Friday, June 16, 2006

More on Mark Cuban's Folly

Business Week online today has a good piece on Mark Cuban's tin-eared approach to financial investigative journalism -- an otherwise laudable venture that he plans to exploit to trade stocks based on the stuff his reporters dig up. (Hat tip: Talking Biz News blog.)

Got to admit, it's handy having financial journalists on your payroll when you want to trade!
“There are a million ugly stories in the financial underground,” Cuban told in an e-mail. “We plan on finding and sharing and profiting from them.” He declined to comment further.
Of course not. What more is there to say? I mean, when you're a billionaire and stuff like that, you can do whatever you damn well please, and I suppose that includes turning investigative journalism into a private money machine. “At first blush, it just sounds so weird it's kind of hard to get my mind around,” said one journalism dean quoted by BW.

What I find particularly noxious about Cuban's Folly is that it feeds all the misperceptions about journalism being promoted by the conspiracy nuts of the short-bashing Baloney Brigade. Of course, Cuban has got a nice basketball team and stuff to fall back on, so not to worry.

This episode is, I think, a good example of the mentality that I've encountered all too often on Wall Street. Making a buck is everything, and the rest of the world can go to hell.

© 2006 Gary Weiss


Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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