Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
“I believe that Greaney has caused millions of failed retirements.”
Exactly how? You’re still waffling on that. If it’s his 4% rule you should forget about nobody Greaney and focus on famous Bengen, who says 4.5%. If Greaney busted millions of retirements, Bengen certainly busted billions. If it’s Greaney’s abusiveness, how does his abuse bust the retirements of millions of people who never heard of either of you?
It’s his abusiveness.
Greaney didn’t come up with the 4 percent rule. He is not responsible for the intellectual mistake.
I don’t think it would be fair to blame the people (like Bengen) who ARE responsible for the intellectual mistake for the millions of failed retirements. People made mistakes. That’s just one of those things. There is no evidence that the mistake was intentional, that the aim was to cause millions of failed retirements. So I don’t see that there is any blame to cast there.
Greaney’s abusiveness IS intentional. That’s why I cast blame on him in a way that I do not cast blame on Bengen or lots of others.
You suggest that Greaney’s abusiveness has not hurt the millions of people who have never heard of him or me. I disagree. I built the Retire Early board at Motley Fool into the #1 discussion board at that site with a purpose in mind — I wanted to teach millions of people how to achieve financial independence early in life. It was my intent to spread the word about what we learned about safe withdrawal rates to everyone on the planet. Greaney blocked that process from moving forward with his criminally abusive behavior. Wade Pfau and I intended to work together to get our grounds-breaking study showing that Valuation-Informed Indexing is superior to Buy-and-Hold featured on the front page of the New York Times. Greaney stopped that from happening by threatening to get Wade fired from his job if he continued doing honest work in this field. He destroyed millions of middle-class lives with that criminal act.
Has anyone ever been more deserving of a long prison sentence? Valuation-Informed Indexing is a pure good. It’s all upside and zero downside. And millions of middle-class people who very much need access to honest and informed reports of what the last 36 years of peer-reviewed research teaches us about how stock investing works in the real world have been denied such access because this guy is embarrassed for people to learn about a mistake of his that he learned about 15 years ago? Huh? What the f?
I believe that our laws against financial fraud are good and necessary laws. I believe that they need to be enforced in a reasonable manner and I believe that in the days following the next price crash they will be enforced in a reasonable manner. I could be wrong. We will have to wait a bit to see how it all plays out, you know? But that is certainly what I believe we will see happen.
Do I still care about my old friend John Greaney and do I still want to help him out any way I can? I do. And I believe that there are things that I will be able to say at the time that will indeed help him out and I intend to say those things.
Do I believe that the things I will say will be enough to keep him out of prison altogether? I think that they will probably not be enough. I think they will help. This is a strange case. I don’t think that anything like this has ever happened before. So I don’t think it is possible to make predictions with any high degree of confidence. If I manage to keep Greaney out of prison altogether, that’s 100 percent okay with me. If I could snap my fingers and get him a Get Out of Jail Free card, I would do it. But I don’t have that power. This thing is bigger than me. I will do what I can while staying on the right side of the felony line myself and then I just need to let it go and accept what happens.
Does that help?