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."