Saturday, November 29, 2008

SEC v. Cuban

"The [SEC] filed civil insider-trading charges against Mark Cuban, saying the Dallas Mavericks owner dumped his stake in an Internet company just after he heard confidentially that the company was about to issue low-priced shares. ... Mr. Cuban, known for his tirades against national Basketball Association referees, quickly fired back at the securities cops, saying their claims were false, and that they had a 'facts be damned' attitude. ... In the SEC complaint, a witness described how Mr. Cuban allegedly flew off the handle in June 2004 when he was told about a proposed private offering in, an Internet company in which he had taken a roughly 6% stake earlier that year. ... Christopher Clark, a lawyer for Mr. Cuban, said, 'We're shocked. We find it incredible that given all the important issues that the SEC has to address with regard to today's economy they've sought to bring a $750,000 case relating to a he-said, she-said about one trade against a person whose integrity has never been questioned before with regard to the securities markets.' ... One question in the case is why the SEC waited more than four years to file charges related to the 2004 share sale. Mr. Cuban had written about the sale of his stock as early as 2005 on his blog", Kara Scannell, Leslie Eaton and Stephanie Simon at the WSJ, 18 November 2008.

"Mark Cuban is fighting back. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks laid out his defense to insider-trading charges Tuesday, saying he never agreed to keep private information about pending financing of an Internet company. ... On his blog Tuesday, Mr. Cuban struck back with a posting asserting, 'There was no agreement to keep information confidential.' Mr. Cuban's lawyers don't dispute that he may have been told the infomation was confidential, but they say he didn't agree to any confidentiality deal. ... Also Tuesday, Mr. Cuban's lawyers raised questions about potential SEC misconduct. ... The SEC responded in a letter dated Sept. 24, 2007, that Mr. [Jeffrey] Norris had no role in the investigation. 'Rest assured, political considerations and personal opinions will not have any bearing on any decisions that are being made during this investigation,' the SEC responded according to a copy of the letter. ... On Mr. Cuban's blog, he suggested there was improper conduct. 'Why did the SEC end their multiyear investigation of Inc. for alleged securities laws violations days before interviewing present and former Inc. executives about this matter? Was the timing a coincidence? We think not'," my emphasis, Kara Scannell and Leslie Eaton at the WSJ, 19 November 2008.

"Only recently did I learn that Cuban, in addition to being a wildly successful businessman and a genuinely brilliant if occasionally abrasive person, is an individualist whose favorite author is Ayn Rand. ... Bill O'Reilly ... , who suffers a severe histaminic reaction whenever he's exposed to critical thinking, insisted that Loose Change was a 'diversion' from the sacred war on terror that shouldn't be 'given a platform' of the sort Cuban offered. Cuban riposted that since the film was already in circulation on the internet and through other samidzat channels, it made more sense to bring it out in the open and confront its claims honestly.... Cuban's talk radio exchange with O'Reilly apparently was overheard by Jeffrey B. Morris, a Ft. Worth attorney employed by the [SEC] ... , one of the Regime's most corrupt and useless enforcement appendages. Inconsolably offended that someone would insult the supposed honor of his Fuhrer, Norris appears to have fashioned some kind of derogatory depiction of Cuban and threatened to make it public; this, it seems prompted Cuban to threaten action of some kind in defense of his reputation. ... This was apparently the first time Cuban had attracted the malevolent attention of the SEC's 'Patriotism Enforcement' division. He may have provoked official retaliation by his most recent effort to expose official squalor to the disinfecting rays of public sunlight. Cuban has underwritten the investigative website, which is devoted to chronicling and exposing the details of the largest economic crime in history: The theft of trillions of dollars from the middle class to cushion the financial collapse of politically favored Wall Street welfare whores. ... The SEC complaint is really weak beer. ... So now the same official financial enforcement apparatus that is laboring to put hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars into the hands of unreconstructed Wall Street criminals has targeted Mark Cuban for ruin over a purported offense involving $750,000. This is like Stalin and Vyshinsky taking a breather from the work of slaughtering millions of human beings in order to prosecute someone for cruelty to animals. Let there be no ambiguity about the matter: This is unalloyed retaliatory intimidation, the purpose of which is as transparent as the mechanics of the Plutocrat Bailout have been opaque. The rulers of this nation are aware that the financial system is in an irreversible implosion: like their counterparts in the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union circa 1990, they are prepared to strip this country bare before the collapse is consummated, and they're willing to ruin anybody with the means to pose any kind of plausible threat. ... It would be worthwhile for decent people in numbers as large as can be aranged to let Cuban know that we have his back", my emphasis, William Grigg (WG), 21 November 2008 at

This reeks to high heaven. I agree with Clark, why does the SEC bother with this miniscule case, even if everything the SEC claims is true? Haven't the SEC's enforcement people anything important to do? Like chew gum. $750,000 is 11% of my Blankfein test. Fuggedaboutit. What do I think is happening? It's Ray Dirks (RD) redux. In about 1973 RD embarrased the SEC by blowing the whistle on Equity Funding (EF) after giving the SEC a chance to act. The SEC stood on its hands and did nothing. Eventually the SEC charged RD with insider trading for telling his clients EF was a scam. RD fought the SEC to the Supreme Court and beat it at Dirks v. SEC, 463 US 646 (1983). The SEC does not like to be publicly embarrassed after being exposed for not doing its job. As for the SEC being a model of rectitude, read my posts under "SEC at Work". Hahahahaha, as the Mogambu Guru would say. I hope Cuban kicks the SEC's arse on this one.

"Potential SEC misconduct"? "Say it ain't so, Joe". This Cuban case looks like a cross between John Mack's and Ray Dirks'. Cuban's question is well taken. Who was's counsel? Was it Mary Jo White? Given how much CLOUT she apparently has at the SEC, Christopher Clark, Cuban's attorney, might want to add her as co-counsel. Then this case will be quashed instantly. I don't believe anything the SEC says here. Go Cuban!

WG's comments were an eye-opener. He has a lower opinion of the SEC than I do. I didn't think that was possible. Some related posts:


No comments: