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ShareSoc does great work campaigning for private investors, for greater boardroom accountability and transparency. But right now with regard to blinkx (BLNX) it is ShareSoc and its deputy chairman Roger Lawson who have the questions to answer*.
Lawson has posted five times on blinkx since Ben Edelman raised very serious questions about part of its business. On April 5 at the UK Investor Show Edelman produced damning new evidence relating to the assets and operations of Zango which were bought by blinkx after the FTC fined Zango and shut it down for breaking the law. Ben showed very clearly for the first time on April 5 that blinkx was, via those assets, still engaging in the same practices. Surely this was a grave matter of concern for anyone interested in corporate governance, etc? Er…
Lawson reacted by stating that there was nothing new in the presentation. He furthermore accused Edelman of being a showman and cast doubt on his financial motives for exposing blinkx. As an aside he accused me of making defamatory remarks about blinkx’s lawyers.
I posted a reply on his blog pointing out that I had made no defamatory remark and that even blinkx’s bully boy lawyers have not suggested that I did. My post and another which criticised the Lawson analysis were promptly removed although an anonymous poster supporting blinkx and attacking me had his post unedited and it remains on the site.
Why does this matter? Well it matters on a number of counts. On the day the Lawson post was published a lot of folks took heart from the fact that an independent and respected commentator with no axe to grind had slammed Edelman and backed blinkx. Folks bought shares in blinkx on that basis. Read the Bulletin Boards and that is very clear.
Secondly it matters because Lawson’s article was factually inaccurate not just about me or Edelman but about blinkx. Edelman had released a bombshell but, until THIS video went up demonstrating this, those not attending the event were buying shares or holding them in ignorance reliant on (supposedly) independent commentators like Lawson who said nothing was wrong. If you have forgotten the Edelman bombshells & his straightforward and full explanation of his financial interest in covering blinkx, as a reminder:
Edelman’s standard research contract – as he explained on the video – is that he charges a fee for doing research and writing a report. But if the research shows nothing amiss there is no report so the fee is less. That is his standard terms – less work = less fee. He states that clearly on the video. That seem okay enough and at least Edelman is 100% upfront on any financial interest he may have in blinkx.
…. no other revelations of note?
1. Blinkx bought nearly all if not all of the assets of Zango a firm shut down and fined heavily by the FTC for breaking the law.
2. Edelman showed clearly that blinkx is now engaged in exactly the same activities, even using the same code.
3. So blinkx is breaking FTC rules – is that not a matter of concern?
4. Edelman then showed that the blinkx independent report had not examined any of the relevant data but had merely consisted of chats with blinkx execs who said they were doing nothing wrong. That is a bit of a shock revelation is it not?
In other words the Edelman presentation was explosive and damning. But Lawson gave comfort to blinkx fans and was widely quoted on bulletin boards for dismissing the whole thing and for rubbishing Edelman. Since Roger had no declared interest in blinkx folks believed him.
But hang on Henry….
Yesterday Doc Holiday revealed HERE that Roger OWNS SHARES IN BLINKX. Yes you read that correctly. He has been on the shareholder list for three years.
In the interests of transparency on Shareprophets if a writer comments on a stock which he owns or is short of he or she MUST declare that to readers. Failure to do so means we will withdraw the article and not publish anything by that author again.
*Tom Winnifrith notes: The above article has been revised after publication as per my agreement with Roger Lawson here: Although Roger Lawson may not have reported his ownership of shares in a company when writing about them in all cases, or did not report his trading in those shares, as may be considered best practice, I acknowledge that the rules about ShareSoc publications did not require such repetition and I acknowledge that he acted without any intention of making any financial gain to himself and indeed no such gain was made.
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