Investigative Journalism? Stock Manipulation? Same Difference

from the the-new,-new-business-models dept

Mark Cuban has no problem going against traditional ways of doing things (which is often a good thing), though he’s likely going to raise a few eyebrows with his new plan to fund an investigative journalist. That, alone, isn’t anything to be that interested in, but this investigative journalist is going to investigate corporate malfeasance — and then provide that info to Cuban before it’s published, so that Cuban can short stocks based on the info that’s about to come out. It’s not insider trading, of course, because he’s no insider, but where it could raise questions is if the reports turn out to be incorrect, but it makes the stock tank anyway. When the motive of the “publisher” is to profit from having the news early, there are always going to be questions about how much digging is done to back up a story that will clearly move stocks one way or another. Perhaps it’s the equivalent of a journalistic troll. But, instead of trolling for page views, some may find that this effort is trolling for the ability to move stocks.

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Comments on “Investigative Journalism? Stock Manipulation? Same Difference”

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Gent says:



May 5, 2006 — THEY say money can’t buy happiness – and in billionaire Mark Cuban’s case, it can’t even get him into Bungalow 8.

The limelight-loving owner of the Dallas Mavericks was denied entry to Amy Sacco’s late-night funhouse, even after he offered door demigods Disco and Armin $1,000 to let him inside – a cringe-inducing ploy used primarily by tacky out-of-towners.

An eyewitness tells Page Six that Cuban, accompanied by party promoter Usman Shaikh and a few young ladies, was initially turned away after Shaikh approached Disco and told him that Cuban owned the Mavericks.

“Disco was not impressed,” says our snitch. “One of the girls asked if Armin was there and if she could talk to him. Armin comes out and asks Cuban if he wants to buy a table. Cuban says yes. Armin goes inside, comes back about five minutes later and says, ‘Sorry, there are no tables available. I can’t help you.’

“The girl then asks if they could just go in without a table, but Armin says no. Cuban then says to Disco something to the effect of ‘I’m Mark Cuban . . . What’s it gonna take?’ He offers him cash – I think it was a thousand bucks. He reaches in his back pocket, and at this point the girl he is with yanks him by the arm and says, ‘No, you can’t do that here.’ She was mortified.”

Cuban then announced that it was “embarrassing” he couldn’t get into the club, at which point Shaikh, a corporate lawyer who promotes parties at Pink Elephant, convinced Cuban and his posse that they would receive warmer treatment there.

Once inside Rocco Ancarola’s nightspot, located on the same crowded West 27th Street club corridor as Bungalow 8, Cuban was spotted chatting up several young women at his table. As he asked one hanger-on to round up some girls, he was overheard saying, “Just say I’m a billionaire. They’ll come over.” He also cracked, “For every billion dollars I have, my [bleep] gets 10 inches longer.”

The last stop of the night for fun-loving Cuban and company was Scores West, where cash is by far the most important credential. We’re told Cuban dropped thousands of dollars on champagne and “funny money” in the VIP room before leaving around 5 a.m.

Cuban did not respond to detailed messages for comment yesterday.

Coolcliftop (user link) says:

I wish he would go away

Being a Sacramento King’s fan, I really hate this guy! You think it’s gonna be any better if the Mavs when the championship. “I’m Mark Cuban! I made a billion dollars! I own a championship team! Everybody look at me”

As for the story about his plans to manipulate company stock by digging up dirt, I think every attorney in the world just got an erection. I see him being tied up court for years. And for what a chance to ruin a few companies and make a few bucks. Where will it end with this guy?

CarolV (user link) says:

Insider Trading

Actually that still pretty much sounds like insider trading by the misappropriation theory. Insider trading doesn’t have a strict legal definition, it’s just a fuzzy part of anti-fraud laws. Misappropriation Theory can nail anybody who takes information that belonged to somebody else–typically their employer. The SEC has used it to go after a Wall Street Journal reporter and remarkably two printers of BusinessWeek. So it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t go after Cuban.

Though, you’re right, they probably would go for market maniplulation charges instead–much, much bigger deal. Cuban probably stands to profit more from investors following his bad news and driving the stock down than from anything he uncovers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Insider Trading

I thought insider trading was defined as trading using any information that isn’t available to the general public. At least that is how I remember a federal prosecutor publicly describing it at one time. By that definition, this scheme would indeed be insider trading, at least in the eyes of federal prosecutors.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What the fuck are you idiots talking about? All the article says is that he is paying for research to be able to buy stocks.

Fuck, doesn’t every brokerage house on Wall Street try to do that also?

Um. No. This is quite different. He’s paying a journalist to investigate companies, and then he’ll trade on that info *before* he publicizes it — recognizing that the publicizing of whatever they discover will likely move the stock.

That’s quite different than an analyst report.

Get a fucking clue, just because you don’t like Cuban doesn’t mean its a story.

Actually, I do like Cuban. I think he’s done a lot of good things in pushing the envelope — especially in the entertainment industry. But that doesn’t mean that this latest venture doesn’t raise a lot of questions.

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