There is no doubt that James Surowiecki is a highly accredited and accomplished business and economics writer. Mr. Surowiecki’s writing aims to surpass factual accounting and reporting of business events. His standing affords him the opportunity to render his opinions in the media on political and economic systems. Outwardly their is no evidence that Mr. Surowiecki is a gullible sucker. So how it is that Mr. Surowiecki swallowed CBS Corporation’s (NYSE Symbol: CBS, $60.93) embarrassingly sophomoric Lumber Liquidator’s story hook line and sinker?
asensio.com’s involvement with Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (NYSE Trading Symbol: LL, $29.93) is presently limited to a review of the validity of CBS’ story. We have not yet made our own determination on the value of shares of LL’s publicly-traded common stock. asensio.com has shown evidence that CBS used a myopic focus and that it recklessly mishandled the evidence. In so doing the CBS story became simply a promotion of the views of three-person’s narrow selfish and certainly questionable economic interests.
So .how could Mr. Surowiecki’s refer to this same 60 Minutes story as a “blistering exposé on the company” and completely ignore the story’s very legitimate and serious problems. Even more interest is Mr. Surowiecki’s statement about the most dramatic and also the most unfair and most reckless 30 seconds in an already too-short story. Mr. Surowieck writes that “[t]he [CBS 60 Minutes] segment included ….. hidden-camera interviews in which workers in China admitted lying about quality.” Whose workers? What quality? Who was the interviewer? Where did all this happen? Why did it happen? What was the lie? Who was lying and why was what was said a lie? Why was the camera hidden? Who benefited here? And what does any of this have to do with the value Lumber Liquidator’s retail stores chain to its shareholders and customers?
Mr. Surowiecki appears to be no dummy. The fact that Mr. Surowiecki was totally fooled by CBS’ manipulation should be used by LL to argue for a full retraction. CBS’ recklessness is simply indefensible and certainly Mr. Surowiecki’s adoption is evidence of clear harm.
Mr. Surowiecki’s story is available here http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/23/in-praise-of-short-sellers