Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
Why would anyone want to “chips”? I don’t think anyone wants to hand you their money. How are we “in it together”?
Wade Pfau would very, very much like to do honest work in this field. I think it would be fair to say that that one is beyond question given what he told us re his feelings about Valuation-Informed Indexing in scores and scores of comments.
But Wade does not want to give up his entire career as his price of doing honest work. He spent years in school, he has a family support, he does not feel that it is a viable thing for him to have to drop out of this field and start over. So, when threatened by you Goons with threats that appear to have Bogle’s support, he flipped to the Goon side.
Do you think that Wade would be willing to pay one year’s salary to be able to do honest work for the remainder of his life? I sure do. Everything that I know about the man tells me that he would jump on that deal in a New York minute.
And Wade is obviously not the only one who feels that way. I sometimes get the feeling that just about everyone in the field feels that way. It’s not everyone. But it is lots and lots and lots of people. There are enough people working in this field who want to do honest work that raising $500 million to make it happen is not going to be much of a challenge once we get down to the business of raising the funds instead of arguing over whether we should permit honest posting in this field or not.
The money is just not an issue.
The trouble is that, if Wade hands over that money to someone who asks for it, he is making a statement that Bogle and his Wall Street Con Men pals are corrupt and should be sued and in some cases should go to prison. These are powerful and wealthy and well-connected people. Making that sort of statement is career death.
What to do, what to do?
We need to pull together and persuade Bogle to make a speech in which the words “I” and “Was” and “Wrong” appear somewhere in the mix of words. Bogle can of course include lots of other words of his choosing. But he needs to send a signal that the Campaign of Terror is over and starting here, starting now, things in this field are going to proceed at least largely according to the same sort of ethical principles that apply in every other field of human endeavor. If he cannot say that much, he absolutely needs to say that it is POSSIBLE that he is wrong. Even that much would get the job done.
Bogle won’t do it today. That’s unfortunate.
Will he do it in the days following the next price crash, when he is reading in the newspaper every day how the Buy-and-Hold Crisis is tearing our country apart?
I think Bogle is a great man. I don’t think that a great man will be able to hold back from saying those words at that time.
We will have to wait to see how it all plays out to know for certain. But that’s sure what I believe. I think we are all in a trap here. My job is to get us out of the trap. My job is to make the life of every single person involved better while doing that. I’m giving it my best shot, Anonymous. I can do no more and I can do no less. It’s not like I have any other viable options available to me.
I believe that we will get there. I wish it were not so hard. But in an ultimate sense it is what it is, you know? We all are living in a world that we did not create. We all have to make the best of the circumstances in which we are placed. I sure didn’t choose any of this!