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A Decade of Delusions: From Speculative Contagion to the Great Recession by John C. Bogle, Frank K. Martin

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Epilogue

“This Time Is Different”

Source: © FactSet Research Systems.

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Seeing the future is easy when it’s already past. Until now, dear reader, you’ve been able to critique my comments knowing how events played out. But now cast your eyes on the chart above and note how lonely and exposed the “You Are Here” dot seems to be. From this vista, the one from which I view the world every day, only the past is known. The future is not. Given the awesome responsibility of managing the life savings of others, what would you tell them about the days and months ahead? Several ideas in the Epilogue reflect my current thinking—or at least as current as the publishing medium allows. Although an Epilogue is obligatory, it may in some measure be redundant. As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr noted in 1839, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,” or “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Often adapted and reinterpreted over the years (most recently by rocker Jon Bon Jovi in “The More Things Change”), the old adage confirms anecdotal human experience. Or, as Yogi Berra might say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Several ideas in this Epilogue originated with Fireside Chat No. 8, published April 22, 2010, available in its entirety in the library section of MCM’s web site: www.mcmadvisors.com. Future Fireside Chats may be posted to the web site from time to time.

Those Who Don’t Remember ...

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