Who's Bob O'Brien/The Easter Bunny Redux
For those of you who live for the every twist and turn of my life experience, this will seem like deja vu.
I spoke with a reporter for the NY Post at great length over the course of several days about naked short selling, the uber-conspiracy theory involving the Master Mind, why nobody is talking about the FTD situation, the honesty of reporters and hedge funds, etc.
Imagine my surprise today when he asked me to call, and the topic turned out to be....what else?
Who's Bob O'Brien.
Now, I can appreciate that the whole world is waiting with baited breath for information about whose shirts I wear, whether I favor red or white wine, what my views are on rising gas prices and lowered hemlines (not in favor of either). But it did strike me as curious that this same gentleman of letters has written two not-particularly-flattering pieces about Dr. Byrne in just the last week, and is now revisiting the time-worn path trodden by Jesse Eisinger, and after Jesse, Carol. The curiosity came from the fact that the only folks that seem to care are those three, and David Rocker's attorneys (per his press release indicating that he was going to counter-sue [odd, as I'm not suing him] me, on some as-yet-to-be disclosed theory).
Call me overly cynical for a furry creature whose mission is to deliver chocolaty treats to the young ones once a year. But I wonder about someone resurrecting a story whose appeal by now has all the news value of last month's TV Guide.
Could it be that this is a transparent attempt to create an article for the attorneys to cite and wave over their heads, proclaiming that they intend to sue this person because as august a publication as the New York Post declares that it must be true?
Why, that would not only be transparent given the timing, but pretty despicable, in my opinion.
For those that haven't followed the whole saga, one can go back to June and read "The WSJ/Jesse Eisinger Email Exchange" for the identical story.
It really is the same story. Exactly. Same names, same boat, same friend of a friend of a guy who works with NFI on some peripheral tax issues. And here it is again, given fresh wings by the Post.
Now, I can appreciate how annoying it must be to have an anonymous board poster and commentator poking fun, and messing up your game. That has to just righteously piss people off. Especially given how vocal I've been about the Naked Short Selling issue since February - in the off chance that you happen to be using that as an illegal manipulative technique, I'd bet that you'd try virtually anything to keep me quiet. I get it. The Easter Bunny (TEB) is making it difficult to do business as usual on Wall Street, giving stock manipulation a bad name. Check.
But doesn't it seem just a wee bit odd as to the timing?
A little convenient, if you will?
One of the elements of the discussion that stopped me in my tracks, though, was a curious bit of circular logic that I'll share with everyone - it was so odd as to be surrealistic, and the reporter knew it as much as I did.
He indicated that he had determined based upon comparing "my" voice and another supposed TEB appearance, that I was his "suspect".
I pointed out that on the Q1 2005 conference call, there was a guy by the same name who called in and asked a question, who sounded like he was late 40's, chain smoked, and was from the Midwest. So if I was that guy (under this theory) how did he account for that? Tut tut, the experts at the NY Post had determined that on that call I had used powerful digital technology to modify my voice, presumably in real time. Really, I wondered? Powerful digital voice modifying technology that would work real time, and make me sound completely different, give me a Midwestern accent, different word choice and syntax, etc.? Either that, or I'd had someone else call in, pretending to be me, for reasons that remain a mystery, as no reason was cited (I asked how he knew that wasn't the real guy, and I was a "fake", but there was no response). I also wondered how they had compared my voice, given that at no time was I told that I was being recorded, and that to do so against my knowledge was illegal* (I was travelling this week in an all party consent state, which is where the calls were from, thus requiring my permission), but passed on raising the issue - who wants to be rude?
And I had something else stumping me. Being fair-minded, I paused, and thought, "that must be some technology". So I asked two obvious questions:
1) How did he know that I wasn't using that powerful digital voice altering technology now, and on all my calls?
2) What was that powerful digital voice altering technology?
He didn't really have a response to that, either. In fact, at that point it seemed like he might have dropped hot coffee in his lap, because he couldn't get off the phone fast enough. I did appreciate his last statement, something along the lines of "Jeff Matthews doesn't know anything about naked shorting and you don't know anything about powerful digital voice modification technology" - an apparent tip of the hat to Jeff's landmark CNBC statement, and its having become synonymous to Wall Street insiders as "telling a tall tale" or "spinning a yarn" or "bald-faced lying through your teeth in a patently transparent manner". That alone made the call for me, as unfair that I believe it is that poor Jeff's clearly sincere words were so badly misinterpreted by so many - it was a little funny when he said it.
My point is that I actually don't have the equivalent voice modification expertise as Jeff claims to have with the ways of Wall Street - I haven't spent the last 25 years engaged in digital voice modification technology development, so I don't know the latest and greatest.
I thought it was cool that Stephen Hawking could hit a screen with his nose and create speech (I think that's how he does it, remembering a somewhat fumbled romantic attempt during "A brief history of time" on PBS - what does that say about my love life?), and I once had a cab driver from the Ukraine who was not only angry about something unintelligible, but also had a device that he held up to his larynx that croaked out words in an oddly monotone and robotic fashion, albeit with a heavy Slavic accent, which was also more than a little disconcerting - but I digress.
Being as I'm a curious guy, does anyone know of any powerful digital voice altering technology that can alter the tone, pitch, timbre, syntax, word choice, pacing and accent, on a phone call? I mean we've all seen the hokey movie where the guy in the dark room pretends to be someone else, and selects sentences (pre-recorded) to trick the gullible rube/protagonist/villain. But this is powerful digital voice altering technology that we are talking, available for use on phones (all phones? Some phones? Special phones?), that works on the fly, and is available to me, TEB. I don't travel with a trailer full of super-computers, so I presume that it must operate on some sort of a PC base, or as part of a handset - dunno.
I know it must exist, as the reporter assured me that he was an honest man, and presumably had a skilled team of technologically-savvy wire heads pointing skyward and proclaiming "Eureka, he's using the Z-57 hyper voice module, running through an oscillating confabulation engine, and ported in through a giga-nano drive on an SGI workstation), or some such.
So anyone know what that is?
The other thing that I told him about, that had occurred since the Eisinger interview/trespassing citation, and subsequent to the Remond hand-off, was that I had been the object of threatening posts by a presumed ex-felon with terrorist connections (read about it in June's "Bad Moon Rising"), along with other threatening posts that weren't particularly noteworthy - it's hard to top the ex-con/terrorist money-launderer/stinger missile procurer angle (I'll see your terrorist, and raise you with a serial killer/rapist...?).
We'd previously discussed the fact that many of the relevant pieces of the Byrne story had been curiously omitted from every negative article that had emanated from the supposedly un-biased press, and he assured me that his piece had contained them, but been cut for space reasons (another amazing coincidence). I bet him a dollar that any piece about me wouldn't contain any mention of those threats ("you are under surveillance") - call it a hunch. I plan to collect my dollar and put it towards my defense fund, also called the "Texas lawyers think it's their birthday, New Years and Mardi Gras due to all the discovery that it will enable them to perform in order to mount an affirmative defense" fund. I find it refreshing that these hedges (because my theory is that all the names on Byrne's list could be part of the proof) are willing to stand up and be counted, and welcome the fresh antiseptic of sunshine into their affairs, their banking records, their trades, their phone records, their emails, their offshore funds, their relationships, their contractors, their tax matters, etc. to allow them to clear their good names from the shadow of the lawsuit's allegations. We live in a marvelous world, and I, the Easter Bunny, am proud to be a part of it.
Now, I don't want to hear any of the cracks about the NY Post being for folks that move their lips when they read People Magazine. In my mind it is a credible publication, and I am absolutely positive that the reason the same story hasn't run in the WSJ by Jesse or the NY Times is because of their restrictive belief that the identity of an anonymous shareholder advocate isn't any sort of interesting news to anyone. I applaud the NY Post for tackling not only the hard hitting issues about Dr. Byrne (does he really think that certain analysts should be "whipped, f--ed and driven from the land"? Does he really think that some female reporters might enjoy a Lewinsky-esque rapport with their superiors?) but now has further defined the cutting edge of responsible, relevant journalism by tackling the "Who's Bob O'Brien" story. It's kind of what the Post is known for, isn't it?
So one more time round the track. Bob/TEB/Psaunders is a bad bad man, he is a friend of a friend of a guy who does something for NFI as a contractor, he has a boat, he lives in Vegas (or doesn't), he thinks there is something bad going on in the markets, and he thinks that Dr. Byrne's theory has a lot of merit. Apparently he also has started or been involved in (that was unclear) a bunch of companies with a penchant for the use of initials in their names, has never been involved in any sort of market-related business or activity, and had to sue someone to collect some money he'd lent. That is the Eisinger story, that is the Carol story, and that is the Post's story.
As to whether any of it is true, or relevant to me and my identity, I will say what I said when Jesse repeated it verbatim - I don't comment on identity-related issues, and will neither confirm nor deny any of it as germane nor accurate about me. The Easter Bunny apparently wields enormous power, and can make billionaires dance to his bidding, pulls the strings on politicians, and is single-handedly responsible for (insert whatever you think I'm responsible for here).
So this isn't about the thinnest of pretenses to create a media slam against me and NFI, using innuendo and guesses, and to provide the alleged perpetrators with a foil to use to convince a hopefully (for them) dim judge to allow what is plainly a SLAPP suit. Far from it. No, friends, this is a quest for truth of the most noble sort, and is to be commended on its face for its integrity and its sincerity.
Anyone else want to bet me on the threats not making it into the final cut? I could sort of use the money for the fund.....
* Calls that cross state lines become complicated legal issues especially when one state is a one party consent state and the other state is an all party consent state. What has happened is that you didn't violate the law in the one party consent state and violated the law in the all party consent state. Moreover, since the call went across a state line, the federal laws would certainly apply. - source = http://www.pimall.com/nais/n.recordlaw.html