Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
Is there anyone, other than you, that believes the stories about goons and prison?
It all seems like some kind of childhood fantasy of revenge.
Is there anyone, other than Rose McGowan, who believes the stories about Harvey Weinstein?
Ask that question on September 16, 2017, and you get one answer. Ask that question on October 16, 2017, and you get a very different answer.
The appeal of intimidation tactics is that they produce amazing short-term results. The downside of intimidation tactics is that getting away with stuff that no human should be able to get away with encourages you to go farther and farther out into deeper and deeper waters. When things go bad for those who rely on intimidation tactics, things go really, really, really bad.
Wade Pfau didn’t believe it until it happened to him. Bill Sholar didn;t believe it until it happened to him. El Supremo didn’t believe it until it happened to him. I didn’t believe it until it happened to me. And on and on and on and on and on.
The next crash will scare enough people that we will be able to pull together 10 to go to the New York Times and make the case for a front-page article. Then the dam will burst open and lots of people who keep quiet today because they want to keep safe will come to believe that they need to get to the other side to be safe in the new climate of opinion. We will see something akin to what we are seeing with the Harvey Weinstein story today. New revelations every day, one more horrifying than the next. And lots of voices saying: “How could something like this happen? How is it that so many knew and so few spoke up?”
Or perhaps not, you know? I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen before. If it were happening again, I would probably be the last to know.
I can tell you this much with certainty. You have nothing to fear from me. I have zero power to put anyone in prison and zero desire to obtain such power. So, if anyone is going to prison, it is not going to be on my say-so.
We’ll see how it all plays out, you know? I am never going to be willing to say that I believe that the retirement study posted at John Greaney’s web site contains an adjustment for the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins. And you Goons are never going to be willing to come clean re the 15-year cover-up. So we are just going to have to wait to see if public attitudes about this massive act of financial fraud change in the days following the next price crash or not. A change in public attitudes is the only thing that can resolve the matter at this point in the proceedings.
I wish you the best of luck with it, you know? I can do that much and so I do that much. I cannot do more. I cannot say that I believe that Greaney included a valuation adjustment in his study. It’s not in me. Even the thought of doing that goes against everything that I have always aimed to be as human being. That can never happen. Not in 15 years. Not in 15 billion years.
If public opinion doesn’t change, I go down. I won’t regret anything that I have done in any event. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I said that Greaney’s study contains a valuation adjustment. I would rather be able to live with myself and accept whatever consequences follow than not be able to live with myself.
If public opinion changes, you Goons will go down. But it’s not as if coming clean today can stop you from going to prison. I cannot offer that to you and no one else can offer that to you. The length of your prison sentences will depend on how angry people are when they realize what has been done to them. And there’s no way to assess that with certainty. There is no precedent for this situation. There are no comps to look to. I can offer to say things aimed at helping you. But there’ s nothing that I can offer you that is enough to get a deal cut unless I could offer you a Get Out of Jail Free card. And there is no Get Out of Jail Free card for the offering in this particular case.
I wish you all good things, Anonymous. But, yes, there are lots of people who experienced the intimidation and lots of people who are going to talk once they come to believe that there is no other way to keep our economic system from going down. A few people will talk when they come to the conclusion that things are bad enough that they have no other options. And then, after a few have talked, more and more will join in because their fear of talking will diminish once they hear some others doing it and getting away with it. And then, even more will join in because they will want to be on the safe side of the table at a time when the safe thing has become talking rather than not talking. People won’t just be talking in those days, they will be rushing to the front of the room to be sure that the next opportunity to talk goes to them and not to someone else.
Or so this fellow who posts crazy stuff on the internet about how the safe withdrawal rate at the top of the bubble was only 1.6 percent says. Who could every believe anything so crazy?
Unless he was reading in the newspapers about millions of retirements failing and the misery it was causing to every human being alive on the planet.
If some people work up the courage to talk and other people come to believe the stories that are told, then some people will work up the courage to talk and other people will come to believe the stories that are told. If not, then not. Either way, I am ahead of where I would have been had I kept my mouth shut and known that by my silence I had contributed to the greatest economic collapse in U.S. history.
I love my country. I tried. There’s nothing that any of you Goons can ever say about me that can change that. That’s the bottom line here.
I wish you all good things, dear Goon friend.