Jeff Macke: I'm Not Broke!

jeff macke dennis kneale CNBC

This weekend, blogger W.C. Varones wondered if former Fast Money pundit Jeff Macke was broke, and if his own financial problems contributed to his odd on-air ways that preceded his departure from the network.

His case seems to rest on a few thin reeds:

Macke’s web site doesn’t say much but projects the image of a large, successful firm in San Francisco. SEC filings paint a slightly different picture. Filings from 2002 and 2005 list the address of Macke Asset Management as 2001 Union Street #320 in a mixed retail/residential/restaurant neighbourhood. Coincidentally, W.C. Varones world headquarters used to be just up the street from there. It could not be ascertained over the weekend whether Macke still rents an office there, but my money is on “no.”

The same SEC filings show Macke holding shares in a midwestern retailer called Duckwall-Alco. His CNBC and Minyanville bios still claim he’s on their board of directors, but according to this company press release, he resigned in 2007. One would think CNBC, with a purported journalistic reputation to uphold, would verify the accuracy of the bios of its on-air personalities every once in a while. And one would think Macke would correct that little error on Minyanville, where he continued to post as recently as two weeks ago.

Recent SEC holdings data do not list any ownership of Duckwall-Alco by Jeff Macke or Macke Asset Management. In fact, I could find no evidence of Macke Asset Management holding any shares of anything lately.

Anyway, there’s a bit more, but Macke calls it all hogwash. Here’s what he told us:

I hadn’t seen that column, not being in the habit of Googling myself and never having heard wcvarones’ blog spot prior to your note.

I haven’t lived in the Bay Area for more than 4 years and haven’t had an office in SF for more than 5 years.  If the area in which I had an office were as rundown as implied by the website I certainly was overpaying for the space.

It’s nice that websites regard me highly enough to speculate on my financial condition for better or worse.  That said, the leap from ancient mid-decade filings and a digital picture of where I had an office in the ’90s to me being personally “broke” is Beamon-esque.  I currently live relatively near to the spot where Khadafy pitched a tent for his UN visit.  I’m reasonably certain I don’t need to defend myself against any links to the Lockerbie bombing.

For the record, I left the board of Duckwall Alco after a decade of service which saw the stock price gain multiples from the time and price at which I joined.  Despite those gains, which have decreased since my departure, Duckwall is an extremely small capitalisation company.  As asinine as it is to suggest I was padding my history by mentioning the position it would have been even more reckless for me to have hyped my role from a position as a national media figure. 

In an era where the Madoff’s of finance pay for high rent office space to sucker clients into Ponzi Schemes I find it lamentable that I have to defend any aspects of my entirely legitimate and successful business operations from which I moved on years ago.  Perhaps if I overpaid for client seducing marble entrances I really would be broke but beyond the scrutiny of half-assed blog-spots’ speculations.  If I took the lease of Madoff’s vacated space in the lipstick building would blogspot hype a new fund?

It would be almost impossible for me to have less in common with Mr. Dykstra as a baseball player, drug abuser or business person.  I played mediocre high school football and track but never did pre-game drugs or PEDs of any sort.  Mr. Dykstra is to business what I am to Major League Baseball; a spectator and absolutely nothing more.  Indeed, the pathetic flailing of Dykstra in business were more reckless and deceptive than a laymen’s swing at major league pitching in the sense that nobody loses their life-savings when a trader takes feeble cuts at Big League pitching.  That doesn’t seem to be the case with  Lenny where his personal ineptitude cost unwitting investors dearly.

I’m not broke.  Perhaps if I were I’d start an asinine magazine targeted towards multi-millionaire baseball players or a desperate website speculating on basic cable personality’s personal finances.  Six of one, half dozen of another.

Thanks for asking, Joe.  I’ll let you know if I have a pending bankruptcy filing or better pictures of Pacific Heights office space.

Solvently yours,

Jeff Macke

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