Hedge Funds Fled Bear Stearns Before The Rumors Hit

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We're a bit of a one-trick pony around here today, fighting the good fight against all those nasty speculating reporters and bankers claiming rumors are having damaging effects on the market. But it's getting late in the day. Bank of America is still pretending it doesn't need to cut its dividend. Merrill still won't admit it needs more money, but its stock dropped 9% today. Lehman's down 11% on now news. (Somebody catch those rumor mongers!) Freddie and Fannie are off 24% and 13%. Why should we bother even pretending anything else we could cover is this much fun?
Charlie Gasparino has now written about his investigation into the market manipulation story. He's got a personal axe to grind because he's been named in some of the stories as one of the villains at CNBC whose rumor mongering brought down Bear Stearns.
But as Gasparino shows us: the timing doesn't work out for the conspiracy theorists. Two hedge fund managers he talked to were pulling their funds out of Bear Stearns long before CNBC started reporting that Bear Stearns investors and customers were concerned about the firm's liquidity and future business prospects. So the rumors of a run on the bank only really got started after the run was off and, well, running. Meanwhile, the executives at Bear were denying anything was going on.
In short, those nasty rumor mongers were more trust-worthy than the Wall Street executives who either lied or didn't know that their customers were headed for every exit they could find.
Gasparino: The Right Question for Bear Stearns[CNBC]

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