Friday, September 30, 2005

My favorite legal term

"execution"

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Another Form of Cramdown

So, you thought the US automotive industry was in the shitter already, hell its starting to look attractive for a daring private equity firm to come in and scoop up a few troubled automotive suppliers.

Ford to Cut Half of Suppliers to Improve Technology - Bloomberg
Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. will cut half of its suppliers and sign long-term contracts with the rest to reduce costs and improve technology as the world's third-largest carmaker struggles to reverse declining profit and shrinking sales.


Ford will announce agreements today with Sweden's Autoliv Inc., Delphi Corp., Johnson Controls Inc., Lear Corp., Canada's Magna International Inc., Visteon Corp. and Japan's Yazaki Corp., said Gabriele Gutscher, a spokeswoman for Ford in Cologne, Germany (continued...)

Well, it really sucks if you are an automotive supplier and you aren't one of those companies named above. Well, somebody had to pay for all of those price discounts. Well let's see, you have a few airlines in Chapter 11, a few automotive suppliers........anyone starting to see a trend?. Looks like pension heavy business ain't what they used to be..........the next thing to keep any eye out for is these companies to be shedding their pension obligations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Don't believe the hype

Or a giant game of broken telephone in action?


Some Reports of N.O. Violence Exaggerated - AP


No? Really? There weren't mass murders? You would think that someone in the media might second guess reporting this crap in the first place with out getting real confirmation of such "sensational" stories.

You mean this isn't Bosnia?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Not trying to be a negative nelly (paraphrasing Ned Flanders)

but couldn't the very download of this "evade the censors" manual get you in some deep shit in some of these countries? (I assume this comes with a compendium or addendum on how to withstand torture, basic prison survival skills and escape planning.)

Media watchdog tells bloggers how to avoid censors - Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - A Paris-based media watchdog released a handbook on Thursday to help cyber-dissidents and bloggers avoid political censorship in countries as far apart as China, Iran, Vietnam and Cuba (continued... )

Thursday, September 22, 2005

So I got this email........(aka I wouldn't hire an fresh MBA with your money)

from the dean of the business school I went to, Schulich School of Business, tell me about how well the school did on a recent WSJ survey.

My thoughts, big fucking deal. I can say that having wasted a few years doing (and finishing) my MBA. If your idea of being "in business" is drawing a "good salary" (what ever it is you consider good), then darling, you ain't "in business". Being in business means sweating it out trying to meet payroll, keeping your overhead bare bones and playing with real money, not the treasury of some national or multinational corporation (money is not just a few numbers on a page followed by a bunch of zeros). Being in business means knowing how to play 3 hands of poker at once at three different tables, all with different rules. Climbing the corporate ladder is much different than being in business. While both are a skill, the more I see, the more I am begining to think that they are mutually exclusive. Being in business means that you usually don't have someone else to pin the blame on when things go wrong.

Being in business means that you cannot always take the moral or ethical high road. Take a look back through history and you will see that the most successful people are often not the most ethical, but guess what, that is life, regardless of what they try to teach in business school ethics class. What I am getting at is that sometimes in business you have to do what you have to do. I am not talking about criminal activity, but lets face it people act in their own self interest. Having been on the "short end" of other people's legal, but unethical behavior, I can safely say, yes it sucks, but that is part of the game. How "ethical" is it for companies like Altria, which sell a product known to cause cancer in its users, to spout this sort of crap.


Ah, what can you say about Schulich, the school that with approximately 9000 alumni in the Toronto area that could not put together a Toronto alumni chapter (I can speak from experience as I was part of the "organizing" committee), but can some how manage to have its "homecoming" for 2005 in Shanghai.

A perfectly good example of why NOT to put live television on airplanes

As someone who was flying across the Atlantic from Berlin to Toronto (ended up in Moncton actually, almost landed in Gander.......thank god we didn't) on September 11/2001, here is a perfectly good example of why live TV on planes is bad.

Crippled Jet Lands Safely at L.A. Airport - AP

LOS ANGELES - The airliner circled Southern California for hours, crippled by a faulty landing gear, while inside its cabin 140 passengers watched their own life-and-death drama unfolding on live television (continued... )

-In relation to the events of September 11, knowing about the events while in the air would not have caused me as much stress as dealing with the reaction of the people around me. Having a rather high tolerance for uncertainly and danger is something I have (no sense worrying when you have little control over external situations), dealing with other peoples' histrionics is not a skill I posses in any great quantity. In other words, I was glad there were no TV's on the plane.
Sometimes, I really believe in the phrase "this information is on a need to know basis, and you don't need to know it".

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Not a Gadget Freak


But this baby looks cool. A "real" notebook computer. None of this binder-sized "notebook" computer crap.

www.oqo.com

Monday, September 19, 2005

Canada..............a great place to rip off the government

Hey, I hear that when you get caught stealing from the government in some countries, they cut off your head. In Canada, they just make you go to your room.

I hope, for the government's sake, they at least got some good information out of Coffin.
CBC News: Paul Coffin sentenced in federal sponsorship scandal - CBC

Friday, September 16, 2005

Quite Possibly the Best Business Quote

"Run a business like a one storey whorehouse - No Fucking Overhead"

Source - (Who Has Time For This?: The Best Startup Advice I Have: Felda Hardymon)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Like condos, but for kids. No?

Here is an idea that is sure not to take the market by storm......kiddie cages.

Eleven Children Found Caged in Ohio Home - AP

I mean sure, I probably deserved to be caged when I was a kid, but luckily it is illegal. I wonder where the law stands on caging mothers-in-law..................could be cheaper than a nursing home (oh Agnes..............where are you?) Now that could be a killer app.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Like Money in My Pocket (Well, not really, but it is better than losing $250,000)

So here is the deal..........an intermediary comes to us with a deal. His client has 2500 brand name laptop computers (for which he claims the client had already paid about $1.8 million for) sitting in a bonded warehouse for which he needs about $250,000 for about 60 to 90 days in order to pay the taxes and get them out of bond.

The intermediary reports that his client has one customer who is purchasing all of the computers once they are out of bond.

The deal sounds fishy to us, so in addition to our usual documentation, we ask for a list of all of the serial numbers for the machines as well as a certificate from the manufacturer stating that this particular person is a duly authorized reseller of this brand of computers in this particular geographic area.

This sort of volume of computers do not just fall into your hands....it typically involves fraud, phony documentation and some other un-nice acts.

Poof!........never hear back again.............like magic.

So we speak with the Canadian in house counsel for this computer company and tell him the situation. We give him the model number and he tells us the retail value of the computers is in the area of $8 million. Obviously we know this is a set up to remove a quarter million dollars from our company.

A few days later the computer company calls back................the deal (scam) was being run by some recently released convict out of a boarding house in a city in eastern Canada. The intermediary was unaware that the deal was bogus, but having said that, I don't think that I will hear from him again, considering this was the second fishy deal that originated from him.

At some point, you start to look at everyone with a suspicious eye.

So what is the moral of this story..........drill down baby...........drill down.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What is a group of men in bright spandex worth?

(or how much will it cost me to hire the Avengers)

About half a billion dollars.

Marvel Launches Independently Financed Film Slate With Closing of $525 Million Non-Recourse Credit Facility

While not the first time "art" has been used to raise some capital - See the David Bowie Securitization - I wonder what happens, from the creditors' point of view, if these movies tank? With the Bowie deal, there was already a strong cash flow to purchase, so this could be a little different.

Given how this was wrapped up in a SPE and the deal was a non-recourse nature, one could wonder what creditors are to do with some NPCC's (non performing comic characters) if things go flat, especially since it is only the theatrical film rights to these characters that have been pledged as security.

The insurers on this deal better hope these movies do well or they maybe trying to "spend" their celluloid Captain America.

Irony Much

Bearingpoint says SEC starts formal probe - Reutershmmmmmmmmm wasn't BearingPoint part of KPMG.......just when you thought this SEC "stuff" couldn't get funnier.....well funny if your not BearingPoint or anyone else wrapped up in an SEC investigation.

I am still waiting for the SEC to start investigating itself.

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