Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Money Manager David Kotok Now Attempts Cover-Up

David Kotok, somehow, through Cumberland Advisors has more than a billion dollars under management. Yet, as  Gonzalo Lira points out, he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Lira takes him to task for plagiarizing something that had widespread readership. Yet, equally as hamboned is Kotok's sloppy cover-up.

Lira explains the latest developments in this email:
To Everyone in the Financial Blogosphere:

Yesterday evening, I discovered that David Kotok, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Cumberland Advisors, plagiarized over fifty paragraphs of my recent post "The Second Leg Down of America's Downward Spiral".

My post appeared in my own blog on October 12. The link is here.

Then the post ran on Zero Hedge on October 14. The link is here.
Mr. Kotok passed off my piece as his own writing in his "Market Commentary", on October 15. The link is here. He posted no link or mention of my blog, or Zero Hedge.

David Kotok olympically tried passing off my work as his own.

It shouldn't need stating, but Mr. Kotok is not the sharpest knife in the drawer: Only a fool plagiarizes something that has already gotten such intense exposure, as most posts in Zero Hedge tend to get.

But then, instead of just coming clean about his plagiarism, Mr. Kotok began to lie.

Once people realized what he had done, he altered his "market commentary" page, inserting a disclaimer at the top, claiming the post had been written by "an anonymous source"—then claimed the disclaimer had been there all along, and that readers simply hadn't noticed it.

To prove that he is now lying, attached to this e-email are two screen shots as well as a web archive of his "market commentary"—as they were before he inserted his disclaimer.

David Kotok is a plagiarist and a liar.

The plagiarism—and the lying to cover it up—are in and of themselves trivial. After all, this isn't life and death—it's just a silly column that I wrote. On a blog. For free.

But Mr. Kotok's behavior points to something very troubling:

David Kotok obviously plagiarized my work so as to look good with his clients. You have to wonder what else he's doing—or will do—so as to look good with his clients. After all, Bernie Madoff looked good with his clients, too—until they discovered that he was a fraud.

Morality is the template of a man's soul—he applies that same template in all situations, large and small.

If Mr. Kotok would so foolishly plagiarize from an obscure, insignificant blogger in order to look good—and then lie about it to cover his tracks—then one has to wonder what other actions he would commit, in order to look good.

This is all I have to say about this matter—all I will ever say about this matter.

Actually, the whole subject bores me—I slept like a baby last night. After all, I authored the piece, so my conscience is clear. And I don't have any of my money with Cumberland Advisors, or with its Chairman, Mr. David Kotok.

Thank you for your attention.

Gonzalo Lira
Kotok's Original Posting without a disclaimer

Now he claims the disclaimer was there all along. He amazingly writes this morning:
Some folks missed the opening disclaimer and attributed the piece to me; that was their error.


  1. Would be interesting to see the screen shots.

  2. People in important places can be so childish...

  3. Looks like the post (with the disclaimer) made it into John Mauldin's weekly "E-Letter" to accred. investors. I received a copy on Saturday, Oct 16 at 9:03 pm:

    "The Foreclosure Mess

    OK, in a serendipitous moment, Maine fishing buddy David Kotok sent me this email on the mortgage foreclosure crisis just as I was getting ready to write much the same thing. It is about the best thing I have read on the topic. Saves me some time and you get a better explanation. From Kotok:

    'Dear Readers, this text came to me in an email from sources that are in the financial services business and with whom I have a personal relationship. The original text was laced with expletives and I would not use it in the form I received it. Therefore the text below has had some substantial editing in order to remove that language. The intentions of the writer are undisturbed. The writer shall remain anonymous. This text echoes some of the news items we have seen and heard today; however, it can serve as a plain language description of the present foreclosure-suspension mess. There is a lot here. It takes about ten minutes to read it. - David Kotok (www.cumber.com)'... "

    So, was Mauldin covering for his fishing buddy, Kotok (wittingly or perhaps unwittingly)?

  4. It appears Kotok sent out a disclaimer in the email, but it wasn't originally on the site, as Kotok attempts to indicate.

    Kotok should have just said. "Hey there was a disclaimer in the email and forgot to put it on the site." Instead of playing it as though the disclaimer was there all along.

    As the web shot indicates, it wasn't.