Tag Archive | "Stuart Goldstein"

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Emails show journalist rigged Wikipedia’s naked shorts


For anybody familiar with this site, the following, published today in The Register, will be a reprise of a well-worn tale. But believe me…it’s still well worth the read…

Two and a half years ago, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne penned an editorial for The Wall Street Journal, warning that widespread stock manipulation schemes – including abusive naked short selling – were threatening the health of America’s financial markets. But it wasn’t published.

“An editor at The Journal asked me to write it, and I told him he wouldn’t be allowed to publish it,” Byrne says. “He insisted that only he controlled what was printed on the editorial page, so I wrote it. Then, after a few days, he got back to me and said ‘It appears I can’t run this or anything else you write.'”

The Journal never changed its stance. But last week, the editorial finally saw the light of day at Forbes – after Byrne added a few paragraphs explaining that naked shorting had hastened what could turn out to be the biggest financial crisis since The Great Depression. (get the rest here)

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Emails show journalist rigged Wikipedia's naked shorts


For anybody familiar with this site, the following, published today in The Register, will be a reprise of a well-worn tale. But believe me…it’s still well worth the read…

Two and a half years ago, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne penned an editorial for The Wall Street Journal, warning that widespread stock manipulation schemes – including abusive naked short selling – were threatening the health of America’s financial markets. But it wasn’t published.

“An editor at The Journal asked me to write it, and I told him he wouldn’t be allowed to publish it,” Byrne says. “He insisted that only he controlled what was printed on the editorial page, so I wrote it. Then, after a few days, he got back to me and said ‘It appears I can’t run this or anything else you write.'”

The Journal never changed its stance. But last week, the editorial finally saw the light of day at Forbes – after Byrne added a few paragraphs explaining that naked shorting had hastened what could turn out to be the biggest financial crisis since The Great Depression. (get the rest here)

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Gary Weiss and DTCC: Roddy Boyd Responds


In an earlier item, I noted that perhaps one of the strangest things I’ve experienced as a reporter is having Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) spokesman Stuart Z. Goldstein ignore my request for comment for several days, only to receive an answer not from Goldstein, but from then-New York Post business writer Roddy Boyd.

Like any responsible journalist, it’s my policy to allow the subjects of my reporting an opportunity to respond when they are cast in a critical light. However, when approached for comment on something I wrote about him one year ago, Boyd made it quite clear that he would rather I not contact him for any reason, ever again.

Based on that exchange, I did not ask Roddy for comment when I recently wrote about what I perceive is his role in DTCC’s January 2006 PR campaign aimed at deflecting criticism of the organization’s role in enabling illegal naked short selling.

Recently, Roddy contacted me to take issue with four points I made in that piece:

  1. While I reported that Boyd appeared to be running interference for DTCC’s Goldstein when answering – on Goldstein’s behalf – my long-ignored request for comment on Gary Weiss’s apparent use of a DTCC computer, Boyd insists he was merely doing us both a favor by personally conveying to me Goldstein’s comments on the issue.
  2. While I suspect Gary Weiss has had an extensive relationship with DTCC, Boyd says DTCC’s Goldstein has personally denied as much to him on multiple occasions.What remains unclear is why, for 18 months, Goldstein has insisted on answering my questions through Roddy Boyd.
  3. While I reported that the publication of Roddy’s review of Gary Weiss’s second book appeared to be timed to support the launch of DTCC’s January, 2006 PR initiative targeting critics of naked short selling, Boyd denies this.Indeed, it is reasonable to consider the possibility that instead of Roddy timing the publication of his review of Weiss’s book to coincide with the launch of DTCC’s January 2006 PR initiative, the initiative itself might have instead been timed to coincide with the publication of Roddy’s review. This is a likely explanation, given Weiss’s apparent foreknowledge of the review’s publication date.
  4. While I reported that Boyd and Weiss had a relationship that predates Boyd’s review of Weiss’s book, Boyd says he and Weiss didn’t connect until just before January 22, 2006, and that Boyd received the book not from Weiss himself, but from the publisher sometime in early December, 2005.I based my original reporting upon an email exchange between Roddy and Floyd Schneider (read this to learn how I came to posses emails between the two) which leaves no doubt that by at least January 15, 2006, Boyd knew enough about Weiss know he and Schneider were friends, and that Boyd could confidently ask Schneider to dig up negative information about public companies featured in stories Boyd was working on at the time. Boyd insists that knowledge came not from his relationship with Weiss, but from reading Weiss’s book, which does prominently mention Schneider.

Though Roddy and I may not completely agree on our respective interpretations of the facts surrounding this episode, I appreciate his willingness to address them with me on the record.

Finally, I would suggest that anyone entertained by DTCC’s bizarre approach to public relations read this exchange between Stuart Goldstein and Fox Business News host Alexis Glick, to see that I’m far from the only person receiving inadequate responses to reasonable requests for comment made of Stu Goldstein.

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Gary Weiss: his DTCC ties and lies


Possibly the biggest single “a-ha!” moment I’ve had while writing this blog came in late January of 2007, when I discovered that one week earlier, Gary Weiss had edited Wikipedia while logged in to a computer on the network of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).

The basis for that conclusion is explained here.

This may not seem like a big deal to most, but it turned out to be a huge deal to those of us who had spent a full year enduring Weiss’s attacks without any clear understanding of his motivation.

We knew his aim was to discredit and marginalize high profile opponents of illegal naked short selling. Yet his book, which seemed to be the launch pad of Weiss’s campaign, was quite critical of both hedge fund and prime broker culture: the two obvious sides of the naked shorting equation.

So who was paying Weiss to spend all day, most every day, publishing his attacks via his blog, message boards, and Wikipedia?

Nobody had ever considered the DTCC.

But once we knew Weiss had used a DTCC computer – given the uniquely Fort Knox-like nature of the institution, and the fact that it could not have happened unless Weiss had official access – everything fell into place.

Suddenly, we noticed a very striking set of coincidences, commencing January 22, 2006.

On that date:

  1. Roddy Boyd, then business writer at the New York Post, published his review of Weiss’s book Wall Street Versus America (an unheard-of six weeks before the book would be available in print). In his review, Boyd writes:
  2. “The most provocative argument in Weiss’ book is that naked shorting — or short-selling a company’s stock without being able to borrow it first, per long standing rules — is not only a good idea, but a necessary one…This is guaranteed to send Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and the other disciples of his “stop naked short-selling crusade” — Weiss dismisses the lot of them as the “Baloney Brigade” — into further spasms.”

  3. Weiss published the first naked short selling-related post on his week-old blog.
  4. Weiss Yahoo! Finance message board IDs lamborghini751, cupandsaucerwithsugar, and baloneysmasher were created and immediately put to use attacking opponents of illegal naked short selling.
  5. One day later, DTCC issued the first of what would be eight naked short selling-related media releases over the next seven months. By way of comparison, during the seven months prior to January 23, 2006, DTCC issued zero releases on the topic.

Further examination made it clear that Weiss had an unusual relationship with those DTCC media releases, in that Weiss would promote them via his blog, stock message boards and Wikipedia articles in a rather systematic way, often long before anybody else was even aware of them.

Here’s an example:

Taking all these factors together, I’ve concluded that January 22, 2006 represents the beginning of an aggressive public relations campaign by DTCC, aimed at countering a growing perception that the organization is a key enabler of illegal naked short selling. I further conclude that a that time, Gary Weiss was operating in support of that effort and likely remains so today.

I requested a comment of DTCC spokesman Stuart Z. Goldstein – the likely architect of the above-mentioned PR campaign – but received only two strange responses, neither of which addressed my question.

When I persisted in asking Goldstein for comment, his came – and I cannot overstate how shocked I remain by this even today – from reporter Roddy Boyd, then of the New York Post.

It read:

From: Boyd, Roddy
Date: Feb 09 2007 – 1:03pm
Subject:
—–
judd,
I spoke to corp comm at DTCC and they told me, on the record, that weiss is not, nor has he ever, been employed or used by DTCC in any capacity, formally or informally. They categorically reject it and tell me that none of them have any recollection of ever talking to him, meeting with him or having any dealings with him.
categorically rejects it.
thats a big hump for a real reporter to get over.
let me put this politely:
As an investigative reporter, laughably per PB, you really,really are a much better PR person

In case you’ve forgotten, it was Roddy Boyd’s six week premature review of Weiss’s book, published January 22, 2006, that seems to have been the launching point of the DTCC’s PR campaign, described above.

For his part, Weiss called my conclusions of a relationship between him and DTCC a “malicious lie” and “absolute crap.”

At that point, I had a ton of circumstantial evidence pointing to DTCC as Weiss’s patron, and direct proof that Weiss had used a computer on DTCC’s network.

I also had the strangest denial, on the part Stuart Goldstein at DTCC, that I’ve ever seen.

But most importantly, I had the benefit of an extremely low-set hurdle to cross in order to prove that Weiss, Boyd and Goldstein were all engaged in a ridiculous lie.

After all, as Goldstein said through Boyd, nobody at DTCC has “any recollection of ever talking to [Gary Weiss], meeting with [Gary Weiss] or having any dealings with [Gary Weiss].”

What follows is the story of how we’ve sailed over that particular hurdle, thanks to some emails from Gary Weiss to paid stock message board basher Floyd Schneider. (Read this to learn how I came to posses these emails).

********

In addition to being the month in which DTCC launched its PR campaign against opponents of naked short selling, January of 2006 is also a significant time in that Mark Mitchell, then assistant managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, started work on what would go on to become The Story of Deep Capture.

Back then, as now, Gary Weiss seemed to be about the only non-pseudonymous person willing to go on the record in defense of naked short selling, which naturally made him a frequent point of contact for Mitchell.

Mitchell recalls as many as a dozen conversations with Gary Weiss in the first couple of months working on the story. In several of those conversations, Mitchell remembers Weiss awkwardly seeking to gauge Mitchell’s opinion of any recently-published DTCC media releases.

Among the topics Mitchell discussed with Weiss was Dr. Susan Trimbath, a former DTCC employee turned outspoken critic of that organization’s role in enabling illegal naked short selling. Mitchell recalls being surprised by how much the subject of Trimbath seemed to bother Weiss.

Given that bit of background, consider the following email exchange between Gary Weiss and Floyd Schneider.

It starts on March 13 at 9:41 AM, when Floyd emails Weiss a reference to a speech Dr. Trimbath had given a few months earlier.

To this, Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 09:49:27 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp101.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 13 Mar 2006 14:49:22 -0000
—–
Say, what is with this Trimbath? I ask because a particularly dimwitted reporter for Columbia Journalism Review is doing a story on media coverage that is widely expected to lean toward the balonies, and he is relying heavily on her.

Floyd immediately begins to pepper Weiss with every googled reference to Trimbath he can find – all of them quite positive – to which Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 10:49:12 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 13 Mar 2006 15:49:08 -0000
—–
Yeah, all pretty innocuous, which is she is a perfect front woman. I presume she expects to cash in as an expert witness or somesuch for the balonies.

The next day, DTCC issued a media release attacking Trimbath’s expert status and minimizing the importance of the position she held there.

The day after that, Weiss places a standing order with Floyd for any negative information on Dr. Trimbath he can find (searching for this sort of information is how Floyd spends an alarming portion of his days, by the way):

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: Aha!
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 13:38:35 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp101.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 18:38:29 -0000
—–
Incidentally this Susanne Trimbath is the primary source of info on nekkid shorting for a complete idiot who is wriiting a story for the Col. Journalism Review. If you can think of anything particularly wacky that she has said, let me know.

A few minutes later, Floyd responds with something fairly unremarkable, to which Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: Aha!
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 13:47:54 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 18:47:49 -0000
—–
You know, the thing that is bad is that this statement below would not be considered extreme by the doofus doing this article for CJR. Several of us are concerned that it is going to be a total baloney-piece. He is a real ham bone.

After Floyd sends still more non-scandalous Trimbath references, Weiss replies:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: Aha!
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 14:00:54 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 19:00:49 -0000
—–
It has to be something fairly extreme. This guy really has me (and others of us a lot more than me) worried. I’ve drummed into this nitwit’s head about O’Baloney and it all just bounced off his concrete skull.

About an hour later, Floyd sends the prior day’s DTCC media release to Weiss, prompting this reply:

From: garyrweiss@verizon.net
To: Floyd3491@aol.com
Subject: Re: the whole article with link
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 15:09:17 -0500
Received: from unknown (HELO maincomputer) (garyrweiss@verizon.net@151.202.90.90 with login) by smtp103.vzn.mail.dcn.yahoo.com with SMTP; 15 Mar 2006 20:09:12 -0000
—–
Yes I sent this to the bozo at CJR earlier today. The jerk emailed back indicating that he is chewing away at baloney. Very depressing.

In his emails to Floyd, Weiss makes it clear that he’s involved in active consultations with other individuals, who feel deeply concerned about the prospect of Dr. Trimbath’s influence on Mitchell’s story.

Because Dr. Trimbath addresses illegal naked short selling almost exclusively from the standpoint of the DTCC’s role, it’s very difficult to imagine that, when Weiss refers to “Several of us” and “others of us,” he’s not referencing officials at DTCC.

Armed with these emails as confirmation that Goldstein was not being honest, when he stated, through Roddy Boyd, that he “categorically rejects” the idea that anybody at DTCC has so much as spoken with Gary Weiss, I again asked Goldstein for a comment.

Goldstein refused to answer the question.

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DTCC caught covering-up


There has been much speculation as to the root of Gary Weiss’s abiding interest in the personalities voicing their objections to the practice of illegal naked short securities trading.

In February of this year, some felt that question was answered in the form of a minor yet tremendously significant incident from which it could be fairly deduced that Weiss was, on the morning of January 19, 2007, using a computer on the network of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC).

The basis of that deduction is explained in detail here.

Given the enormous value of the financial assets over which the DTCC is steward, and the high level of security that must necessarily mediate access to the organization’s premises, much less data networks, one can immediately rule out any scenario in which Weiss might have been using that computer in anything other than a sanctioned capacity.

Over four days, DTCC Spokesman Stuart Goldstein ignored two emailed requests for comment on this situation. When he finally did respond to a third request received by a staffer over the phone, it was in the form of a blank email. A quick request to re-send the missing content was denied, and five repeat requests over the space of one week were ignored.

Then, in one of the strangest turns of events observed in this saga to date, on February 9, 2007, Goldstein’s reply was delivered, unprompted, by New York Post reporter Roddy Boyd.

From: Boyd, Roddy

Date: Feb 09 2007 – 1:03pm

Subject:

judd,

I spoke to corp comm at DTCC and they told me, on the record, that weiss is not, nor has he ever, been employed or used by DTCC in any capacity, formally or informally. They categorically reject it and tell me that none of them have any recollection of ever talking to him, meeting with him or having any dealings with him.

categorically rejects it.

thats a big hump for a real reporter to get over.

let me put this politely:

As an investigative reporter, laughably per PB, you really, really are a much better PR person.

Lest its meaning be lost on anybody, please carefully re-read and reflect on the sweeping significance of Mr. Boyd’s second sentence:

They categorically reject it and tell me that none of them have any recollection of ever talking to [Gary Weiss], meeting with him or having any dealings with him.

Now, please carefully read and consider the meaning of the following:

In recent weeks, a confidential source has delivered to AntiSocialMedia.net multiple emails, all pre-dating Mr. Boyd’s DTCC proxy denials, in which Gary Weiss refers to active consultations between himself and unnamed DTCC officials on a specific media-related matter.

These emails make no reference to the basis (whether paid or otherwise) of the relationship, but given the extreme lengths to which DTCC leadership has gone to deny so much as a conversation with Weiss, this development is suggestive of what can only be interpreted as unmitigated deception at the highest levels within that organization.

In February, Weiss called claims of a relationship between himself and the DTCC “absolute crap.”

Wishing to rule out the possibility that Roddy Boyd delivered anything but an accurate reflection of the DTCC’s position, earlier this week Stuart Goldstein was asked to affirm the accuracy of Boyd’s statement, as well as to comment on the existence of unspecified evidence that Gary R. Weiss has or has had a professional relationship with the DTCC.

Goldstein’s pithy reply consisted of three words:

From: Stuart Goldstein

date: May 23, 2007 3:01 PM

Subject: Re: Request for comment

Send your evidence.

Because the nature of the evidence does nothing to change the facts at hand, and in order to honor commitments of confidentiality made to sources, Goldstein’s request was not honored.

An additional request for comment has been ignored by Goldstein.

Given the length to which Goldstein has gone to obscure the truth in this matter, and the length to which Weiss regularly goes to specifically malign critics of the DTCC’s defense of illegal and abusive stock trade settlement failures, a disturbing picture of that organization’s policy of defamatory, surrogate-driven, scorched-earth public relations is beginning to emerge.

Update: 5/31/2007

An alert reader brings to our attention an earlier incident appearing to confirm Goldstein’s lax regard for truth when confronted with questions relating to the DTCC’s role in empowering illegal market manipulation by crooked stock lenders.

The following originally appeared here on May 11, 2004.

FinancialWire received a confidential email between a reporter and Stuart Z. Goldstein, Managing Director of Corporate Communications for the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. in which Goldstein was represented as denying that a lawsuit filed by Nanopierce Technologies exists.

The chief spokesperson for the DTCC, whose board of directors represent a who’s who of financial entities, including Lehman Brothers, Citigroup / Solomon Smith Barney’s Corporate Investment Bank, and Morgan Stanley, was quoted as stating that the “lawsuit” did not exist and was simply “charges being leveled by internet crackpots.”

FinancialWire sent Goldstein a scanned copy of the actual court filing, which occurred April 29 at 12:15 p.m., and asked Goldstein if he or the DTCC still denied its existence or had any comments. No response was received.

It would be strange, but not unreasonable, had Goldstein himself not yet heard of the lawsuit when asked. But if that were the case, the proper response would be to explain as much. Instead, Goldstein was dismissive and insulting: the general embodiment of his employer.

But beyond Goldstein’s obviously striking social shortcomings, these are the mannerisms of an organization with something dark to hide, but utterly lacking in accountability.

What is that dark thing?

We know that it includes records of billions upon billions of dollars of failed stock trades (the one thing the DTCC is tasked with completing successfully). Some allege that beyond the records, there is also proof that elements within the DTCC are profiting wildly from this fraud.

Given what I’ve seen, I’m inclined to believe it’s true.

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