Friday, September 07, 2007

Mary Schapiro's 'Fantastic' Reading List


I practically fainted when I opened up my mail today. No, not a bill or a threatening letter, but a copy of something called "Equities" magazine with the smiling face on the cover of Mary Schapiro, head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (the merged regulatory branches of NASD and the New York Stock Exchange).

What amazed me was not just that Schapiro would give credence to a magazine with a history of featuring shameless penny stock hucksters, but that she gave a ringing endorsement to the magazine.

A lengthy Q&A with Schapiro begins as follows:

Equities: Mary, thank you for taking the time to speak to the reasdrs of EQUITIES. Do you read the magazine?

Schapiro: Absolutely. It's fantastic! You can quote me.
I wonder what Schapiro finds so fantastic about the magazine. It regularly pushes some of the cruddiest stocks known the mankind, and is noted for giving publicity to stock promoters like Ray Dirks.

In fact, right next to Mary Schapiro on the cover is a promo of a softball article on Dian Griesel of Investor Relations Group, which specializes in promoting OTC Bulletin Board and other flyspeck companies. In Wall Street Versus America I describe how Griesel issued a press release proclaiming a lawsuit against citizen activist Floyd Schneider, without actually filing suit.

Perhaps Schapiro thought the article on Griesel was "fantastic"? Or the microcap promotion articles peppered through the rest of the magazine?

I'd say that Mary Schapiro needs to think a bit more carefully before she gives a ringing endorsement to an investment tome.

UPDATE, 12/08: Mary Schapiro is, amazingly and disappointingly, Barack Obama's choice for SEC chairman.

© 2007 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, gary-weiss.com.

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