To the Motley Fool Editorial Team:
There is likely agreement among the Motley Fool that protecting the brand is of paramount importance. To that end, hiring the best writers and analysts to provide content must be a primary endpoint. The Motley Fool, on its website, makes the following claim:
“We don’t consider our employees to be journalists, but rather communicators and teachers of financial matters.”
This leads to the obvious question: if a Motley Fool writer is repeatedly wrong in his analysis; makes basic errors in both economics and logic; and deliberately under-reports on an issue when he has a position in the security he is reporting on, why would the Motley Fool want this author on payroll? It’s one thing to teach. It’s another to teach information that is provably false.
This brings us to the issue of Fool writer Jordan Wathen, who has been writing about the taxi medallion financial industry for a number of months. For that same period of time, his articles have been rightly criticized from multiple sources for all of the reasons above.
Opinions are fine. However, when that opinion is presented based on provably false information fed to investors, the author and the publication’s credibility are destroyed. The greatest danger lies in a Fool author not knowing what he doesn’t know.
A June article demonstrated that Jordan Wathen not only failed to properly research the industry, but when confronted with questions regarding his research, he refused to respond.
In July, Jordan Wathen again wrote an article that demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge of underwriting in the taxi medallion financial industry. He was again called out on these issues, and again refused to respond.
This continues to happen. It happened in September.
Things got more serious, just a few days later. Jordan Wathen literally manufactured false information about one taxi medallion financial industry lender.
This past week, Wathen again attempted to dupe investors by making an outrageous claim that the foreclosure price of a taxi medallion represents the true market value of a taxi medallion. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Motley Fool has a brand to protect. Its first step would be to fire Jordan Wathen.