Consumer Fraud

Financial columnist fills RMK stocking with coal

Chuck Jaffe, a senior columnist for MarketWatch, put Regions Morgan Keegan on his 13th annual Lump of Coal Awards list, which points out those companies and individuals who he believes should be on Santa’s “naughty” list in the world of investment funds. The list was published today on SFGate, an online publication of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jaffe placed RMK in the category “Not knowing when to quit,” citing the investment company’s insistence on keeping funds tied to high-risk subprime mortgages active even after they suffered losses topping 80 percent. The columnist already had named RMK’s manager James Kelsoe as the Lump of Coal (Mis)Manager of 2007, when the funds were showing losses of 50 percent, and expresses incredulity that the funds remained in operation despite their plummeting value.

He names two of the funds specifically, RMK’s Select Intermediate Bond fund and Select High Income, which lost, respectively, 80 percent and 85 percent of their value in 2008.

RMK is amongĀ  six investors or funds named to the list this week. Jaffe will award more lumps next week, and name the (Mis)Manager of the Year for 2008.