Wall Street Journal columnist Dennis Berman has responded to my inquiry asking him to justify of his use of lying as a reporting technique (see the earlier post), sending the following statement:
As you can appreciate, the integrity of these markets is based in part on honest disclosures by both buyers and sellers. My intent was to probe the strengths and weaknesses of a system that relies almost exclusively on buyers' own disclosures for establishing whether they are "accredited." That self-reporting standard enabled my grandmother to slip through. So might other people with intent to dodge the rules.
My approach and objectives were discussed in detail with the companies prior to publication. As you can see, the story also praises SharesPost for cutting off my access.
We take ethics and fairness very seriously at the Journal. We are in the business of truth-telling, not deception. In this case, applying a simple test to an entire way of doing business helped shed light on an important topic for investors and markets that ultimately serves the public good.