Alumnus’ movie role is a real ‘Shock’
July 16, 2009
by Kathy Lindsley
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The potential of satellite radio is enormous and Sirius XM Satellite Radio Inc., the company created by the July 2008 merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio services, attracted a galaxy of investors hoping to profit as company stock headed for the stratosphere.
Then, in a period of a few months following the merger, Sirius XM stock plummeted from a high of $9 to 5 cents per share in 2009.
Stock Shock, a feature-length documentary released in June, chronicles the story of that rise and fall, focusing on a practice known as “naked short selling” that has allowed unscrupulous market traders to make profits by manipulating stocks they never actually own.
Anthony Napoli ’01 (criminal justice) is prominently featured in the new movie.
“I have been tracking Sirius XM as an investor while the company was growing astronomically as opposed to the stock price,” he explains. He became acquainted with Brandon Matthews, a journalist and founder of Satwaves.com, who has reported extensively on Sirius XM.
Subsequently, Napoli was contacted by Sandra Mohr of Mohr Productions, Los Angeles, producer of Stock Shock. Besides appearing in the film, he participated in some additional interviews with others. In New York City, he and Matthews met with Paul Blalock, director of investor relations for Sirius XM at company headquarters in connection with the filming.
The film’s release has generated a great deal of buzz online. Currently, more than 25,000 are following “stockshockmovie” on Twitter, and there’s a fan page. The official site official site includes the movie trailer, featuring a clip of Napoli, shown commenting in spoken English and sign language.
Despite what happened with the stock, Napoli continues to have faith in Sirius XM. “The company still has a lot of potential to be the next growth story stock,” he says, “as the combined entities (XM and Sirius Radio) keep growing even during the recession.” He notes that the number of subscribers has grown from 100,000 in 2002 to over 19 million, with sales revenues of nearly $3 billion.
Meanwhile, the Sirius stock scandal has helped prompt governmental action. In particular, Sen. Ted Kaufman of Delaware has introduced bills to end such market abuses.
Greed and the financial crisis have caught the attention of others in Hollywood. Michael Moore’s Capitalism, A Love Story is due out in October, and Oliver Stone and Ridley Scott are reportedly working on related films.