Stansberry and Associates

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Stansberry and Associates is something like what you'd get if Zero Hedge was an investment firm. Owned by Frank Porter Stansberry, their websites [1] [2]are a mix of economic doom and gloom combined with oodles of painfully obvious pump-and-dump-type schemes. They appear on US television in the usual time slots frequented by the broke and gullible, with none other than Ron Paul pitching for them[3] to hit exactly the market you expect. Stansberry himself is an occasional writer for WorldNetDaily and promoter of various conspiracy theories surrounding President Obama.

As is rather common with right-wing financial doomsayers, Stansberry's particular ooga-booga is hyperinflation, pointing (as you do) to Weimar Germany and the like as what will happen if the US continues with its eeeevil neo-Keynesian economic policies. Their predictions have been sufficiently histrionic and widely distributed to gain the attention of Snopes.com,[4] and the "super secret strategies" rhetoric in their marketing materials[5] is right in line with other "don't trust the banksters" forms of economic fraud as high yield investment programs, implying that Stansberry can provide access to these behind-the-scenes banking instruments that only the rich have access to.

Stansberry himself is exactly the sort of unrepentant bigot[6] that you'd expect someone who's made a living off of affinity fraud to be. He was fined US$1.5 million in 2007 by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a case that was upheld by the US Supreme Court; perhaps surprisingly, some of his biggest defenders were newspapers who were afraid that the case could be used to set a precedent where brokers could be prosecuted for passing on bad information in good faith. SCOTUS did not particularly care for this argument and refused to hear the appeal. Journalist Brian Deer (the same one who took down Andrew Wakefield) has written extensively about Stansberry's, um, business model,[7] including one particularly cruel 2003 incident where Stansberry promoted a fictitious AIDS vaccine. After all this, it should come as no surprise that Stansberry's pitches (with their clichéd "let me let you in on a secret" writing style) are in regular rotation on right-wing junk mail lists, even long after being repeatedly debunked.

If you're into whatever the opposite of tubthumping is, Stansberry has a podcast. It's probably more of the same, but we can't be bothered to listen.

[edit] References

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