Entitled "Inflated Treasuries And Deflated Stockholders", and a part of its "Intelligent Investing" section, it discusses businesses whose stock is trading below the value of their liquid assets.
This would not be particularly noteworthy, except for two details: its date line is 06.01.32, 6:00 AM ET, and its author is Benjamin Graham, the famous author of Security Analysis, published in 1934.
We must recognize, therefore, that the situation existing today is not typical of all bear markets. Broadly speaking, it is new and unprecedented. It is a strange, ironical aftermath of the "new era" madness of 1921929. It reflects the extraordinary results of profound but little understood changes in the financial attitude of the people, and the financial fabric of the country.I'm not sure whether to be more bemused at Forbes, who have republished the article, or Google News, whose algorithm decided to feature it today.
Two plausible and seemingly innocent ideas, the first that good stocks are good investments; the second, that values depend on earning power--were distorted and exploited into a frenzied financial gospel which ended by converting all our investors into speculators, by making our corporations rich and their stockholders poor, by reversing the relative importance of commercial loans and Wall Street loans, by producing topsy-turvy accounting policies and wholly irrational standards of value--and in no small measure was responsible for the paradoxical depression in which we find ourselves submerged.
In either case, I wonder if they're trying to tell us something.