The Naked Shorting Cult's Hysteria Escalates
Several times in the past, such as in this item, I've pointed out how the anti-short-selling "stock counterfeiting" conspiracy theorists have many of the attributes of a cult. More evidence on that point came to light over the weekend.
One key characteristic of cults is paranoia, which the anti-shorting movement has in abundance, and an increasingly bizarre disconnect from reality.
So note the latest missive from the anonymous anti-shorting crackpot "Bob O'Brien" (identified by the NY Post an ex-used medical equipment peddler named Phil Saunders). "O'Brien's" specialty is taking meaningless trading data and turning it all into a "phantom stock" conspiracy. He then uses the data to orchestrate letter-writing campaigns aimed at diverting regulators and members of Congress from real stock market issues, such as brokerage sales practices and microcap fraud.
On Thanksgiving, while you and I were gouging ourselves on turkey, "O'Brien" was pumping out a dog's breakfast called, I kid you not, "It's The End Of The World As We Know It." In an incoherent mishmash, "O'Brien" portrays the entire repo market as infested by his obsession, "naked short-selling." (That's a form of trading that pretty much everybody, except the naked shorting loons, feels has been exaggerated wildly out of proportion.)
Here's the punch line:
What we have here is a mega, systemic-meltdown-scale problem caused by the brokers treating the markets like their own private piggy bank, from which they can take money and leave IOUs, to be tossed when they've driven the companies to zero. And our regulators, our elected officials, and our media have completely failed us. They have one and all colluded to facilitate the theft of OUR MONEY, and are now scrambling as the size of the theft becomes apparent.
Another classic of the genre, which also appeared on Thanksgiving, was generated by the prolific anti-shorting activist "Bud" Burrell on the sanitycheck website. This one was entitled, "Discovery of Massive Links to Financial Terrorism, Global Fraud, and Treason/Betrayal." Burrell, apparently influenced by the new James Bond film, set forth his thesis in some detail.
The concluding paragraph is a dilly:
"What is out there? We now have a international national network of criminal and terrorist elements working together to crush this country by destroying its financial system. This has all been constructed and operated right under the noses of those who are supposed to protect us. Clearly, they are not competent to do this job, no matter what the reason. Those who are attempting to correct this thievery simply are outgunned, or they are over their heads technically.
"We are left with no recourse but to take this to the highest levels of the Government, making every attempt to stay out of any part of the Government with responsibility for financial activities. This needs fresh eyes, not conflicted ones with motivations to protect themselves rather than us. This will be my last communication with you as a group. This has simply turned too dangerous, literally insane.
"Until I can pass this off to RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE PARTIES, I AM GOING TO STEP AWAY. I will continue to support those of you I have established personal relationships with, but I am otherwise off the playing field. Someone is dirty in EVERY organization that has intersected this."
It's "us versus them," friends. So drop everything you're doing and write your congressman and your senator and the president and tell them to focus on this baloney. After all, we don't want them wasting their time on real problems, do we?
© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.
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.