Greenlight Capital Fined Over 'Punch' Trades For Reasons Not Entirely Clearly Clear To Greenlight

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According to the FSA, which imposed the £7.2 million fine for "inadvertently engaging in market abuse in connection with trading of Punch Taverns…the market abuse was not deliberate or reckless. Mr. Einhorn did not believe that the information that he had received was inside information and he did not intend to commit market abuse.” Sayeth Einhorn:

"We believe that this action is unjust and inconsistent with the law and with prior FSA enforcement precedent. However, rather than continue an arduous fight, we have decided to put this matter behind us and concentrate on managing our business...We have always strived to set an example of good conduct and ethics, and we take compliance very seriously. We didn’t believe in 2009, and we don’t believe now, that there was anything wrong with our conduct and our actions. The fine is for trading in advance of a decision that had not been made, and the FSA concedes we did not believe we had any inside information. We did not enter into any confidentiality agreement, we explicitly requested that we not be given confidential information, and we do not believe we were given any such information. Further, all the witness testimony supports our view.”

Einhorn and Co will be holding a 4PM conference call to discuss the situation-- stay tuned!

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David Einhorn Said No To A Capital Raise, Kept The Door Open For A Pub Crawl

Remember how David Einhorn got in trouble in England for insider trading on Punch Taverns stock and he was all "what?" and we were all "what?"? Well, you can judge it for yourself because now the entire disputed call with Punch is available online (at the back of this). So go read it, or read the highlights here. The FSA still thinks it's insider trading, but the count of people confused by the whole thing is rising, and now includes the Merrill banker on the call. There's lots of insider traderiness on this side of the pond today too so we should talk about that in a bit. For now, though, two other things. One is quick - no one can resist one part of the call and I can't either so here it is: DAVID EINHORN: Hi, I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you when you were in New York. PUNCH CEO: No, no, we -- well, we’ve -- we’ve only had the chance to speak once, although we have seen [reference to Greenlight Analyst] a few times since then. DAVID EINHORN: Oh, you’re -- you’re -- you’re getting more than -- than I could help with anyway. So, this is good. PUNCH CEO: Okay. That’s fair enough. Well, one day we’ll get you around on a pub crawl around some English pubs. DAVID EINHORN: Oh, that sounds fun. PUNCH CEO: It is. You’re right. English readers: Is it? I just assumed that Punch Taverns are rather grim places, like TGI Friday's but with more ... punching? ... but maybe I'm totally off base here. Also, here is a hypothesis: vice investments do well because, for the same level of profitability, they get more analyst/investor coverage and enthusiasm. Wouldn't you rather go on a pub crawl instead of like a tour of an auto parts factory in Queens? Would that influence your stock recommendations / money allocations? Someone should do a study.