Monday, June 25, 2007

Walking in the Footsteps of Giants

In an item on Friday I described how Universal Express, a leading standard-bearer of the anti-naked-shorting conspiracy cult, is fighting a hard and losing battle against those blue meanies at the SEC. Well, you will be interested to know that there is a lot more at stake than just one silly little corporate chamber pot.

The following appeared in a press release today from Universal Express CEO Richard Altomare, decrying an SEC effort to put his company in receivership:

"Segregation, women's rights, gay rights, fascism and even unpopular wars have taken intelligent and well-intended people decades to realize that the status quo may have been wrong. Naked short selling and today's SEC unchecked policies are part of that same critical thought process. When legal status quo is questioned, the individuals who question those practices must be persistent, resilient and believe the results are worth the battle. . . .

"I am sure that Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and others, who questioned previously accepted 'legal' practices, were vilified, criticized and even demonized prior to the truth finally surfacing. When the cause is just, the enemy must be engaged. Naked short selling and the unchecked abuse of power of a governmental agency are such valuable causes worthy of the battle. We will help the truth to surface. . . ."

The Baloney Brigade marches on.

UPDATE: Floyd Norris of the New York Times has a good follow-up in his blog:

The number of companies affected by naked short selling keeps growing — at least in the minds of some.

Richard Altomare, who continued to serve as the chief executive and only director of Universal Express for months after a federal judge barred him from serving as an officer or director of a public company, has the latest number.

Last week, Universal’s general counsel, Chris Gunderson, told me 3,000 companies had been destroyed by naked short-selling, a number he raised to 4,000 after I asked for a list. Now Mr. Altomare says “6,000 companies were damaged or failed due to the trading problems caused by naked short selling.”

Floyd observes that "There are about 9,500 companies that file financial statements with the S.E.C., so that is roughly 60 percent of the total."

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.


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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