Assange backed (in)securities [update] | FT Alphaville

Assange backed (in)securities [update]

Until now the Wikileaks swag bag has included little of immediate interest to finance buffs (German reaction to GM’s decision not to sell Opel, anyone?).

But Clusterstock today picked up on a 2009 Computer World interview with wikileaks founder Julian Assange:

“At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drives. Now how do we present that? It’s a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it.”

Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities is, however, boldly phlegmatic:

Bank stock are weak again today. Bank of America is doing particularly poorly. I am being told that the reason is that the story concerning Wikileaks and an American bank is the cause. It is believed that the release will be so damaging as to create a new crisis in banking. I find this almost impossible to believe. I cannot imagine what new news will be released on banking that is not already known or has been speculated about in the press for the past three years.

Others are, seemingly, less so:

Update (10:01pm, GMT): In a note (‘Let’s Get Real’) out late Tuesday, Bove remains phlegmatic:

Wikileaks may not even know at this moment what it is going to reveal. The only issue one can be sure of is that whatever the data it will be sensational.

Remaining real, Bove goes on to suggest buying BofA as even if it fails, shareholders win. Because:

First, all of the lawsuits against the company would go away. Second, the liabilities would be paid off from existing assets over a long period of time leaving the company’s net worth for shareholders.

OK. In any case, according to Bove, all of the information will have been dealt with internally “by the system” already. Some may argue that hasn’t quite been the experience of the last three years in big banks, but we certainly appreciate the lack of sensationalism about the “sensational” data.

Related link:
US bank implicated in WikiLeaks trove – FT
An Interview With WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange – Forbes