WHAT is it with Nasdaq and its plan to bundle investor relations services with its listing fees that seems to attract fake supporters?
You will recall that back in October I wrote about how somebody seemed to try to rig a National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) members poll in Nasdaq’s favor. (See Someone Cheated on NIRI’s Nasdaq Poll)
That incident caused more than a little controversy and now NIRI no longer conducts those polls.
Then a few minutes ago, I noticed that Nasdaq’s secret admirers appear to have struck again. This time in comments on the proposal on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) website.
Take a look at the screenshot below. Notice anything odd?
Yes, all four comments are from someone with Scott in their name and they’re all submitted on the same day one after the other. I didn’t notice this on Sunday when we did our story about the many negative comments from listed firms opposing the exchange’s plans.
But while I was visiting the SEC website today to see if they had published the comment I submitted yesterday, it jumped out at me.
All four comments express support for Nasdaq’s proposal. Here are screenshots of the comments:
There are similarities in the language in these submissions. They’re also all short and didn’t take much effort. Actually, many of the comments supporting the proposal don’t seem to be the product of much effort or thought, but that’s another issue.
Just to be sure, I thought I would check to see what I could find on Google for the first commenter, Scott Leslie, President of One Good Call. I found no references to such a person or company on Google.
When the NIRI thing happened, I was prepared to laugh it off. It wasn’t a formal poll and it had no bearing on the decision. But I think this is different, not just because it involves the SEC, but because it demonstrates a pattern of dishonest behavior.
Now, the person/s responsible could just as easily be from the camp that is against the proposal. They might be wanting to create the impression that Nasdaq is faking support. That’s possible, but I doubt it because by doing so they could hurt their own cause.
And, of course, Nasdaq could just be a victim of some misguided secret admirer inside or outside of its organization.
I don’t know and, unlike the SEC, I don’t have access to the server logs to check which IP address/es were used to submit the comments.
All I do know is that sleaze has followed this proposal from early on and it makes Nasdaq look bad. If I was at the exchange, I’d be on to the SEC this morning to ask for the IP information so I can put a stop to it if it’s someone in my organization.
Someone needs to beam Scotty up.