The Securities and Exchange Commission has withdrawn the subpoenas that it issued last year to Marketwatch columnist Herb Greenberg, Dow Jones Newswire reporter Carol Remond and “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer.
When the subpoenas were initially filed, they were widely criticized by journalists. SEC chairman Christopher Cox later spoke about them at the SABEW annual conference.
Greenberg, writing on his blog, wrote, “The subpoenas subsequently were put on ice and, in line with the latest Gradient action, withdrawn. The investigation was launched after Overstock (ostk) filed a lawsuit against Gradient, an independent research firm, and others. Later, Bioval (bfv) also sued. Fairfax Financial (ffh), which is an investor in Overstock, filed a suit of its own against several parties, but not Gradient.
“Affidavits connected with the Overstock suit, by former Gradient employees Dimetrios Anifantis and Robert Ballash, were filled with so many absurd statements, inaccuracies and innuendo about yours truly as to be laughable. As I wrote at the time, ‘If those are the facts, why would Anifantis and Ballash give sworn statements based on fiction and so far off the market as to be malicious. You’ll have to ask them, but my guess is that somebody somewhere didn’t want the facts to get in the way of a conspiracy theory.’
“Thankfully, the SEC has subpoena power to confirm (or not!) what has been alleged. Considering that the SEC gave Gradient a “no action” letter, which isn’t required when an investigation like this ends, you can’t help but wonder whether an embarrassed agency is trying to send someone a message.”
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