• 04 Sep 2007 at 11:40 AM
  • Terrorism

Reminder – The Saudis Are Our Friends

Remember that in the “slam-dunk” Bushfuscation of 9/11, hardly anyone “remembers” that the hijackers were almost all friendly allied Saudi Arabians, funded, most likely through connections with the friendly allied corporate conglomerate – the Saudi Binladin Group. Meanwhile, attorneys for the Saudi Binladin Group are busy trying to respond to September 11th related lawsuits in federal court. From CNN:

The company filed the defense papers late Friday in U.S. District Court in answer to claims brought by representatives, survivors and insurance carriers of the victims. The plaintiffs, who seek billions of dollars in damages, allege the Saudi Binladin Group, along with numerous banks, charities and individuals worldwide, provided material support and assistance to al-Qaida prior to the attacks. The plaintiffs contend Bakr Binladin – Osama bin Laden’s brother, the senior member of the Binladin family and chairman of Saudi Binladin Group – was one of al-Qaida’s principal financiers.

The Saudi Binladin Group claims, surprisingly, that this isn’t the case, and that the company forced Osama out as a shareholder in 1993. Osama presumably got his 2% stake bought out, but the Saudi Binladin Group develops minor vocal cord injuries when asked to explain, in lieu of a federal order in July for the Binladin Group to cough up some sort of record for where the money went.
Instead, the Saudi Binladin Group sticks with its story that it’s a huge immediate family (Osama has 50+ siblings) and keeping track of a few bad apples who want to destroy an ordinal direction is near impossible. A group spokesperson responds to the charges, “Blame the cousins, not the brothers… wait, how many times removed does a “supportive” Binladin relative have to be for us to avoid paying you anything?”
The Binladin Group also claims that Bakr Binladin publicly renounced Osama in 1994 and that the Saudi government froze Osama’s assets and revoked his citizenship.
Binladin company: We disowned Osama [CNN]

The Country Is Under Attack

crocs.JPGAs those of you who read the increasingly relevant A2 this morning already know, economists are now losing more sleep over subprime than terrorism. Yes, they believe that the threat posed to the United States by mortgage defaults and heavy debt loads is bigger than that of us being attacked by Canada, which I’ve long suspected is up to no good around the VT/CA border, even though they feign innocence when you ask them what they’re doing there and claim to just be trying to make it to UVM to score pot. This just goes to show you that economists are out to lunch, and wouldn’t know what the biggest threat to the country was if it bit them on the ass. Since we apparently have to do everything around here, let us step up to the plate and bite those economists’ asses: the biggest threat to the United States isn’t terrorism or subprime—it’s the fact that Crocs, the maker of those hideous, hideous eyesores (which, coincidentally, are favored by terrorists and subprime mortgage holders alike), is up 3 percent, on the news that the company will now expand its reign of terror into clothing lines for men and children. If you love America, go short Crocs now. Otherwise, the terrorists win, and you will probably have testify at Osama’s war-crimes trial.
Sidebar to the econs: when you were coming up with subprime as threat numero uno, did you stop and think, “Is this something that can somehow be blamed on Saddam Hussein?” Since we know you weren’t aware that Sadd’s brother Ahmed ran the Sacramento office of Countrywide, which was responsible for 33% of new loan generation, we’re going to go with “No.” Amateurs.
Crocs Shares Rise on Clothing Plan [CNBC]
Defaults Bigger Threat for U.S. Economy than Terrorism [CNBC]

  • 08 Aug 2007 at 10:45 AM
  • IPO

The Terrorists Win Anyway (Rain or Shine)

If the terrorists lose, ICx Technologies may go out of business, which means the terrorists win. There is no jihad against paradoxes.
ICx is planning a $184 million IPO, according to an S-1 filed yesterday. The homeland security company develops sensing technologies for government agencies and corporations like FedEx and Disney.
How candid can a homeland security company be in an SEC filing? From the looks of it, not very. In the “Growth Strategy” section of the S-1, nowhere does ICx list, “maintaining a constant state of fear” or “the increased rate of things blowing up.” ICx also refuses to acknowledge the risk to ongoing operations that “things may stop blowing up.”
Instead, the closest ICx gets to admitting that it relies on a thoroughly terrorized populace is here:

Our ability to grow will depend in part on the rate at which markets for our products develop and on our ability to adapt to emerging demands in these markets. In particular, our business depends on our ability to offer a broader range of products and services to meet demand for integrated solutions. In addition, geopolitical developments, terrorist attacks and government mandates may cause sharp fluctuations in the demand for our products.

Translation – if you’re long on big explosions, you’re long on ICx. No one is denying the need for basic security (and increased security in certain obvious places, like U.S. ports), but the real question is whether we want a thriving homeland security market in the corporate and private sector, one in which every Disney store needs bomb detection. Do we want ICx to succeed in the first place? Are we long on terror, and will there ever be a time in which an unexpected surge in the share prices of homeland security companies suggest imminent attacks (terrorist insider trading)?
Lehman is lead underwriter on the IPO with Goldman, JPMorgan, Morgan Keegan and Needham & Co. acting as not-quite-so-lead underwriters. The company is planning to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker ICXT.
ICx Technologies Plans IPO [Forbes]
ICx S-1 [SEC]