Yesterday's post was as error-ridden as anything I have ever published.
On the most important matter: I thought the Globe and Mail story on Sino Forest would drive the stock down at least 50 percent.
The last time I saw a major paper of record come right out and agree with a shortseller that a major company was a fraud was... well... never.
I thought that would be significant. I thought it would be game-over.
The stock was down less that 15%.
I have a word for my preconception: wrong.
On the size of the theft in global history - well obviously I was not broad enough. I have to exclude all thefts in the nature of war or invasion (dispossession of the American Indians, Australian Aborigines etc). I have to exclude thefts in the nature of revolution (eg the end of Communism in Russia). I have to exclude thefts by Government (Yukos). I have to exclude thefts from Government in quasi war (eg theft of the reconstruction funds in Iraq). I could go on.
However $2 billion neat stolen (still not proven but in my view looking likely) is a larger net theft than Madoff and about as large as they get in financial markets. But then I am likely to be shown to be wrong on that too.