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Hack Of The Day: Compliments Of Thestreet.com And Yahoo!
Sunday, June 21, 2009, by Stathis
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First, before you begin to read this typical example of subtle hack journalism, I want

you to have a look at the ad for Ron Insana. Apparently, this former CNBC hack has teamed up with Cramer and thestreet.com for a new gig

I’ll discuss him in the near future.

Next, have a look at the ad below.

You’ll see a guy who looks like Kojac’s son; just another useless trading service with bogus claims, headed by dirt bags with no professional industry experience or insights.

If you think I'm wrong, I invite you to fork over your money to this clown.

Is this guy trying to look intelligent? 

This is the kind of trash Yahoo! advertises.

This is just one more reason why Yahoo! is in the gutter.

Their content sucks and people are sick of it.

Yahoo! IS part of the mainstream media.

Notice how they have numerous partnerships with CNBC, FOX, ABC, etc., airing their propaganda.

If you want to escape from the mainstream media’s lies and deceit, Yahoo! is NOT the place.

These media companies need to start taking responsibility for whoring out their space because they are leveraging their brand and audience base to sell ads and airtime.

They should be held partially liable for trash they advertise or airtime they rent to con artists, like the infomercial crooks.

Okay, now let’s get to the article.

This hack begins by trying to compose some opening to a novel….

“I was in one of my favorite dining and drinking establishments the other night when an old friend happened to drop in to pick up some takeout….” 

What he means is that he was at McDonalds when he ran into a former bond trader who now worked there. 

Don’t laugh. This is not unheard of. Once you blow it on Wall Street your employment options are extremely limited because most of these guys are pure salesmen and lack any other skills. Most end up in the insurance industry or selling cars; jobs that take some really good sales skills.

I know a former bond trader who works at Home Depot; a nice guy too.

Nothing is wrong with working at Home Depot, but clearly, this man was being underutilized. He just didn't have any other viable options.

I also point this situation out because I wanted to show you how this perception of Wall Street prestige is an illusion in your own mind.

And they spend millions of dollars each year on TV and print media creating this fake image.

The hack continues...

…“he favored selected junk corporate and California general obligation bonds….he opined that there was no way general obligation paper would be allowed to default. That's pretty much in line with RealMoney contributor Tom Graff's excellent analysis of the California situation posted yesterday.”

First of all, whenever anyone says “no way [general obligation paper would be allowed to default],” it’s likely to end up happening. Second of all, this goofball doesn’t bother to mention that even in the best scenarios, if you buy munis right now, you’re likely to see your principal plummet.

What that means is that it could be a very long time before they rise again. Based on the fact that many elderly folks buy munis, it’s completely irresponsible for him to have not discussed that."

(By the way, for subscribers to the newsletter, I will be discussing my outlook for municipal bonds in the July issue)

But being responsible isn’t something you can count on from hacks, especially when they’re connected to Jim Cramer.

Notice the plug for Graff, one of his hack buddies. Let’s take a look at Tom. 

Interesting mug shot. I won’t say a thing. 

I’ll let you form your own thoughts about this guy’s appearance.

Next, you should notice that Mr. Graff has one particular quality that makes him a perfect candidate for thestreet.com, as well as a media hack; he is Jewish. If you are Jewish, you are given virtually automatic entry into the financial media, just like the situation with Hollywood.

The reason?  

It's called workplace discrimination or favoritism. 

Let’s have a look at his company’s website

Okay. It’s clear from looking at his site that he’s not doing much business. It looks like he made that site himself.  

I’d like to add that in my opinion, no honest person in the securities industry would ever contribute to realmoney.com, thestreet.com or any of the other hack sites out there. 

They’re always going to be guys working for shady shops or independent guys who will bend over backwards for free marketing presence.

Anyway you look at it, they’re always “nobodys” – guys who have nothing, can do nothing, or are washed-up has-beens.

What that means is that they can’t be trusted, not only because they’re obviously going to be biased, but also because their views will be restricted to the guidelines set forth by the agendas of these websites.

And marketing presence they get. They appear on CNBC and FBN because producers already know they’ve passed the screening criteria for being Wall Street hacks.

Appearance on these shows leads to many other marketing opportunities, from being invited to give speeches and lectures at big events to getting your own show.

Why?

Because the idiots of America attach credibility to anyone who has been on TV. 

I don’t want you to think that all guys who work independently in the securities industry are in this category. I’m sure there are some decent guys out there.

“While I agree with Doug Kass that Wall Street deserves to be spanked for the credit mess, these regulations are going to set the bar for stock prices lower. Forcing all hedge funds and advisers -- regardless of size or location -- to register is going to take some demand for stocks out of the marketplace.”

Notice how he throws in another plug for another realmoney.com contributor.

Kass is also a CNBC hack and has no idea what he’s talking about. 

He is just another extremist who has been bearish for many, many years.

Let’s have a look at Kass’ website, highlighting his "hedge fund."  

Impressive. Each of these guys might have spent $300 on their website tops. In fact, I doubt they spent a dime on them.

They look like they made their sites themselves. Kass obviously has some rinky-dink fund.

 

 

That’s why he whores himself out to the financial media. He’s looking for clients!

Most real hedge funds don’t even have websites because they are prohibited from soliciting to the general public.

But you see, this is where these small-time hedge funds get around SEC laws.

They appear on CNBC and FBN for interviews and are introduced as a hedge fund manager for such and such fund. In my opinion, that falls in the category of solicitation. 

Guys running real hedge funds wouldn’t waste time as regulars on these hack networks or writing for their print subsidiaries like realmoney.com or thestreet.com.

I know well what I’m talking about. If you’re a good hedge fund manager you don’t spend time looking for money. Money finds you.

And you certainly don’t look for money on hack networks because most of the viewers of CNBC and FBN are broke sheep looking for a big payoff.

Anyone can run a hedge fund. The term has lost much of its previous meaning because it’s so loosely used.

In my opinion, if you have been running a hedge fund for at least three years and you don’t have at least $50 million in it, then it’s not really a hedge fund.

Yet, when guests appear on CNBC and FBN, the host would have you think they are some great fund managers and experts. This is pure BS. I hope this article demonstrates that.

These guys are always patting each other on the back as a way to boost their credibility. But do you recall how wrote about an easy way to spot a Wall Street hack?

“Wall Street deserves to be spanked”? How about indictments need to be issued to the Wall Street banking executives? You will NEVER EVER hear anyone connected with the mainstream media make such comments because they’re Wall Street hacks. So the “spanking” means that hedge funds need to be regulated?” What a joke. 

“We have had a tremendous period of excess, and we need to establish a new level of economic activity. The level will be lower than the peak period of 2005 to 2007 and expectations need to be adjusted accordingly. A new reality is coming, and part of that reality is likely to be lower earnings and stock prices.”

Wow. How insightful! He’s at least two years late on this little speech. All of the saps have been saying this for quite some time now, which means it’s obvious to everyone. In other words, this has zero relevance.

This guy is so behind the curve he should feel embarrassed; that is if he realized it.

He goes on to further confirm has no idea what he’s talking about.

“Let me be clear: I am not completely out of stocks. I still hold some of my book-value beauties and lower-than-cash stocks. But I have cut my exposure back to where it was last summer.”

Like most people trying to establish credibility, this guy borrows a note out of Benjamin Graham’s book when he touts stocks with good book values.

The fact is that for most stocks, book values mean nothing unless there is a risk of bankruptcy. In that case it becomes important for bondholders since stock holders rarely receive anything.

Regardless, a knowledgeable investor would factor in market risk over any type of valuation situation since the market ultimately determines the valuation of individual stocks. 

This “I’m holding onto it because it’s valued good” approach is for mutual fund managers – you know, guys who must stay invested in the market at all times.  

It’s obvious to me this guy is a rookie.

To sheep, he may seem to know what he’s talking about. That’s the danger.

When I see guys like this preaching more doom, it only makes me become bullish. 

This is how I see it.  Now, was I too harsh? 

Read this update on Insana.


UPDATE (August 20, 2012): It would appear that Kass came across this piece and decided to spend another $100 to get a web template for his website. 

 

 

The point isn't that he has a cheap-ass website and therefore he is a clown and con artist. 

The point is that he is plastered on CNBC daily and has been for more than 7 years now, being introduced as a hedge fund manager, when in reality, he didn't really have any outside business before he received all of the free promo airtime from CNBC. This is not only deceiving, but I would argue it represents a form of fraud.

And, apparently, it took him 5 years of being pimped on CNBC on a daily basis before the sheep bit into the illusion that he was a hedge fund a manager. The fact is that you or anyone else can easily start your own hedge and call yourself a hedge fund manager, even if your fund only has $1000 in it and even if you haven't ever made a trade in the fund.

As you can see below, based on archived data, Kass had NO LOGINS to his client account portal until 2010. Compare this with the next image showing his web stats for the site's base URL. 

 

 

 

ALL OF THE CLOWNS INTERVIEWED BY THE FINANCIAL MEDIA USE THIS DECEPTION. They claim to be running a major fund or firm when the reality is that they are usually the only person. Peter Schiff did the same thing. He managed a 2 or 3-employee brokerage firm, without bothering to mention that he only had one other broker before he was pimped by CNBC.

What most people do not realize is that anyone can open or "own" their own brokerage firm. All you have to do to set it up is pass a few easy exams and find a broker-dealer to clear through.  Yet, when people hear that some guy owns "his own brokerage firm," they envision a big Wall Street firm with thousands of employees, tens of millions of dollars of resources, an army of analysts and so forth.

 

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