I have good news and bad news

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:46 pm Post subject: I have good news and bad news

As readers of this blog know, I have been arguing that our nation is on the brink of a massive financial scandal as a result of unsettled trades in our financial system (it colloquially goes by the name, “naked short selling” though this is in fact just one of the origins of these trades). For two years I have struggled to bring this to the publics attention, but the low-rent of the financial media have not just ignored it, they (to this untutored eye) seem to have done everything they could to cover up the problem. At first a cone of silence descended around the issue, but then, when that was no longer possible, they tried to spin it as just about an eccentric CEO (that would be I) mad that his own stock went down (though I started this when it was going up, and did everything I could to divorce it from Overstock and show the systemic consequences of this crime). Someday someone smarter than I will kick through the rubble and draw the connections between those who benefited from the crime, and those who hijacked the discourse, but that is beyond this Bear of Little Brain.Strange dynamics seem to have been set in play on this subject. On July 5 the WSJ, who for months barely let a week slide by without denouncing, misquoting, or fabricating something about me, wrote a story that described this whole issue pretty fairly. Kara Scannell did not dig too hard, but it was a moderate, fair piece (the target of her investigation squealed like a stuck pig in a follow-on press release, but so it is with bullies who see their control slipping). What was odd about the piece is that it did not mention Overstock, or myself, in any place: it is not as though my feelings are hurt (I have had more press than I ever wanted in this lifetime), but given that I had a pretty fair role in bringing the issue into the mainstream, and given the number of times the WSJ has denounced me for leading this fight, the omission could not have been stranger.I have good news and bad news to report.The good news is that word has just been released that tomorrow night a news channel is going to discuss the issue of naked shorting.

The bad news is that that station is going to be CNBC, a group that has been at the heart of the spinning of this story in what appears to have been a deliberate attempt to prevent word of it from reaching the public. But who knows, maybe tomorrow night they will redeem themselves.

I have an idea. I volunteer to go on CNBC Fast Money tomorrow night and make sure it is not a whitewash. CNBC has had me on a dozen times or more, so they cannot have objections to it in principle. Yet even though I represent one side of the debate, I bet they will refuse to have me on to discuss it, because it will interfere with their plans to spin it.

If they do have me on (without doing the normal shout-him-down routine), I will give them credit for it (and not even bring any signs or affidavits). If, even though I have become synonymous with this issue, they refuse, it will make my larger point for me.

In any case, they know where to reach me.


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