Mark Cuban, slides in and out controversy, (as well as in and out of different business ventures). His ability to weasel his way out of difficult situation reminds me of Aaron Eckhart's character in Thank You For Smoking.
Mark Cuban is the creative tech billionaire, crazy investor, movie shaker-upper, and verbose and often fined Dallas Mavericks owner.
His newest project involves a new website called Sharesleuth.com where business reporter Christopher Carey will try to "shine a spotlight on questionable companies, to build an audience through unique, compelling stories and to generate multimedia content for other outlets, including HDNet and HDNet Films." (HDNet and HDNet films is owned by Cuban and friend Todd Wagner)
They admit that they will be reporting with "clear bias," while "scrutinize the people behind the companies" for entertainment and personal financial benefit. They also full disclosure that says they are going "to make personal investments based on information we uncover." (Read: Mark Cuban will short stocks prior to the publication of reports on shareslueth website. Then when the stock price falls he will make piles of money)
Mark Cuban and Christopher Carey's first victim, Xethanol Corp. (XNL) posted on August 7. Shareslueth criticizes shareholders like William Scott Smith and other with former SEC disciplinary problems. The post also claims that Xethanol makes energy claims are fabricated and embellished.
Is what Cuban is doing here legal? For now, yes. There's full disclosure. If anything I would foresee libel cases down the road, but not Insider Trading lawsuits.
Mark Cuban even responds to some of these thoughts on "responsible journalism" on his own blog, blog Maverick.
Cuban is smart and sneaky, and not necessarily an admirable person, just an interesting one. And I'll be interested to if nothing else continue to watch the films out of Magnolia Pictures (like Bubble, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Capturing the Friedmans) and films produced by 2929 entertainment (like Good Night, and Good Luck).
Update: See Editor Chris Carey's response to this post here.
Related Tags: Mark Cuban, Todd Wagner, Dallas Mavericks, share sleuth, stock market, HDNet, Magnolia Pictures, 2929 Entertainment, Christopher Carey, Journalism, Business, Blogs, Bias, Personal Investment, Libel, Xethanol Corp, XNL