Last week I was able to say with absolute certainty that General Electric has vaporized more than $400B in shareholder wealth since 2000. I went to the internet archive (aka the Wayback Machine) and sifted through old yahoo finance pages until I found the historic market cap data. It was easy. The Wayback Machine has an incredibly robust collection of captures from yahoo finance (one of the web’s oldest and most popular financial sites) , or should I say had? Tonight I got this:
Unless there has been some kind of mix-up, no historic pages from Yahoo can be accessed via the wayback machine, so hold on to those memories. A few weeks back I was looking at the September 12, 2001 Yahoo front page and I thought it would always be there. As it stands now, that snapshot of American history (along with countless others) is gone forever.
I wonder how many people share my outrage over this. Certainly no one at the New York Times, CNBC, Fox News or anyplace else where journalism has degenerated into a sideshow. Facts are enemies to them anyway.
As 2011 unfolds, we are witnessing the same people tell the same lies they told just three years ago. It’s insulting. Jim Cramer’s assertions that “Morgan Stanley is fine…” and “2011 is not 2008!” make him sound like a wifty used car salesman. Had Cramer understood 2008 was “2008″ it might be interesting to hear what he had to say, but he didn’t. I agree with Cramer however; 2011 is not 2008, it’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
So say hello to the memory hole.
Note: I’ve contacted the Wayback Machine for an explanation. I’d at least like to know whose decision it was to remove yahoo from the Wayback. I’ll let you know what I find out.
Fun fact: The Wayback Machine is operated by Alexa Internet, a subsidiary of Amazon.com.
The pages are back. The above screenshot is the only proof I have that they were ever gone.
I think we should probably do something to insure that those pages never disappear.