The Myth of the “Paid Basher”

“I think you’re a paid basher looking for some cheap shares!”
InvestorsHub Message Board

Post anything mildly critical on a stock message board, and chances are someone will eventually call you a paid basher. No matter how cogent your argument, you will soon find yourself on the defensive, with your credibility on the run.

I am NOT a paid basher, I am not paid for posting anything on this or any other board. If marilynt claims I am a paid basher, I request that the proof be put on this board…I know if I accused a poster here of being paid to pump this stock, my post would be immediately removed. Posted by LoanStew on InvestorsHub

“Confessions of a Paid Basher”

To prove “paid bashers” exist, message board regulars will post this Confessions of a Paid Basher, allegedly written by a guilt-ridden employee of Global Calumny Funds in Stamford, CT. This confessed “paid basher” outlines how he is paid to manipulate stock message boards, and cites specific message board aliases such as Janice Shell. This article is held up as final proof of the paid basher conspiracy. But there’s just one problem…

It’s a Fake

The first version of the “Paid Basher Confession” was posted as a joke in November, 2000 to the Raging Bull message board by Steve Tracy, aka Firebird_1965. Tracy claimed to work for a boiler room operation in Stamford, Connecticut called Franklin Andrews Kramer & Edelstein. The ensuing frenzy prompted RagingBull to remove the post. However, it quickly migrated to other stock message boards and continues to wreak havoc to this day.

The post is linked to regularly from every stock message board. Here it is on April 18, 2007 on’s “BullBoards”. Here is the same post over at And here it is on

The original hoax is so specific, that its details now appear as referenced facts throughout message board culture. Notice how the pay structure details are noted in this “Bashers Handbook” on Or notice this poster’s reference to Mendacious Capital Partners. “Mendacious” is alleged to be hiring paid bashers, and is also located in Stamford, Connecticut. Look at the care that went into creating this website. But tell me, what sort of investment company would name themselves, “Mendacious”?

Why Paid Bashing Doesn’t Exist

There are only two possible profit motives of “paid bashing”: to short a stock or buy it at a cheaper price. But either explanation falls flat. Only microcap stocks are small enough to conceivably be manipulated by an online message board. But it is virtually impossible to find a broker who will allow anyone to short a stock under $5. Not only is shorting penny stocks closely regulated, but it seems obvious that brokerages would quickly go bankrupt if they allowed the practice.

As for the idea that an investment company would need to manipulate message boards to buy penny stock shares at a cheaper price, well, I find it deeply unlikely. I’ve followed these accusations on stock message boards for more than a decade, and not one ounce of proof has ever been produced. It is clear that the burden of proof is to provide evidence that such operations do exist, since there is only evidence that they do not.


ValueWiki welcomes your investigative journalism. If you can prove the existence of a paid basher/pumper company, please email me at jonathan (at) valuewiki (dot) com. I will preserve your anonymity and publish any verifiable information you can produce.


40 Responses to The Myth of the “Paid Basher”

  1. Gary Collins says:

    Excellent read. I have been accused contrantly of being either a paid basher or a hedge fund manager on the UGHO.OB message board on Yahoo. Also, on RB. There is no end to it, and sadly, the average investor who reads these boards, will dismiss my posted facts, based on the accusations from the board pumpers and their personal attacks. A sad, but true fact. Very few if any of those reading the MB’s ever bother to call or email IR (if avaialbe!) or better yet, visit the operation. I flew to Newport Beach to attend a shareholders meeting for UGHO in October 2004, their first such event. Surprisingly to me, I was the only private investor in attendence! Everyone else were company individuals, or the toxic financing crowd. It was an overal joke, that played out over the years, culimnating with me selling my position for an overall loss of $268,000.00. I had the largest private investment in the company, and yet when I revealed pertinent negative information, I got clobbered. I did manage to get part of my investment out before the slaughter that continues to this day, and FWIW, I will eventually be able to utilize the loss to offset future gains.
    In closing, thanks for a nice article. I plan on using it, with your permission, in the future.

    Gary Collins

    • Mike says:

      I too have been accused, along with a couple others, on the board. Morons there think just because you bash a sham stock that you are a “paid basher”. I am only posting there because several pumpers have been blatantly posting major lies to make the company sound good. I know for a fact the “bashers handbook” is a farce.

  2. Do you know who is OSG says:

    Someone I once knew and worked with claimed to be “in the know” selling/trading/pimping stock options. He posted this exact same skit on Yahoo years ago. He is the one and only OSG of years past.

    I know who he is in real life, and he is a “douchebag” with a fowl mouth.
    He talks to himself to create the illusion of interest > to trick simple minded traders (mom and pop) into buying or selling. What a life (or lack there of).

    He works for the phone co.
    LEt’s all say HI LARRY how the hell are ya. Still posting from your cubicle I see as Johnny Boy… Winnlady… and many more.

    Check him out… Search Yahooland on the following stings.

    GFY YCGFY STFU go fuck yourselves douchebag pie-hole

    AND my favorite “buttered corn up my ass”

    LArry is also an aclaimed stalker. Calling people and hanging up on them when they answer. Laws or not, he gets away with it because of who he works for.

    He claimed to have once killed someone. Scary stuff.
    If it had not been for his associates when I worked with him, I would not have found out who he was…. I want to personally thank those who shared the truth before I moved on… Would love to meet up some day in a dark alley with no witness.

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  6. Judd Bagley says:

    About a month ago, I emailed you proof of the existence of paid stock bashing. I never heard back.
    Those who legitimately care to learn the truth will find it here:

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  8. Broker says:

    Actually it is no problem to short stocks under 5$ with a good broker, the stock price has nothing to do with being shortable or not, that 5$ threshhold is just another myth you might want to explore and wirte about. 😉
    But yeah, to me paid bashing was always clearly not real, because if it was, I would be doing it all day, the best job in the world, get paid to mess around on finance boards.

  9. lolz says:

    for a supposed “value” blog, aka, you guys don’t seem to know much about value, or the market. paid bashers are real, but don’t look for them on US shores (labor cost too high)

  10. Unwitting Contributor to Wall Street Greed says:

    To say that none exist is incredibly naive. Money is a strong motivator, and when shorts stand to gain handsomely by a price dropping in price, the unethical won’t hesitate to lie about the facts, and pay underlings to perpetuate the lies by bashing their targeted stocks. That can and does help get the price down so they can grab their profits from the honest, but unsophisticated, investors.

    Please, don’t kid yourself and say that there are None, speaking in absolutes like that is simply a red flag that you have a hidden agenda, e.g.. to bash the targeted stock for personal profit and greed.

    • ManAboutDallas says:

      When people discover they can steal legally by hiring others to tell lies, they will do so. Human nature GUARANTEES IT! And to those who so glibly deny the existence of paid bashing, I’ll just say “Mephistopeles’ Greatest Trick has ALWAYS been convincing people HE DIDN’T EXIST!”

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  12. JimCramer says:

    “If you can prove the existence of a paid basher/pumper company, please email me”

    Go watch this…

  13. Watermellon eater says:

    I always knew this guy was a F@#$%^&*r……

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  21. Ron says:

    “There are only two possible profit motives of “paid bashing”: to short a stock or buy it at a cheaper price.”

    Incorrect. The Market Makers, DTCC, and brokers all have a huge profit motive to have certain stocks bashed. If they have a huge backlog of fail-to-delivers because of abusive naked short selling, they need people to sell their shares to cover. It’s not inconceivable that they would hire these individuals (some of whom seem to have nothing else to occupy their lives) to continually spew negative propaganda onto message boards to frighten people into selling. In fact, I would be shocked if they weren’t doing this.

  22. Ben says:

    Your totally naive if you think paid bashing doesn’t exist. It’s alive and well, just visit IHUB where they reproduce like bacteria. That site is a paid bashers paradise because you can’t call them out on their agenda. No no, not allowed… must only post about the company or it’s deleted in seconds by the Gestapo admin police who I’m sure get a cut.
    Do you honestly think a paid basher like EarnestDD on IHUB trashes stocks 7×24 52 weeks a year for free? Come on man, wake up and smell the trash!

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  34. Roberto Mann says:

    How do you explain post of 20 times per day, posting zero facts just FUD even on a Sunday. They seem to want to call the Executive team and Board Corrupt with zero evidence. Also, they only post a single stock.

    So how do you explain new accounts (90 days) hundreds of post all negative, no facts, no post to other stocks and by the time they are done and orphan the account, no one single positive post to target stock or any other.

    I can show you several of these PB (above description) on MNKD of StockTwits.

    I respect your position but if it acts like a PB, post like a PB, you come to exactly what conclusion…..?

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