Showing posts from April, 2013

Death By Umbrella, Waterloo Bridge

Assassination By Ricin, September 9th, 1978

Ricin has been in the news recently thanks to the poisonous letters sent to the White House and senate officials. Luckily enough, the assailant is in custody and no on was seriously hurt. However, Ricin is incredibly toxic. An amount as small as a pin head can kill an adult human. To make matters more complex, Ricin is a natural substance from the castor seed. As you can guess, the more I Googled, the more interested I became. Yesterday, I happened to learn about a special ops assassination in the 70's that took place in London, and I sent the idea to Evernote to draft for a post.

Below is a selection of information on the notorious Umbrella Case. The victim was Bulgarian writer and dissident Georgia Markov, and the Bulgarian Secret Police (in conjunction with the KGB) had attempted to kill him twice, before they finally got to him with a pneumatic umbrella.

Inside the umbrella was a bullet with holes in it that contained a sugar coated p…

Problems Startups Need - New Post

Reposted from a business is never as simple as you think. Businesses are increasingly diverse and countless metrics and variables need to come into effect for channels to work for the long term. Entrepreneurs and startups have to be smart and they need to be open to endless solutions. In fact, if you don’t think ahead, you can be buried in the success your business creates or possibly wrapped up in an endless supply of unforeseen work that can lead to dwindling profits.All businesses face challenges in the beginning, but here are some “problems” facing startup entrepreneurs that might not be so bad after all:1. Too Much Ambition
You need this. Are you starting a business so you can sleep in late or to create something real? Think long term and very smart, all the time.2. The Industry Is Too Large
With luck your industry is a behemoth. Not that it has to be, it just helps when you’re trying to capture revenue from a $250 billion global block. Co…

New Coke Was A Lie?

I'm not sure if everyone will remember New Coke - but most long term Atlantans will.
If you read this article you'll see that New Coke was a total sham. It looks as if the execs were going through some type of crisis, and New Coke was a red herring - a shell product - conjured up to stimulate market share while the Coke flavor was being reintroduced as Coke Classic.Different camps say different things, I have heard it was both bogus and legitimate. Nevertheless the article below is very interesting.JCPenney's New Ad Chief, A Coke Veteran, Admitted New Coke Was Based On 'A Lie' (JCP)

Lehman's Accounting Trick Repo 105

Just to start: "repo" is short for a "repurchasing" agreement in banking.

By the time Lehman Brothers imploded, $25bn in capital was supporting $700bn of assets and liabilities, a leverage ratio that was regarded as extremely high. FT

I've been curious about Repo 105 (and it's Euro counterpart Repo 108) for a while, so I thought I'd post something. Repo 105 was created in 2001. This aggressive tactic was created after a new accounting standard had come into affect - FAS 140 and banking heads were ready to use it to their advantage.

None of Lehman's American accounting firms would sign off on the aggressive tactic so Lehman took to London and used the "magic circle" law firm Linklaters, who signed off on Repo 105.

Here's how the Lehman's system worked:

Linklaters wrote the whole thing in English Law, where they could book the transaction as a sale verses a loan, like most repurchases. In fact, these expensive loans were already…