Monday, August 21, 2006

'Shortchanging Financial Journalism'

That's the title of a really good analysis of Mark Cuban's "Sharesleuth" profiteering scheme by Ben Silverman, posted on the Yahoo financial website today.

I thought this was particularly insightful:

The person who should probably be most excited about the criticism being directed at Mark Cuban is Patrick Byrne, the chief executive officer of Overstock.com.

Cuban, by promoting Sharesleuth.com as a journalistic endeavor, has given Byrne more ammunition for his misguided war against the financial media. I imagine Byrne, if asked, could point to Sharesleuth.com as an example of how "miscreants" can wreak havoc on the public markets, and in doing so, throw the words "responsible journalism" out.

This is the perception versus reality problem. If Carey wants to continue to hold himself out as a journalist, it has a negative impact on other financial journalists, and opens doors for bullies like Byrne to try to squelch the media's ability to do its job. Carey and Cuban are essentially telling the public that Sharesleuth.com is operating under the same standards at The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, but no one I know at those newspapers is tipping off their publishers about potentially profitable stock trades.

The article can be found here.

© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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

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