The great Bloomberg SodaStream scam

Talk about a journalistic scam. 

Here was a February 3rd headline on Bloomberg News:

“SodaStream Declines Amid Jewish Settlement Boycott Concern”

Written by Elena Popina, the first four paragraphs of the article read:

“SodaStream International Ltd., the Israeli maker of home soda machines with a factory in the West Bank, sank to the lowest since 2012 in New York amid growing criticism for businesses operating in a territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state.

SodaStream slumped 3.3 percent to $35.34 in New York, the lowest since Nov. 20, 2012. The stock plunged 26 percent on Jan. 13 after SodaStream reported worse-than-forecast preliminary earnings for 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is leading U.S. efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, cautioned Israel at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 1 about an ‘increasing delegitimization campaign’ that includes ‘talks of boycotts.’ Actress Scarlett Johansson publicly split with Oxfam last week after the U.K.-based charity criticized her role as a spokeswoman for SodaStream, because of its plant in a settlement in the West Bank.

‘John Kerry made comments about the economic damage of the sanctions and this scared investors a lot,’ David Kaplan, an analyst at Barclays Plc who has a buy recommendation for SodaStream, said by phone from Tel Aviv. . .”

When your humble servant first read this article, the first thought that crossed his mind was how the entire stock market had slumped over the last month–down to its lowest numbers since 2010. No person who has money invested in the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq could have failed to see the drop in his or her funds over this period.

How in the world, I thought, could SodaStream’s drop possibly be attributed anything having to do with sanctions or boycotts or anything else? What were we supposed to think about the stock drops of Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola or all of the other soft drink companies? Were those drops also a result of something happening in the so-called “West Bank”?

And then for Ms. Popina to quote some analyst at Barclays to imply that investors were following the lead of Kerry and Oxfam bordered on the ludicrous.

So what are we to make of the news this morning that the stock price of SodaStream has soared to $40 per share as of 1 pm EST today?



Does this mean that investors have now abandoned John Kerry and Oxfam in droves and are embracing Scarlett Johansson?

Or does it simply mean that investors know a good thing when they see it? And what they see is a SodaStream company dedicated to the proposition of equal employment opportunities and benefits for Israeli Jews, Arabs, and Palestinians?

One fact is certain.  Elena Popina and Bloomberg’s attempt to perpetrate a scam on business readers and investors has failed miserably, and she should be reprimanded for such egregious misreportage.

About the Author
George Rooks is a retired faculty member of the University of California, Davis. A lifelong writer, he has been writing the blog for more than two years with readers in more than 100 countries. Long time chairman of the largest committee in his synagogue back in northern California, he directs numerous Israel advocacy projects in his locale and is a well-known speaker in the area. He and his wife live half of each year in California and half in Ashdod.