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From the hysteria over the anonymous three-man outfit that is Viceroy Research, you’d think it was the one responsible for duping Steinhoff’s 49,000 individual investors. A few weeks ago, Viceroy catapulted from being a nobody into a starring role in the Steinhoff implosion, after it published an astute 37-page report red-flagging apparent fraud at the furniture retailer, as well as the secret deals to enrich CEO Markus Jooste. Insiders told the Financial Mail that Viceroy’s work on the secret companies in Europe that helped Steinhoff "inflate earnings" was "more or less accurate". Predictably, the twitterati went bos. Some claimed Viceroy had caused Steinhoff’s share price to tank based on "pure speculation". Others claimed Viceroy should be "investigated" for "market manipulation". They forget, however, that the Viceroy report only emerged after Steinhoff had admitted to "accounting irregularities" and Jooste had quit "with immediate effect", which is what really sparked a 61% sto...

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