|To: || Jonathan A. Katz, Secretary|
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Dear Mr. Katz,
I am writing you with reference to false and malicious statements made
about Investrend Communications, Inc., and its divisions on Thursday,
November 27, 2003 at 12:33 AM, from an individual purported to be named
"Nick Tracy," representing "Nick Tracy Enterprises Ltd." and a questionable
website known as "Our-Street.com."
We are not commenting on your rules due to a neutrality imposed by our
Investrend Information's news coverage of Regulation SHO and the
accompanying issues in its FinancialWire, with the exception that in
keeping with our company's mission statement, we must note that we have
seen widespread commentary that the SEC's proposals to date have been
skewed towards market regulation rather than the protection of and
restitution to individual investors at risk from market manipulation and
As an information resource, it is the policy of our company and its
officers not to trade in equities of companies associated with our
Shareholder Empowerment platforms nor those covered by our news
wire. This is by way of noting that we have no unstated agenda in
providing this commentary.
The misrepresentations by Our-Street.com and the purported "Nick Tracy" are
part of a pattern of deception that resulted in our news wire's refusal to
cover that entity's posts and releases, and which we believe are further
characterized by malicious intent.
The refusal to cover Our-Street.com's activities was based on a number of
considerations, including but not limited to:
- The entity initially acknowledged that it was "shorting" stocks of
companies that were the subject of its "complaints." After stating to
FinancialWire that it would "end" the practice to achieve distribution of
its releases and activities, the proprietor refused to disclose his or her
trading records as part of our diligence.
- The individual known as "Nick Tracy" was asked to provide proof of
identity since FinancialWire does not publish commentary by anonymous
sources, and although claiming that "Nick Tracy" is his or her true name,
refused to provide such proof.
- The individual represented to FinancialWire that he/she is domiciled
"just outside London," but subsequently sent an email from his personal
account, which had an "nz" extension, indicating his/her service was a
South African internet service provider.
- Our-Street.com represented to FinancialWire that its services "help
individual investors" file complaints about public companies to the SEC,
but upon request, produced no proof that any of its complaints have been
submitted by or filed by anyone else except the proprietor, whose identity,
representations, agenda and veracity had become and remains entirely suspect.
- The entity failed to inform investors that complaints may be filed
directly with the SEC. In its Investor Resource, InvestrendInformation.com
alternatively provides that data and a link.
- In a complaint the proprietor initially induced FinancialWire to cover ,
after it was rejected by various commercial newswires, Our-Street.com
claimed the company had virtually no revenues or earnings and few prospects
for either, an allegation that subsequently turned out to have been false
- The website has not produced any proof that its complaints have been
received by the SEC or acted upon, or that it is providing any public service.
- Mr./Ms. Tracy's comments about Investrend are acutely suspect inasmuch
as he begged our newswire to cover his activities and became vindictive
only after it ceased to do so for these and other enumerated reasons.
- FinancialWire was the recipient of numerous accusations and
loosely-derived conclusions about a number of topics which demonstrated a
lack of diligence, documentation or factual base.
This is self-evident in further allegations contained in the letter which
is the subject of this response, to wit:
Tracy: "Investrend launched an aggressive PR campaign utilizing an
abusive technique called "ticker spam" adding as many as 119 company
symbols in a single press release in order to promote its site while
campaigning on the side of stock promoters and pump and dump stock
manipulators against naked short selling."
- Investrend provides no public relations or investor relations for any
entity. The statement fails to note the continuously-stated separation
of Investrend Information and its FinancialWire news service from the other
divisions and products. News articles by FinancialWire do not necessarily
reflect the views of Investrend Communications, Inc., or its other
divisions, its officers or staff, and it is maliciously false and
misleading for "Mr. Tracy" to describe news coverage as a "PR
campaign." Mr./Ms. Tracy is thus engaging in a practice that discredits
him, his letter and his site's purposes.
- FinancialWire does not participate in "ticker spam." "Mr. Tracy" has
made these untrue statements on other occasions, and we believe, even
anonymously in public "message boards," and Investrend has not
responded. However, he/she has now made his/her malicious defamation part
of an official public record. News distributors have a policy of
providing tickerized references to only those ticker symbols contained in
the first two paragraphs. In keeping with the policies of its news
distributors, FinancialWire does not list more than four ticker symbols in
the first two paragraphs of its news stories. It is regular and routine
practice to list ticker symbols with names of companies directly a part of
a story, as were those 119 companies, as a point of information and
reference for discerning and inquiring readers; however, these are
referenced in the "body" of any such story, far below the point where the
automated ticker searches of our newswire's distributors pick up the
tickers. This is another example of a practice which brings to question
the veracity of Mr./Ms. Tracy's arguments and complaints.
- For Mr./Ms. Tracy to suggest that Investrend is "campaiging on the side
of stock promoters and pump and dump stock manipulators against naked short
selling" is not only prima facie false, it is slanderously misleading. A
"Site Search" at www.investrend.com will reveal that FinancialWire's
coverage has been balanced, and that many of the "abuses" and "abusers"
described by Mr./Ms. Tracy in his unfortunate ramblings was in fact derived
from exposes of those individuals, entities and practices by FinancialWire
itself. It is a patented example of Mr./Ms. Tracy's disregard for truth,
honesty and diligence that exemplifies the reasons that FinancialWire
declined to futher distribute "news" of his activities. We simply had no
confidence in his findings.
Tracy: "Since no legitimate PR distribution service allows abusive ticker
spamming, investrend used its own financialwire.net service to effect the
campaign. Their efforts have done more to keep this situation in the
public's eye than any other single activity we are aware of."
- The fact is that any commercial presswire will allow the use of as many
symbols as a legitimate provider wishes to include, as long as those ticker
symbols are in the third paragraph or below. "Ticker spam" is the
practice of including unrelated ticker symbols in the first two paragraphs
of press releases about companies that have no relation to the
subject. The 119 companies were previously documented, one-by-one, with
respect to their direct relationship to short-selling abuses. Despite
this, they are not listed in the first two qualifying paragraphs and thus
would not in any instance meet the definition of "ticker spam." These
allegations are further representative examples of the lack of research,
diligence and factual documentation related to Our-Street.com, which
falsely represents itself as performing under those minimal standards.
- While the Tracy statement that "their efforts have done more to keep
this situation in the public's eye than any other single activity we are
aware of" certainly meets the definition of a "dubious compliment," this
issue has been covered by Dow Jones, Reuters, Financial Times and numerous
news organizations around the world. It is an important issue, and
FinancialWire is pleased to have provided some service to the community and
to the SEC by providing a small part of our daily coverage to this issue,
as new events developed, but we believe that to say FinancialWire has "done
more" than "any other single activity" to "keep this situation in the
public's eye" is a stretch, and one more example of how Our-Street.com
takes a shred of information and promotes it into a mountain of
condemnation, relegating what otherwise should be an immense public service
into no public benefit whatsoever.
We believe that the SEC has an obligation to the public and to the
Commission to determine the true identity of this responder and his/her
agenda, before further providing publication to his/her statements or using
those as part of the Commission's consideration. It is one thing to
provide an "anonymous" response; but it is entirely another to deliberately
seek to deceive a public agency.
Investrend Communications, Inc.
Forest Hills, NY 11375-0471