Stock market analysis tends to look ahead to the future results that can be expected of a company or a sector in the market. Few analysts at top Wall Street firms want clients, or other interested parties, to take a look at their previous calls on stock price forecasts and company prospects.
Rating Agencies Lead the Way
The rating agencies is one case in point. Moody’s and other agencies rated low-quality mortgage paper as “AAA” which is an investment-grade rating usually only reserved for certain countries and the most financially robust of businesses like Berkshire Hathaway and General Electric. Yet, little today is said about all the incorrect, often absurd ratings given to sub-prime mortgage paper traded between banks, pension funds and endowment funds that got so many into trouble beginning in 2008-9.
Bear Stearns Research Questionable?
Bear Stearns were not immune to this kind of biased research. A comical 2001 Wall Street research note has come to light. It was quick to praise the “revolutionary” model that Enron operated under at the time.
The research notes from Bear Stearns date back to before the Enron crisis in 2001 which also pre-dates the actual collapse of Bear Stearns itself when it was sold in a fire-sale to JP Morgan to avoid ongoing trades not being completed which would have caused further havoc in an unstable market at the time.
At the time of the report being issued, the Enron stock was trading at $75 per share with a share price target from Bear Stearns suggesting a future price of $98 was possible. A minor 30 percent leap in share price.
Enron Noted As Natural Gas Leader Expected To Grow and Grow
Enron at the time was a leader in the field of natural gas. The notes from the analyst expected the company to eventually become the number one energy provider globally with a “virtually unlimited” growth potential. Energy trades, commodity trades and internet sales were expected to grow exponentially. Enron was compared to the likes of Microsoft, GE and Intel with a comment that its then share price reflected this “eminence”.
The full research note makes for shocking reading.
Whistleblower Warns Enron CEO
In August 2001, the share price had already shot up to $90 per share. This was the same time that the Enron CEO, Jeff Skilling, received a message from whistleblower Sherron Watkins that suggested the company was likely to collapse in on itself due to “accounting scandals.”
Losses, Then Bankruptcy
By October, the news had turned bad with huge losses being reported. Then in December, Enron filed for bankruptcy protection, the largest in U.S. business history at the time.
Fortune Magazine Praises Enron Too
Wall Street analysts were not the only ones heaping praise on Enron at that time. Wealth and investment magazine Fortune had named the company in its “America’s Most Innovative Companies” list for the past five years before it Enron collapsed.
Wall Street Had a Love/Hate Relationship with Enron
The feeling about the Enron CEO, Jeff Skilling, was mixed among the investment community at the time. Richard Grubman, an analyst, noted the inability of the CEO to answer direct questions about their finances. This prompted the Enron CEO to refer to Grubman as an “a**hole” on an investing conference call with Wall Street firms. Clearly at the time there was a great deal to hide as the subsequently accounting scandal subsequently confirmed.
It is very hard to be a whistle-blower. This can represent a big problem for you and for your family. Whistle-blower is making a leak of information mostly because of their moral beliefs and thoughts. There are three main types of whistle-blowers and they are: outsiders, insiders and media whistle-blowers.
Outsiders are mainly working for the government and they are making a leak to the government about their proofs of violations. This can be sometimes matter of a court and sometimes can become a real scandal. Insiders are making a leak within some organization of all sorts. These organizations can make retaliations of all sorts after some period of time. Depending on the strength of organizations, whistle-blowers are sometimes forced to leave their own country for their safety. The last type of leakers is media whistle-blowers. These sorts of people work usually against their own country. They talk publicly about confidential information’s which are prohibited.
There are few sites online about these whistle-blowers and whistleblower reward. Wikileaks is probably the most important of all of them. Wikileaks has become a very interesting theme in the last years especially after the affair with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Edward Snowden worked for National Security Agency and he was adviser for Central Intelligence Agency etc. He was the first man in history to explain the method and intentions of global spying and global surveillance. He made quite a scandal in the United States by selling and publishing confidential information about hacking computers by the United States hackers. According to him, they have hacked even the G20 summit in London in 2009. He sold his documents and intelligence information to Guardian and Washington Post in June 2013. Snowden after these affairs had to leave his country and seek asylum in other countries. He lived in Hong Kong for a while and now he is granted Russian asylum, temporarily.
Chelsea Manning was a United States soldier based in Iraq. He violated Espionage Act and contacted WikiLeaks about some important information. This information was mostly part of the military intelligence. There are also some confidential diplomatic documents. He was on the trial for his acts and was sentenced to thirty five years of imprisonment; dishonourably discharged from army and sent to prison. Apart from that, he is a very unstable person and he wanted to change his gender from male to female because as a child he always felted differently. He was diagnosed with gender identity disorder and went on hormone replacement therapy , afterwards renamed himself to Chelsea and he considers himself a female person.
These people are trying to bring real freedom and liberty to modern world and sometimes they should be considered as real heroes. They have risked their entire life and future for their moral reasons. Without them we wouldn’t be aware of all the problems with our government and their amoral intentions. According to them, everybody’s identity and personal information is at stake. We should be at least thankful for that. They are convicted and prosecuted only because their belief in truth.
On August 21, 2015 – Just as businesses were beginning to shut down for the day – Kevin Downing, 68, walked into a Manhattan federal building and shot a security guard before deciding to take his own life. At first, no one could figure out what made the man snap, but a little digging revealed that the man considered himself to be a whistleblower that had been given a raw deal by the government agency that had fired him all the way back in 1999.
16 years ago and after serving America in the military, Mr. Downing was employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in New York City. According to federal documents, when he was fired from his job he appealed, stating that he was dismissed for being a ‘whistleblower’. He complained that the bureau closing its regional office in New York and opening a new annex in New Jersey was a complete waste of taxpayer dollars, deeming the change “expensive and unnecessary”. He even started a petition on Change.org. The administrative judge that heard his appeal dismissed his claims, stating that there was not sufficient evidence of gross mismanagement or wasted funds.
In 2013, Downing contacted Democratic representative Bill Pascrell. In the two years that followed, he spoke with Pascrell on the phone and met with various members of his staff. “What made him snap? I don’t know” Pascrell said in an interview after the whole incident.
A Steady Downhill Ride
Following the firing, Downing’s life continued in a downward spiral. He couldn’t afford to pay his mortgage, putting the home that he lived in in foreclosure. He had a live-in fiancé that passed away from breast cancer, and he was also in a car accident that caused him a slew of health problems. Despite all of these issues, he never stopped fighting for what he thought was right.
“We felt that this person had been given a raw deal to put it mildly and that there was no excuse for it and he had been treated very badly,” Pascrell said during the telephone interview.
What Went Down
Finally having had enough, Downing walked into the building (which is home to an immigrations court, a regional office, and a passport processing center for the Department of Labor – The department that oversees the department by which Downing was once employed) and as he got closer to the metal detector he opened fire on the security guard, 53 year old Idrissa Camara, shooting him in the head. Camara should have gone home at 4PM that day when his shift ended, but he had agreed to take on some extra work.
After shooting the guard, Downing continued to walk through the building. As he approached an elevator he ended up running into another employee. We’ll never know whether he panicked or if he just didn’t want to kill anyone else, but he decided then and there to end his own life by shooting himself in the head.