February 05, 2004

Blodget Finds His Calling

Henry Blodget is telling stories again. But this time, instead of hawking internet stocks for Merrill Lynch, he's covering the Martha Stewart trial for slate.com. And he's doing a pretty good job of it. You can see why Merrill picked Blodget to spin Internet yarns for the public. He's a good story teller. And behind every bad stock there's a really good story. Here's a piece of Blodget's latest work. It's a description of the testimony of Douglas Faneuil, a Merrill Broker who allegedly told Martha Stewart that Sam Waksal was unloading his shares of ImClone stock a day before the FDA released a negative report on ImClone's cancer drug Erbitux. Faneuil is cooperating with the prosecution. You can find all Blodget's dispatches at http://slate.msn.com/id/2094441/entry/2094442/ The excerpt: "Douglas Faneuil, it turns out, is a beanpole. There was no wind in the courtroom, but if there had been, his suit would have flapped. While being sworn in, he hunched over the guard like a NBA player leaning over a coach. "My knees are long," he said, endearingly, to the judge, when explaining why he couldn't move the witness chair closer to the microphone. Between the defense and the media, Faneuil has been so trashed of late that expectations were low. He would have exceeded them even if they had been high. Faneuil was polite, deferential, entertaining, likable, and, dare I say it, credible (pre-cross-examination, of course). The interplay between him and Seymour, moreover, was masterful: Standing at the lectern, 15 feet in front of Faneuil, Seymour looked like a stern mother helping rehabilitate her formerly wayward son. Did there come a time at Merrill Lynch when you did something illegal? Karen Patton Seymour asked. "Yes," said Douglas Faneuil. What did you do? asked Seymour. "I told one client what another client was doing and then lied about it to cover it up," said Faneuil.


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