not just me. I have worked hard on my stuff. But I am one guy. We need THOUSANDS offering their takes. Bogle should go first. Buy-and-Hold is Bogle’s baby. Does Bogle believe that valuations affect long-term returns or does Bogle believe that the market is efficient? Both things cannot possibly be so. Does Bogle believe that Shiller is right or that Fama is right? Both researchers cannot possibly be right.
There is no more important public policy question before us today as a nation than the question of whether Shiller is right or Fama is right. We resolve such matters through DISCUSSION. The Ban on Honest Posting has been an unmitigated disaster. We need to work through this pursuant to the laws of the United States. We need to stop the abusive garbage and DISCUSS and LEARN.
That’s my sincere take re this terribly important matter in any event, Anonymous.
Don’t let the bad guys get you down, old friend.