Pam Anderson-Backed Investment Opportunity May Not Have Been What It Seemed

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It's hard to resist Pam's cogent economic analysis. It's also hard to resist an "exciting online free global marketplace." Called FrogAds.com, no less! Sounds legitimate.

At least, it did to some people who poured between $30 million and $300 million into what may have been a pump-and-dump scam.

Fourteen people have been booked, none of whom is Pamela Anderson. But those that were arrested, well, they need to be a little more careful about what they say on the phone when committing securities fraud.

One of the suspects was recorded saying one of the companies on which shares were traded simply did not exist: “There’s nothing in there. There’s nothing to the company. It’s monkey business,” the executive said, according to prosecutors.

Feds arrest 14 in alleged massive Southland stock scheme [LA Times]

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My time in the financial industry entirely postdated the global research settlement, which means that I have a different view of sell-side research from some of the olds. As far as I can make out, there are people who think that investment bank research was once a demonic scheme in which research analysts - larger-than-life figures whose recommendations were irresistible to the retail investors who in this vision bought all of every pre-2003 stock offering - swindled those besotted retail investors into buying crap stocks at inflated prices so that the banks could get gigantic investment banking fees. Whereas I always thought that investment bank research was a sort of cute endeavor of unclear commercial purpose, taken skeptically by the institutional investors who buy most of every post-2003 offering, made fun of by bankers, and conducted by people whom we never saw because, among other things, our network was set up to prevent them from emailing us and vice versa. Perhaps before the settlement giants roamed the halls of research divisions, defrauding investors with abandon, but once their email was cut off from the bankers' email they retreated into mousy irrelevance? Unclear. In any case THEY'RE BACK BABY, sort of: