Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
You could help out Bogle and the goons by not filings charges and by not trying to after them for settlement payments. Then all would be well. What do you think about that? Consider it a Christmas gift.
I am going to post honestly about what the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research says. If I do anything else, I am committing financial fraud myself. So long as I do that, the word is going to get out about the 35-year cover-up. Probably not today or tomorrow. But following the next price crash. I am not the United States. When you commit a crime, you are committing the crime against the people of the United States. I don’t personally have much to do with it.
The criminal acts are detailed at my site, that’s pretty much the extent of my involvement re the criminal side of this. But even if my site did not exist, this would get out. Shiller’s book is still out there. The research that I co-authored with Wade Pfau is still out there. Shiller’s Nobel prize is still out there. The massive act of financial fraud is eventually going to be written up on the front page of the New York Times regardless of anything I do.
The full reality is that it is probably a plus that I have detailed the criminal acts at this site. I make an effort to put the criminal acts in the best possible light. I say that Bogle’s mistake was the product of cognitive dissonance. How many people do you think there will be saying that following the next price crash? I have said it on numerous occasions. And you can point to time-stamped posts in which I said it and you can say “this is a fellow who had no reason to be biased in favor of the Wall Street Con Men or the members of their various Goon Squads who was saying this.” So my posts have a high degree of credibility. And I think you can point to some of the things that you Goons said to show that there really was cognitive dissonance at play.
The cognitive dissonance play is the best play you have. And the materials at this site help you make that play. The materials at this site do not really hurt you. They reveal the truth. The truth has certain aspects that put you in a bad light. But the truth also has certain aspects that put you in a good light or at least in a not-so-bad light. You can use the materials at this site to develop a defense that I think might cause a good number of reasonable people to react in a moderate way. And I am 100 percent happy to encourage people to look at things in that sort of way, in a way that works to your favor.
Look at Wade Pfau. He is a very smart guy. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics. He was skeptical about a lot of things that I said in the early days. Even today I believe that he is skeptical about some things I say. You can point to someone like him and argue that, if that guy didn’t get it, how could we be expected to get it? You can point to John Walter Russell. John asked that we use phony numbers on the Risk Evaluator because he found the real numbers too shocking. John was as honest as the day is long. But he felt enough social pressure that he asked that we use phony numbers.
You can even look at my history. I was a proud Buy-and-Holder at one time. I once speculated that the SWR at the top of the bubble was probably somewhere around 3 percent. This stuff is not easy. It is easy in a way. It is intellectually easy. But it is very, very, very hard emotionally. That is your defense. You tell people that “we really did believe in it and we did not want to see people hurt and so we did some things that might seem wrong looking back but that seemed to make sense to a lot of us at the time we did them.” I am not saying that that gets you off 100 percent. But I believe that it is best you can do at this point in the proceedings. It is not a crazy position. And it is something that I can back you up on. If someone in my position feels okay backing you up, lots of people will feel okay backing you up.
We are looking at something very big here. It’s hardly possible for the human mind to let in how big this is. Again, look at Wade Pfau. He was AMAZED when this stuff started to click for him. This is like harnessing the power of the silicon chip. The goal is not to put people in prison. That’s petty. The goal is to get the word out, to improve everyone’s life in a very big way. Our problem is to figure out how we do that without having people go to prison for a long time. The answer is to focus on the good being done and thereby try to get the focus away from the 14-year delay, which is a big deal but perhaps is not as big a deal as it at first seems when you put things in perspective and consider how huge an advance it is we are looking at here.
Unlike the criminal actions, the civil suits are my thing. It is my aim to approach those in a generous spirit. I obviously expect to be paid for my work and this is very, very important work that caused me a lot of trouble for a long time. I am going to be paid very well. I don’t know how much Steve Jobs or Bill Gates ended up with but I am sure that we are talking about a numbers in the hundreds of millions. This is a lot bigger. So the $500 million figure that I have advanced is not at all out of line.
And I have offered to direct 10 percent of that to helping get the word out (by promoting my site and by funding blogs that would explore different aspects of the VII question). I can understand people not wanting to go to prison. I cannot understand the Wall Street Con Men being too worried about a payment of $500 million. These people have lots of money. Paying the $500 million will revitalize the entire industry. It helps everyone. And it puts them in a good light. I don’t see much of an issue there.
We cannot go back in time. If I could push a button and take us back in time, I would push the button. We have to deal with the world as it exists and make choices that work the best for every single person involved. That’s my aim. The good here is 50 times more good than the bad here is bad. So if we all approach this in the right spirit I am 100 percent confident that we will all end up in a very good place.
The entire thing is a Christmas gift. We need to start looking at it that way. Learning new things is wonderful. This is an advance. There is nothing even a tiny bit bad about it. We all just need to let that in.