Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ahead of the game

In the seemingly never-ending revelations about one-time media magnate Conrad Black, the latest is that he was doing the old chat-room pump-and-dump all the way back when it was cool, in 1998 --

Among the details was an anonymous posting in 1998 on a Yahoo!Finance chat room devoted to Hollinger asking about the stock. Black asked the company's investor relations vice president to respond and he wrote a typically vague draft reply, noting strict government rules regarding disclosure.

Black urged the executive not to be so "strait-laced" and that his draft message "makes us seem like jerks." Black subsequently posted his own anonymous message blaming short- sellers and aimed at lifting the stock price.

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