A New Business Model for Financial Journalism; Should the Justice Department Investigate?


Super rich dude and dancer with the stars Mark Cuban funds meticulous researcher and reporter Chris Carey to do a small number of long, and long-brewing, exposes on the bullshit foundations of various businesses at the web site Sharesleuth. Cuban doesn't make his bank back on ads or subscription revenue–he makes it by shortselling the stock of the companies whose reputation Carey torpedoes, when they are publicly held.

The October Wired has a great detailed report on the operation of this great example of both journalistic and financial markets at work. However, it did make me think of the persecution of Martha Stewart. Is Cuban "insider trading" in the same way Martha Stewart was accused of doing?

After all, he's making money using knowledge he received through connections (with Carey, his employee) that the typical trader couldn't easily know. And it's just possible that some of Carey's information may have come from some Samuel Waksal-like company insider, directly or indirectly, saying something to someone he isn't legally allowed to say about his company. So I do wonder if insider-trading law mavens think a Justice Department investigation of Cuban is in order, and why or why not.