Today we begin our grand experiment — independent Web-based reporting aimed at exposing securities fraud and corporate chicanery.
Call it journalism. Call it investigative blogging. Call it what you will.
More than 13,000 companies are listed on U.S. stock exchanges. Analysts for brokerages and independent research firms track fewer than half of them. Overburdened examiners at the Securities and Exchange Commission review only a fraction of the filings that come their way.
If you’ve spent any time digging through muck and rot in the lower reaches of the stock market, you know that many investment opportunities are not what they seem, and that some companies are the creation of predators and pretenders.
Sharesleuth.com aims to create a new line of defense by using investigative journalism techniques and a worldwide network of amateur and professional stock detectives to identify suspect companies.
What we’re about
Unlike some other investment sites, we won’t base our reports on intensive financial and technical analysis. It will be a rare story that mentions trailing EBITDA, discounted cash flow, Bollinger Bands or Stochastic Oscillators.
Sharesleuth.com will scrutinize the people behind the companies and the stories behind the stocks.
We’re looking for companies that were built for fraud, for executives who are enriching themselves at shareholder expense, and for businesses whose behavior runs counter to their stated objectives or to the public interest.
Who we are
My name is Christopher Carey. I’m editor and president. I’ve been a business reporter for more than two decades, most recently at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I specialize in digging through SEC filings, court records and other documents to find information that companies try to bury, and in tracking the activities of known securities-law violators.
Mark Cuban, the majority partner in Sharesleuth.com, is co-founder of Broadcast.com and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. His other holdings include HDNet (a leading high-definition television network), HDNet Films, 2929 Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures and Landmark Theatres.
My goals for Sharesleuth.com are to shine a spotlight on questionable companies, to build an audience through unique, compelling stories and to generate multimedia content for other outlets, including HDNet and HDNet Films.
Unlike mainstream media outlets, we’re going to have a clear bias – against deception and corruption. We’re going to depart from the traditional “he said, she said’’ model of journalism, with its false balance and toothless objectivity.
We’re going to name names and show our evidence, by linking to documents, photographs and other information. We think that approach provides greater transparency than most newspapers, broadcast outlets and Internet news sites currently offer.
In certain instances, the majority partner of Sharesleuth.com is going to make personal investments based on information we uncover. Those investments will be fully disclosed, so that readers can evaluate any potential conflicts of interest.
I, however, will maintain my personal policy of not holding individual securities, and will report my stories no differently than I have throughout my career.
The bottom line
Sharesleuth.com will pursue stories based on their journalistic merit, their potential public impact and their entertainment value. I believe that the end result will speak for itself.
Look for our first investigative report in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ll post smaller news items and discussion topics to keep things rolling. You can subscribe to our RSS feed to track when new entries appear. Please feel free to leave comments, or email us with story tips.
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