First, I highly recommend making a habit of listening to NPR’s Planet Money podcast. I’ve been listening for nearly a year (the entire length of its existence) and find the benefits innumerable. If you’re not familiar with podcasting, it’s basically an easy way to have audio content automatically downloaded to your computer or mp3 player as it’s released. That means you don’t need to go looking for it. It’s just there, waiting for you to consume at your convenience.
Planet Money publishes a new episode every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. The typical 20 minute edition focuses on some aspect of economics, more often than not related to the present financial crisis, and usually incorporating an interview with somebody fascinating.
Which brings me to thing #2…
The most recent episode of Planet Money includes an interview with Sam Antar, a convicted stock manipulator and known associate of now-defunct short selling hedge fund Copper River Partners (née Rocker Partners) and Gradient Analytics (née Camelback Research). In total fairness, Sam’s interview, which focuses on the crime he enabled as CFO of Crazy Eddie) is very interesting, although I’d say that’s more a reflection on the skill of the interviewers than on Sam himself.
At the conclusion of the interview, hosts Adam Davidson and David Kestenbaum wonder aloud whether Sam Antar is to be trusted.
In response, I added a comment to the segment’s accompanying blog portion, pointing out that in my opinion, Sam Antar remains in the stock manipulation business as evidenced by his involvement in — and financing of — smear attacks on public companies (which go beyond claims of accounting fraud to include accusations of anti-Semitism, marital infidelity, substance abuse, and worse) led by short sellers hoping to profit from an expected drop in the target companies’ share price. In support of my claim, I included this link, which offers a clear example of just such an attack against a company called USANA: http://antisocialmedia.net/when-youre-right-youre-right/
Well, typical of how Sam and his buddy Gary Weiss operate, they reported my comment as “inappropriate” and managed to get it removed (twice).
If you agree that the world could benefit from additional context when deciding whether to trust Sam Antar, you might consider making that clear by adding your own comment here.