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This evening, I checked out the history of Yahoo's "wallstrtbull" with more detail. (For those out of the loop, he [or she] was the "source" of GT's buyout by GE or DD at $38/share. He mentioned an article in a "Detroit newspaper" but would not be more specific.)

The very first posting I saw was someone's response to him that read as such:

"This is intriguing news, but could you please cite your sources, especially the $60 bid price which no wire service has ever reported on. I hope you are right, but will reserve any enthusiam until you reply."

I thought: "Another unsubstantiated GT plug by Wallstrtbull." But this message was in fact posted on Yahoo's board for Gillette (G).

I checked back a little farther and did some research on G. G currently trades at $38.25/share. They are looking to sell off portions of their business, and PG has been mentioned in the media as a merger candidate, but no legitimate price for the whole company has been stated.

Here's Wallstrtbull's original post on the G board:

by: wallstrtbull (32/M/New York, New York)

2/15/00 12:27 pm
Msg: 5232 of 5253

PG is not about to let G get away...especially with sinking low stock price.

PG will probably up the bid to $66 with stock swap and no cash.

Answer to question posted earlier: $60 is verified. If I disclosed my sources, he would never trust me again. I have to [k]eep this discrete but trust me....$60 was the offer price.

Is this person opining, lying, or merely illegally disclosing insider info? You choose.

I have also found spam postings boasting Sikaman Corp. (SKG) posted by Wallstrtbull on the Yahoo boards of EBAY, EGRP, YHOO, and several others.

Sigh... I know this is only faintly related to GT, but I do have a point.

1. No one who posts rumours or unsubstantiated "facts" is to be trusted. This includes me, Rebekah111, Cejhals, Caveman 2, the Gardner brothers, Queen Elizabeth, the Pope, etc.

2. In truth, alleging that you read something "in a Detroit newspaper" is more insidious than your mere opinion, because it implies that you have facts to back you up.

3. Always ask for the facts and the source. Demand them.

Maybe Wallstrtbull is right. GT will be bought out at $38, and maybe G will be bought out at $60. Who knows. But it worries me that otherwise intelligent people might be making investment decisions (or at least be swayed) based on these rumours.

As they say, Fool on.
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