How does Herb Greenberg do his job
Marketwatch columnist Herb Greenberg responded to a reader on his blog who wanted to know how he conducts his reporting on a day-to-say basis.
Specifically, the reader wanted to know whether Greenberg takes the time to try to contact a company when he is presenting a veiwpoint about that company gleaned from a short seller, and whether he tries to contact someone who is bullish on the stock as well.
Greenberg responded, “With critical stories, I do talk to people who are short stocks. On those same stories, I generally don’t try to talk to people who are ‘long’ stocks in lieu of management because I believe the company is the company. The bears are the bears; the company is the ultimate bull. I do not assume a company that fails to answer my questions is guilty of anything more than failing to answer my questions. As Allan Sloan of Newsweek once said, if a company does not respond, ‘More space for me, less for them.’
“The bull case, in most of these companies, is readily available by a simply doing a Google search or scan of any Yahoo message board.
“My column is labeled as ‘commentary,’ which means it tends to have an angle. That angle is mostly looking for red flags, but on occasion does fly green flags. In either case, if I do hear from the company following the publication of my column — I will always give the company fair and equal treatment with equal time. (Do a search of my recent columns on True Religion; you’ll see what I mean.)
“As for being an advocate for someone’s investment decisions: I am only an advocate for stories I believe are worth being written. While I get plenty of tips and leads, in the end I personally do the reporting (even if it is re-reporting what someone may have told me) on every story I write. Sometimes that is simply finding disclosures in SEC filings; other times it is interviewing former employees, competitors and suppliers to a company. Still, other times it is verifying the validity of documents I may have received. It really runs the gamut.”
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