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May 10, 1999

I’m often surprised by investors who spend more time deciding what movie they’ll rent than on which stock to buy . . . I wonder how many chat room participants realize that if someone is waxing poetic about a certain stock, that person could well be paid to do it. For the future sake of this medium, I encourage investors to take what they see over chat rooms -- not with a grain of salt -- but with a rock of salt. By doing so, you protect yourself and you protect the Internet.
Arthur Levitt in Plain Talk About On-line Investing (5/4/99)

I do not say we are in a new era, because I have experienced too many alleged new eras in my lifetime that have come and gone . . . There was far greater justification to view the future with the unbridled optimism of a presumed new era a century ago than today. Technological change was truly awesome around the turn of the century. In a very short number of years the world witnessed an astounding list of new creations: electric power and light, radios, phonographs, telephones, motion pictures, x-rays, and motor vehicles, just to begin the list . . . History is strewn with projections of technology that have fallen wide of the mark. With the innumerable potential permutations and combinations of various synergies, forecasting technology has been a daunting exercise. There is little reason to believe that we are going to be any better at this in the future than in the past. Hence, despite the remarkable progress witnessed to date, we have to be quite modest about our ability to project the future of technology and its implications for productivity growth and for the broader economy.
Alan Greenspan in Remarks at the 35th Annual Conference on Bank Structure and Competition (5/6/99)

Someday, business-school professors may very well teach economic concepts and principles in terms of "B.I." and "A.I." (Before and After Internet).
Point/Counterpoint: The Future of Internet Stocks from The Vanguard Group's Spring 1999 issue of "In The Vanguard"

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