Seeking Alpha

Dan Plettner's  Instablog

Dan Plettner
Send Message
Dan Plettner invests and licenses his own real time trading data to Covestor Ltd. Dan previously licensed his written content to DealFlow Media, for the Closed-End Fund Alert. Dan focuses his qualitative investigative research methods on Closed-End Funds and other underfollowed securities. His... More
My company:
Dan Plettner Covestor Profile Page
My blog:
Dan Plettner Closed-End Fund Blog
  • Dan Plettner's Seeking Alpha Articles Pertaining to the Stewart Horejsi Group are No Longer Publicly Available 4 comments
    Jun 18, 2009 12:12 PM | about stocks: BIF, BTF, SRO, SRQ, FF, DNY

    Now "ClosedEnd" on Twitter  Also, press contact: PLETTNER@FUSE.NET

    The articles I have written at Seeking Alpha which pertain to the Horejsi Group, Boulder Investment Advisers, LLC, BIF, BTF, FF, DNY, SRO, and SRQ are no longer available as articles on Seeking Alpha. Seeking Alpha did explain why. Below is the text of an e-mail I received from Seeking Alpha this morning. In my view, it provides a lot of insight into the ongoing priorities, tactics, and ethics of the Horejsi Group (who is now attempting to take control of SRO and SRQ). I can understand the position Seeking Alpha was in.

    I personally removed each of my blog entries, for different reasons.I am going to take a bit of time to sit back and see if the Horejsi Group actually does something proactive to do something good to demonstrate that they are trying to serve their shareholders.... Imagine that.... If they do not, I certainly will continue to use my voice through this Instablog or other publishing mediums while awaiting enforcement action -- I do expect enforcement action which will benefit BIF shareholders and the public, eventually.

    It is my belief that demonstrating a changed emphasis back to serving shareholders would be a much better approach for the Horejsi Group than using legal resources in attempt to prevent the public from seeing them for what they are.

    E-mail received from Seeking Alpha (at 10:09 AM):

    Hi Dan, we received a letter from BIA's attorney about your articles. Mick Weinstein, the Editor-in-Chief has issued a clarification on our editorial policy to the editors regarding this. For your convenience I have copied and pasted what he sent to the editors below. To clarify, you are still a contributing author - you have not been removed from the site and we will still publish your articles. But after reviewing your published articles, he felt it was best to remove them. My apologies.

    "When contributing SA authors make claims of outright criminal fraud in the management of publicly-traded companies or fund providers, we generally should not publish the article. In any given case, the author's claims may or may not be accurate, but it's simply beyond the capacity of our editorial team to research the claims in the manner necessary before we could responsibly publish it. This, because the very act of publishing such claims on a broadly-read and influential financial website grants immediate legitimacy to the claims that may not be justified. We therefore believe that claims of corporate fraud are best handled by regulators and law enforcement officials first.

    There are grey areas with our policy of distinguishing between these two types of critique. We recently published a series of articles by an author, Dan Plettner, who made claims of mismanagement at Boulder Investment Advisers, LLC. As a stockholder in one of Boulder's CEFs, Plettner argued aggressively that management was not acting in the interest of shareholders and claimed that management's and shareholders' interests were not appropriately aligned. Plettner also made strong personal charges against BIA managment. At the time of submission, our staff editor felt that Plettner's position did not cross over into claims of outright fraud at BIA, and published his articles.

    We received a letter this week from BIA that encouraged us to revisit the matter. Upon further review, we now believe that Plettner's articles can reasonably be understood as making claims of criminal fraud at BIA. We have decided, therefore, to remove the articles from the site while Plettner pursues the matter through law enforcement channels.

    We generally prefer not to remove articles entirely from our archive. Removal both wipes out the historical record of the article and breaks any incoming links from around the web - both are bad practice for an internet publisher. But in this case, the headlines themselves of Plettner's articles made strong claims against BIA management that could be reasonably understood as accusations of fraud. So we decided to deviate from our normal practice of keeping disputed articles in place - with text removed and an editor's note added - and remove the article entirely.

    As Seeking Alpha's stature and readership has grown, we receive more and more article disputes from both our readership base and corporations. (See our policy for disputing an article.) Most disputes concern claims of fact on SA. We spend a great deal of time assessing these disputes and working with authors to resolve them. We consider this post-publication fact-checking a core activity of our editorial team and a unique (and essential) aspect of the SA editorial model.

    The Pletter/BIA case was unusual because it was less about claims of fact and more about claims of fraud. It's the first time I can recall we removed an article on this basis post-publication."

Back To Dan Plettner's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (4)
Track new comments
  • WOW! So let me get this straight .. you can badmouth anyone you want without facts, but as soon as you start using facts they will censor you. The Boulder staff must possess a lot of power ..

     

    BTW, it's funny how they pulled down EVERY BIF article you did .. not just one or two wherein you described how us shareholders were being played .. (See, I can say "being played" and I'm sure Seeking Alpha won't censor this comment, and I have stated no supporting facts .. funny how that works).
    18 Jun 2009, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Dear BreezyMoney

     

    Thanks for your comment. It will be interesting to see whether people following SRQ, SRO, BIF, BTF, FF, and DNY will comment here on the blog and become “Followers”of mine so that they can see instablog posts and comments.

     

    It sounds to me like you are pointing much of the criticism toward SeekingAlpha.

     

    SeekingAlpha should get some credit for both sharing their Editor-In-Chief’s internal memo with me, and for what that memo itself said. Mr. Weinstein went out of his way to note that the removals were not caused by disputed claims of fact. One might interpret his memo, and its being disclosed to me as a slap back to the face of the Boulder Investment Advisers’ attorney.

     

    If the Horejsi Group or Boulder Investment Advisers, LLC (BIA) feels that these articles were influencing perceptions of Criminal Fraud, and if those perceptions were inappropriate, would it not make more sense to do something to change the facts? Or wouldn’t the Horejsi Group be interested to present their own opinion as to what the facts imply in a Press Release? They Horejsi Group has used Press Releases to attack other entities, why not to defend itself?

     

    Perhaps they will take an opportunity to change the facts now. I’m going to give them a bit of time before I share facts and my opinions elsewhere. The problem for the Horejsi Group and BIA is that what is true is true. You can put legal pressure on a small editorial group to try to prevent the truth from being heard, but BIA’s attorneys can not take the stink off the truth.

     

    We live in an age of Financial Reform; in the age of Twitter... BIA and the Horejsi group might not like my definition of “a bit of time.”

     

    Best Regards
    Dan Plettner

     

    PRESS CONTACT: plettner@fuse.net

     

    On Jun 18 03:07 PM BreezyMoney wrote:

     

    > WOW! So let me get this straight .. you can badmouth anyone you want
    > without facts, but as soon as you start using facts they will censor
    > you. The Boulder staff must possess a lot of power ..
    >
    > BTW, it's funny how they pulled down EVERY BIF article you did ..
    > not just one or two wherein you described how us shareholders were
    > being played .. (See, I can say "being played" and I'm sure Seeking
    > Alpha won't censor this comment, and I have stated no supporting
    > facts .. funny how that works).
    18 Jun 2009, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • BIF management = crooks. No way around that. I just don't understand how they're able to keep the fund, and how in the world did they manage to get the vote of almost 50% of the outstanding shareholders in the latest proxy vote. Doliver owns 17% of the fund, and several other activists own minor stakes. How are they not able to take over the fund and liquidate or open it up? I would certainly vote for that option, and everyone I know that is invested in BIF would as well. I'm staying long and strong because it is just a matter of time before the shareholder value is restored. Keep up the good work Dan.
    24 Jun 2009, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I would be interested to talk to you and other shareholders who owned the stock prior to February 20, 2008. I can be reached at plettner@fuse.net.

     

    I am open to speak to over the phone, but prefer to first receive your e-mail indicating when you purchased, and where to reach you.

     

    On Jun 24 06:44 PM so1dieroffortune wrote:

     

    > BIF management = crooks. No way around that. I just don't understand
    > how they're able to keep the fund, and how in the world did they
    > manage to get the vote of almost 50% of the outstanding shareholders
    > in the latest proxy vote. Doliver owns 17% of the fund, and several
    > other activists own minor stakes. How are they not able to take over
    > the fund and liquidate or open it up? I would certainly vote for
    > that option, and everyone I know that is invested in BIF would as
    > well. I'm staying long and strong because it is just a matter of
    > time before the shareholder value is restored. Keep up the good work
    > Dan.
    29 Jul 2009, 05:23 PM Reply Like
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

StockTalks

  • Closed Long Position in CFP today. Short CRF and CLM.
    Apr 9, 2010
  • For inverse reasons of wanting to own AWP (attractive valuation and probability of dividend increases), I have not wanted to own AOD or AGD
    Feb 5, 2010
  • Ignore everything around you and maybe you too can be on Bloomberg TV: http://tinyurl.com/lzwy6j
    Jul 7, 2009
More »
Posts by Themes
Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.