Friday, July 27, 2007

The Latest Naked Shorting Poster Child

Just about every day a new corporate misfit joins the ranks of the Naked Shorting Poster Children (tm) -- the OTC horror shows, red-ink geysers, mismanaged chamber pots and other fly specks seeking excuses for dreadful share prices. Today's new entrant is a fine example of the genre.

It's none other than Usana Health Sciences, a nutritional supplements manufacturer whose exploits have been chronicled by Barry Minkow of the Fraud Discovery Institute.

Forensic accounting expert Tracy Coenen reports in her FraudFiles blog that Usana unfurled the banner of the Baloney Brigade anti-shorting nutcases in a junk lawsuit that it filed against Minkow.

Welcome aboard, Usana Health Sciences! You're in good company. Why only today, Universal Express -- the SEC-persecuted standard-bearer of the cause -- issued a really fantastic press release charging the SEC with "permitting the destruction by naked shorters of 5,000 to 7,500 small public companies over the last 10 years."

Hey, don't make fun of corporate blame-shifters like Usana and Universal Express. They've got the ear of SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, and he is proving constantly that he is just the man that the Baloney Brigade and their allies in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want in the job.

This week he began an effort to turn back the clock on shareholders having a voice on corporate governance. (Read the Floyd Norris blog item on that.) So expect more blame-shifting CEOs, less SEC action against crooked companies, and more SEC pandering to the Baloney Brigade and its allies in big business.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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