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Charles Payne Stands Up For The Little Guy

Charles Payne has built a reputation of being for the little guy; a man who represents Main Street much more so than Wall Street. On this point, he may be in the media minority, and he is not afraid to say so.

At the conclusion of his Friday program on the Fox Business Network, Charles Payne took the financial media at large to task, largely for forgetting who they should be looking out for.

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He ended the program by recapping the saga of crypto exchange executive Sam Bankman-Fried, the jailed Democratic mega-donor who allegedly stole from investors. Payne referred to SBF as “a boy wonder Birkenstock shoe-wearing kid, who somehow pulled the wool over Silicon Valley’s eyes. And that meant they’re pulling the wool over your eyes.”

He then continued, going deeper into the elite financial media’s opinion of its viewers.

“I think this is a good time in the show, as we end it, to talk about also the role in all of this of financial media, who continue in many ways to let retail investors down. Retail investors, also known as our viewers,” Payne said. “They’ve even gone a step further in the last few years, just totally disrespecting our viewers by calling them dumb. And always, always finding a way to laugh at their expense.”

He discussed the breaking news about WeWork that he watched on CNBC late last week. The fledgling company, which offers office space solutions in cities across the country, has incurred financial losses and recent lawsuits from landlords. The New York Times quoted the company as saying, “Substantial doubt exists about the company’s ability to continue as a growing concern.” 

“There was a chuckle,” Charles Payne said. “Someone commented to the effect that the stock had been beaten down so much that it was a meme stock, right? Of course, the inference was that the dummies on Main Street would now start to trade the stock higher.”

Payne said this recent media tune about the company’s stock is completely different than what they were saying just a few years ago. He said it wasn’t long ago that WeWork’s founder, Adam Neumann, was making the media rounds, giving a positive take on the company’s prospects and “selling his vision of the world.”

“He was being lauded. Absolutely lauded. Like Sam Bankman-Fried, they treated these guys like, yeah, they had the answers,” Payne recalled from 2015. “And guess what? You wanted to be part of the action. And, of course, he laid it on thick about growing up, loving a sense of community.”

The company subsequently raised $22B dollars over 23 rounds of funding and became the darlings of many Silicon Valley bigshots. The company seemed to have a promising future, and the media hype was hot.  However, the company subsequently failed to pull off an IPO and problems continued to mount.  

“It was obvious at that point, Wall Street knew this was a scam. That explains the reason it wasn’t an IPO at a hundred, and it was a SPAC. And the reason they rushed it. They had to get…some people had to make an exit. Remember, you’re the exit. The stench was getting so bad that everyone could smell it.”

Charles Payne, the author of the 2019 book, Unstoppable Prosperity, said it is natural for retail investors to consider investing in the stock now that it has crashed, and natural to speculate about current upside potential. And this is where he has his major problem with the media.

“This shouldn’t be the butt of jokes though, that is despicable,” Payne opined. “By the way, I would rather buy this stock at 20 cents, ok, down 99.9%, than when the media was telling me – the smart money – demanding that I buy it. Demanding that you buy it. Think about that for a moment. When this stock was extraordinarily higher, they said it was a good buy.”

He then detailed some instances over his career where beaten-down stocks were, in fact, able to rebound from the ash heap. He said everyone who invests in WeWork now knows it is a stock that has been beaten down and is in trouble.

“But when the smart money was offloading this junk and pulling the wool over Main Street’s eyes, they were saying get in there! Now you’re dumb for buying it. Same thing with economic data folks, all of this stuff. It just never changes.”

Charles Payne concluded by doubling down on his promise to stand for the retail investor, regardless of what elite media and corporate puppet masters have to say.

“It really is unfortunate that you watch us to learn, for guidance, and the best you can get sometimes out of us is to dis you. To diss you, ironically enough, for buying the crap that was foisted on you by the brilliant folks on Wall Street and often their talking mouths, their talking heads that work for them, not for you. I work for you, ok. I want you to do well. I’m not always right. Believe me, this is a humbling business. But I can tell you right now, you should never be called dumb money again.”

Rick Schultz
Rick Schultz
Rick Schultz is a former Sports Director for WFUV Radio at Fordham University. He has coached and mentored hundreds of Sports Broadcasting students at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Marist College and privately. His media career experiences include working for the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Sports at West Point, The Norwich Navigators, 1340/1390 ESPN Radio in Poughkeepsie, NY, Time Warner Cable TV, Scorephone NY, Metro Networks, NBC Sports, ABC Sports, Cumulus Media, Pamal Broadcasting and WATR. He has also authored a number of books including "A Renegade Championship Summer" and "Untold Tales From The Bush Leagues". To get in touch, find him on Twitter @RickSchultzNY.

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