The “Ken Lay” who blogs over at KenLayLives.blogspot.com is none too happy with the t-shirt selling site KenLayLives.com.
Some bastards registered a domain name ripping off the clever, catchy name of my blog. What’s more is they are selling t-shirts to profiteer off of my tragedy. Can you imagine somebody viciously making buckets of money at the expense of others? I cannot. Oh, the humanity! But remember, this is the world’s only “official” website giving you updates of my life in exile. Those sycophants at www.kenlaylives.com will NEVER receive my endorsement or help.
Update: KenLayLives.com seems to have died. Or maybe exceeded its bandwidth limits. In any case, rumors are already circulating that KenLayLives.com hasn’t actually died. It’s just in hiding somewhere.
Ken Lay Lives!!! [kenlaylives.blogspot.com]
The SEC plans to take Morgan Stanley chief John Mack’s deposition in its inquiry into claims of insider trading at Pequot Capital, according to CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino. Former SEC investigator Gary Aguirre has alleged—repeatedly and under oath—that he was fired after he attempt to subpoena Mack during his investigation of Pequot’s trading. Mack was briefly chairman of Pequot Capital before he returned to Morgan Stanley last year.
Mack to testify to the SEC [SquawkBlog]
Steve Sailer discovers the secret of Google’s money machine–its highly intelligent Adsense algorithm for assigning ads to websites. For instance, right now isteve.com is running the following ad:
Beirut Hotels Last minute, discounted hotels in Beirut. Rates up to 70% off! www.hotelbrowser.biz
Why Google is worth a 100 gazillion gigabux [isteve.com]
The Chicago Tribune reports that the gays are all about internet banking.
When deciding where to conduct business, 60 percent of gays say it’s very important that a financial institution provide service through the Internet, compared with only 50 percent of heterosexuals, according to a survey released Monday by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications.
Survey: Online banking services more vital to gays [Chicago Tribune]
Profit Lags as Microsoft Spends to Meet Competitors (NYT)
It’s been awhile since Microsoft had any good news for the street. For years the company’s flat-lined as promises of growth always seemed to be one year around the corner. Well, the company still isn’t growing on the profit front. Major costs related to the XBOX bit hard into the company’s typically fat margins. But revenue was up a solid 16% over the previous quarter, and the company announced huge buybacks over the next several years, which investors always seem to like. For 2007, it pegged its forecast at the high end of analyst expectations. The news was taken well, as the stock rose over 5% after hours.
SEC May Scrap ‘Couric’ Rule On Pay Disclosure
Those in the entertainment business often align themselves against the evils of big business, though of course most of them are as money-hungry as anyone else. It finally took the SEC to expose this, when it put forth executive disclosure regulation that would have required not only CEOs to disclose their pay, but also high-paid actors and entertainers. This of course infuriated Hollywood, which no doubt resented seeing actors lumped in with CEOs. Companies also claimed that it would be bad for business, to have to expose trade secrets in this way. The rule became known as the Katie Couric rule, as it would have certainly exposed how much money she’s making. It appears now that the Katie Couric law will be scrapped, much to the delight of, well, Katie Couric among others. The reason given for the change is that the law is supposed to help investors measure ‘pay-for-performance’. But considering how significant the pay of actors is, and how much doubt there is about an actors ability to turn a film into a hit, it would seem this is a legitimate ‘pay-for-performance’ issue.
Google Piles On Profits (San Jose Mercury News)
While Microsoft showed promise in the same way someone with a broken leg shows promise when they finally go into physical therapy, Google simply continued its sprint. The company blew past expectations yesterday — almost as expected — as it continues to take up market share from internet rivals. This of course sent the analyst community into a lather, as they danced all over each other to talk about how great Google was, and how good this quarter was, and how good they expect the next quarter to be, and how they’re kicking Yahoo’s ass, and how they might kick Microsoft’s ass, etc. It was actually a little embarrassing to watch.
Boeing chief shows his caring side (Airline Business)
Typically the two companies are at each other’s throats, but given the trouble that Airbus is having, even Boeing is stepping in with some words of encouragement. If we were in Boeing’s shoes, we’d of course be gloating. But Boeing veep Alan Mulally said at a press conference, “Don’t give up… New airplanes are hard…we have a lot of compassion with what they’re going through.” That’s honestly one of the nicer things we’ve heard in business, and during cold times such as these at Airbus, it has to make them feel a little better.
Read more »
We’ve always liked Richard Russell, the author of the Dow Theory Letters, the way we like that drunk old man down at our local watering hole. They’re both always full of bad news, telling us we’re wasting our money, not saving enough and generally headed for trouble. We try to ignore them but somewhere deep down we know they’re right.
Today Peter Brimelow pens a birthday card to Russell, who turns 82 on Saturday. He quotes a particularly “wise old man at the end of the bar” bit from a recent Russell piece.
The big picture that Russell has been writing about for several years is the move back to 1970s style-stagflation. As he put it Wednesday:
“I’m afraid that we’re very close to major trouble in the stock market. … If you can’t understand the basic deflationary background of the current situation, I don’t think you can understand what’s occurring. In my opinion, at this point, if nations don’t inflate enough — they’ll find themselves giving in to the forces of deflation. The massive debt position in the US is basically deflationary. All this debt must be serviced, and as rates rise, it takes an increasing amount of money to service the debt. … I’ll be most interested to hear whether Bernanke in his session with Congress indicates that he may boost rates again. Raising rates would be a mistake in the face of the weak real estate market and the problems of the cash-strapped consumers.”
Many happy returns for Richard Russell [Market Watch]
The Economist, Forbes and Fortune all gained advertising revenue last month, while Business 2.0, Business Week, Fast Company and Money all were left singing the summer time blues, according to Talking Biz News.
We’d make a joke here but our ad sales team has instructed us that declines in business media ad sales are no laughing matter. Hey, did you know you can take a helicopter to JFK now?
Declines in ad revenue for Business 2.0, BusinessWeek and Money in June [Talking Biz News via Gary Weiss]
The Onion, a satirical paper based in New York and given away free in dive bars, is denying rumors that it is in negotiations with Viacom, an entertainment company based in New York that doesn’t give away very much for free at all.
This important story broke in Madison, Wisconsin’s Capital Times. Unfortunately, our subscription to the Capital Times lapsed, so we didn’t hear about this until we read it in DealBook. Andrew Ross Sorkin presumably starts every day reading the news from Madison.
Doug Moe: When Spillane cased Madison [The Capital Times via DealBook]
This afternoon on Bloomberg’s financial news cable station Stephen Roach, aka Wall Street’s worst economist, asked, “Will the real Ben Bernanke please stand up?” The Morgan Stanley economist then added that the Fed chairman has a “credibility issue.”
Over on Crossing Wall Street, Eddy Elfenbein explores the deeper meaning of Roach’s comments.
This raises two important questions.
1. What the fuck?
2. No, seriously…what the fuck?
Department of Irony [CrossingWallStreet]
CNBC’s SquawkBlog is reporting that former Brocade CEO Greg Reyes will be indicted on criminal charges by federal prosecutors and charged with civil securities fraud by the SEC this afternoon. The SEC and US Attorney’s Office will hold a joint press conference at 2 PM California time, according to a SquawkBlog item penned by Charlie Gasparino. It had earlier been reported that Reyes might be the first corporate executive face charges stemming from alleged backdating of options grants.
Greg Reyes Indictment Today
Yukos boss steps down; expects company will be liquidated [legal]
Two bidders offer $1M DIP for bankrupt kiddie bookmaker [legal]
Visa and Mastercard face Congressional probe on pricefixing [legal]
Accounting boards rethinking lease accounting [legal]
WTO investigating US rules on online gambling [legal]
Defense attorneys win delay in KPMG tax shelter trial [legal]
Televisa sues Univision over internet broadcasting rights [legal]
M&A: [? = not yet closed, problems with the deal, lingering questions, etc.]
Cramer Systems + Amdocs
Robert De Niro + New York Observer
Bertelsmann narrows bidders for music-publishing arm LINK
GUS to spin off its Experian credit information group LINK
Essent Kabelcom LINK
Longview Fiber assets LINK
Lyondell’s Houston refineryLINK
EnteroMedics nabs $45.2 mm LINK
Lux Biosciences pulls in $13 mm more LINK
Daqin Railway raises $1.9b LINK
$21 mm for Summit LINK
Macquarie Bank forecasts record LINK
Wachovia: challenging yield curve enviro LINK
Talk of GM-Renault-Nissan deal ruffles feathers in Motor City LINK
Sumner Redstone says his stock sales do not reflect a lack of confidence in Viacom LINK
Rambus plans to restate financials for past three years to correct options timing LINK
SOX pushing IPO capital into Europe LINK
Private equity: From pillagers to darlings LINK