Sunday, February 19, 2006

Survey: Microcap Investors Aren't Fools

CMKM Diamonds is one of the drearier poster children of the anti-naked-shorting campaign -- and that's saying a lot, believe me. Since Internet stock message boards tend to be dominated by naked-shorting cultists who want to screw investors -- in much the same way as African-American Usenet boards are dominated by skinheads who hate blacks -- I was surprised to see the initial results of a poll conducted by one CMKM message board.

The question, posed on Feb. 15, was "What do you REALLY BELIEVE about this whole "NSS" [naked short-selling] issue?" The early returns, though unscientific of course, are interesting: so far 32 votes, 59.2%, agreed with "NSS is the standard SCAM EXCUSE to fool idiots." 10 votes, or 18.5%, agreed with "CMKX maybe NSS'd, but failure NOT due to any NSS." Just 7 votes, 12.9%, agreed with "NSS is EXACTLY the reason CMKX FAILED." Last, and least, 5 votes, 9.2%, agreed with the wacky "CMKX failed on PURPOSE to catch NSS'ers." Board regulars expressed surprise.

This, mind you, from an Internet board that has entire sections devoted to promoting the naked-shorting paranoia, replete with form letters to the media. Now, I assume that the Baloney Brigade will pull its usual multiple-ID shuffle and fix those numbers fast. Still, what we have here shows that investors are not as gullible, or willing to seek out scapegoats, as they are assumed to be by the cynical con men of the Baloney Brigade. Unfortunately, these snake-oil salesmen are loud, well-funded and, as night follows the day, getting regulators' attention.

UPDATE: After I initially posted this item, the leader of the anti-shorting "forces" on the Internet (mostly his own multiple identities), a paranoid crank named Phil Saunders who uses the pseudonym "Bob O'Brien," responded by posting an obscene verse dedicated to myself and Herb Greenberg of Marketwatch.com. A message on his website explains his habit of cyberstalking myself and other journalists: seems he's a failed wannabe writer. He modestly compares himself to "Grisham and Demille."

I think this sadly undiscovered genius would do a greater service for his patrons in the stock-fraud community by avoiding bathroom-wall "poetry," which merely demonstrates yet again why the head of the anti-naked-shorting coalition uses a phony name. Better stick to the fiction that he publishes on his website.

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