Time Magazine Covers Naked Short Selling - Mama, we've hit the bigtime...
The reason this is noteworthy is because it represents the first time that the mainstream media has done a fair, balanced, factual article on the practice.
What I mean by the mainstream media is a large, respected publication not generally understood to be beholden to the NY financial power circle - Wall Street, and its spin machine.
Time Magazine is the big Kahuna. It is the granddaddy of news magazines. It doesn't screw around.
And now, Naked Short Selling and its impact on the financial markets is a 3 page story.
When NCANS was created in late January this year, this topic was thought to be the province of the "tin foil hat" crowd - at least that was the way that the NY-based financial periodicals universally portrayed it. It was wild eyed crazy talk from folks who thought that Elvis was living next door, and that aliens were operating on them in their sleep. That was the spin - if you could make the topic sound ridiculous enough, maybe you could convince the world that there was nothing to the story - to paraphrase Annette Nazareth of the SEC, that it was just disgruntled investors who were pissy about their stocks going down.
I personally took a fair amount of incoming hits on this - wacky Bobo, the madcap loon, seeing ghosts and the like. Dr. Patrick Byrne was castigated by every hack shill and quisling ever beholden to a hedge fund. The press was almost unanimous in its damnation and ridicule - a small section of NY seemed to have the information control thing down pat - mock, dismiss, ignore.
Kind of hard to mock and dismiss and ignore Time Magazine, though. They do have a bit more gravitas than the C section of the WSJ, who's never seen a hedge fund short they wouldn't write nasties about, or Barron's, whose amnesia and studied determination to not comment on REFCO is a thing of wonder, or the NY Times by way of Floyd Norris, a sometimes sympathetic writer from the hedge fund perspective. Carol Remond has been good for snide spin, Seth at the Fool is a wonder of pithy vitriole, Jeff Mathews' blog and disastrous CNBC appearance spouted mockery and negativity - virtually every one of the usual suspects in the media have been prolific Rainbirds(tm) of dismissive propaganda. So uniform has the approach to the topic been that it is almost as though a single group was writing their material.
The only publication to do a serious treatment on the topic was Euromoney, a British publication of top repute. The NY Post's Chris Byron has written a number of significant pieces, and Roddy Boyd has had a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde relationship with the story with some admirable coverage.
But nobody of serious weight has given the story the time of day, other than to tout the Wall Street party line (no offense to the Post, but it isn't thought of in the same breath as Businessweek or Time or even the WSJ).
This is a watershed event. Suddenly Byrne isn't sounding so loco, and the story is getting some heavy hitter legs.
Cat is out of the bag for Wall Street. Send this to every person you know. If they mocked you as nutty or part of some odd conspiracy theory cult, perhaps Time Magazine can offer them a little perspective.
Bad people do bad things. Some of them do very bad things because the money involved is huge. And sometimes an entire industry can be co-opted when the money is big enough.
Read all about it. And then tell a friend. If they have questions, they should go to the NCANS.net website and read the Primer on Naked Short Selling.
This time is different - really. Don't believe me?
Read Time Magazine.
And write a letter to the editor thanking them for their coverage. I did. You should too.