Monday, July 27, 2009

Update on VBDG

In a post in March ("Applying the Altman Z-Score Model to a Non-Manufacturing Company"), I mentioned a company called Vertical Branding (at the time it was on the OTC BB; now it's on the Pink Sheets: VBDG.PK). I noted at the time that the Altman Z-Score model predicted bankruptcy for the firm and that when I had shared this information with the folks on the Investor Hub message board for the stock, I had gotten the Enemy of the People treatment. Since then, in addition to getting kicked to the Pink Sheets for not filing its financial statements, the stock has dropped 50%.

A few days after that March post I was indefinitely banned from Investor Hub's VBDG message board. The moderator who banned me was the plaid-shirted fellow holding the fish in the photo below (the photo comes from his moderator profile on Investors Hub).

Update: I didn't note this at the time, but this fellow happens to be Matt Brown, the lead site administrator of Investors Hub, who was recently indicted on criminal securities fraud charges, and remains free on a $50,000 bond posted by his father.

This illustrates one challenge in managing stock message boards. You need some form of moderation to minimize spam and other comments that detract from a board, but when you give the authority to moderate to an individual, such as the fellow pictured above, you are forced to rely on his assessments, and if your moderator's assessments aren't objective1, you risk losing informative posts. I believe there is a better way to moderate stock message boards, but that will be a subject of a future post.

1E.g., perhaps he is long the stock and is biased against bearish posts?

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