Tag Archive | "SABEW"

The Pendulum Swings

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The Pendulum Swings

Pendulum_animationBack in college, where the combination of free time and that university mojo so often lend themselves to this sort of thing, a friend and I challenged each other to cram the most undeniable truth into complete sentences of the fewest possible words.

In the end, we settled on the following:

“Entropy increases” and “The pendulum swings.”

The first sentence is a reference to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The second sentence is a reference to the fact that cultural trends will always increase in pervasiveness and acceptance until some limit is broached, at which time opposing forces will be applied that cause society to respond with increasing negativity toward that trend. And, as with an actual pendulum, the higher the upswing, the more forceful the push back will be.

How true both are.

I first encountered the market reform movement near the end of 2005. Over the months that followed, I witnessed the following:

  1. An SEC staffer in San Francisco subpoenaed the communications of Jim Cramer, Herb Greenberg, Bethany McLean, Carol Remond and a handful of other “journalists” suspected of colluding with Gradient Analytics and short selling hedge fund Rocker Partners, only to have SEC Chairman Chris Cox personally sabotage the effort. This was followed up almost immediately by the SEC vindictively subpoenaing Patrick Byrne.
  2. FOIA requests filed with the SEC intended to give some sense of the scope of the delivery failure problem were regularly denied or spitefully filled with minimal accompanying explanation.
  3. Numerous brutal articles were published attacking opponents of naked short selling – Byrne primarily among them – under the bylines of (surprise) Jim Cramer, Herb Greenberg, Bethany McLean, Carol Remond, Joe Nocera, and Roddy Boyd.
  4. Audio tape captured by a market reform operative who covertly accessed a panel discussion featuring Herb Greenberg, Joe Nocera and Dan Colarusso (then Roddy Boyd’s editor) hosted by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. The theme of the discussion was essentially “How do we deal with these lying anti-naked short selling bloggers who are so critical of us?” Among other things, the tape caught Joe Nocera saying (to loud applause) he felt life was too short to bother understanding whether naked shorting is actually a problem, and Dan Colarusso saying he and his newspaper had the capacity to “crush” Patrick Byrne.
  5. An all-out PR offensive launched by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) attacking opponents of naked short selling.
  6. The emergence of Gary Weiss, an ostensibly credible former business journalist and blogger, bursting onto the scene, proclaiming naked short selling beneficial and its opponents crazy.
  7. The hijacking and distortion of the Wikipedia article on naked short selling by whom we would soon learn was none other than Gary Weiss. Given journalists’ well-documented over-reliance on Wikipedia, this was undoubtedly a key factor in our difficulty getting them to provide more balanced coverage of the issue.
  8. A special session of the Utah Legislature which, catching the banks flat-footed, resulted in passage of a law requiring brokerages with operations in Utah to promptly disclose stock delivery failures. But before it could go into effect, and after the prime brokers managed to rally their armies of lobbyists, the law was handily repealed.
  9. Unprecedented growth of companies on the Reg SHO Threshold Securities list, indicating that, contrary to the intended aim of Regulation SHO, naked shorting was becoming increasingly prevalent.

On balance, it was a very dark time for the market reform movement, as every charge was followed by a blistering counter-charge, and every lunge answered by a quick parry. More than once, I recall hearing even the staunchest market reformers openly question the capacity of a rag-tag band of revolutionaries to counter the enormous influence and resources brought to bear by the hedge funds and prime brokers who were getting rich from the practice of manipulative naked short selling, and I couldn’t help but wonder whether I’d picked the wrong battle.

That’s not to say I ever doubted the correctness of the cause – only the correctness of my decision to join a fight that sometimes seemed impossible to win and certain to result in damage to my reputation as it had to Patrick Byrne’s and so many others’.

But in those moments of doubt, I’d remind myself of an eternal truth: the pendulum swings.

In other words, as dark as those days were, there would invariably be restraining forces applied to help slow – and eventually stall and even reverse – the momentum built up by decades of Wall Street villainy and the deep regulatory capture of the institutions intended to counter it.

What we could not have realized – as such perspective only comes with time – is that we (meaning, you, me, and everybody else who’s taken steps to do something about illegal naked short selling) were in fact the very restraining forces so many of us were expecting to arrive, cavalry-like, from some unknown quarter, and that as dark as those days seemed, they appeared quite bright to those who had endured the 1990s and early part of the current decade, when the practice persisted, without restraint, like a drunken orgy.

Of course, the event that finally brought the pendulum to a decisive halt and reversal was the current economic crisis, which saw the term “naked short selling” dragged into the popular lexicon (as determined by Yahoo! listing it as one of its five most popular search terms in September of 2008).

Since then, as the link between naked short selling and the beginning of the crisis itself has been solidly established, valiant members of Congress – most notably Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman – have dragged the issue of naked short selling into the political lexicon, as well.

Where are we today?

  1. The SEC recently enacted permanent restrictions on illegal naked short selling, which include greatly enhanced disclosure of delivery failures and shorting activity.
  2. Today, the SEC brought its first enforcement cases against illegal naked short selling.
  3. Also today, FINRA expelled a member firm for engaging in illegal short selling.
  4. Jim Cramer has been deeply and publicly shamed. Herb Greenberg is now a ‘consultant’. Bethany McLean has left business journalism. Dan Colarusso continues looking for steady employment. Roddy Boyd, Carol Remond and Joe Nocera all retain their former positions, but seem to steer clear of anything resembling the issue of naked shorting.
  5. The DTCC is mum on the issue as well.
  6. Gary Weiss – since abashed and banned from Wikipedia – sinks ever deeper into obscure irrelevance while the Wikipedia article on naked short selling that he once controlled has been liberated and made to read nearly as it should.
  7. Substantive legislation with the capacity to end illegal naked short selling and other short-side market abuses once and for all is currently working its way through Congress.
  8. As of today, the Reg SHO Threshold Securities list is 23% shorter than it was on the day I met Patrick Byrne (and 90% smaller than it was at its height in July of 2008), and is nearly devoid of the kinds of promising, well-capitalized companies whose inclusion used to be a sure sign of an impending bear raid.

These are all developments that seemed impossible in the dark days of 2006.

But here we are.

Yes, the pendulum is now unambiguously swinging in our direction, but the job is not done. Indeed, we can only be assured of progress to the extent that we each recognize our responsibility to continue pushing.

Posted in Featured Stories, The Deep Capture CampaignComments (56)

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.


Donna Dare

SABEW Membership Coordinator

Ph:  573-882-7862

Email: dared@missouri.edu



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


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.


Kevin Noblet

Secretary and Membership Committee Deputy Chair


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


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.




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




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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Rocker Partners and Bethany McLean: the smarmiest guys in the room

In a recent item, I concluded — based on my analysis of an email exchange between former Fortune reporter Bethany McLean and Copper River Partners (formerly known as Rocker Partners) — that McLean wrote a highly critical article about Fairfax Financial Holdings (NYSE:FFH) with the expectation that her work would cause FFH stock to drop precipitously in value.

By way of review, the evidence shows that a manager of Rocker Partners hedge fund first approached Bethany McLean about Fairfax on December 7, 2006. Bethany then met with Rocker Partners employee (and former SEC attorney) Richard Sauer 11 days later, and presumably began work on what would become her March 6, 2007 article The inside story of a Wall Street battle royal shortly thereafter.

The evidence further demonstrates that when, by March 21, 2007, FFH stock price had gone up 45 points instead of down as expected, McLean was unhappy.

Why would this be?

Anybody familiar with the ongoing conversation held on this blog knows the answer, but not wanting to take for granted that all readers here are either sufficiently seasoned or in agreement, I offer the following, which was, like the above-referenced email exchange, gleaned from the many documents gained through discovery in the Fairfax Financial vs. SAC Capital, et al, lawsuit; specifically, from records of Rocker’s evolving short position in Fairfax stock during the months before and after the publication of McLean’s article.

Beginning on January 4, 2007: ten trading days after McLean met with Richard Sauer, Rocker Partners shorted $2.4-million in Fairfax stock.

In February, Rocker added just over $100,000 to their Fairfax short.

Then, on March 1, 2007, three trading days before McLean’s article, Rocker added another $1.5-million to their position.

All told, Rocker was betting at least $4-million that the price of Fairfax stock would drop.

But unfortunately for Rocker, that’s not what happened.

Indeed, Fairfax stock rose a healthy 20% between March 6th and 22nd, when Rocker’s partner emailed McLean, wondering why Fairfax wasn’t dropping as a result of her story, as expected.

Apparently satisfied that circumstances were unlikely to improve, that very day Rocker began covering its short position…97,000 shares worth, to be exact. By the end of May, Rocker’s entire Fairfax short position was closed out, at a substantial loss.

Of course that’s all interesting, but as always, there’s more.

An analysis of the failed trades in Fairfax stock recorded and disclosed by the SEC for that period proves instructive.

Most notable is the sharp decline in FFH failures to deliver observed at the end of May, 2007. In fact, with the exception of a transient spike on June 8, fails are essentially reduced to zero at precisely the same time Rocker Partners closes out its FFH short position.

Given such a deep commitment to cheating, I find it surprising Rocker Partners never managed to be a more successful hedge fund.

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

1) email it to a dozen friends;

2) 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 (43)

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Message from DeepCapture.com

At the time much of the content on DeepCapture.com was written, the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 was either on the verge of happening or had just occurred. In those days, emotions among this publication’s contributors were raw and, in an effort to get their warnings noticed and appropriate blame placed, occasionally hyperbolic language and shocking imagery were employed.

Were we to write these entries today, a different tone would most certainly prevail.

Yet, being a record of a pivotal time in our global economic history, we’ve decided to leave the rawness unedited, with the proviso that readers take the context of the creation of certain posts into account, and that those easily offended re-consider the decision to read them.