A Wiki World

What are the investment implications of Wikileaks?

To some Julian Assange is a hero, but to most of the world he seems an annoying pest. He’s like that brilliant but obnoxious kid in school who knew everyone’s secrets. While outwardly people were friendly, for the most part he was avoided or even shunned.

But there was an implication: you had to always watch what you said and what you did. Because you could never be sure what might come out as general knowledge the next day.

We now live in a post-Wiki world, where the most confidential communications can be invaded and published for all to see. The fallout from last spring’s data-dump about the Iraq war seemed limited, because so little of what was leaked was surprising. But these latest disclosures appear much more serious. Diplomatic communication has been privileged for millennia. In the internet-age that taboo has been broken.

Assange promises to release bank secrets and other confidential information soon. I have no doubt that he will. There are tremendous implications from this. For investors, it’s more important than ever that company management have the highest possible integrity. Management’s words and actions had better match up. Because the most private boardroom conversations are now fair game.

Character is destiny, especially in an age of total transparency. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to understand your investments and know how they’re managed.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Hit reply if you have any questions—I read them all!

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