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SABEW Demands Ideological Purity, Membership Conducts Maoist “Self-Criticism” Ritual

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SABEW Demands Ideological Purity, Membership Conducts Maoist “Self-Criticism” Ritual


The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) met in Denver this week. Some months ago I had applied for membership on the grounds that the “Join SABEW” page on their website encourages application from those “writing, reporting, editing or overseeing business, financial or economic news for … online publications”. Given that DeepCapture had won the 2008 Weblogs Award for Best Business Blog, and that I have spent considerable time “writing, reporting, editing [and] overseeing business, financial, and economic news” on this website, I was curious to see if I would qualify within this rubric. Of course my application was denied, and while I considered crashing the party in Denver anyway, I decided against it, already confident that my experience would match George Orwell’s in a conference of British writers, described in his fine 1946 essay, “The Prevention of Literature”:

“About a year ago I attended a meeting of the P.E.N. Club, the occasion being the tercentenary of Milton’s Aeropagitica — a pamphlet, it may be remembered, in defense of freedom of the press. Milton’s famous phrase about the sin of ‘killing’ a book was printed on the leaflets advertising the meeting which had been circulated beforehand.

“There were four speakers on the platform. One of them delivered a speech which did deal with the freedom of the press, but only in relation to India; another said, hesitantly, and in very general terms, that liberty was a good thing; a third delivered an attack on the laws relating to obscenity in literature. The fourth devoted most of his speech to a defense of the Russian purges. Of the speeches from the body of the hall, some reverted to the question of obscenity and the laws that deal with it, others were simply eulogies of Soviet Russia… political liberty was not mentioned… Significantly, no speaker quoted from the pamphlet which was ostensibly being commemorated…

“There was nothing particularly surprising in this. In our age, the idea of intellectual liberty is under attack from two directions. On the one side are its theoretical enemies, the apologists of totalitarianism, and on the other its immediate, practical enemies, monopoly and bureaucracy. Any writer or journalist who wants to retain his integrity finds himself thwarted by the general drift of society rather than by active persecution. The sort of things that are working against him are the concentration of the press in the hands of a few rich men, the grip of monopoly on radio and the films…Everything in our age conspires to turn the writer, and every other kind of artist as well, into a minor official, working on themes handed down from above and never telling what seems to him the whole of the truth… In the past, at any rate throughout the Protestant centuries, the idea of rebellion and the idea of intellectual integrity were mixed up. A heretic — political, moral, religious, or aesthetic — was one who refused to outrage his own conscience. His outlook was summed up in the words of the Revivalist hymn:

Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm
Dare to make it known

“To bring this hymn up to date one would have to add a “Don’t” at the beginning of each line.”


Orwell’s disappointment in the meek conformity of the writers of his day mirrors DeepCapture’s in the business journalists of our own. A close reading of much of what has passed for business journalism in recent years reminds one of nothing so much as Soviet-era artists dutifully churning out dozens of murals of square-jawed workers striding boldly into the future, or hack reporters extolling the virtues of this or that ball-bearing plant, perhaps criticizing the occasional apparatchik who has fallen from favor with the masters, but entirely incapable of independent thought which questions the system itself, a system in whose benefits those reporters derive modest share.

As will be remembered by anyone who experienced that totalitarian era first-hand (as I did, living in mainland China for 12 months in 1983-1984), this ideological correctness generally expresses itself in a eagerness to confront with pronouncements, coupled with an incapacity to engage in even the mildest form of real debate.  I will illustrate this point by publishing an exchange I had some months back with the SABEW Pooh-Bahs, after I had submitted my application to SABEW wearing my DeepCapture.com (“2008 Weblogs Award for Best Business Blog”) journalist’s hat.

———————————————————————————————-

From: Dare, Donna D. [mailto:DareD@missouri.edu]
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 11:49 AM
To: Patrick Byrne
Subject: Regarding Your Application for SABEW Membership

January 24, 2009

Patrick Byrne, Journalist

Deepcapture, LLC

I regret to inform you that your application for membership in the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Inc. has been denied.

The Membership Committee could not ascertain that your primary career responsibilities fit the criteria for membership.  You may submit evidence to support your application, such as story clippings or audio- or videotape.

Criteria for membership in SABEW (as stated in the organization’s bylaws) is as follows:

Membership in the Society shall be restricted to persons for whom a significant part of their occupation involves writing, reporting, editing or overseeing business, financial or economic news for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, books, press or syndicate services, radio or television, online publications, or other media approved by the board and to teachers and students of business journalism or business media subjects at recognized colleges or universities or other organizations approved by the Society’s Board of Governors.  Members may retain full membership status, after being assigned to another news position at news organizations, even if the new position is not directly involved in business news.

If, in the future, you meet the criteria, we would be happy to reconsider your application for membership in SABEW.

If you wish to appeal this decision, please contact the SABEW office at sabew@missouri.edu.

SABEW did not process (and has destroyed) your credit card information submitted with the membership application on 1-18-09.

Thank you for your interest in SABEW.

Sincerely,

Donna Dare

SABEW Membership Coordinator

Ph:  573-882-7862

Email: dared@missouri.edu

www.sabew.org

———————————————————————————————-


From: Patrick Byrne [mailto:PByrne@overstock.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:00 PM
To: SABEW; Dare, Donna D.
Subject: RE: Regarding Your Application for SABEW Membership

Donna Dare

SABEW Membership Coordinator

Dear Ms. Dare (& SABEW Membership Appellate Court),

I thank you for the courtesy of your response denying my application for membership in SABEW. Respectfully, however, and per your letter, I am writing to appeal this decision on the grounds that the reason you gave in your letter is not, in fact, supported by the bylaws from which you have quoted. The inconsistency can be seen in these two points:

*    In denying my application you wrote, “The Membership Committee could not ascertain that your primary career responsibilities fit the criteria for membership.”

* The paragraph from your organization’s bylaws you have cited in support of this position reads: “Membership in the Society shall be restricted to persons for whom a significant part of their occupation involves writing, reporting, editing or overseeing business, financial or economic news for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals, books, press or syndicate services, radio or television, online publications, or other media approved by the board and to teachers and students of business journalism or business media subjects at recognized colleges or universities or other organizations approved by the Society’s Board of Governors.  Members may retain full membership status, after being assigned to another news position at news organizations, even if the new position is not directly involved in business news.”

As one can plainly see, in denying my application your membership committee has referred to “primary career responsibilities” as the standard. This position is not supported by the bylaws you have cited, which instead state that membership will be restricted “to persons for whom a significant part of their occupation involves…” These are clearly two quite different standards.

You have also written, “You may submit evidence to support your application, such as story clippings or audio- or videotape.” Towards that end, I submit the following:

1.      “The Darkside of the Looking Glass” – This online lecture and PowerPoint explanation of settlement failures in our equity system has been downloaded well over 1 million times, including over ten thousand times from IP’s associated with news organizations, and over 30,000 times from IP’s associated with the federal government.

2.      “Deep Capture: The Movie” – This presentation, performed in October, 2007 in front of 800 hedge funds and members of the press, has been viewed over 50,000 times.

3.      The website I founded, DeepCapture.com , has recently received the 2008 Weblog Award for the #1 Business Blog on the Internet (this is, in fact, the largest blog poll in existence).

4.      My individual writings are organized there as, “Deep Capture: The Explanation”, to which your committee may refer.

5.      Here you will find a selection of over two dozen appearances I have made on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business.  Some of these relate to my corporate duties, but many of these appearances make little to no reference to those duties, and instead seek my opinions on matters of business and economics.

6.      As you are perhaps not aware, my investigation and exposure of deep systemic problems in our nation’s stock settlement system became the subject of a Bloomberg Special Report that was itself nominated for an Emmy, Long Form Investigative Journalism.

In sum, it is clearly correct to say that “a significant part of [my] occupation involves writing, reporting, editing or overseeing business, financial or economic news for … newsletters, … radio or television, online publications…” For this reason, I respectfully challenge the membership committee’s decision and reasoning, as elaborated upon above.

Of course, I am not blind to the possibility that the content of my reporting (much of which is critical of other members of SABEW) is what discomfits the members of the Membership Committee. However, I have reviewed the bylaws of your organization and find no evidence of an ideological standard which applicants must meet. Please inform me if I am in error on this point.

Until then, I remain,

Your humble servant,

Patrick M. Byrne, PhD

Journalist, DeepCapture.com

———————————————————————————————-


From: Kevin Noblet [mailto:kevin_noblet@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 9:01 AM
To: Patrick Byrne
Cc: Donna Dare
Subject: RE: Regarding Your Application for SABEW Membership

Patrick:

Donna forwarded your message to me. In SABEW’s view, not all business blogs qualify as news publications just as all writing and editing doesn’t qualify as journalism. From its standpoint your activities and those of DeepCapture seem closer to corporate public relations, and SABEW isn’t open to PR professionals _ or of course to retail business executives.

I hope this makes the decision clearer.

Donna also had forwarded me Judson Bagley’s message and I responded to him along similar lines.

Regards,

Kevin Noblet

Secretary and Membership Committee Deputy Chair
SABEW

———————————————————————————————-


From: Patrick Byrne
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 4:36 PM
To: knoblet@pobox.com
Cc: Donna Dare
Subject: RE: Regarding Your Application for SABEW Membership

Kevin,

Respectfully, could you explain how DeepCapture is “corporate public relations”? We are performing analyses on data that no one else has obtained; these analyses are requested by national news organizations and numerous congressional reps, senators, and various other federal bodies; our  analyses of flaws in the nation’s settlement system have become fodder for numerous congressional demands of the SEC; our publication of secretly-recorded tapes of journalists planning a cover-up, and our unearthing of emails documenting the relationships among hedge funds and journalists, are apparently of strong interest to many others in this profession (judging from the volume of traffic we get from news organizations).  Clearly, the vast majority of DeepCapture’s activities have precisely 0 to do with my corporate day job as a “retail business executive.”

Is this truly the fig leaf behind which your organization is going to hide? Why not write into the bylaws a rule which demands ideological purity? It would save all this back-and-forth at least.

Regards,

Patrick

———————————————————————————————-


Then, as no answer was forthcoming (or ever came), I then sent this:


———————————————————————————————-

From: Patrick Byrne
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 1:23 PM
To: ‘knoblet@pobox.com’
Cc: ‘Donna Dare’
Subject: RE: Regarding Your Application for SABEW Membership

Dear Kevin,

Here is some more of that “corporate public relations” you don’t want to miss. This one is from Mark Mitchell.

Strange Occurrences, and a Story about Naked Short Selling

Regards,

Patrick

———————————————————————————————-

Now the truth is, I did not really have a burning desire to join SABEW. To steal a page from Groucho Marx, I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have SABEW members as members.  That said, I thought it would be interesting to find out if a profession which professes a commitment to toleration and pluralism would display the same commitment it asks of society, or would it respond, as SABEW ultimately did, like apparatchiks threatened by the possibility of criticism? I confess that my interest was pretty negligible, so confident was I in the likely result, but I did think it a box worth checking off.

As I mentioned, this past week the SABEW conference in Denver went on without me. Something occurred there, apparently unscripted, which reminds me of the aftermath of Jim Cramer’s appearance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. In any earlier age Cramer’s exposure there would have meant his disappearance from public life and, possibly, the tarnishing of his network beyond recovery, but ours is an age in which shame and accountability are wholly absent (as P. J. O’Rourke wrote, “If you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you’ve read his autobiography.”) Since that night, Cramer has publicly spun his appearance along the lines of, They say we could have done more to see this coming, and in the future we’ll try harder, apparently banking on the fact that many people did not see, or will not remember, what really happened: Jon Stewart dismembered Cramer not for “not trying hard enough”, but instead, for taking part in crimes such as stock manipulation, and for relying upon shill journalists in his schemes to cheat the public. Those are two quite different things, and in any sane world, Cramer would not be permitted to rewrite history so effortlessly.

By press accounts, this past week’s SABEW Denver conference saw the apparatchiks employing the same kabuki dance, the same confessions and self-criticisms directed to the wrong issues. On April 27, this Reuters story appeared (“Did the Watchdog Forget to Bark?” ) describing the scene:

The opening panel at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual meet in Denver addressed an interesting question: Did 9,000 business journalists blow it when it came to ringing the alarm bells on the financial meltdown?

The five SABEW panelists — The New York Times’ business editor Larry Ingrassia, Columbia Journalism Review critic and former Wall Street Journal reporter Dean Starkman, personal finance columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, Emmy-winning former ABC News investigative reporter Allan Dodds Frank and Greg Miller, a professor at the University of Michigan — agreed that the financial press could have done more. Newspapers, wire services, magazines and television stations could have been more aggressive…”

On that same day The Colorado Independent (“A Center for Independent Media”) wrote, “Business Reporters Confess News Sins While the US Economy Collapsed“.

“In a windowless room at the Westin Hotel in downtown Denver, leading business journalists and editors explained how the media “blew it” in covering the economic meltdown. They admitted, on one hand, to falling under the sway of free-market ideology and celebrating risk-taking financial leaders and, on the other, to missing the complex story of the rupturing system by only reporting it in parts and to almost no effect for the past decade.

Although not planned as confession, the discussion, which kicked off the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), quickly descended into an unburdening, with the panelists taking turns voicing their own explanations and excuses for the failure. Former Wall Street Journal managing editor and current ProPublica.org chief Paul Steiger moderated the impromptu journalistic penitence.

‘We drank the Kool-Aid,’ said Jane Bryant Quinn, personal finance columnist for Bloomberg and Newsweek. ‘We believed that free markets were the best kind [of markets].’ She said it had become ‘unfashionable’ over the last three decades to write about regulation, so they didn’t.”

Apparently, as far as SABEW’s membership is concerned, the events of recent months reflect only a lack of being suitably “aggressive”, of not “hav[ing] done more”, and, as always, of having been taken in by “free-market ideology.” Those are the issues over which SABEW members now wring their hands, it being apparently unthinkable (just as it is with Jim Cramer) that some of their membership deeply transgressed all notions of journalistic ethics by growing so close to favored hedge fund sources that they became shills (e.g., Bethany McLean), and when their sources committed crimes, those journalists threw the credibility of their publications into denying, downplaying, masking, and apologizing for that crime (and now, on the basis of little evidence and no investigation, prematurely declare it resolved, as Floyd Norris did yesterday).

In Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Joseph Schumpeter wrote, “Capitalism stands its trial before judges who have the sentence of death in their pockets. They are going to pass it, whatever defense they may hear.” Schumpeter neglected to mention that to this same jury, the possibility that the enforcement of regulation has been compromised due to the subversion of the mechanisms of enforcement, from the exchanges to the regulators to the politicians to, most disturbingly, the intellectual class itself (in particular, those who count themselves members of SABEW), is a possibility which that jury finds unthinkable, quite literally, and in the purest Orwellian sense.

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

1) email it to a dozen friends;

2) write SABEW’s Donna Dare and Kevin Noblet (DareD@missouri.edu and knoblet@pobox.com) asking them to make explicit the ideological policies to which SABEW demands its members conform (and please post as a copy of your email to them in the comment section below);

3) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

(draft only)

Posted in Featured Stories, Journalists Tried to Be Players But Became Pawns, The Deep Capture CampaignComments (23)

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Fortune Magazine Stonewalls Exposure of Bethany McLean Perfidy


Summary – This post contains two emails I sent Fortune Magazine regarding Deep Capture’s work documenting an inappropriate relationship between journalist Bethany McLean and hedge fund Rocker Partners. If after reading this you agree that mine were fair questions deserving of reply, then please do me this small service: write Fortune and tell them you think they should answer these questions (you might even post a copy of your email as a comment to the bottom of this post, so there be public record of it):

Managing Editor: Andrew Serwer – aserwer@fortunemail.com

Time, Inc. Communications Director Katy Reitz – Katy_Reitz@timeinc.com

Dear Reader,

When Fortune Magazine contacts me I always respond (excluding unnoticed emails they send at day’s end hours before press-time). Yet Fortune Magazine has refused to comment on  DeepCapture’s documentation of the perfidious behavior of Fortune Magazine Reporter Bethany McLean. Two DeepCapture posts (“Bethany McLean: Your Benefit of the Doubt is Hereby Revoked” and “Rocker Partners and Bethany McLean: the Smarmiest Guys in the Room“) reconstruct how Rocker Partners sought out Bethany McLean to target a firm, took out a large short position 10 days after her cooperation was secured, then doubled down two months later, just three days before Bethany published her hatchet job (a time-line that suggests, of course, that they were privy to the content and timing of Bethany’s article). In addition, Bethany’s  reporting relied heavily upon Spyro Contogouris, a conman, now imprisoned, about whom she spun apologetics while regurgitating his criticisms (criticisms that with the passage of time proved baseless). When the share price of the target company rose, Bethany commiserated with the short-selling hedge fund that had assigned her the story, sending this email:

From: Bethany McLean
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 6:12:48 PM
To: [redacted]
Subject: Re: ffh

Sorry to be a little bad-tempered. This FFH story almost killed me, so I hate hearing that it was pointless. Maybe it’ll be a long, slow thing..

Thinking that Fortune Magazine might be troubled to learn that one of its journalists had provided such white glove service to a hedge fund, I sent Fortune two emails (below) giving opportunity to comment. They have refused. Please read the correspondence below and, if you agree that Fortune Magazine should address these concerns publicly, please let  Fortune know it (following the instructions at the top of this essay).

I thank you in advance for considering this request.

Respectfully,

Patrick M. Byrne

========================================
On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 7:03 PM, Patrick Byrne wrote:

Dear Ms. Reitz,

Happiest of holidays.

Last week I sent you a link to an exposé on erstwhile Fortune journalist Bethany McLean. https://www.deepcapture.com/bethany-mclean/

Today DeepCapture posted the sequel: analysis of the trading records of Rocker Partners (a.k.a. Copper River) confirms that Rocker did front-run Bethany’s story, both shortly after she met with Rocker Partners’ representative Richard Sauer (a.k.a. “Lavaman”, himself a former SEC attorney whose federal career seems to mirror Bethany’s approach to journalism), and then again immediately before Bethany published. https://www.deepcapture.com/rocker-partners-and-bethany-mclean-the-smarmiest-guys-in-the-room/

Note the data in that exposé regarding failures to deliver, and the likely provenance of those failures, in my recent critique of a DowJones reporter (“Carol Remond Tells a Joke She Doesn’t Get“).

I am preparing this as a story to be included in an Overstock email that gets sent to 17 million of my closest friends. It would explain that a crooked hedge fund (since imploded) cooperated with a bent reporter to break the law, the reporter used her offices at Fortune to indulge their illegal acts, that Fortune had been warned of this possibility and engaged in a cover-up, and that Fortune practices shill journalism for favored Wall Street elite, many of whom are crooks (a message that will, I expect, resonate). In short, Bethany’s emails and Rocker’s trading records will be used to demonstrate how the standards of journalism evinced by Fortune are more bent than a streetwalker’s stumble.

I understand the legal ramifications of suggesting to 17 million Americans that Fortune has taken part in a criminal conspiracy, of course, and will happily provide our lawyers’ address for receipt of service, upon request.

On the other hand, an abundance of journalistic caution leads me to contact Fortune once again to offer opportunity for comment, and in particular, to correct me if I am in error. In fact, I would like to offer you the opportunity to respond in up to 50 words that I will commit not to edit or abridge, an offer that is surely more generous than those your publication generally makes (setting aside whatever unknown arrangements it or its journalists make with hedge funds such as Mr. Rocker’s, of course). Please feel free to respond to the allegations above, or the questions below, or simply respond more generally, as you prefer.

I look forward to hearing from you. Until then, I remain,

Your humble servant,

Patrick Byrne

Journalist, DeepCapture.com

PS Please tell [a long-time acquaintance at Fortune] that I return her regards…

========================================

From: Patrick Byrne
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 2:22 AM
To: Katy_Reitz@timeinc.com
Subject: Respectfully request on-the-record response

Dear Ms. Reitz,

Please find a blog that DeepCapture posted today regarding 2006-2007 communications between a hedge fund manager and erstwhile Fortune reporter Bethany McLean concerning Canadian financial company Fairfax. I have obtained these communications pursuant to the decision of a New Jersey State court.

As is evident from the emails, the hedge fund manager put Ms. McLean up to the story hoping that a report in Fortune magazine would move the stock down. When the stock instead went up it rendered Ms. McLean’s story “pointless” in her eyes (which makes [sense] only in a world where her “point” was to move the stock down). After commiserating with the hedge fund Ms. McLean expressed her wish that the targeted company’s demise would be “a long, slow thing.”

Questions:

1) What is Fortune’s policy regarding journalists working with short selling hedge funds to drive down stock prices?

2) Has Fortune conducted an internal investigation into the relationship between Ms. McLean and hedge funds, including the one mentioned in the blog?

a) What were the results of that investigation?

b) Did this investigation have anything to do with Ms. McLean’s departure from Fortune?

3) Has Fortune conducted an internal investigation to determine the accuracy of Ms. McLean’s reporting on Fairfax and on other companies?

a) What was the result of that investigation?

b) Did this investigation have anything to do with Ms. McLean’s departure from Fortune?

4) Is Fortune aware that nearly every story written by Ms. McLean since 2001 was sourced from the same group of hedge funds, and that she never once contradicted their analysis? By Fortune’s standards, does this constitute “balanced” reporting?

5) In one email, Ms. McLean mentions Spyro Contogouris, who was employed by a group of hedge funds to harass and threaten Fairfax executives. After Mr. Contogouris was arrested by the FBI, Ms. McLean continued to characterize him as a credible financial researcher who worked independently of hedge funds. Does Fortune stand by that characterization?

I do not know when I am going to publish, but would expect it would be next week. However, I sincerely wish to represent fairly the point of view of Fortune.

Most respectfully,

Patrick Byrne

Reporter, DeepCapture.com

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

1) Let Fortune know how you feel about Bethany McLean’s work by writing Managing Editor Andrew Serwer (aserwer@fortunemail.com) and TimeLife’s spokesperson Katy Reitz (Katy_Reitz@timeinc.com) (post copies in the comment section below!);

2) email it to a dozen friends;

3) go here for additional suggestions: “So You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted in Journalists Tried to Be Players But Became Pawns, The Deep Capture CampaignComments (67)

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Hedge Funds to Cancer Patients: “Die.”


dendreon-dndn-naked-short-selling

Click to see full chart

Dendreon Corp. is a Seattle, Washington-based biotech company that researches treatments for cancer. Their approach is novel in its dirty work is done by reprogramming the body’s monoclonal antibodies (I happen to have heard of these because my scrawny tomboy high school chum grew up to be a ridiculously attractive Ph.D. at NCI researching non-idiotypic monoclonal antibodies, at which point she gave me the brush-off: such is life).I have no idea if their approach works or not, but Dendreon has created a drug, Provenge, to  treat asymptomatic, metastatic, and androgen-independent prostate cancer. Provenge has completed two Phase III clinical trials, so someone thinks it works.

In any case, the decision as to the correct price of Dendreon’s equity (and hence, the terms on which it can raise capital to fund its research) is supposed to be made by the collective wisdom of investors expressed through a marketplace operating under the rule of law. In fact, however, for some length of time and to some significant degree, the pricing of its equity has instead been determined by some hedge fund guys who think cancer patients should die so they can take ski trips to Gstaad.

Note that this firm, which in most weeks sees 2 million shares trade, accumulated at one point 18 million failures.

Posted in Ruined Firms & Looted Pensions, The Deep Capture CampaignComments (14)

Tags: , , , ,

Hedge Funds to Cancer Patients: "Die."


dendreon-dndn-naked-short-selling

Click to see full chart

Dendreon Corp. is a Seattle, Washington-based biotech company that researches treatments for cancer. Their approach is novel in its dirty work is done by reprogramming the body’s monoclonal antibodies (I happen to have heard of these because my scrawny tomboy high school chum grew up to be a ridiculously attractive Ph.D. at NCI researching non-idiotypic monoclonal antibodies, at which point she gave me the brush-off: such is life).I have no idea if their approach works or not, but Dendreon has created a drug, Provenge, to  treat asymptomatic, metastatic, and androgen-independent prostate cancer. Provenge has completed two Phase III clinical trials, so someone thinks it works.

In any case, the decision as to the correct price of Dendreon’s equity (and hence, the terms on which it can raise capital to fund its research) is supposed to be made by the collective wisdom of investors expressed through a marketplace operating under the rule of law. In fact, however, for some length of time and to some significant degree, the pricing of its equity has instead been determined by some hedge fund guys who think cancer patients should die so they can take ski trips to Gstaad.

Note that this firm, which in most weeks sees 2 million shares trade, accumulated at one point 18 million failures.

Posted in Ruined Firms & Looted Pensions, The Deep Capture CampaignComments Off on Hedge Funds to Cancer Patients: "Die."

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