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Rekenthaler Report

AllianceBernstein, Karl Marx, and Index Investing

A colorful mix, but not very informative.

I Clicked This Headline and You Won't Believe What Happened Next
Once, Wall Street research didn't need to shout. Once, investors believed in active money management and the sagacity of brokerage-firm insights. Abby Joseph Cohen penned reports with bland titles like "Low Dividend Yield Not Worrisome" or "Charging Ahead," and they were passed around by institutional investors as eagerly as fifth graders will share captured love notes.

How things have changed. To receive attention for its latest missive on "Fund Management Strategy," Bernstein Research, AllianceBernstein's brokerage arm, chose the remarkable headline, "The Silent Road to Serfdom: Why Passive Investing Is Worse Than Marxism." The company's sensationalism worked, as Bloomberg, Barron's, and CNBC, among others, immediately covered the report. This columnist is also willing to play.