It’s indicative of the kind of ethical culture that exists on Wall Street that John Kinnucan, the Portland, Oregon–based analyst who rebuffed federal investigators’ invitation to wear a wire to help them with an insider-trading investigation, then sent a boastful e-mail to his clients informing them of his dedication to protecting them from the “eager beavers” who were trying to “ensnare” them in their “devious web,” has become something of a folk hero. While it seems counterintuitive to applaud the decision to obstruct justice (if his work “has nothing to do with ‘inside information’ and everything to do with a lot of hard work and insight,” as Kinnucan told the Journal, one commenter on Dealbreaker pointed out, shouldn’t he have just “let the wiretap proceed to prove the Feds wrong”?), CNBC, for one, is all too happy to put him on a pedestal and call him awesome. The network not only hailed Kinnucan as “heroic” in a headline on their website today, but had him retell his swashbuckling story in a Strategy Session lovefest this afternoon. “They pulled up in front of my house when I was on my porch having a glass of wine, around four in the afternoon,” Kinnucan began. “That may seem a little early to you, but I get up at three in the morning. I feel after twelve hours, I’m entitled.” “I’m a fan of that,” host David Faber chuckled. Hmmm. Maybe they were drinking when they filmed the segment?
Update NetNet’s John Carney defends the headline: “It certainly takes courage to defy the FBI. And since I think this is a ridiculous use of government power, standing up to the Feds here strikes me as heroic. For the record, I added that word to the headline. It didn’t appear in Gennine Kelly’s write up.”