Hedge Funds to Non-Cancer Patients: “You also die.”

Stock manipulators think not just cancer patients can die to pay for ski trips to Gstaad. They also think those suffering from various pulmonary and blood diseases can die, too.

InterMune, Inc., is a California firm that focuses on the research, development, and commercialization of therapies in pulmonology and hepatology. It generates over $50 million/year in revenue, primarily from Actimmune, for patients with osteopetrosis and chronic granulomatous disease. It’s candidate drug Pirfenidone is in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Its candidate drug ITMN-191, a hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor, is is in Phase Ib clinical trials to treat patients with HCV infections. It has license and collaboration agreements with some of the most prestigious names in biotech: Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. and F. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Ltd.; Genentech, Inc.; Connetics Corporation; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH; Novartis Corporation; Array BioPharma, Inc.; Eli Lilly & Company; and ALZA Corporation.

Stock manipulators think people with such medical problems can die, as they express by manipulating the price of InterMune stock so that InterMune cannot fund its research by accessing the capital market at the true market-clearing price of its stock.


In the interests of journalistic integrity, I should disclose that I don’t much like the people doing this.

If this article concerns you, and you wish to help, then:

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  1. These charts should make the FRONT-PAGE HEADLINES of every newspaper in America! A picture is worth a thousand words! If not, then the media is totally-controlled by the Hedge Funds. America is a country of Cronie-Capitalism with the system rigged-to-profit only the “few” (Multi-Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers).

    What happened to journalistic integrity and ethical-responsibility in reporting news that could change the lives of our fellow Americans by saving these Developmental-Stage Biotechs from financial destruction?

    Will it take a total financial collapse for people to wake up & realize that these Hedge Funds are destroying the stock market?

    Are Dr. Byrne and Mr. Mitchell the only people of integrity that will stand-up against these financial rapists?


  2. Hang Em it would seem as if the more these genltemen write about it and the more attention it gets (NSSing) the more brazen these criminals get!! They are continuing to do this even more as if they were asked intentionally to crash our capital markets. The question is who is responsible and why?

  3. As an OSTK shareholder and a hedge fund employee with all due respect , sensationalizing the issue doesn’t help your argument. There are many hedge funds that are charitable. They don’t look to intentionally hurt people. Some are among the largest givers in the world as I’m sure you know. This issue should be about changing the law , not villianizing those who participate in the system .

    The DTCC has clearing laws. Rumour had it you bought some of your company stock on margin years ago. If that was the case by virtue of the hypothecation agreement brokers could lend that stock out …also the borrowers could lend as well, and did – a vicious circle not unlike banking and dollar intermediation…and mostly done for yield. If it is procedurally wrong, an argument can also be made that it is legal, because no specific regulations revoke the negotiability of transferable securities and more importantantly the identification of each specific cusip; not unlike how the vanilla and z tranches and PAC’S and TAC’S mortgage securitizations were broken down into. Just how many slices of the same pie were sold no one really knows. Not to mention CDS’s.

    The problem I think, is with the system in general. Can first lien, second, and mezzanine debt be sold than for more than it securitizes? Of course, after the first it’s mostly goodwill. How many thousands of municipal debts are overlapping?…not only geographically but between ad valorem GO’s and revenue bonds. There is interlapping financial coverage–if the assets are valuable the lenders make yield…. Defaults, well the writer loses and God knows how many contracts were written against the asset. The point is everyone writes and sells naked. That’s capitalism. But I think the larger more important question for American finance is: should multiple equities, bonds, derivatives, be allowed to securitize the same asset/contract. And if so how would this be regulated, and what limits would be imposed, or collateral required.

    There is a fine between being the cause of an assets demise and being the recipient of a profitable well-intentioned financial short strategy. One would think the market would recognize a valuable asset and pick it up. In the case they don’t I think certain modifications would help.

    The fault I believe is in the Cusip System ID process which is owned by the American Bankers Association. The Cusip only identifies the issuer, company and type of security. I believe if a personal identification number was added, only specific to the owner/account, there would be a greater degree of accountibility where companies could identify their shareholders immediately. This is probably why bearer bonds are no longer physically issued since 1983….Who trusts a person redeeming a physical coupon? It could come from anywhere. The mandating of electronic book entry for bonds now places emphasis on identification and ownership. And thats because they’re government issued!! Why shouldn’t equity holders be afforded the same identification courtesy. The transfer agency process can’t be relied upon.

    I think your example of NFLD is a poor one. Northfield never had significant institutional support, even when their marketcap was 1+ Billion. They also were unable to interest pharmaceutical partners. Northfield diluted common shareholders on two different occasions (when their marketcap was 1 billion) with Reg D offerings
    at a 25% discount to the common. Pipes at a discount without anti-shorting amendments in the subscription agreement offer shorts instant profit– they are buying them . I think it is reasonable to partly discredit management on this basis. The fact they couldn’t strike a deal with PFE, despite small licensing agreements, said something.

    The fact that Northfield has refused to publish their papers in peer-reviewed journals is a bit unusual. Shareholders of Nfld have waited 20 years for Polyheme to be proven yet the CEO has never bought 1 share of stock on the open market. Further he assured shareholders a BLA would be submitted 2 years ago and has continually broken almost every promise they made. There are many good examples Mr. Byrne but this is not one. If the company was so valuable big pharma could have stepped in recently and bought it for 1/2 cash + 100’s MM’s in NOLS. The market said no.

    I admire your persistence. Best wishes for your continued success, for your company and this fight.


  4. “t”

    I am not familiar with the fundamentals of nfld
    so I cannot comment as to the specifics of your fundamental stance on the company. What I can comment on is that the rest of your stance is an example of what is wrong in our financial system. Whether you like the prospects of Northfield or not, its mkt price should be determined by those whom can go long the stock, or hypothecate the shares and go short. Either way, settle the trades. It is immaterial whether they should have done a PIPE, or should have had more partners, etc. Again, that is for legitimate short sellers and buyers to determine value in the open market. Not by those who distort price by promoting excess supply.

    Northfield IS a perfect example for Patrick because it has been on SHO for over 160 days. Settlement regs do not say settlement is waived based on percieved fundamentals of the company. They say the trade must settle.

    As to an indictment of the hedge fund industry, I’m sure there are some hedge funds that operate above board, and you certainly sound like one. However, since the evidence appears to show that the unregulated nature of the industry has lead us to where we are, you may be the exception to the rule. Regulation of hedges would expose both the good nature of some, and the bad. Till then, the baby must go with the bath water, and the industry needs to be investigated/regulated.

    Respectfully, I’m sorry to say, but your argument that NFLD is a bad example because of your take on the company, and deserves NSS, along with your identified participation in the hedge fund industry, only validates Mr. Bryne’s point.

  5. Has anyone thought about what our country would be IF NSS was just now started to be addressed? Thanks to ALL who started the fight against downfall of the finantial system.

  6. The corruption within our system of regulators is visible. The FDA, the SEC, the GSE’s, government agencies and those who are supposed to oversee these.. our elected lawmakers are financially conflicted. We can only hope that the new administration is sincere about checking the power of the corporate and banking/short fund lobbyists. Not all lobbyists are at the trough. Some were established to protect the public interest. Some lobbyists are volunteers working for organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

    Although Obama’s contributions from Wall Street were enormous and his new Chief of Staff Emanuel also got huge contributions from Wall Street, Obama’s WS money 5% was small compared to the whole of his contributions.

    A deeper look into Jack Abramoff, known mostly for promoting the interest of Indian Casinos and golfing junkets, shows that the same people had done all they could to violate human rights in the Marianas. The lable “Made in the USA” didn’t translate into civil rights and worker protection for the foreign workers who are imported to work in sweat shops there. Former Alaskan Congressman Don Young and one of his top aides Mark Zachares were involved.

    When whore Zachares in his official capacity had been helpful to Abramoff in the Marianas, Abramoff got him appointed via Young to Washington where he could be helpful to Abramoff on other issues.

    Young led the opposition to Marianas reform. He was responsible for the bridge to nowhere pork and Coconut Road. Congressmen on the take don’t stop with one issue. They are not kept mistresses. They are whores, dating the wealthiest johns. http://www.adn.com/news/politics/fbi/young/story/242937.html

    On the average, 79% of election contributions come from outside Congressional districts. Much of this comes from Washington zipcodes where the lobbyists are concentrated. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0811/S00027.htm

    The group as a whole, who voted for the Gramm-Leach bill that gutted Glass Steagall Act received twice as much in lobbying gifts from banking/Wall Street special interest as those who opposed it. Those who voted for the bailout received 50% more than those who opposed it.

    The public has little chance for change when they are being outspent on issues and elections four to one by special interests. http://www.maplight.org has maps of where House money originated. Maplight is working to publish the Senate figures.

  7. Mr Mitchell look at CVM.. The company is in Phase 3 with a Head and Neck cancer drug with dramatic phase 2 results and their trying to put them out of business… Did pipe financing in 2001 and the short is probably 3x the float…

  8. ‘t.

    What you demonstrate in your obfuscated description of the settlement system is just that, it is easily obfuscated by people like you. This is convenient for you hedge fund employees and owners because the same skills of obtuse logic help you in more than one way. It helps you confuse the general public about the stock delivery system, when in fact, this system can be more simply explained to the general public by honest experts; and similarly in the biotech stocks that you haunt, it helps you confuse the investor about fairly complicated statistical trial results, when these statistical results can in fact be more simply explained to the general public by honest biostats experts.

    As for your complaint about nfld. A company does not choose to publish its results or not publish them. If you knew a little more about clinical trials, you would realize that the PI is the person who submits publications to peer review journals, not the companies. Nice try…

    As regards whether a CEO should buy a single share of his company in the open market. Wow, this is such a tired and old argument put forth by your ilk. Does it matter to you than many biotech senior management receive the majority of their salary in the form of stock options? They are usually overflowing in ownership of the company with their option holdings. You put forth such a tired and worn out claim; it is such a juvenile complaint. Do you as a hedge fund employee suddenly sit up and take notice if a biotech CEO buys 1000 shares in the open market? If so, I compliment your astute financial acumen- not!

  9. Sean,

    In my opinion, it’s all about DEBT. The Fed’s actions are the cause & effect of the commodities’ and subsequent markets’ crash. The author of this article sums it up much better than I could:


    The sudden rise in the U.S. Dollar’s value — crashed commodities and the stock market. The world’s fastest-growing markets, the Emerging Markets, relied heavily on the value of resources/commodities to continue growing. And, since world resources/commodities are priced in U.S. Dollars, the leveraged-bubble blew-up….and commodities priced dropped like a rock. It was all Fed-orchestrated to control inflation in the record-large “bail-out environment”. Here’s a quote from the above article:

    “Back in July, the U.S. Treasury, through the ESF (Exchange Stabilization Fund), sold billions of euros and, I believe, established a dollar sequestering “derivative” by paying interest, perhaps in Euros, to foreign money center banks. This was designed to keep dollars out of circulation, overseas. It was the beginning of the dollar bull back on July 15th.”

    Now, the core of the matter, the Fed’s new RECORD DEBT. I quote from the above-linked article:

    “In truth, the Fed needs the foreign currency more than the foreign central banks need dollars. The Fed is using its new foreign currency resources, in part, to control the value of the dollar, and to ensure that U.S. bailout bonds are sold for the highest possible prices at the lowest possible long term costs. Anyone who buys long term Treasury bills is going to lose a fortune of money in the long term.”

    Sean, I believe the Hedge Funds, took advantage of the above events — and NSS of commodities was like a shark frenzy — to maximize profits on the downside, hence we now see the exaggerated move lower in Oil — and commodity equities have been banged-down via NSS into the basement. In my view, commodities equities are at bargain levels.

    If anyone has a better explanation as to “why” the U.S. Dollar rose in value in such a fundamentally-negative environment, then let me know!

    Hang_’em_ High

  10. t

    The question that you need to ask yourself is:

    Why must so many small biotech companies with promising futures resort to raising capital through toxic measures like PIPES?

  11. Hello “t”,

    Thanks for the insight into the arrogance of the Hedge Fund Industry — which now controls just about everything in sight.

    Re: Sinsationalism — I disagree. Dr. Byrne and others should do everything possible to get the attention of the public! And, showing a chart of FTD’s and the Share Price — is like shining a “spotlight” on a flawed settlement system. I say to Dr. Byrne — KEEP IT UP — because Naked Short Selling (NSS) needs to be EXPOSED — because the financial destruction caused by NSS is killing the markets and people that cannot get possibly life-saving products too. Just connect the dots. Simple as that. Is a matter of life & death sensational to you? Or, is it just MONEY & PROFIT that matter most in the mindset of a Hedge Fund employee?

    Re: “t” wrote — I quote: “The point is everyone writes and sells naked. That’s capitalism.” NO NO NO, that is NOT capitalism. That is a flaw that is the scurge of capitalism. If a product is “Not Delivered” when sold under settlement rules with a bonafide contract in place, then this is NOT capitalism — this is FRAUD. Therefore, I agree with you that the system is flawed, but I do not agree with you that it is Capitalism, absolutely not — Selling what you don’t “deliver” is pure FRAUD if a bonafide contract to deliver is breached.

    Re: Regulation — The Hedge Funds are taking-advantage of a flawed settlement system via the NSS. Pre-borrow & hard-delivery in T+3 days should be required. Furthermore, Hedge Funds should be required to disclose “short positions” so that massive “short squeezes” can occur, e.g. – Volkswaggon. Hedge Funds have gained enough power to destroy companies via NSS; therefore, “public disclosure” of short positions should be required so that a “White Knight Investor” can throw a lifeline.

    Re: Recognition of a Valuable Asset — After a company has been victimized by NSS, aka — pummelled and beaten, do you think market sentiment is positive? THEN, at the same time, the company is put on a public “Bleeding-to-Death List”, aka – Regulation SHO Threshold List, for the world to see that they have been victimized by NSS. After all of that, how can anyone with a straight face, no matter how valuable the underlying assets of a company victimized by NSS, say or even wonder why the victim’s stock is not being accumulated? Or, in other words, what legitimate investor wants to invest in a company that is being illegitimately being NSS?

    “t” — I hope for JUSTICE soon.


  12. “t”
    Your post presents a very good learning opportunity for all of us. I especially liked the line: “There is a fine line between being the cause of an asset’s demise and being the recipient of a profitable well-intentioned financial short strategy”.

    I am of the mindset that thinks that the typical abusive naked short selling behavior we see on a daily basis by abusive MMs, prime brokers, unregulated hedge funds, proprietary trading desks, etc. HAS CROSSED THAT LINE THAT YOU CITE.

    We all know that in our DTCC-administered clearance and settlement system that has illegally adopted a foundation of “collateralization versus payment” versus the ’34 Act’s mandated “good form delivery versus payment” when you intentionally refuse to deliver that which you sell then an “accounting measure” known as a “securities entitlement” is credited to the purchasing client’s brokerage firm and onto the purchasing client’s monthly brokerage statement. These are treated as being readily sellable despite the fact that they are not legitimate “shares” of a corporation. People don’t forget to deliver that which they sell; they intentionally do it. Intentionally loading up the share structures of corporations targeted for destruction with readily sellable securities entitlements predictably manipulates the share price lower. The intentional manipulation of a share price downwards while establishing a naked short position or in ordeer to enhance the prognosis for a preestablished naked short position is an act of fraud which is a criminal act. It has always been forbidden by 10b-5 of the ’34 Exchange Act but recently it was “highlighted” by the SEC in their new Rule 10b-21 “anti-fraud law” which became effective on October 17, 2008. You did what almost all hedge fund people do towards the end of your post; you made the case that the company under attack “deserved it”. Criminal law doesn’t work that way. Referring back to your quote:”There is a fine line between being the cause of an asset’s demise and being the recipient of a profitable well-intentioned financial short strategy”. Criminal law dictates that these frauds being perpetrated especially by those Wall Street insiders well aware of the DTCC’s unconscionable foundation of allowing the seller of shares to gain access to the funds of investors even after continually refusing to deliver that which he sold HAS CROSSED THAT LINE no matter how clever the investment modality was. The refusal to deliver that which you sell in our greatly compromised clearance and settlement system is indeed the proximate “cause of the asset’s demise”. All of those charts of Dr. Byrne’s clearly showing how the level of FTDs went nuts right as the PPS tanked clearly imply collusive activity. These corporations were targeted for attack and the identity of the target was passed on from party to party. The SEC refers to it as “rumor mongering”. These Wall Street “professionals” didn’t all get out of bed one day and individually decide to sell truckloads of fake shares and then later refuse to deliver that which they sold. I do like your idea about the CUSIP #s being appended to an investor’s identification number especially at the DTCC to get rid of the “blind pooling” aspect so ripe for naked short selling and lending abuses. Dr. Byrne put it accurately that an FTD (and a parcel of shares as well) needs to be traceable “from cradle to grave”.

  13. This is been done to “ALL” stocks and it be is being done without fear of repercussions or consequences. The question again is who is behind these actions to destroy our capital markets in plain view of “All the world” who is powerful enough to pull this off and offer get out of jail free cards? Hang em thanks for the response as usual you are right on point. Another example below

    My disclaimer: I do not own a single share of this stock, just heard about it from a friend who was trying to get me to buy some.

    16.5 million Outstanding 9 or so million in Float. “You do the mats” (Jamiacan patois joke)


  14. Dr. Byrne,

    I am glad you are presenting more charts like these. I think it makes it easier for people to believe that naked short selling is destroying companies. I have tried to explain to people by laying out the facts but it takes too much concentration than most people have time to allocate. But with these charts they immediately see the relationship between artificial stock plummets and the dilutive affects of counterfeit stock.

    I also like the fact that you tie in how stock manipulation affects people other than the shareholders, e.g., the patients who could be cured from the meds these companies make or the soldiers who are protected with armor that these companies manufacture, etc.

    I look forward to more blogposts like these. Keep up the great work!


  15. is the DOJ going ot do something, simple question to anyone who can answer it? we need teh fbi , doj to fix it asap, is this gonna happen, until cuffs come on the game will be played!!!!!!

  16. Our economy is a mess because regulation was suspended by the Bush administration. We have massive short selling without a delivery requirement and suspension of the uptick rule, two conditions making it easy to manipulate stocks. Does anyone reasonably doubt that hedge funds, and others, through their unchecked ability to short, are and have been manipulating stock prices downwards? i follow the news and have not seen any SEC action charging manipulation by major players.
    Certain aspects of hedge funds are unregulated but no one has repealed the antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and market manipulation of stocks is such a fraud. Regarding banks, even Greenspan has admitted culpability by failing to regulate. The SEC, also failed to investigate and prosecute possible fraud (not disclosing risk and oversating value) in the sale to investors of Collateralized Mortgage obligations. therefore further harming purchasers, By failing to monitor broker dealer capital which had overstated assets (CMOs), the SEC has probably also caused the demise of major brokerage houses, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman.

  17. I would encourage commentators to post their concerns at change.gov. I just did, but I think it helps if they are overwhelmed with comments from folks who understand the problem much better than I do.

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