“Was Apple’s decline an indication of weakness? No. It was pure manipulation by unscrupulous FUD masters, bloggers, forum posters, hedge fund managers and media types. What an outright disgrace, to play fast and loose with the health of a man just to make a buck,” Zach Bass writes for Investor in the Wilderness.
“In the process, these malfeasants hide behind what they claimed was a legitimate discussion of the speculative case. They know all too well, that in the wake of one of the most important announcements in company history, and the obvious importance Steve Jobs plays in the make up of Apple, that they had the perfect opportunity to spread fear and profit from it. Well, all I can say is that these manipulators have had there day and set into motion a very negative karma,” Bass writes.
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Patrice” for the heads up.]
Surely there was, and still is, some of what Bass writes about going on, but it’s a mistake to lump in everyone else who were simply just concerned about Jobs after noticing his physical appearance at WWDC. Like us, even reporters who initially declined to mention Jobs’ gauntness in their reports immediately noticed how he looked. That’s not “pure manipulation,” it’s simply awareness and concern.
In case you haven’t noticed, Apple is a very big part of our life. We know pretty much exactly how Jobs normally looks, we’ve seen his weight fluctuations, and, to us and many others in attendance, he looked very gaunt and tired at WWDC 2008. It was noticeable from the first second he stepped onstage.
This time around we decided, like CNBC’s Jim Goldman, to let video speak for itself. Wrong or right, that’s what we decided based on our assumption that Apple would be out ahead of any real issues this time and inform the world themselves if there was any real health issue with Jobs. We were basically forced to post about this story (or non-story, depending on how you look at it and what, or whom, you believe) when speculation from others began to be widely reported and after receiving emails from MacDailyNews readers were were concerned about Jobs themselves.
As CNBC’s Jim Goldman reports, Apple’s explanation is “that Jobs has been suffering from a [common bug], and thanks to an antibiotics regimen, is getting better daily, [according to] spokeswoman Katie Cotton, vice president of worldwide communications… She also knows that if the statement she’s sharing isn’t true, she risks going to jail. This is material information about the CEO of a company that hinges on his ability to run the place. Apple is synonymous with Jobs and vice versa… If there’s something more serious going on here than merely a nasty virus, and Apple knows it, and lies about it, the consequences would be devastating. Apple’s been through the SEC wringer before and likely doesn’t want to go through that again.”
We agree with Goldman, who writes, “This might be one of those rare occasions where it might be ok to take the company’s statement at face value. That doesn’t mean we stop looking around, but it does mean that all those bloggers and Apple shorts throwing kerosene on the rumor embers are doing so recklessly. And investors ought to be aware of that.” Read Jim Goldman’s full article via CNBC (and watch his interview with Steve Jobs) here.
Just don’t castigate everyone and accuse them of trying to manipulate the market; some people are simply genuinely concerned about Jobs.
And, Apple, with your past history on this issue, and you simply cannot put Jobs out on stage looking like an animated wire clothes hanger and expect the world to swallow your “common bug, getting better with antibiotics” statement hook, line, and sinker. A lot of people just aren’t buying it (or AAPL shares, lately). If Jobs is on a new diet or training for a marathon or something else, it would be a good idea to issue a more comprehensive statement that better explains why Jobs looked and sounded the way he did at WWDC.
See also, Wired’s Betsy Schiffman, who reports, “Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ gaunt appearance at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Monday prompted a number of prominent bloggers, with understandable trepidation, to question his health.”
“We wondered if a CEO’s health could be considered ‘material’ — the sort of information the SEC requires a company to disclose to all shareholders equally. So we asked some lawyers,” Schiffman reports. “The consensus: it probably makes sense to disclose something that will affect a CEO’s performance, but there is probably no legal requirement to do so.”
Much more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Luke” for the heads up.]
[Disclaimer: We are long AAPL.]