I am indebted to Saturday’s DTel for any facts that here follow. However, a James Alan Craig of Dunragit, Scotland pretended to be Muddy Waters Research through coming up with @Mudd1Waters. This is a really subtle deception device whose only fault is that it supposes that there are some cretins to hand to be taken in to their financial disadvantage. Apparently, see below, there were. Impossible, you comment. Wrong again.
American regulators are quite as stupid as our own, only more so. It transpires that the FBI noted that Mr Craig engineered a drop in value of a US-quoted stock called Audience leading to a shareholder loss of £1.1m. This is of course a hoary canard. The idea is to suggest that shareholders have lost £1.1m when in fact this very thinly traded stock was knocked down by a couple (say) of small sell orders to the point where Mr Craig and, possibly, others (there are no revelations on this point) bought stock at the new and reduced price pending a sale at the recovered price, an inevitable result as sobriety settled in. His profit was a mind-blowing $100 or so. When I remark “his profit” I presume that in fact he was solely responsible for this rise. Well, one does not have to be any sort of intellectual to see that only madmen could ever dream up such a regulatory enquiry.
Be it noted that we have these madmen over here stationed in the FCA and spending investors’ money on precisely nothing. They are slightly different in that instead of seeking to extradite and imprison a chap for speeding down Park Lane at 30.00001 m.p.h. (for so I categorise Mr Craig’s conduct) they prefer to do nothing. (Just consider Rob Terry’s Tweeting.)
As regards Mr Craig, Acting US Attorney, a Brian Stretch, said: “This prosecution makes clear that we will find and prosecute those who commit fraud on our stock exchanges, by any means, no matter where they reside.” It also makes clear that Stretch should do a stretch for the new offence of Sheer Silliness.
The essential idea promoted by these madmen is that the public is entitled to believe whatever they read and so to be protected. This scheme can of course never ever work. It’s a measure of how far we have declined as people through allowing ourselves to be infantilised.
Fever-tree (FEVR) stands on AIM at 530p or £610m. It is not tonic water that makes a gin and tonic but the aromatics in the gin. So Fever-tree’s rating is almost entirely down to a fever in the minds of investors. Tnav is of the order of £15m.