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Citizens On Patrol: The Blogosphere As Regulator

Bloggers also coin new words, for example, "embiggen." – Ilene

Citizens On Patrol: The Blogosphere As Regulator

Tonight we witnessed a watershed event in financial blogging, and it concerns The Case of Who Front-Ran the 3Com Takeover.

By now, the only people out there still trying to use options contracts to profit from inside information are the brain-dead and the citizens of non-extradition countries.  As is well known, I am a huge proponent of the financial blogosphere and this evening’s 3Com options bust just gave me goosebumps.

The story is this:

At 4pm, shares of telco equipment company 3Com (COMS) were halted followed by the announcement of an acquisition by Hewlett-Packard at a 40% premium.  The financial blogosphere sprang into action, immediately pointing out that today’s trading volume in 3Com’s options was triple its 4-week daily average.  Options are the weapon of choice for the inside information crook as they give you the most bang for your buck on a near-term jump in a stock.

OptionMonster.com’s Jon Najarian picked this 3Com options activity up, probably first, and posted the below via Twitter:

(click image to embiggen)

From OptionMonster.com

Najarian’s revelation was immediately followed by separate but equally incisive comments from some of the biggest and most influential market commentators out there.  None of this was coordinated by a producer at CNBC nor was it orchestrated by the editorial staff at the Wall Street Journal.

Rather, it was an organic meme that spread around the financial web by means of Twitter, WordPress, Blogspot and Typepad.

The mainstream media picked up on this insider trading angle only AFTER the bloggers nailed it, at least from what I’ve seen based on the times of the articles and posts.

Now we don’t know for sure whether or not illegal activity took place, but if it quacks like a duck…

Congratulations to Jon Najarian of OptionMonster.com, Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, Andrew Ross Sorkin of DealBook and Karl Denninger of Market-Ticker.

UPDATE: Reader MarketAddict informs me that:

OptionRadar on StockTwits tweeted the unusual call volume during the day today:

http://twitter.com/OptionRadar/status/5623636484

Ladies and Gentlemen of the stock market, I give you your new citizen-regulators.

Here are the referenced links:

Najarian’s TwitPic (TwitPic)

1.5 Million in Blatant Insider Trading Activity (Zero Hedge)

Whispers About 3Com  (DealBook)

Blatant Insider Call Buying (Market-Ticker)

 


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