The Norbourg Blog – Part 2

Two weeks ago we commented on the need for a Norbourg Blog and still there’s no trace of such a blog. Newspaper articles are fine but each ends there: it’s not a way in to the whole Internet world of information. Websites are fine but often are not updated to reflect the latest events. For example as of today, the Norbourg website still has a pop-up with a media release dated August 25. Dipping in to the website (only in French), you’ll find the following quote:

Contre vents et mar?es, le conseiller en valeurs de plein exercice Norbourg Gestion d?actifs inc. garde le cap sur la pr?servation et la croissance du capital de ses clients ..

Ah if the only perils had been winds and tides, perhaps we wouldn’t now be seeing this scandal.

Blogs force a certain transparency and timeliness of action. There’s a pressure to display current events and news. This requires that you act at an appropriate speed on whatever should be a priority. Unfortunately it’s too late to expect any useful, timely action from the Norbourg principals. Now it’s in the hands of the Autorit? des march?s financiers (AMF) and I imagine those investors in Norbourg funds would love to be kept up-to-date on what’s going on.

Don Macdonald commenting today in the Montreal Gazette on the Norbourg scandal is also feeling strongly the need for action. He cites a case last week where the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S. acted within 36 hours to snap handcuffs on former Refco Inc. chief executive Phillip Bennett. Here in Montreal the investigation has been rolling for weeks and months. Macdonald calls the failure to bring charges in this Norbourg scandal an outrage.

Before the Internet, it was costly to inform the world of actions taken. Now with the writer-friendliness of blogs, it’s very little effort and almost zero cost to make the information available to anyone who would like to know in an instance. Of course no action must be taken, which will prejudice the legal processes. However if there’s a presumption of transparency, which there is with the Internet, then this encourages prompt actions as well. As Macdonald concluded, the least the investors and the general public ‘should be able to expect is to see the culprits brought promptly to justice’. Even prior to that, it would be good to see what exactly is going on. A Norbourg Blog would do just that.

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