Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for one of my columns at the Value Walk site:
You are offering a hyper-technical way of looking at things. I agree that in ordinary circumstances a mention in a credit line would not make one a co-author of a paper. In this particular case, the mention in the credit line was a tiny recognition of a much bigger reality.
What matters is whether Wade thought of us as co-authors at the time the paper was being prepared. He did. He indicated on numerous occasions that he did. He didn’t have any doubt in his mind re this question. He felt bad about it. If Wade had had a means available to him to have made me a named co-author of the study, he would have done that. He was not able to do that because I do not possess the credentials that would be needed for me to be named as a co-author of an academic paper. So he did the closest thing that he could do. He behaved in a 100 percent honorable way. And the question never would have come up again had you Goons not gotten involved.
It was the action of you Goons that caused the confusion. When you threatened him, you caused him to behave in a strange way. The natural thing is for Wade to work with me to get the paper featured on the front page of the New York Times. He now is afraid to do that. He now feels that his career will be destroyed if he takes acts that in ordinary circumstances would be the most natural thing in the world. So now there is this weirdness about the matter that makes it important for people to know whether I played the role of co-author.
I played the role of co-author. I spent years of my life developing the concept that was being explored in the paper. I gave Wade the idea for the paper — he never in a million years would have thought to write that paper had he not learned about Valuation-Informed Indexing from me. He of course had lots of questions he wanted answered before he put his name to such a grounds-breaking piece of research. He asked them of me and I answered them, promptly and in depth. My role was at least equal to his. There certainly was no doubt in Wade’s mind at the time that that was the case, he was entirely open and free about saying it multiple times. And we have a published record of him doing so available to us today to confirm what indeed happened.
You Goons are involved in a cover-up. I was right in what I said on the morning of May 13, 2002, the retirement study posted at John Greaney’s web site really does not contain an adjustment for the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins. Greaney of course understands today that there is 35 years of peer-reviewed research showing that a valuation adjustment is required since valuations affect long-term returns and long-term returns affect the safe withdrawal rate. Greaney cannot think of any way to explain his behavior to people who know the realities and so he engages in all sorts of abusive behavior to intimidate people into not talking about them. One of the people he needs to intimidate is Wade Pfau since Wade knows things that Greamey does not want people to know.
One of the things that Wade knows is the role that I played in getting that paper completed. A simple way of describing my role is to say that I was the co-author. So that is what I say. If you want to note that I am not listed on the face of the paper as co-author, that’s okay, you are being correct in a hyper-technical way by noting that. But people who want to know the full realities need to know the background, that Wade certainly thought of me as the co-author and that he said so on numerous occasions. So I tell them that part of the story.
It’s up to the readers of these words to decide how they feel about it all, Sammy. You have told your view of things and I have told my view of things. People will decide that they think. I have a funny feeling that the intensity of the feelings that most people will have about what happened here will change dramatically following the next price crash. But we are going to have to wait to see how things play out to find out for sure. That’s where things stand.
Anyway, I really do wish you all the best things that this life has to offer a person, my good friend.