Thursday, June 30, 2005

We live...in a material world...

Some updates:

1) The DTCC never responded to any of the scores of emails requesting clarity as to how the 82% of FTD's the Stock Borrow Program doesn't lend shares to are handled. Presumably those are the FTD's that stay on the record as FTD's. There really is only one way they could be handled - some sort of proxy is created (likely just a debit in the selling participant's account) for a real share, and is then credited to the buyer's broker's account, with some sort of a notation - the DTCC explains that the FTD's are the buying participant's duty to call, which indicates that the buying participant has to have a way of knowing it is an FTD.

I believe that the de facto counterfeiting and fraud occurs when the buying participant (broker) represents to his buyer that he has shares, when in fact he has nothing but an IOU - that would be the creation and representation to the buyer of a non-share as a share, for the purpose of tricking him/her into parting with his cash (and not having to say "oh, well, there isn't any real share, just a promise that at some point a share will be delivered, but you still have to pay for it as though it is real, and we still get the commission as though it is real"). That is the definition of counterfeiting - the creation and passing off of a non-genuine article as a real article to a buyer. Pretty straightforward. Create a fake, represent it as genuine. Simple.

2) The loopholes in the system for Market Makers, Specialists, Foreign Arbitrageurs, and Financial Institutions to legally naked short/FTD amounts to a non-regulation against FTD's. IF the SEC wanted to stop FTD's, it would be simple. They could pass two simple rules:

Number one would modify the current rule against failing to deliver at T+3 and simply require that shares be in hand prior to a sale, or if not, be immediately bought in at T+4, and the seller additionally fined 33% of the share price. Right now there's no penalty of note, and thus no disincentive (if I could print hundred dollar bills and only be admonished not to do it anymore as the penalty, I'd have the presses running 24/7 - who wouldn't - it would be free money time. That is why there are stringent penalties against doing so...) to Failing to Deliver.

Number two would eliminate the loophole for specialists, market makers, financial institutions, and international arbitrageurs. That would subject these entities to the same rules as the rest of us. Now, the arguments against doing so are usually liquidity arguments - and they are specious. Either the exchanges are auction markets, where the supply and demand of a security establishes the price, or they aren't - they are rigged markets where artificial supply can be created at any time, ostensibly to supply liquidity, which is a euphemism for saying make the maximum number of trades (and commissions) without being burdened with actually having shares to sell. In that rigged market, the specialist/MM could literally create as many shares as they like (which we have seen with JAG and Global Links and many, many others) and simply fail indefinitely. That isn't a fair market where supply and demand determine the price - it is a rigged game where the dealer can make as many aces as he likes, whenever he likes, by simply claiming that he again has four aces. In that kind of a market there cannot be any semblance of fair value, and the auction model is a farce. That is the market we currently have.

It is important to understand the DTCC's imperative in all this. They are the plumbing of the system, the back office. It is not a sexy nor particularly interesting job. Their primary driver is to create mechanisms to enable the maximum number of trades possible in the minimum amount of time possible. I believe that is how the Stock Borrow Program came into being, and that it's been abused by the participants in a wholesale manner. In my opinion the DTCC is trying to cover up the depth and scope of the problem, as they are afraid that they may be culpable. I do not believe that the Borrow Program was created with larceny in mind. I believe that larcenous participants understood the opportunity, and ran with it, creating a contingent liability of huge proportions now, which the DTCC and the SEC are trying to figure out how to fix. The easiest and the least painful option for the industry (which owns the DTCC) is to allow the participants off the hook for their malfeasance, at the expense of the the retail buyers and the affected companies. Of course, that is also rewarding lawlessness, and condoning criminal stock manipulation, but let's not get too bogged down in those details.

In order to mask the gravity of the situation, one must eliminate all the evidence of wrongdoing. A big step to creating an effective cover-up would be to eliminate the mechanism that can show that an offense was even committed. There are several stunningly simple ways of doing so, which I will outline.

The first is to eliminate all paper certificates, using an excuse like "it will increase transactional efficiency", or "it will reduce costs". If you can eliminate paper certificates you can eliminate the only real confirmation of ownership of the genuine article - a share. You can also eliminate the embarrassing mechanism used to demonstrate industry-wide larceny: the demand for certificates, and the resulting failure to deliver them. That is akin, in my earlier card example, of not requiring the dealer to ever show his cards to prove that he has his claimed four of a kind - he can just claim it and win, every time, as he has done away with the cards.

As we have seen at the NCANS site, with the email exchange between E-Trade and Wells Fargo, E-Trade simply refuses to deliver the shares when pressed via a demand for paper certificates. If that mechanism was removed, the barrier for E-Trade (in that example) is gone, and no mechanism exists to ensure that the buyer receives his property, vs. an electronic proxy/forgery/counterfeit. That would be great for the participants that have sold "shares" with a cost basis of zero (as there is no share) and yet has been paid for the goods - what a convenience to never actually have to deliver anything. It would really eliminate the last barrier to being able to defraud buyers with complete impunity!

In May, the DTCC announced a drive to convince the states to drop their requirement for corporations to issue paper certificates. If there is no state requirement, it's only a hop, skip and jump to eliminating all paper certificates with the stroke of a pen.

So, in a coordinated fashion....go to the states, and get each and every Governor to sign off on the idea that it paper certificates are bad. Trot out SEC apologist Annette Nazareth, whose view is that there is no FTD issue, use the transactional efficiency argument, and highlight how much money everyone is going to save. And that's exactly what has happened.

The only two states that remain unconvinced are Louisiana, and Arizona. All the rest have bought off on the idea that paper is bad, and inefficient - which it may well be, but it is also the only tangible proof of a real share of stock that a buyer can get, and that a corporation can issue. Otherwise it is just a series of electronic ticks, all of which look the same to the system - legitimate ticks, and newly minted IOU/FTD ticks.

The second method to cover up the abuse of the stock borrow program would be to pardon all past instances of FTDs, which the SEC effectively did by grandfathering the pre-2005 FTD's. So that is done, in one nice fell swoop. But the first, the going state by state and getting them to drop their requirement for paper, is not quite done, even though they are trying very hard to do it quietly.

Folks, the mainstream media has ignored this. The last line of defense is you. You need to write or call your Governor and express to him that he has been hoodwinked into signing off on something that will allow a small section of New York to fleece investors with impunity, and that the reason they went state by state is because they figured that the Governors were rubes, too provincial and clueless to understand the actual play that was going on. Refer them to this article. Have them email me if there are any questions. It is not too late, but we are on the edge of the precipice, staring over the edge, and the momentum is not in our favor.

Action is required. As it always seems to be to keep the predators on the Street from doing a wholesale land grab. Your action will make a difference. It was framed as a drive to increase efficiency, and handled almost as an aside - drop that silly old fashioned paper, and get with the 21st Century program. They neglected to mention that removing the requirement that corporations issue paper would remove the last bit of tangible proof a buyer could get that he got shares and not hot air. They almost pulled it off.

Almost. The question is will you let them finish the job, or can this be stopped in time?

Your Governor has the power to pull his support from this initiative. He should. You should tell him why.

If the DTCC can't stop 82% of the FTD's from being handled in an unknown manner, and houses like E-Trade openly admit that they can't and won't deliver shares that they sold (but only when pressed for certificates), eliminating the one mechanism that would prove ownership seems like a bad idea, doesn't it?

For the record, I have no problem with the idea of dematerialization - when there are no more FTD's. Change the rules so that stock can't be easily created electronically in an "unknown" manner, and perhaps the transactional efficiency of going paperless has merit. But not when you have an unknown float of electronic forgeries floating around the market. Fix that first, then put on the boaters and play political rally with the dematerialization idea. For my money, creating a way to trade even more shares even faster while you ignore the problems your "improvements" (like the Borrow Program) has introduced (FTD's) is a disastrous proposition.

Settle the trades. Then we can talk. Simple.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bad Moon Rising

In Which The King of Money Laundering and Stingers Indicates I Am Under Surveillance

For those who are enjoying the ongoing saga of "my" privacy being breached and the cartel of bad guys interested in doing me no good sustaining an ongoing campaign of intimidation and such, let's look at a post from the Yahoo message boards from today, by the poster widely believed to be none other than convicted terrorist money launderer and known felon Kevin Ingram - also believed to be the bad guy whose wildly poor advice dug the cartel of shorts in NFI deeper during the biggest boom in American housing history.

Whether or not Andrewluislunatic is actually Kevin Ingram cannot actually be known definitively due to Yahoo privacy policies, and it is possible that it isn't he - I will leave it up to you to decide for yourself where you stand in your opinion on the topic. If anyone remembers, last year in a flurry of posts on the Yahoo boards (since mysteriously "disappeared" by Yahoo with no reason cited), the person using Andrew and Fivestargeneral and several other ID's had an exchange wherein I outed him as likely being the KI in question - and I am posting that exchange for everyone's enjoyment after this post. But here's the point - does anyone believe that a convicted felon with terrorist ties telling me point blank that my name is known and that I am unders surveillance does not constitute a far more serious example of a threat than the fluff posited by an aggrieved hedge fund to constitute a threat? Let's see, in corner one we have terrorist enabling, money laundering, multiple time federal inmate KI (if speculations to that effect are correct) indicating that "I" am under surveillance and presumably should be concerned (about what we can only imagine) - do we really need any further examples of why my anonymity is a prudent step?

Anyhow, here's the latest idiotic missive, which I am going to bet Barrons doesn't do an article on, followed by the original exchange that led many to speculate that this poster is in fact fallen Deutsche Bank bond desk star turned money-laundering felon, who was aiding some Pakistanis that were attempting to secure nuke triggers and Stinger missiles in the days immediately pre-9/11. Now I'm sure that the defenders of this particular fecal remnant will say it is all a joke, just good fun, and discount the obvious ominous overtone. Draw your own conclusions. And BTW, I don't shop at K-Mart, but that is besides the point...

---------------------


Re: Evening News - Shorts still 100% wroby: andrewluislunatic
Long-Term Sentiment: Strong Sell
06/21/05 01:49 amMsg: 316451 of 316620

You're under surviellance - they know what your name is...ps..shopping at K-Mart these days?

Posted as a reply to: Msg 316440 by ncansd3

----------------------
And now for the famous posting exchange which was deleted by Yahoo. It is also worth noting that all of this poster's ID's went dark within 1/2 an hour of the exchange (profiles unavailable) and that nobody has found a compelling reason for the exchange to be removed. First, the post numbers from the Yahoo message boards:

212664
212665
212666
212667
212670
212684
212685
212687

Here's the original exchange, and note that he slips in and out of the andrew and fivestargeneral ID's - he's flustered and forgets which he is posting under. Also note the timeline and the timing of the responses - this appears to be someone with intimate knowledge of arcane data that only the real KI would likely know so quickly (based on such loosely constructed clues for him to go on) - which makes us all wonder aloud again at who got the posts removed, why they were removed, and why a convicted felon was posting from prison (the real KI was behind bars for parole violation during this period, and his internet habits could easily be checked via the prison web logs if the FBI or parole authorities were interested is seeing whether one of their inmates was involved in a stock manipulation scheme from behind bars). But I digress. They are what they are:
______________________
Where there's smoke there's FIRE
by: andrewluislunatic
Long-Term Sentiment: Strong Sell
10/21/04 12:12 am Msg: 212664 of 249897

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041021/bs_nm/financial_countrywide_earns_dc_3
This is devastating news for NFI. Look for the same level of declining income and divi for NFI.
_________________________
Re: Where there's smoke there's FIRE
by: dirtydirtydeeds (43/M/Cyberspace)
Long-Term Sentiment: Strong Buy> 10/21/04 12:15 am Msg: 212665 of 249897

Don't Stinger missiles make a lot of fire?

Posted as a reply to: Msg 212664 by andrewluislunatic

_______________________
Re: Where there's smoke there's FIRE
by: andrewluislunatic
10/21/04 12:23 am Msg: 212666 of 249897

Who the ?!%$ tipped you off?

Posted as a reply to: Msg 212665 by dirtydirtydeeds _____________________________________
Re: Where there's smoke there's FIRE
by: dirtydirtydeeds (43/M/Cyberspace)
Long-Term Sentiment: Strong Buy
10/21/04 12:30 am Msg: 212667 of 249898

The story of KI. A man to be proud of, a leader of his people. Still talk to the reverend? Or did that dry up? How does one know when one has outstayed one's welcome and is days, if not minutes, from being stung? That's the question, no?

Posted as a reply to: Msg 212666 by andrewluislunatic
______________________________
Re: 33% Down in After Hours
by: dirtydirtydeeds (43/M/Cyberspace)
Long-Term Sentiment: Strong Buy
10/21/04 12:38 am Msg: 212670 of 249898

90 shares traded as a misprint. Hey, I know. How about I go find a link about one of Harlem's favorite sons that had a little mishap with Deutsche and then an oopsie daisy over some stingers? That would be good clean american fun. Say, "general", would you happen to have a prison record?

Posted as a reply to: Msg 212668 by fivestargeneral808
____________________________
Re: Where there's smoke there's FIRE
by: fivestargeneral808 (31/M/HARLEM, NY)
10/21/04 01:09 am Msg: 212684 of 249899

the days of BIA are in the past...I want to know who your PI is, he has violated a lot of laws, a slippery slope since you hired him

Posted as a reply to: Msg 212667 by dirtydirtydeeds
___________________________
Re: Where there's smoke there's FIRE
by: dirtydirtydeeds (43/M/Cyberspace)
Long-Term Sentiment: Strong Buy
10/21/04 01:15 am Msg: 212685 of 249899

Don't you get that it's not a PI? No PI can dig you up. You've just outstayed your welcome. Too long in one place. Too many giveaways. PI's are the least of your worries. I'd make a graceful egress while I could. Word. Anything else you want to talk about?

Posted as a reply to: Msg 212684 by fivestargeneral808 ____________________________
Re: Where there's smoke there's FIRE
by: fivestargeneral808 (31/M/HARLEM, NY)
10/21/04 01:28 am Msg: 212687 of 249901

Adios.

Posted as a reply to: Msg 212685 by dirtydirtydeeds

__________________
BIA was Black, Indian, Muslim - a company Ingram started a long time ago. Here's some links to his story:

http://billstclair.com/911timeline/2002/palmbeachpost011202.html

http://www.observer.com/pages/story.asp?ID=4902

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/588340/posts

Now folks, journalists like Jesse have questioned if there are genuinely bad guys out there who wish me less than the best. I invite you to peruse this exchange, and ponder what type of person gets convicted of money laundering for those looking for missiles used to blow airliners out of the sky, and nuke triggers for suitcase dirty bombs, and consider whether having that type of person advising you that your are under surveillance is alarming or not. It does provide proof, as if further proof was necessary, that the info being used by Jesse and Carol is in the hands of very bad people (and likely supplied to them by those bad people), and that they are wittingly or not, assisting those very bad people to breach my anonymity, without respect for or consideration of the possibly mortal danger it places me in.

Don't expect to see any press coverage on this - what would be newsworthy about a terrorist arms-procurer's money launderer posting from prison and issuing thinly veiled threats against a private citizen whose offense is to demand that the laws against FTD'ing are enforced, and has had the temerity to expose the techniques used by the hedge fund that is the front guy for the group that has targeted NFI?

Please just move along. Nothing to see here.

Any questions?

Friday, June 10, 2005

3 Years of Getting It Wrong – The NFI Short Story

In July of 2002, the short interest in NovaStar Financial (NYSE – NFI) went from basically nothing, into multiple millions, all within a period of 45 days or so. Investors at the time had no idea what was happening, as they watched the stock of a tiny MREIT go from the mid-$30’s to $20 or so – and many sold, as they were retirees who depend upon their nest eggs to support them, and REITs are typically held by conservative, risk adverse folks on fixed incomes who can’t afford big changes in their NAV. The feeling at the time was that somebody must know something, insiders or institutions had to be selling, and that some crisis or calamity was looming on the horizon.

Wrong.

It was a network of short sellers that specialize in terrorizing small cap company investors, who had put NFI into play, to scare the widows out of their money, expecting to cover in the single digits.

That isn’t exactly how it played out.

This July marks the third straight year that these shorts have called every aspect of the company’s fundamentals wrong. They called the biggest increase in US housing history wrong, they called the company’s business strategy wrong, they called its prospects wrong, they called its growth potential wrong….every possible area, they got wrong.

The average 2002 shorts can be calculated to be roughly $25 or so, pre-split. That is $12.50 or so now, post split, and approximately 4.4 million shares post split. Those original shorted shares have paid out about $12 in dividends since then as well, meaning that even if the company went to $0, they would never make a dime in short sale profits – the math is impossible to reconcile any other way. Additionally, those shares have paid to be borrowed for 3 years, and have also paid for any margin lending costs – all in all an extraordinarily bad bet, as the costs are likely at least another $4 or $5 per share.

Through it all, the company’s detractors (the shorts, Herb Greenberg, and then a particularly ill-informed Forbes writer, as well as the WSJ’s C-section writers, and later Camelback) have gotten all the fundamentals wrong. They have ignored the MREIT truism that every company configured as an MREIT must obey – you pay out all your cash as a dividend, so you are always raising money via secondaries and preferreds and the like to fund growth – they all do it. Every one. They have to – it’s the business model. And yet all these detractors have studiously ignored that easily verifiable fact. They have also ignored the tax code’s requirement that MREITs pay out their dividends based upon Taxable Income (TI), and instead tried to make a story out of the fact that in the early, high growth years, TI will be considerably higher than GAAP, resulting in the dividend being higher than GAAP. They erroneously say that the company pays out more than it earns, when the accurate thing to say would be that the company pays out more than GAAP, but less than TI (Taxable Income, or EARNINGS) – instead they pretend that the company didn’t “earn” that TI, or somehow banish Taxable Income from the concept of earnings – a rhetorical dishonesty that is intended to deceive the dim, and the novice investor.

They have insisted that higher rates would damage the company irreparably. They have posited that by phasing out the branches that originations would plummet. They have stated repeatedly that defaults would imminently spiral out of control. They have taken provably false positions on every possible aspect of the company’s functions, and done so with a straight face, as though through repetition the lie would become the truth. Review Mr. Cuban’s gem here at Sanity Check from Mother’s Day as an example of incorrectly categorizing the basics of the company’s operations.

3 years of this. 3 full years of one of the worst shorts I can think of – even if the company went BK tomorrow, the short has lost tens of millions.

So happy anniversary on the third year of being wrong about everything about NFI. Astoundingly, the bashers are still misstating every aspect of the company’s fundamentals and ignoring the obvious fact that they have all been wrong about every single thing they’ve ever said about the company – except for when they have predicted price drops based on short attacks or manipulation. So what have we learned?

1) The manipulators are only good at predicting their manipulations.
2) They are 100% wrong when they predict anything besides that.

That’s been the history. For 3 years. They try to spin it as though they aren’t wrong, just early, but frankly even that tired old saw is getting no airplay anymore. If one goes back and reads all of the gloomy predictions of disaster from as far back as July of 2002 on the Yahoo message boards, one will find that other than some stock movement calls, EVERY prediction involving the company’s fundamentals has been dead, completely wrong.

Wonder how many years their investors are going to accept sub-par performance, and now the involvement in a badly aged fail to deliver position, which augments the legitimate short position and in fact is an even bigger, more desperate short bet? We have over 35% of the company’s outstanding shares sold short, an additional unknown number sold short as part of the old international arbitrage failure ploy, or naked shorted by the options market makers, or the international market makers, or the specialist (apparently none of which appear on the SI), and the guys that are leading the charge on this are the gang that couldn’t shoot straight – when it comes to calling the macro, the micro, or anything about the company’s business correctly.

Congratulations, my short friends. Nicely done, well played, bravo, hat’s off to you. It is rare to have such unrestrained, deliberate consistency of outcome as you have demonstrated – one would expect at least some of the fundamental predictions to have been correct just based upon the law of averages – but tut, tut, not for you. All wrong, all the time, that’s the game. And you’ve managed to sucker in every idiot with a buck and a jones to short – billionaires and day traders alike – and get them to not only ignore how incorrect you are/have been, but even better, to parrot your incorrect spin with the sincerity of the righteous - none of that round earth nonsense for them, it's flat, dammit, it's flat...

That is the real accomplishment here. Only when big money is being lost can so much effort be invested into maintaining a fiction of this magnitude for so long.

I raise my glass in salute.

Happy Anniversary.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The WSJ/Jesse Eisinger Email Exchange

Here’s the email exchange with Jesse Eisinger of the WSJ, which I agreed to keep private until his piece ran. For the record, I sent him an email advising him that our deal had expired, unless he could provide a satisfactory explanation for his familiarity with NCANS’ banking details as well as with phone records of a large donor to the cause. I have received no response, thus it is full disclosure time. Note all the reassurances that this was not going to be a mean-spirited hatchet job. And the promise to get back to me with a list of questions before he writes the article. Read it, and you will get a sense of the exchange. Especially the last section – my responses to his hard questions, and his subsequent refusal to answer any of the questions as to the source of his info.

No article has come out, but a month has gone by, and frankly, given the questions about the banking records and such, I would say that his competitive advantage was more than protected by me. Also for the record note that I have email exchanges with other reporters that have remained confidential to this day, so this is a troubling special case.
----------------------------
Eisinger, Jesse to NCANSmail More options May 4

Bob,

I would appreciate it very much if you would reconsider your policy and talk with me by phone or in person. I can meet you wherever you would like. As you may have guessed, I'm pretty sure I know who you are, and I would like to write a story about you. I find your corner of cyber-world of stock investing -- the shorts versus the anti-shorts -- fascinating and newsworthy, given the impact both sides can have on share prices. You have become one of the more renowned participants in this debate -- the loyalty of your followers is pretty impressive -- and there is much interest in who you are and your motivations. Given the amount of attention you've gotten lately, it's probably inevitable that your identity will be revealed eventually, and I would like to use your story to explain the debate and the people involved in it.

To be frank, I am reluctant to conduct an interview via email, given that you say you'll post all my emails. Journalists are a competitive lot, and lots of journalists would probably jump at the chance to reveal your identity without doing the careful research (ha ha ha – Weil’s piece certainly was carefully researched, huh? – Bob) required for a story in The Wall Street Journal.

The bottom line is: I don't want the information I have gathered put in the public domain. Moreover, email is by nature impersonal. You can't break bread with someone over email. It's harder to build trust and more difficult to have the sort of productive give-and-take that one gets in a standard interview format. I would like to hear your story and share it with my readers: how you can to invest in NFI, how you came to learn about naked shorting and what you believe is illegal manipulation. Full disclosure: I have some "six degrees of separation" material. I have made no judgment on whether or not it's relevant, so I would like to run that by you.

Regards, Jesse
------------------------------
Jesse:

I think that you are going down a path of little or no fruit. I find it extraordinarily unlikely that you have discovered my identity. I know of some of the avenues that were being bandied about on the boards, and I feel confident that those roads don't lead to me - they lead somewhere, but not where you think they do. I won't discuss my identity, at any rate, as the threat has increased, not decreased, over time. My attorneys reiterated that no good comes from that, and I concur. I will be happy to keep the exchange confidential until such time as your article is going to break, if that is the concern. I have to tell you that given your past affiliation with TSCM, and with hedge funds in general, I have to consider that your story doesn't have my best interests in mind. Nor those of NFI, a company that I believe has been brutalized (by hedge funds). So fire away, but the "Who's Bob O'Brien" angle is not something I'm interested in participating in. We've already seen one full page devoted to the man of mystery, does the world really need another?

The reason that I would insist upon a written record is because it really does keep things honest. If you know that your questions and my responses are going to become part of the public record, then you are unlikely to twist them - although having said that, I have of late seen more than I care to of reporter dishonesty. I'm not saying that they are all the same, but I don't see much evidence that many are different. So if you are comfortable speaking via email, we have a discourse. If it has to be unwritten, then I question why that is the deal killer, and further underscore that I have no interest in participating in that sort of ad hoc interview - I've been cored too many new ones of late, and don't need any more body slams, if they are avoidable.

I can probably answer a lot of your questions relating to the topics you mentioned, but anything that would give my identity away is off limits. And I can absolutely assure you that I have no interaction with the company, no specialized knowledge of their activities, no inappropriate payment or special favors, nothing, nada, zip. I was involved in REITS before I had ever even heard of NFI, and will likely be in them long after I am out.

Again, my suspicion given the other pieces that came from the Journal is that you are looking for an angle to paint them or me with a brush of innuendo, and are playing nice to get as much info as possible to make whatever connections you believe you might have stick. I agree that my "outing" will be an inevitable consequence of the growing visibility of the anti-naked shorting thing, but it will be on my terms, at the place and time of my choosing. I have met with some pretty interesting names, none of whom had any problems with my Bob O'Brien nom de plume, and I find that those who do express problems with it inevitably don't have my best interests at the forefront. So I can make this easy - I have no interest in having to strap on a kevlar vest every morning, and that is what a "Who's Bob O'Brien" piece will achieve, at the end of the day, if it's accurate. You can't guarantee that safeguard is unnecessary, and it's not your wellbeing that your are playing with, so while I understand your desire to uncover and unmask me, that puts us in an essentially adversarial role. It is not in MY best interests to do so at present. You want discussion about how I got into stocks, or what color shirts I favor, or why I am pissed off about an illegal market manipulation that appears systematic and habitual, we have something to talk about. If it's trying to get clues to tell you whether you are hot or cold, you are in the wrong place.

I hope that is clear. I won't post this message for 24 hours, or until we have a deal, or until your article breaks. I am good for my word, you will find. Sorry to be a hard ass. But that's the deal. Now, is it a non-starter, or do we have game on?
-------------------
Bob,

Thanks for your email. Let me think about this and get back to you tomorrow morning. I'd appreciate it if you would hold off on posting these emails, at least until we can come to an arrangement.
Rgds, Jesse
-------------------
Jesse:

The first two were already posted before you responded. Given that you didn't say anything but you'd like to chat with me, I doubt your virtue will be unduly tarnished. Your reply, this reply and my reply to you advising that I will keep everything from that point on under wraps did not go up. So your secrets, for the most part, are still safe....
-------------------
Bob,

I'm not quite sure how to proceed. My editors and I think you would make a great story, but at this point, my editors don't think it's appropriate to publish a profile of an anonymous person. We would never want to do anything to jeopardize anyone's safety, but I can't tell from what you've said here or in your postings why you think somebody would want to physically harm you simply for railing against naked shorting. Perhaps it's best if I just continue reporting on you and your crusade without your participation for the time-being and get back to you with specific questions later if we decide to do a story. I would appreciate it if you would continue to keep our correspondence private, for the reason I have already explained. If you change your mind -- and I continue to urge you to do so -- please call me.

Jesse
--------------------------
Several weeks go by. I start hearing some rumblings from some of the folks who are supporters of NCANS that they are getting odd calls from some guy named Jesse at the WSJ – and some of the calls are on unpublished numbers, and on pagers that are only given to patients, and the like. This has me agitated, as I can start to intuit that someone has gotten the records to one of the phones that I use (provided by a sympathetic donor who is also a content provider to the site). My interest in speaking with Jesse at this point has dropped to less than zero.
-----------------------
Bob,

I haven't given up hope that you would meet with me. I met with Patrick Byrne, who said to me he would put in a good word. I hope he did. Somebody I spoke with said you are coming back this week from being away. I could come to you, if you would make yourself available. Please let me know if you have changed your mind.

Thanks, Jesse Eisinger

------------------------
Jesse:

I can appreciate the sentiment on not wanting to publish a profile on an anonymous person. I could also point out that it has been done countless times. But you will note that I am not particularly eager to participate, and don't seek the limelight of this sort. It is not simply due to naked short selling activism that I fear for my safety - although if the theories are correct, there are huge, entrenched, powerful interests that carry undisclosed contingent liabilities due to the open fails, and which would be understandably interested in keeping any exposure under wraps. It is due to the nature and scale of the players on the darker side of the hedge fund game - you can find a snapshot of that in the Elgindy case.

It is not inconceivable that a few of the players there might be interested in removing or hampering the actions of someone exposing their gamebook, especially if it was leading to overdue prosecution and the like. I will admit that it isn't a huge percentage likelihood, maybe 10%, and that it is far more likely that I would simply be tarred and feathered publicly in a character defamation manner, however that 10% can be interpreted this way: how interested would you be in divulging your identity if you knew that one out of every ten days you or your kids might be harmed? It's Thursday. Which day between now and next Sunday would you like to have be the possible "get Jesse" day? It stops being fun when you contextualize things and make them real. That's real. And I am uninterested in collapsing the waveform to find out whether the 10% is actually 100% or 0%. If you don't understand or believe that I am out on the fringe, that is your right, but it doesn't change that we are talking about my life, not yours - I find people are much more willing to gamble with OPM.

I think that there are far more intriguing and worthy candidates for profiling than a simple shareholder/advocate. If I have mis-categorized your intent as being to smear NFI in some sort of six degrees of separation manner, I apologize. When I elect to "come out" you will be one of the first people I call - I intend to do it in a press conference setting at the time and place of my choosing. You and the rest will be under-whelmed by the mundanity of my circumstance and the ordinariness of my reality. These all get made public the moment you publish, in the interest of providing a full disclosure of your representations to me and our dialog back and forth. People seem fascinated by that sort of thing. Beats me as to why. But there it is.
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Another week goes by. Then out of the blue I get this message.
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XXXX,

I am in las vegas. Just left you some msgs. I'd love to meet if you are in town. Please let me know.

Thanks, Jesse
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Jesse:

Thanks for the invite, but my sentiment is the same as it was before. If you can't put your questions in a written format, then I'm not interested in a dialog. You will note that I have been good to my word and not published your correspondences, so one of us has acted honorably so far. It's your move. I don't particularly want to be the topic of a profile, so perhaps you are sensing a reluctance that is genuine. And, given that your info gathering is winding up in the wrong hands and could well be jeopardizing my safety (CXXX was stupid enough to send me an email a few weeks back with what he imagines is my real name - proof that your net leaks like a sieve and all sorts of folks have access to your info) you are in a very real sense playing with my life - and if you are wrong, and there is a threat, I lose, and you get to go "huh, go figure".

Thanks for nothing. Hope you are having a good time in town - interesting that you believe that I am even in that same time zone. Stay away from the girls at the Cheetah - I know you will be expensing a fact finding trip there, if you have any sense at all. Patrick did put in a good word for you. That's why I'm even responding. Have a nice evening.
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Jesse goes dark for 1 or so weeks, and then sends a long list of questions to me. Here are the questions and my responses, with data that is ID specific redacted.
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Eisinger, Jesse to NCANSmail More options May 31 (3 days ago)

Dear XXXX: I am disappointed that you wouldn't meet with me or talk with me. Nobody has yet told your story and I was hoping for that chance. I understand your reticence, but I am still working on a profile of you. I hope we can have a fruitful exchange on email. I have a lot of questions, as you'll see. I am working on a story that could run as early as this week. I would very much appreciate it if you would keep that and these exchanges between us confidential, but I will need responses soon. I can't comment on the exact timing of our stories. But I want to give you the opportunity to comment on everything that might appear in the story that is about you. I don't want there to be any surprises. (Followed by list of questions below, which I responded to in all caps to better differentiate the reply)
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Robert Obrien to Jesse More options May 31 (3 days ago)

Jesse. Here are my responses. This all goes public seconds after you break. Hope you have a good idea as to what you are doing, and a complete comprehension of the stakes you are playing with - real people's lives.

“I understand that your name is PXXXX XXXX SXXXX and that you go by XXXX. I understand you own a XXX-foot boat called "XXXXXX" that is sometimes berthed at the XXXX in XXXXXXXXX. It is maintained by JXXX XXXXX. I've seen records that you are the president of XXXXXXXXXXX, Inc., a XXXXX of XXXXXXX. Is that your current role? Please comment on this paragraph for accuracy.”

I WILL NOT COMMENT ON SPECULATIONS AS TO MY IDENTITY. OTHER QUESTIONS ARE FAIR GAME. ALTHOUGH I NOTE WITH SOME AMUSEMENT THAT THE ABOVE SOUNDS MORE AT HOME IN A YACHTING MAGAZINE THAN THE WSJ. DOES NFI OR NAKED SHORTING INVOLVE ANYTHING OMINOUSLY AQUATIC OR MEDICAL THAT I MISSED?

I understand that you sued BXXXXX SXXXXX NXXXXX Inc. over a $150,000 loan, lent by two entities that you had set up. (I have some questions below about those.) BXXXX was represented by BXXX XXXX and subsequently I understand that you employed Mr. XXX as your attorney in incorporating XXXXX. Please comment on this paragraph for accuracy.

SEE ABOVE – ANY QUESTIONS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO FIGURE OUT/CONFIRM WHO I AM ARE NOT GOING TO BE MET RESPONSIVELY. I PRESUME THAT YOU HAVE SOME SORT OF EVIDENCE THAT “I” SET UP WHATEVER TWO COMPANIES YOU ARE REFERRING TO, BTW – AND I WILL ADMIT THAT THE VISUAL OF ME WEARING A SAILOR’S HAT WHILE RESPONDING TO THIS IS AMUSING. IT’S A FREE COUNTRY, SO I’LL ALLOW THAT...

I have some additional questions for you.

1. A lot of people have come to trust your research on Novastar and your dissection of the naked shorting issue. How does it feel to have that responsibility?

MY RESEARCH INTO NFI AND NAKED SHORT SELLING ARE BASED UPON READILY AVAILABLE, PUBLICLY OBTAINED INFO. I HAVE NOTED BEFORE THAT WHEN SOMEONE DISAGREES WITH THE MESSAGE, THEY SHOOT THE MESSENGER, AND TRY TO TAINT THE MESSAGE WITH INNUENDO ABOUT ME. TO YOUR QUESTION, I DON’T TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY LIGHTLY, AND ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO DO THEIR DUE DILIGENCE. HOW MUCH HAVE YOU DONE ABOUT NFI OR NAKED SHORT SELLING, AND HOW MUCH OF MY DISSECTION DO YOU FIND INNACURATE, IF ANY? I READ WITH INTEREST THE AFOREMENTIONED INFO, AND NOTE THAT BOAT OWNERSHIP, COMPANY FORMATION, ATTORNEYS AND LENDING MONEY NOTWITHSTANDING - NONE OF IT INVOLVE NFI NOR NAKED SHORT SELLING. LET’S ASK YOU THE SAME QUESTION - SO HOW DO YOU TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WRITING FOR THE WSJ, AND HOW MUCH EFFORT HAVE YOU INVESTED IN EXAMINING WHETHER MY DISSECTIONS ARE ACCURATE STATEMENTS OF FACT, OR FLIGHTS OF LUNATIC FANCY? WHAT INSIGHT CAN YOU OFFER, ASIDE FROM WHOM TO CALL ABOUT MARINE MATTERS? THERE IS A MAJOR HOLE IN THE SYSTEM UNSCRUPULOUS MANIPULATORS ARE USING TO SCREW RETIREES OUT OF THEIR SAVINGS – HOW MANY HOURS HAVE YOU DEVOTED TO EXPLORING THAT?

2. How do you feel about what you've accomplished so far with regard to naked shorting and Novastar?

I FEEL LIKE THE NAKED SHORT SELLING ISSUE IS AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM THAT THOSE WHO GENERATE MONEY FROM THE PRACTICE WANT TO PRETEND DOESN’T EXIST. I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THAT IT IS A HUGE CONTINGENT LIABILITY THAT REPRESENTS A POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING ABUSE OF OUR SYSTEM BY A MINORITY OF BAD APPLES, WHO HAVE ABUSED A LOOPHOLE TO THE POINT THAT IT IS A SYSTEMIC, ENDEMIC PROBLEM. I AM FAR MORE FOCUSED ON NAKED SHORTING THAN NFI EVER SINCE IT BECAME OBVIOUS TO ME THAT THIS WAS A PERVASIVE SYSTEMIC ISSUE, NOT A COMPANY SPECIFIC ISSUE. AS TO WHAT I’VE ACCOMPLISHED, WE SHALL SEE WHETHER I CAN CONTINUE TO RAISE AWARENESS OF EGREGIOUS VIOLATIONS OF THE PUBLIC TRUST BY THE CLEARING AND SETTLING SYSTEM, AND THE CAPTIVE REGULATORS THAT CONDONE THIS MISBEHAVIOR.

3. Not many individuals get to be on conference calls of major companies and express their views, as you did in January on the Overstock call. How did that feel?

IT’S ALWAYS NICE TO GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO AIR ONE’S VIEWS, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE AUDIENCE - A TRANSCRIPT IS AVAILABLE AT NCANS.NET IF YOU NEED IT. I NOTE WITH INTEREST THAT NO ONE HAS SHOWN MY ANALYSIS OF THE “ANATOMY OF A MANIPULATION” TO BE INCORRECT. IN FACT, THE ONLY RESPONSES HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY CRAFTED WORDSMITHINGS FROM HEDGE FUND MANAGERS WITH THEIR OWN BLOGS, WHO ARE FRIENDS OF OR ASSOCIATES OF HERB AND MARC AND DAVID. AND THOSE DON’T ADDRESS THE SUBSTANCE; MERELY ATTEMPT TO RIDICULE THE ANALYSIS AWAY. I DON’T BLAME THEM. I THINK THAT MARKED AN IMPORTANT POINT – THE FIRST TIME THAT FLAVOR OF MANIPULATION WAS DESCRIBED IN SOME DETAIL, SO THAT THE LAYPERSON COULD UNDERSTAND THE COLLUSIVE ELEMENTS. I HAVE YET TO SEE A DEBUNKING. HAVE YOU?

4. When did you first invest in Novastar? How did you first hear about the company?

I FIRST HEARD ABOUT NFI AFTER HAVING INVESTED SUCCESSFULLY IN ANOTHER MREIT, AND WHILE SCREENING FOR HIGH YIELDING MEMBERS OF THE SAME ASSET CLASS. I THINK I BOUGHT THE FIRST SHARES IN DECEMBER OF 2002.

5. About how many Novastar shares do you own? What percentage of your net worth is that?

AT ONE POINT I HAD MY ENTIRE NET WORTH IN NFI. THAT CHANGED DUE TO MARGIN CALLS AND A MORE CONSERVATIVE STANCE TO ACCOMODATE THE MANIPULATED SWINGS TO THE DOWNSIDE. THE REG SHO LIST IS PROOF THAT SOMETHING BAD IS GOING ON WITH THEIR TRADING – IT HAS BEEN ON THE LIST SINCE DAY ONE – SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE IF THE RULES WERE BEING ENFORCED. ANY PLANS ON AN ARTICLE ABOUT THAT?

6. I know you are worried about threats. Have there ever been any threats against you because of your anti-naked shorting activities? Would you detail those for me?

THE CONCERNS ABOUT MY ANONYMITY FAR PREDATE MY INVOLVEMENT IN NAKED SHORT SELLING. I WON’T DISCUSS THOSE MUCH (ON ADVICE OF COUNSEL), HOWEVER THE THREATS ARE ANONYMOUS, PREDICTABLY INVOLVE REVEALING MY REAL IDENTITY, INVADING MY PRIVACY USING ILLEGALLY OBTAINED INFORMATION, AND GENERALLY USING AD HOMINEM APPROACHES TO RUINING MY LIFE. JUST AS DAVE PXXXX HAD PHOTOS OF HIS WIFE AND HIS CAR POSTED ANONYMOUSLY, IN AN EFFORT AT INTIMIDATION. ANY OF THAT SOUND FAMILIAR? HEY, I KNOW, IN THE COURSE OF YOUR INVESTIGATION ON ME, HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY INFORMATION THAT YOU FEEL MIGHT BE ILLEGALLY OBTAINED, FROM SOURCES YOU OF COURSE CAN’T REVEAL? YOU KNOW, THINGS LIKE TELEPHONE NUMBERS THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO LEGALLY OBTAIN, BANK DATA, ETC.? LET’S START THERE, AND FOLLOW THAT TO ITS INEVITABLE CONCLUSION – YOU MAY WANT TO GET A LAWYER FIRST, THOUGH. I’VE GOT TIME, AND WILL AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE WITH CONSIDERABLE INTEREST AND PREPARATION. I TRUST THAT WILL BE PRODUCTIVE.

7. How did you choose the name "Bob O'Brien"? CNBC HOST – A GAG. LIKE CHEETAH’S.

8. I understand you are self-made and retired. How much of your time is spent investing? How did you build your wealth?

I MADE MOST OF MY MONEY BY INVESTING IN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC OPPORTUNITIES. I SPEND MOST OF MY TIME INVESTING, I SUPPOSE, ALTHOUGH SINCE BEING OVERWEIGHTED IN NFI MOST OF MY TIME IS SPENT IN PROVIDING MARKET COMMENTARY AND TACKLING WHAT I PERCEIVE TO BE INEQUITIES IN THE MARKET OR THE SYSTEM.

9. Other than sailing, do you have any other hobbies or interests?

I ACTUALLY DON’T LIKE SAILING, BUT IF THE HAT THING WORKS FOR YOU…I LIKE TO WRITE – HAVE ACTUALLY WRITTEN A GRISHAM-TYPE FICTION NOVEL PREDICATED ON A VENGEFUL, CROOKED HEDGE FUND MANAGER WITH CRIMINAL TIES WHO USES HIS CONTACTS IN THE MEDIA TO PERSECUTE A GUY THAT DEVELOPS A WEBSITE TO EXPOSE HIS DIRTY DEEDS. IT’S A GOOD READ, MOVES WELL, THE INVESTORS ARE A WHO'S WHO OF CRIMINAL SYNDICATES, AND THE PLAYERS BELIEVE THEMSELVES TO BE ABOVE THE LAW DUE TO THEIR POLICTICAL CONNECTIONS. AM DEBATING GETTING A LITERARY AGENT OR JUST SELF-PUBLISHING TO CAPITALIZE ON ALL THE ATTENTION “I” SEEM TO BE GETTING.

10. Do you own stock in Overstock.com?

I OWNED OPTIONS FOR HALF A YEAR OR SO. LOST MONEY ON THEM WHEN THE PRICE DROPPED, IN SPITE OF THE COMPANY'S PROFITABILITY. I INVESTED IN THEM BECAUSE I LIKE AND RESPECT THE OPINION OF THEIR CEO, AND BELIEVE THAT A GOOD DISCOUNT ONLINE RETAILER IS FOLLY TO BET AGAINST. I MAY BUY SOME MORE AS WE APPROACH THE HOLIDAYS AGAIN – RETAILING, THE HOLIDAYS, SORT OF GO TOGETHER.

12 How did you decide to create the NFI Info site?

I GOT TIRED OF THE VOCATIONALLY DILIGENT CLOGGING OF THE YAHOO MESSAGE BOARD BY TEAMS OF BASHERS, WHOSE ONLY OBJECTIVE WAS TO DISRUPT THAT FORUM AND RENDER IT USELESS AS A COMMUNICATION TOOL. IT STARTED BY ME TAKING SOME OF HHILL’S POSTS AND CONSOLIDATING THEM INTO A RESOURCE THAT WAS RANDOM ACCESS, THUS NON-DISRUPTABLE, AS OPPOSED TO THE CONTIGUOUS STREAM THAT THE BOARDS REPRESENT. IT HAS SINCE MORPHED INTO THE BEAST THAT IT REPRESENTS TODAY, WHICH IS THE LARGEST AND MOST COMPLETE SITE OF ITS KIND THAT I KNOW OF.

13. Are you still 44 years old?

WAIT A MINUTE – YOU KNOW THE GUY’S BOAT GUY’S NAME, BUT NOT HIS BIRTHDAY? IF HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE 44, AND WAS NOW 41…NOW THAT WOULD BE A STORY.

14. When did you become concerned about naked shorting? How did you find out about it?

IT FIRST CAME TO MY ATTENTION AFTER THE WSJ PRINTED ITS BADLY COMPROMISED ARTICLE ABOUT NFI ON APRIL 12 OF 2004 – I COULDN’T UNDERSTAND THE TRADING VOLUMES WE WERE SEEING. IT WENT FROM SUSPICION TO CONFIRMED FACT WHEN SHO WAS PUBLISHED IN DECEMBER OF 2004 (IN PRELIMINARY FORM). UNTIL THEN, IT WAS MOSTLY GUESSWORK AS THERE WAS NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE TO BE HAD. IT BECAME FACT THEN, AND MY EMPHASIS SHIFTED.

15. I understand you made a Feb. 4 donation to NCANS of $XXXX into (sic – should be from) Peoria, Ill., Merrill Lynch brokerage account # XXXXX in the name of XXXXXXXXXXX, Inc. Is that correct? Have you made any other donations to NCANS?

NCANS DONATED MONEY TO MERRILL, OR SOME COMPANY? REALLY? HUH. WONDER WHY? OR ARE YOU SAYING THAT THIS XXXXXX COMPANY DONATED TO NCANS OUT OF THAT ACCOUNT? I THINK THAT’S WHAT YOU MUST MEAN. NO COMMENT AS IT SPEAKS TO IDENTITY. THAT DOES SEEM INTERESTING TO ME IN THE SENSE THAT IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE PRIVILEGED INFO, IF YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY THAT ACCOUNT DONATED TO NCANS, AS IT WOULD HAVE HAD TO HAVE GONE TO THE ATTORNEY CLIENT TRUST ON THE NCANS SITE, AND FURTHER APPEARS TO BE PRIVATE BANK INFO - SOMETHING THAT IF I’M CORRECT, WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL BANKING LAWS IN HAVING OBTAINED. CARE TO EXPLAIN HOW YOU HAVE THAT INFO WITHOUT HAVING COMMITTED A FELONY, OR HAVING ACTED AS AN ACCESSORY TO A FELONY, I,E, USING INFO THAT ONLY COULD HAVE COME FROM AN ILLEGAL SOURCE? CAN THE ATTORNEYS AT THE WSJ EXPLAIN HOW YOU COULD HAVE THAT INFO WITHOUT HAVING VIOLATED FEDERAL LAW, OR BEING FED INFO FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS? THOSE SEEM LIKE PRETTY GOOD QUESTIONS TO ME. COMMENTS?

16. Can you tell me a bit about XXXXXXXXX Corp. and XXXXXX Technologies Inc.? What kinds of business did they conduct? What was your role at these companies?

ASKED AND ANSWERED – THE NAMES ARE NOT INVOLVED IN NCANS OR NFI, ARE THEY? IF SO, HOW?

17. DXXXXXX was incorporated through an agent named James XXXXX. Have you met Mr. XXXXXX? Have you done any other business with Mr. XXXXX besides working with him on the loan to XXXXXX? If yes, what was it?

I HAVE NO IDEA WHO YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. I DON’T THINK I’M LETTING THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG ON THAT ONE. YOU ARE GOING DOWN A FRUITLESS PATH.

18. Did you meet BXX MXXXXXX, the founder of XXXXXXXX, at any point? Did you ever have a discussion with Mr. XXXXXX about Novastar, naked shorting or NCANS? Has Mr. XXXXXX donated to NCANS?

I WOULD SUGGEST THAT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT A DIFFERENT COMPANY OR INDIVIDUAL, YOU ASK THEM, NOT ME. HOW ARE THEY RELEVANT TO NFI OR NAKED SHORTING OR NCANS? I’LL CHECK WITH MARY AND THE ATTORNEY THAT ADMINISTERS NCANS, BUT I DON’T BELIEVE THAT ANYONE BY THAT NAME HAS SENT NCANS ANY MONEY. WHY – DOES HE WANT TO? WE CAN ALWAYS USE A FEW MORE DOLLARS TO DO GOD’S WORK.

19. Have you ever discussed Novastar with Mr. XXXX (an attorney)? Have you discussed naked shorting or NCANS with Mr. XXXX?

ASKED AND ANSWERED = IT WOULD SPEAK TO MY IDENTITY, AND WOULD FURTHER VIOLATE ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVELEGE, IF HE WAS MY ATTORNEY. IS THERE SOME SIGNIFICANCE TO MR. XXXX THAT I NEED TO BE AWARE OF? WHY BEAT AROUND THE BUSH – IS HE NOW WITH NFI?

20. Have you ever met Mr. XXXX's partner, MXXX XXXX? Have you discussed naked shorting, Novastar or NCANS with Mr. XXXXX?

ASKED AND ANSWERED. SPEAKS TO MY IDENTITY, I PRESUME, AND THUS IS NOT SOMETHING I WILL COMMENT ON. ALTHOUGH WOULD IT BE BAD TO HAVE DISCUSSED NAKED SHORTING, OR NCANS, OR NFI, WITH HIM, AND IF SO, WHY, SPECIFICALLY? JUST CURIOUS.

21. Have either Mr. XXXX or Mr. XXXX or anyone from (Law Firm Name) ever provided you with information or analysis on Novastar?

NOBODY FROM THAT FIRM HAS EVER PROVIDED ME WITH ANY INFORMATION OR ANALYSIS ABOUT NFI, UNLESS THEY ARE ONE OF THE CONTRIBUTING POSTERS (BOVINE, INVESTOR AND TRADER, ABOUT 5 OR 6 OTHERS) WHOSE IDENTITIES ARE NOT KNOWN TO ME. ARE THEY ONE OF THOSE? ASSUMING NOT, THEN NO.

22. How many Nevada corporations have you set up or have been affiliated with? I have a list of your affiliations that includes: XXXXXXXX LLC; YYYYYYYYY LLC; ZZZZZZZZZZ Inc.; AAAAAA Inc.; BBBBBBBBBB Inc.

WHY WOULD ANY COMPANY FORMATION BE OF INTEREST, PRESUMING I AM INVOLVED IN ANY OF THOSE? ARE THEY PUBLIC? NAKED SHORTED? UP TO NO GOOD? WHICH ONES, AND HOW? AGAIN, I’M CURIOUS. WHY SHOULD I, OR ANYONE, CARE? Are those correct? Have I missed any? Could you tell me what these corporations were set up for? I understand that ZZZZZZZ's had a sandwich shop, for instance. THAT’S A RELIEF – THE WHOLE ZZZZZZZz’S THING, SO CLOSELY TIED TO CHEETAH’S, HAD ME WORRIED…SO HOW DO SANDWICHES TIE INTO NAKED SHORT SELLING OR NFI, PRECISELY?

23. XXXXl, you have a history of involvement in what some would call the penny stock world, having lent money to XXXXXXXX. Some critics and short-sellers would consider it ironic that you see yourself as a champion of the little guy when you have been a lender to a penny stock. How would you respond to that?

YOU MENTIONED XXXXXX BEFORE, AND I WILL TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT THAT THEY WERE A PENNY STOCK. HOW WOULD LENDING MONEY TO XXXXXX INVOLVE ME IN SOME WAY IN THE SEEDY WORLD OF PENNY STOCKS, OR PRECLUDE ME FROM BEING THE CHAMPION OF THE LITTLE GUY, OR MORE ACCURATELY SOMEONE WHO IS AN OUTSPOKEN OPPONENT OF ILLEGAL TRADING MECHANISMS USED BY HEDGE FUNDS? IF I LEND MONEY TO PARTY X, AND THEN HAVE TO SUE TO GET IT BACK, HOW AM I SUDDENLY “INVOLVED” IN THE PENNY STOCK WORLD (PRESUMING THAT WAS ME)? ARE YOU SERIOUS WITH THIS STUFF? REALLY?

25. XXXX, some people think that your view that certain reporters, such as Herb Greenberg and Liz MacDonald, are tools of hedge funds is extreme. How do you respond to such a view?

WELL, AS I PERUSE THE 30 SOMETHING NEGATIVE PIECES HERB WROTE IN ONE YEAR ABOUT NFI, I WONDER ALOUD AS TO HIS MOTIVATION TO COVER AN OBSCURE MREIT WHOSE ACCOUNTING HE DOESN’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. HE ALSO SEEMS TO COVER A LOT OF RP SHORT PLAYS. DO YOU HAVE AN EXPLANATION FOR THAT? AS TO LIZ, I THINK HER RECORD OF SHORT AT $40, COVER AT $20 SPEAKS FOR ITSELF – THAT WAS PRE-SPLIT NUMBERS, AND NFI HAS NOW PAID MORE THAN THAT $10 JUST IN DIVIDENDS. DO YOU FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE THAT WELL-CONNECTED HEDGE FUND MANAGERS ARE ABOVE HAVING REPORTERS PURSUE THEIR AGENDAS FOR THEM? CARE TO CIRCLE BACK TO THE BANKING RECORD QUESTIONS? OR WANT TO READ THE LATEST BARRON’S FROLIC ABOUT GETTING TO KIDNAPPING OR KILLING FROM “HOW’S THE WEATHER”? ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO TELL ME THAT THIS IS NEWS, BUT THE GRANDFATHERING OF ALL FAIL TO DELIVERS THROUGH JANUARY OF 2005 ISN’T? WHAT COLOR SHIRTS I FAVOR – NEWS. ENTIRE US FINANCIAL SYSTEM IN JEOPARDY – NOT NEWS. GOT IT.

25. Some investors and short-sellers believe you conceal your identity because of your connections to Novastar and your past penny-stock history. What kind of validity do those assertions have, if any?

WHICH INVESTORS? RXXXR PARTNERS? AGAIN - I HAVE NO CONNECTION TO NFI. THERE IS NONE. I HAVE NO PAST PENNY STOCK HISTORY, AND HAVEN’T INVESTED IN ANY (DID “I” EVER OWN ANY XXXXXXXXXX STOCK THAT “I” BOUGHT AND LATER SOLD? YES? NO? YOU DON’T KNOW, AND ARE ATTEMPTING TO USE THE DECLARATIVE TO MASK YOUR LACK OF SUBSTANCE?) – I CAN APPRECIATE THAT YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO CREATE CONNECTIONS WHEREIN NONE EXIST, AND ONLY HAVE A “HISTORY” THAT APPEARS TO AMOUNT TO LENDING SOME MONEY AND THEN SUING SOMEONE TO GET IT BACK – BUT THAT MERELY CONFIRMS MY INITIAL TAKE ON YOUR AGENDA, WHICH IS TO DO A HATCHET JOB ON ME AND TRY TO LINK ME TO SOMETHING UNTOWARDS.

27. After you published personal information about Marc Cohodes's family, you wrote: "I realized that I had crossed an ethical line when I posted Marc's address on the Yahoo boards." But then you followed that up the next day with a seeming change of heart: "There was no threat, in either a legal sense, or a moral sense." and added: "I am now too big a threat to their activities. And they want me silenced, at any cost, or smeared to the point where the message is ignored. Good luck with that." Do you still think you crossed an ethical line or do you think you were justified in publishing his address and the names of his wife and son?

I BELIEVE THAT MY APOLOGY IS COMPLETE. I FEEL THAT I CROSSED A LINE, THAT WAS NOT A LEGAL OR MORAL THREAT LINE, BUT RATHER A STOOPING TO THE LEVEL OF MY ADVERSARIES LINE. I PUBLISHED AN ADDRESS, WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION. THIS IS TIRED NEWS, IF IT EVER WAS, AND MY POSITION IS PRETTY CLEAR TO ANYONE THAT CAN READ. I DO BELIEVE THAT I PRESENT ONE OF THE SINGLE LARGEST THREATS TO THIS PARTICULAR VARIANT OF ILLEGAL STOCK MANIPULATION, HENCE ALL THE INTEREST IN LITTLE OLD ME AND TRYING TO HANG SOMETHING UGLY ON ME.

28. Has anyone from NovaStar provided information or analysis to you about the company and its operations?

NO, OR WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN MORE OF IT CORRECT AT THE OUTSET – SOME OF WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS THE WAY THE COMPANY WORKED TURNED OUT TO BE INCOMPLETE OR INCORRECT. EVEN NOW WE GET CORRECTIONS. I HAVE CALLED INVESTOR RELATIONS ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS AS AN ANONYMOUS CALLER, IN ORDER TO GET THE OFFICIAL SPIN ON AN EVENT OR QUESTION A NUMBER, BUT I NEVER ANNOUNCED MYSELF AND HAVE TAKEN GREAT PAINS TO AVOID ANY CONNECTION, ALTHOUGH I PRESUME FROM YOUR SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION TONE YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE A CONNECTION – I WOULD POSIT THAT I AM ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION FROM DAVID ROCKER, MARC COHODES, WARREN BUFFET, AND THE POPE, SO UNLESS YOU HAVE NFI ANY CLOSER THAN THEY ARE YOU HAVE NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE, AND YOU SOUND SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW IT.

I know these are a lot of questions. I hope you will respond to them. If you change your mind and want to discuss some answers by phone or get some clarification, I am available as always:

212-XXX-XXXX.

JESSE, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. YOU HAVE A FEW THREADS, A GUY WHO KNOWS A GUY WHO KNOWS A GUY WHO IS PRESUMABLY CONNECTED TO NFI – AND A LOAN TO SOMEBODY THAT WOUND UP HAVING TO GO TO COURT TO GET REPAID. THAT’S IT. THAT’S WHAT YOU HAVE, AFTER OVER A MONTH. IT’S THIN, YOU HAVE TO ADMIT.

I, ON THE OTHER HAND, HAVE QUITE A FEW THINGS. AMONG THEM ARE:

1) MARK CXXXX SENDING ME EMAILS A MONTH AGO (AROUND A WEEK AFTER YOU STARTED DIGGING) AS WELL AS TO OTHERS, SAYING HE THOUGHT I WAS “XXXX”. YOU NEVER ADDRESSED THAT. PLEASE DO. IT SPEAKS TO YOUR CREDIBILITY AND WILL SURELY BECOME A BIG ISSUE WHEN YOUR ARTICLE BREAKS – HE REALLY IS NEWS, OF A SORT. IT BEGS ALL SORTS OF INTERESTING QUESTIONS AS TO HOW HE GOT THAT INFO SO QUICKLY, WHETHER IT CAME FROM YOU, OR THE INFO TO YOU CAME FROM HIM, OR WHETHER THE NETWORK OF HEDGE FUNDS WERE SHARING INFO, TO WHICH WE CAN TURN OUR ATTENTION IN THE NEXT POINT.

2) YOU HAVE WHAT APPEARS TO ME TO BE CONFIDENTIAL BANKING RECORDS/INFORMATION. I’M NO EXPERT, BUT THAT WOULD APPEAR TO BE A VIOLATION OF NCANS’ PRIVACY, ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVELEGE, AND FEDERAL BANKING LAWS. THAT IS DEEP WATER, AND YOU REALLY NEED A GOOD EXPLANATION AS TO HOW YOU OBTAINED IT, AND FROM WHOM – JOURNALISTIC PRIVILEGE DOES NOT PROTECT FELONIOUS BEHAVIOR, THAT I AM AWARE OF, AND IT HAS JUSTIFIABLY MADE ME VERY CONCERNED ABOUT MY PERSONAL SAFETY NOW, AND INTO THE FUTURE (IT SERVES AS A CONFIRMATION THAT THE LAW IS NOT A PROTECTION FROM THE BAD GUYS).

3) YOUR PREVIOUS, SINCERE SOUNDING EMAILS MAKE IT SEEM AS THOUGH MY ISSUE WITH YOU, THAT I SUSPECTED YOU WERE ATTEMPTING TO DO A HATCHET JOB, WAS ERRONEOUS. AFTER A MONTH, WE NOW HAVE VIOLATIONS OF BANKING LAW, HEDGE FUND CONNECTED BILLIONAIRES CONFIRMING THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN YOUR INVESTIGATION (AND AGAIN, NOT JUST TO ME), AND WHAT AMOUNTS TO A SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION ARGUMENT, AND A LOAN.

NOW LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN: HOW DID CXXXXX KNOW WHO YOU THOUGHT I WAS OVER A MONTH AGO, HOW HAVE YOU OBTAINED FEDERALLY PROTECTED BANKING INFO AS WELL AS PHONE RECORDS (FROM A COLLEAGUE WHO INDICATED YOU CALLED ON HIS PRIVATE LINE, ONLY GIVEN TO HIS WIFE AND HIS FISHING BUDDIES – ALSO A FEDERAL VIOLATION, BTW, AND ACTIONABLE), AND WHY ARE YOU SO INTERESTED IN CREATING A STORY OUT OF PHANTOMS? TRY ANSWERING THESE SIMPLE QUESTIONS AND PERHAPS WE HAVE A DIALOG.

MY TAKE ON IT IS YOU HAVE NOTHING, ARE TRYING TO COBBLE TOGETHER SOMETHING, AND BASICALLY HAVE DUG UP A GUY THAT HASN’T DONE ANYTHING BAD, SO YOU ARE GOING TO TRY TO CALL MAKING A LOAN “BEING INVOLVED IN PENNY STOCK WORLD” AND KNOWING A GUY WHO KNOWS A GUY WHO KNOWS A GUY A “CONNECTION”.

DID I LEAVE ANYTHING OUT? DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE ANYONE ISN’T GOING TO BE MORE INTERESTED IN MY QUESTIONS THAN IN YOURS? THINK ABOUT IT. THERE’S NO STORY HERE. SO WHY ALL THE ATTENTION? MAKES ONE GO HMMMMM, AS ‘TWERE. HOPE YOU GOT LUCKY IN VEGAS.

Friday, June 03, 2005

It Would Appear That The WSJ Has A Problem Now

Several days ago, I emailed and posted a list of questions, asking Mr. Jesse Eisinger whether he felt that felony breach of federal laws was acceptable behavior - and he's gone dark on me, except for the email at the end of this post.

NEWS: I have sent Jesse an email indicating that if there is no satisfactory response as to how he is in posession of detailed bank and phone info by 8PM EST on June 4, I will publish the full text of our email exchanges, redacted to protect the innocent. The text of that email is at the end of this entry.

The email exchanges we've had will show that he has represented himself as benign, intending no malice, wanting to get together, eager to communicate, to hang out, shoot the shit, basically cut to the chase on all this silliness involving my anonymity, my motives, etc.

I politely declined. Being as he is a kindred and familiar of Rocker, Cohodes, Greenberg, etc. it seemed a tad, well, suspicious, to say the least.

And then he turns up with a host of leading questions, amongst which he demonstrates intimate familiarity of the details of an attorney's trust account, used by NCANS to receive donations (partially so that nobody can ever accuse me of taking the money and going to Cheetah's - not that there's anything wrong with that, per se) - which I naturally am alarmed about, as it would indicate that Federal laws have been broken, and that Jesse has possession of privileged, protected, and presumably stolen data. The implication is that every donor to NCANS is now known to the hedge funds whose interests NCANS opposes - I, and several others, have received emails from a prominent personality who is closely tied to the hedge funds, intimating that he knows "my" real name. Which would imply that he has access to all the rest of the data as well, as does everyone else in his circle - every donor harmed in a material and illegal way by having their privacy violated and their financial transactions exposed - that's why banking records are confidential. Anyone see a problem here?

I also have received info from a significant contributor to NCANS, who has done me small favors like obtaining Yahoo ID's and cell phones and the like, that friends, physicians, brokers have gotten calls from Mr. Eisinger - implying that one of the phones I have used and which was presumably also used by this fellow has been hacked, and the calling records illegally obtained. This starts to take on an ominous tone, and one that if accurate contains multiple felonies, as well as the basis of pretty compelling civil action.

Then, I get word that this guy's aged relative, who lives in a gated compound, was visited by Mr. Eisinger (I presume - that is how he was represented, but we really don't know, do we?), and the neighbors questioned at length, terrifying the septuagenarian relative before Jesse was ejected and cited for trespassing; the relative had no idea what was going on, and it took the donor in question a few days to hear about it and make the event known to me. Emotional distress, you are thinking? You betcha. And all, apparently, because this donor contributed some cash and content to NCANS and did us some favors. Obviously someone Jesse thinks is the perfidious Bob O'Brien himself, or one of his intimates - forgive me if I yawn at this point, and wonder aloud as to whether the end justifies the means.

So I posed some questions to Mr. Eisinger - what level of felonious behavior is permissible, in his book? Stolen bank records? Stolen phone records? Scaring old folks based on those stolen records? Distributing the data to folks who will use it in unknown and uncontrollable ways?

Someone obviously considers multiple felonies child's play, so what other, more insidious behavior awaits?

Strangely, no answer now. It's all quiet in Jesse town. No responses, no explanations, no "you got it all wrong", no eagerness to chew the fat.

Jesse believes he knows who I am. Jesse believes he knows these things largely due, as far as I can tell, to stolen records he has obtained through means which are unknown to us at this time. Jesse has gone down a road which yields no fruit, which I tried to tell him without being too obvious - but he needs a Bob O'Brien, and he will have one, and apparently anything goes when you have your story written and need to fit the facts to the theory.

The question is what is permissible behavior by our press? Cameron Diaz is suing the Enquirer for $30 million because of one of their reporters lying to an aged relative in order to pepper her with questions, and allegedly making up a story out of a hodgepodge of incongruent facts.

They didn't commit felonies. They just "allegedly" lied. That is nothing compared with this - wouldn't a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, in possession of impermissibly obtained data he is presumably using to build his "case", be worse - much worse, than a tabloid doing a smear on a celebrity? Wouldn't he be expected to know better? The real question is whether a wealthy, powerful hedge fund can direct media cronies to target voices of dissention and opposition, hoping to smear and silence those that have gained too much influence and visibility - that certainly appears to be one convincing explanation for all the attention being focused on me - those that have violated the law with the FTD situation don't like the spotlight I've directed at them. And if that is the case here, and if multiple felonies are evident, just how clear does the violation have to be before some heads roll?

So Jesse, where is the line? Lying? Felonious pilfering of banking records? Theft of phone records? What is unacceptable? Is there a line? In my hypothetical "profile" of you, if I somehow received all that illegally obtained data in your case, and it made it to powerful, angry, potentially criminally linked folks who dislike your actions, can I just shrug my shoulders and say not my problem - it happens? If I do my profile on you, are these actions OK? Yes? No? Only some of the above? I really want to understand. Help me understand.

Barron's recently reported that one hedge fund manager felt threatened by "how's the weather" and "how's the wife and kids" - should I feel threatened with NCANS' donors' info being bandied about by the bad guys? How about if it was all Herb's phone logs - wasn't Herb whining about that like it was the end of the world just recently, in outrage, demanding the FBI to do something? How about if he could place a WSJ reporter with them in his possession? Would that warrant some column inches, ya think? Or what about if someone showed up to "interview" some relatives of someone they had mistaken for Marc, or David, or you? Would that cross some really scary lines? Yes? No? No opinion? Cat got your tongue?

Simple questions. Why not answer them? This is a much more interesting story than who's Bob O'Brien.

So answer the questions, Jesse.

Take your time. And maybe seek advice of counsel before you do so.

They are really good questions, I think.

Ball's in your court. The silence is deafening. As it always appears to be when one of these guys gets caught flat footed.

----------------
Here's the latest email from a few minutes ago:

I had a follow-up issue for you to respond to, if you would, please. As you know some hedge fund investors believe it is "cowardly" of you to hide your true identity behind a phony one. I would like to solicit your response to that.
Thank you,
Jesse

Well, Jesse, I find it cowardly to use stolen bank info and phone records and the like to try to identify someone, in violation of federal laws. Again, the only folks who seem preoccupied by my identity are the hedge funds. Why do they want to know who I am?

Answer: To do me harm, to intimidate, to slander and libel, to silence a voice of dissention who is gumming up their carefully crafted campaign of lawbreaking and manipulation. There are numerous examples of hedge funds who wind up being connected to mob folks and terrorist money - look at Elgindy to get a flavor, or Valentine's little game. These are criminals - they've been convicted, it's not in question. So your question is "why don't you want criminals to have all of your personal data - isn't that cowardly?" Are you really that dim? Would you want a criminal group to have your data? Just look at how many federal laws appear to have been violated so far in your little probe.

I have broken no laws by creating the websites. I am under no obligation to reveal my identity. And yet I am being hunted as though I am public enemy number one, by a group that does not have my best interests at heart. Why don't you try answering some frank questions, which are articulated pretty clearly on my blog and my email to you?

This email will be published, BTW. Our arrangement of confidentiality on emails going forward is off - when I discovered the banking record thing, phone record thing, in person appearance thing, lines have been crossed that solidify your adversarial intent. It will be interesting to see how you spin your prior emails which state that you really just want to share my side of the story given your actions to date. So answer the questions, OK, don't just stonewall them. They are good questions. Very good questions.

-----------------------
Jesse:

I have given this a lot of thought, and it would appear that our interests are diverging into an area that is increasingly adversarial. I went along with the notion that you were not looking to do a lambasting of "me" but rather a profile, but frankly your actions and the nature of the information you have obtained and demonstrated fluency with, coupled with your refusal to answer the questions I sent you, leaves me with an ethical dilemma I don't take lightly. To that end, if by Saturday 8PM EST I don't hear a satisfactory explanation of how you would have granular banking information and donor info on NCANS, as well as how you obtained privileged telephone info, I will consider our agreement to have run its course and will be publishing the full text of all our exchanges, redacted to protect the names of the innocent. I had hoped that you would have a satisfactory explanation as to how you have come by the info you have, however I can only interpret your silence as an admission that there is no coherent explanation that does not involve impropriety of the most base sort.

Please consider this formal notice.

AKA Bob O'Brien

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My Profile of Jesse Eisinger of the Wall Street Journal

It seems like a good idea, actually - why not profile an ex-Thestreet.com writer who now works for a major pub, plays poker with hedge fund guys, and has invested a month of his time in profiling me, against my wishes? In fact, it will give him an opportunity to comment on the tactics employed during his little journey of pseudo-discovery, and provide a fun basis for any action brought against him. So why not, I say? Here's the complete text of an email sent to him a few minutes ago. I have agreed to keep his emails private up until this point - I would say that now, all communications will be aired, as this seems bigger than just me anymore. There's some pretty significant legal and ethical questions that come into play, and I think that's a more interesting story.

The following was emailed to Jesse a few minutes ago. I will post any responses I receive. It mirrors a format we used in our interactions, and contains data that can be inferred by the reader to be accurate. I agreed to keep Jesse's emails confidential, and will, up until now, but I think that this has gotten large enough to merit further visibility on any subsequent communications.

Jesse:

Your list of questions to me yesterday, and the information contained therein, got me thinking about what a fascinating story profiling a reporter for the WSJ might be. I should alert you that this list of questions will be going up on the blog, as I am hopeful that others can further refine my stumbling attempts at gaining clarity into how the investigative reporting process works. You will note many are eerily similar to your list of questions. I apologize in advance – there are no new ideas. I do hope that you won’t mind being the topic of a profile. I can assure you that only the most positive intent is at heart, and apologize if some of the questions are tough ethical/legal ones.

1) Where did you first get the idea of profiling Bob O’Brien? From whom, specifically?

2) Do you know, or have you ever met, David Rocker, of Rocker Partners? If so, when was the last time the two of you interacted? Was Bob O’Brien, NFI, NCANS, or your investigative report of me ever discussed?

3) Do you know, or have you ever met, Marc Cohodes, of Rocker Partners? If so, when was the last time the two of you interacted? Was Bob O’Brien, NFI, NCANS, or your investigative report of me ever discussed?

4) Do you know, or have you ever met, Herb Greenberg of CBSMarketwatch? If so, when was the last time the two of you interacted? Was Bob O’Brien, NFI, NCANS, or your investigative report of me ever discussed?

5) Do you know, or have you ever met, Mark Cuban? If so, when was the last time the two of you interacted? Was Bob O’Brien, NFI, NCANS, or your investigative report of me ever discussed?

6) Do you know, or have you ever met, Tyler Burke? If so, when was the last time the two of you interacted? Was Bob O’Brien, NFI, NCANS, or your investigative report of me ever discussed?

7) Would it be acceptable for me to obtain attorney/client privileged information about you and your connections? I am doing a profile, so the journalistic protections afforded you should be in effect. If not, why would that be unacceptable? Would you consider LexisNexis and your credit report to be OK to get without your permission, or to be passed them by third parties? If not, why not? Did that not happen in your investigation of Bob O’Brien?

8) Would it be acceptable for me to obtain your banking records, as well as the banking records of the other subjects of my profile, including hedge funds I suspect you may be linked to – someone might just pass them to me, and I can’t reveal my sources – you know how that goes? I know they are federally protected, but I am doing a profile. If not, why would that be unacceptable? Did that happen in your investigation of Bob O’Brien? Please explain, for the record, how you obtained the account information of NCANS, to the level of detail that includes dates of donations, accounts money came from, the names of the donators, etc. Please further explain how that is not a violation of the donors’ privacy, Federal law, and the attorney client privilege, given that it is an attorney’s trust account?

9) Would it be acceptable for me to obtain your telephone records, as well as the telephone records of those I suspect you may be affiliated with, in order to contact every person you have called over the last 90 days, and ask questions pertaining to my profiling of collusive connections between hedge funds and reporters, specifically you? I know those are federally protected, but I am doing a profile. If that would not be acceptable, why not? Did you, or someone passing information to you, not do exactly that in your profile of Bob O’Brien? Given that some numbers called were limited to one or two people, we can pretty much link that – so would it be OK to do so in your case? If unacceptable, why?

10) Would it be acceptable for “Bob “O’Brien” to physically visit your aged relatives, and their neighbors, in order to get some depth on you? Let them know that I am doing a profile on you and the connection to hedge funds, and further send the message that I am willing to travel to drive my point home? Would that be an invasion of your privacy, do you think, or acceptable? If unacceptable, why, exactly, given that you did so in Bob O’Brien’s case? Would trespassing on private property be acceptable to gain access to these folks – you know, going into a guard gated community where they live, in violation of the laws against doing so. Would that be OK? If not, why not?

11) Can you offer an explanation as to how Mr. Cuban had access to your information, or at least your speculation of Bob’s real name, within a few days of your beginning your profile? He came out and used it in an email exchange, so it was known. How did that happen, do you think?

12) Can you speculate as to what lengths hedge funds with hundreds of millions in the balance will go to in order to silence their critics? Do you think they would break Federal banking laws? Federal communications laws? Federal privacy laws? If they would do so, are there any reasons for you to believe that they wouldn’t break other Federal laws?

13) Given that we are talking about Federal lawbreakers here, can you help me understand how having what you presume to be my real identity in the hands of these fellows, which would appear to be highly likely given some of the email exchanges, would not pose a clear and present danger to me, if correct? You have been advised of the danger, and have first hand experience with the lengths they will go to, and yet have shown no interest in my safety or the safety of those around me. Would you please help me understand why I should feel any compunctions about any privacy or safety concerns you might have as objections?

14) Given that colleagues of yours at Barron's like Alpert were outraged at Mr. Cohodes' publicly available address being posted on the message boards, do you think his sense of outrage will be far greater over the types of invasions I have described, or do you believe that outrage will be selectively reserved for friends and cronies? Could you help me understand the difference in response we can expect?

Sorry the list is so long, and I probably will have more questions as this develops – but yours was longer, so I figure you can return the favor. I appreciate your answering these, to help with my profile, and to give the folks at home better visibility as to what passes for journalistic ethics and acceptable boundaries for members of the media.