Meredith Whitney does not want to be in the biz press

Meredith Whitney

Michael Aneiro of Barron’s writes about how famous Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney uses the business news media and then says she does not want to be in the press.

Aneiro writes, “Bartiromo asked Whitney why she thought she was such a lightning rod for criticism, leading to a softball question about why the Wall Street Journal would bother to write about a small private Wall Street firm, as veteran WSJ reporter Gregory Zuckerman did earlier this month, reporting that Whitney’s subscription research business was losing clients. Whitney’s response was telling: she said the facts in the story were wrong (she didn’t cooperate with the story despite requests to do so) and that she doesn’t have public relations people. Why, you ask?

“‘I don’t want to be in the press,’ Whitney said, with a straight face, DURING A SEGMENT ON CNBC. With said TV appearance coming on the day that she WROTE AN OPINION PIECE FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES. And that opinion piece reiterating similar claims to those she made in a TELEVISED INTERVIEW ON 60 MINUTES in December 2010.

“None of this faux publicity shyness would matter if Whitney’s hadn’t caused such real damage to the muni market two years ago, with six months of severe muni-fund outflows following her erroneous default predictions despite no related pickup in actual defaults. Whitney has certainly received her share of criticism over the past couple of years, but – despite her protestations to the contrary – she most certainly seeks publicity, and with that comes criticism, and fairly so.”

Read more here.