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Minyan Mailbag: Honest Insight



Note: Our goal in Minyanville is to remove intimidation from the financial markets and encourage an interactive dialogue among the Minyanship. We share this next column with that very intent.


When the New York Post runs an item such as:

Just Asking: Which Gotham baseball All-Star is actually gay and only dates women for appearances?

I know what to expect. After all I paid my 25 cents for The New York Post.

Minyanville aims to be an educational site. When you post a blind item like "Could it be the underwriter has made a backroom deal with the company to get the stock at a certain price?" under the heading of How Wall Street Works no less, you're not doing any of your readers any sort of service.

As you both know and can relate to, after ten years on a sell side trading desk I have interviewed and "sat with" hundreds of people looking for a seat. Overall, I'm generally stunned at how much they don't get concerning what an investment bank and brokerage actually does. If the only insight an interviewee sitting with me could add to the market was a comment similar to the "backroom" comment above, I'd walk him over to his next interviewer as soon as possible.

Aim higher than this. True education would be explaining, as you often do, why your algorithm predicts a sub $10 price and what inputs you use. Otherwise you come off like so many John Merriweather's of the world -- it's not my fault, the market's not rational, there are unseen forces at work, etc.

Minyan Joe

Dear Joe,

I too was on the sell side, for longer than you. Perhaps it has changed, but I doubt it. Unless you are very high up and privy to the inside conversations, I don't think you can say this does not go on. If you are and have proof that it does not, then I will retract the statement. It is not illegal for this to take place.

I trade all day and watch stock action. What I am trying to do is at least open people's eyes to the possibilities. I am very busy and sometimes my writing is not as careful as it should be. I hope Minyans appreciate that and take that into consideration. Perhaps I am wrong about that, but I think most give me that leeway.

If you are particularly offended I am sorry. This is what I believe and I take exception to your analogy. I am trying to be honest.

If you get a sense that many feel like you, perhaps I should not write anymore. But the truth is a hard thing to get at and that is all I am trying to do.


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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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