Monday, October 31, 2005

A little funny money..........

can go a long way. Truth or hoax? No one is quite sure, but when a country can print its own money, anything can happen.

Exxon dismisses Chinese buyout bid - Reuters


"We are not aware of any communication from King Win Laurel Limited that has been delivered to the corporation. We do not believe that King Win Laurel Limited is financially capable of making such a tender offer," Exxon spokesman Dave Gardner said in a statement.

-What does that have to do with anything.........we are talking China here folks

More for the Boo-Fucking-Hoo File

  • Canadian Business Leaders Crying Over Spilled Income Trust Money - Trusts draw a line in the sand - [Globe and Mail] - It's not like this tax issue is something new, its kinda been like that elephant in the corner that no one wants to acknowledge. If I was a shareholder, I would also be pissed about the cost of the actual trust conversion, given the fact that everyone involved knew this would be an issue. But hey, that is just me.
  • Dude, where's my $200 billion - The completion of a vanishing act. AOL founder resigns from Time Warner - [Reuters]
  • Bring it on. Now we can see what all the fuss is about - The Selling of Al Jazeera TV to an International Market - [NYTIMES] - Bad move for these guys, now there will be no lost in translastion excuse.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar

  • Getting caught with your pants down (and look who has a small penis!)
  • Start the finger pointing
  • It wasn't us, it was him.
  • We had no knowledge of these activities
  • The documents were forged (Sure they were Russia, sure they were)
  • insert: any other cliche/excuse used to explain your actions, shift the blame or acknowledge that someone caught you doing what you weren't supposed to be doing

So who hasn't gotten caught with their hand in that cookie jar called the UN Food For Oil Program in Iraq?

For what it is worth, Volvo "said on Friday it did not allow bribes but noted payments to work in Iraq were considered normal at the time".

Volvo: many paid to work in Saddam's Iraq - Reuters

Friday Business Funnies - I mean News

  • Note to self, learn to say I am going to kill you in a politically correct way - Iran seeks to soften Ahmadinejad comment on Israel [Reuters] - Hey maybe Neil French (former world wide creative director of WPP) can help these guys out with a feel good marketing campaign, I hear he has some time on his hands. Judging from this AFP article, it could be quite a challenging job

    Hard times in the land of plenty, some got it all, some ain't got any - Analyst Takes Contrarian Google View [WSJ] - A piece of advice (free, for what its worth) - it's hard to swim upstream when you run a one man research shop, so just give up and join the herd. Face the facts, no one cares about discounted cash flow valuations, until they realize there is no cash flow. "Relative Value" valuation - kiss my ass!

  • Um, ya, sure? Oil-for-food documents 'falsified': Russia [AFP] - this coming from a country that just arrested one of its tax inspectors for conspiring to accept a $1 million bribe. Here is a tip (and you listen too USA), the key to being a successful liar, politician, businessman (or spouse?) is to tell the truth 90% of the time.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

And Another One From The Irony In Action Department

-Maybe you have missed all of the news about the RC church and some of its issues.

N.J. Students Ordered to Take Down Blogs - AP
By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press Writer
Thu Oct 27, 9:18 AM ET

NEWARK, N.J. - A Roman Catholic high school has ordered its students to remove personal blogs from the Internet in the name of protecting them from cyberpredators.

Students at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta appear to be heeding a directive from the principal, the Rev. Kieran McHugh, to remove personal postings about the school or themselves from Web sites like or, even if they were posted from the students' home computers (continued...)

-On-line predators huh?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Self Test: Should you run your own business

Yes, it is another "quiz" to determine if you should consider running your own business, but it leaves out all of the political correctness (in other words, you won't see this type of quiz in BusinessWeek) and I'll tell you in advance that if you don't answer "A" to all but the bonus question, you should really not consider running your own show.

1. Which do you prefer?
A. Pain
B. Drudgery
2. Do you have a high tolerance for uncertainty?
A. Yes
B. No
3. Can you spin? Can you simultaneously manage multiple conflicting business and personal relationships - lenders, suppliers, workers, customers, spouse, partner, investors.........
A. Yes
B. No
4. Do you have a strong support system and understanding spouse?
A. Yes
B. No
5. Are you blissfully ignorant (i.e. unconsciously incompetent - you don't know what you don't know) about everything that could/may go wrong with your business?
A. Yes
B. No

Bonus Question (Not essential, but it really helps)

Do you have access to a trust fund/inheritance?
A. Yes
B. No

(Source: Prescott Thackery Merchant Group Ltd.)

We have found, through rigorous pseudo scientific testing, that the majority of people we know that have built themselves up a nice business from scratch often come across like they would have trouble getting dressed in the morning. So if you have trouble reading a letter from a lawyer or just don't understand all that "financial mumbo-jumbo", congratulations, you are on the road to success.

As for all of you who can point out all the risks to a venture, tell people why something won't work and feel at ease working the details, be nice to those people you consider idiots, there is a good chance you could be working for them in a few years.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Here is a credibility booster for BearingPoint

We can't figure out our own accounting system - Harry You, CEO

BearingPoint's ''Clerical'' Problems
Employees retrace the hours they worked on each project for the past two years; CEO (and interim CFO) Harry You describes a sort of ''perpetual catch-up.''
Stephen Taub,
October 24, 2005
Blame BearingPoint's accounting troubles on a new finance package, says chief executive officer Harry You.
In an interview with The Washington Post, the former chief financial officer of Oracle Corp. and Accenture asserted that his firm's woes are the result of employees entering wrong data because they were poorly trained on the company's new financial system (continued...)

-As per BearingPoint's website "BearingPoint provides strategic consulting, application services, technology solutions and managed services to Global 2000 companies and government organizations. We help customers achieve results by identifying mission critical issues and implementing innovative and customized solutions designed to generate revenue, reduce costs and access the right information at the right time".

And people pay BearingPoint to do what?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Your Own Personal Walmart

-Rumor has it that the next step for Walmart is to build a mini-Walmart into every new home built in North America starting in 2006 and starting in 2010 Walmart will roll out "In-Vivo-Walmart" that will be implanted in the wombs of all pregnant women so their children start life off the Walmart way. Another rumor was that Walmart just canned their advertising agency for coming up with the following hook "Walmart, we are everywhere, kinda like cockroaches"

Wal-Mart to open 270 to 280 supercenters - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open 270 to 280 supercenters in the next fiscal year and add more than 60 million square feet to its total retail space, an increase of more than 8 percent.
The world's biggest retailer, which faces increasing opposition to its rapid expansion, particularly in urban areas, said it would open between 20 and 30 discount stores, which are smaller than the supercenters and do not include a full line of groceries (continued...)

People for Sale! People for Sale!

-Hey maybe there is some hope for the new auction ventures I have been working on, and

Babies for sale on eBay site in China, says report

By: Sumner Lemon
IDG News Service (Taipei Bureau) (21 Oct 2005)
Authorities in Shanghai are investigating the attempted sale of babies on eBay Inc.'s auction site in China, the official China Daily newspaper reported Thursday.

A seller using the name "Chuangxinzhe Yongyuan" claimed the babies were being offered to help infertile couples and would come from China's Henan province, the China Daily report said. Baby boys were priced at 28,000 renminbi (US$3,454) while baby girls were offered for 13,000 renminbi, the newspaper reported, citing an eBay executive (continued...)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sure to win an Oscar

Came across this little "documentary" on Walmart WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price that claims to takes you behind the glitz and into the real lives of workers and their families, business owners and their communities, in an extraordinary journey that will challenge the way you think, feel... and shop.

-Is this biased? Of course, but what the hell what isn't these days. Having had some experience dealing with these guys, I can give you a few "bed time" stories. Just remember, there are very few winners in the race to the bottom and truth be told, many of the people who shop at these large discounters are probably canabilizing their own sources of income. But live and learn...........when your manufacturing job goes bye-bye

Ponzi Scheme - FEMA Style

Haulers Low in Katrina Cash Food Chain - AP

LAUREL, Miss. - Midway through his first day as a bit player in the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, Tracy House began wondering whether his piece of the pie wasn't just another guy's leftovers.

"Are you pulling someone else's trailer?" jibed a fellow truck owner, eyeing the out-of-state caboose House had towed into the lot of the local Burger King. "Man, you can go down there and get your own contract!"

It hasn't been nearly that simple. More than seven weeks after Katrina ripped this region apart, there's plenty of money to be made clearing piles of twisted tree limbs, uprooted trunks and splintered wallboard.

But the ones claiming most of the profit, House and others like him say, aren't those working as sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-contractors.....

...Laborers, meanwhile, have pitched tents alongside the dump trucks and knuckle-boom loaders crowding the median of Orleans Avenue. Some sleep behind the wheels of their vehicles.

They pay $5 to take a shower in a trailer brought in by the prime contractor. A catering tent, which served free meals in the first weeks of the cleanup, charges $7 for breakfast, $9 for lunch and $12 for dinner (continued...)

-Not sure why this is news (you may then also ask why I am writing about this)? People expect to get screwed by the governement and large businesses. No? Don't people complain about this all the time? What I find newsworth is that people never learn (despite repeated screwings). You know what the problem is, these people never took an ethics course when they were in school :)

Snuz for a Sunday

  • As much as I dislike Trump, I admire the guy for putting it all on the line. Dislike his hair, love his balls - What is he really worth? NY Times (Registration Required - Free) (The thing that is reassuring about this guy is that you always know what to expect - hype).
  • How is this for social teaching social responsiblity - repeat after me "DON'T BREAK THE FUCKING LAW!" Do you really need to teach this to people in graduate school? - Ivey Lauded for Social Responsiblity - The Globe and Mail
  • Oh No! Broadway ticket prices are rising! Now the middle class are going to have choose between eating and watered down culture for the dim (Here's a quarter - call someone who cares) - The Great Green Way - Wall Street Journal

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cold Calling - Kickin' it Old School - it's like hitting home runs or trying to get laid

You are going to strike out a lot in the process

I got the lead on this article from the Recruiting blog and thought it was worthy of a few minutes of my time, despite the fact that it came from Inc. magazine.

48 Hours with the King of Cold Calls

The marketing sophisticates say cold calling is dead -- that it's too expensive, too untargeted, and too ineffective to pay off. Chuck Piola, 15,000 cold calls and one fast-growing company later, disagrees. Center City Philadelphia on a raw winter morning. Chuck Piola bursts out of his black Mercedes singing in full throat (this time it's the Drifters tune "Under the Boardwalk," handled off-key but with feeling) and scans a cluster of skyscrapers. He points to a building with particularly striking architecture. "Let's try that one," he says.
It's the Bell Atlantic Tower, 52 stories tall. He strides quickly through the lobby, carefully avoiding eye contact with the security guards. In the elevator he glances at the buttons and pushes 40, a shot in the dark. The elevator rises, and Piola pops out. Straight ahead is a law firm he's never heard of before.

"I wonder if you could help me out?" he asks the receptionist, opening with his favorite line. "I represent NCO Financial Systems. We specialize in discreet recovery work for companies having trouble collecting receivables. Our clients include Bell Atlantic, a lot of doctors and hospitals, and even the Philadelphia 76ers. I happened to be in your building, and I wondered if I might see whichever partner handles your finances." His tone is upbeat and cordial (continued...)

-While I disagree with some of his ideas/suggestions in the article for building rapport such as discussing sports, office pictures or something of common interest (it is time suck and doesn't get to the meat of the matter), I love the hustle and to me, this is business, going out and hunting down clients and dragging them back to your lair by the hair. If I ran a debt collection business, I would be out doing the same thing. In fact, that could be my next adventure.....

As someone who bounces between wearing a bow tie and dressing like a bum, I know the impression that clothing can make, but Chuck is one of the few people I have come across that recognizes the fact that sometimes you have to have a lot of power to dress like you don't give a fuck. Many of the people I deal with are impressed by expensive clothing and cars, and while I agree the have a positive impact on the wearer/driver's psyche, I know that almost anyone can scratch the money together to lease a Porsche. Just remember, all the world's a stage.......what part are you playing or did you even know your role?

Despite all of the new sales "techniques" that "experts" come up with in order to avoid "touching people", I think the only way to success is to get down and dirty. Take a look at the 50 all time strike out leaders and now take a look at the 50 all time leading home run hitters .......see a little bit of over lap? If you want to succeed, you have to fail (How zen of me, huh?) Why not ask your studliest guy friend how many times he has been turned down by women he has tried to pick up. If he tells you never or not often, he's been lying to you about all of those chicks.

You think that somebody would have thought of this issue

-More proof that companies don't fuck up, management fucks them up. Tearing a quote out of Dilbert - talk about blinding flashes of the obvious; No one thought that this guy had a non-compete clause in his deal with Motorola? Not the Board, not the headhunters? Not the lawyer who negotiated Zafirovski's agreement with Nortel?
Whether or not the non-comp agreement is enforceable is another issue, but it looks like this could be another chapter for the book "Bumbling in Brampton: The Nortel Story.

Incoming Nortel CEO Zafirovski sued by Motorola - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nortel Networks Corp.'s incoming president and chief executive, Mike Zafirovski, has been sued by Motorola Inc., his former employer, the companies said on Wednesday.

The lawsuit, which does not name Nortel as a defendant, alleges Zafirovski broke agreements by accepting the top position with Nortel and that his new role will inevitably result in the disclosure of Motorola's trade secrets (continued...)

-What more can you say about Nortel........The company that keeps peeing on itself and believes that it is raining. Where is John Roth when you need him? Probably with John Hunkin.............laughing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Denial - It's just not a river in Egypt. It's also a place near Detroit!

-How many other companies have denied bankruptcy before filing?

Wagoner: GM Not Considering Bankruptcy - AP


DETROIT - General Motors Corp. isn't considering bankruptcy protection as a way to solve its financial problems, Rick Wagoner, the automaker's chairman and CEO, said Wednesday.

"There are significant costs to bankruptcy, and we don't think it's an option," Wagoner said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Talking about it actually hurts the business." (continued...)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Hey buddy, here's a quarter, call someone who cares!

The Auditor-Investor ''Expectation Gap''

Investors seem to expect that an audit is an assurance of a company's financial health, laments Deloitte's CEO, who maintains that there's only so much an audit firm can do.

Stephen Taub,
October 17, 2005

Investors may have unrealistically high expectations from auditors, said William Parrett, chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, in an interview with the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Parrett acknowledged that his industry must do a better job of performing audits and avoiding potential conflicts of interest between auditing and consulting work. According to the newspaper, however, he also warned that "we've always had this expectation gap between what the auditor really can do and what the investing public wants the auditor to do, or wants the audit to represent."
For example, Parrett elaborated, investors seem to expect that an audit is an assurance of a company's financial health. In fact, he reportedly stressed, an audit is an attestation of the accuracy of a company's financial statements, based on information that the company itself provides.(

-Duh? Really? Hey Parrett, I am sure most investors would be happy if audits were accurate. No semi-sophisticated investor or anyone who knows what an audit is would claim that an audit assures financial health.........GM has an auditor (hell it could be your firm for all I know) and I don't think that anyone is mad at the auditor because GM just lost a few pennies this quarter. Good try at attempting to confuse auditor negligence with corporate mismanagement. Me thinks that maybe the occasional auditor doesn't have the balls to ask the tough let me get this straight, 2 days before the quarter closes you sell off $300 million of obsolete inventory and buy it back 3 days later at 10 cents on the dollar and don't record the loss?.........sounds kosher to me.

Monday, October 17, 2005

T minus 120 Days

until GM files for creditor protection? Any takers? A house of cards built on a foundation of quicksand is starting to look good in comparison to the house that Alfred Sloan built.

GM posts huge loss as costs rise

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news) on Monday posted a massive quarterly loss as high gasoline prices slammed sales of big sport utility vehicles and rising costs for everything from raw materials to health care eroded profits (continued... )

Sunday, October 16, 2005

So Guess Who Got Himself a Pulpit

Me, that's who!

Mark November 4, 2005 on you calendars kiddies as that is the day that Josh Kerbel is being unleashed on unsuspecting business students at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Yes, it is true, someone was crazy enough to give me an hour in front of a group of business students "lecturing" on the topic of alternative business financing.

So, I have some time to plan for the event. I figured that I would shed some light on the realities of financing a business and the actual mechanics of how it is done (yes, the paper would think that they cover this stuff in business school, but from my experience they don't) and some of the pitfalls and scams to be avoided.

ha ha ha!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Yahoo bends over for the "Big Red Machine"?

Looks like it did. Hey isn't Jerry Yang from Tiawan?


Battle blogging for profit

By Xeni Jardin

Xeni Jardin is co-editor of the blog BoingBoing and a contributor to Wired magazine and National Public Radio.

October 9, 2005

AS BLOGS become big business, Internet giants have begun trying to profit from new forms of journalism, including war coverage. The results are not encouraging.

Yahoo's latest experiment reveals that it considers war news just another form of entertainment. This from an online giant that has already shown it is cavalier about press freedom and a friend of oppression.

Look back to 2004, when reporters at a Hunan province newspaper listened as their editorial director read a statement from the Communist Party's Propaganda Department about the upcoming 15-year commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre. It warned that dissidents may use the Internet to
spread "damaging information."

One reporter used an anonymous Yahoo e-mail account to ask a colleague in New York to post a report about the statement on pro-democracy website Minzhu Tongxun (Democracy Newsletter).

But as the 37-year-old married reporter behind the numeric pseudonym "198964" learned, he shouldn't have assumed that Yahoo defends press freedom. When Chinese security agents asked executives at Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) to identify the man, they did so. Police grabbed him on a street, searched his house and seized his computer and other belongings, according to documents filed in his defense (

-I am wondering if they don't have a word in chinese for pseudonym? I mean really, why would this guy give Yahoo his real name

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Here we go again!

Sham Deals? Loans Disguised As Income? Special Purpose Entities? ........It's, It's...........Delphi or is it Enron Part Deux?

Delphi Sued over Inventory Deals -

Four pension funds have filed a class-action lawsuit against Delphi Corp., alleging in part that the company improperly treated financing transactions as sales, causing it to overstate revenue and earnings.

In addition to the Troy, Michigan-based auto-parts supplier, the lawsuit named as defendants three companies that "entered into sham transactions intended to falsely inflate Delphi's reported financial results," according to the web site of plaintiffs' lead counsel Bernstein Nitwits Berger and Grossman. The law firm identified those companies as Speech; BBK Ltd.; and Bank One Automotive Group, which was acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co (continued... )

-Will this crap ever end?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Oy Gevalt!

JDate banners feature pictures of porn models - Haaretz

Her name is Hila. She is 22 years old and lives in Tel Aviv. She is very attractive, single, looking for a Jewish husband from a good family, and most important - she is a mouse-click away. This is how the banner persuades you, the Jewish bachelor, to enter the Jewish dating site JDate and find the love of your life.

But Hila in the banner is no other than pornographic model Kari Gold, 18 years old, who lives in Hungary. (continued...)

-Is this Kosher?

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