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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

St. Albert the Gaseous

Wish I could breath fire like that.

Bloomberg, via Tyler Durden and Dustbury, tells me that Al Gore is now a rich man with something like 200 million dollars at his beck and call, which puts him on the same playing field as Mitt Romney, his arch-enemy in the political game. However, Al is not a businessman of the same stripe as Romney. While Romney made his fortune through conventional rapacious Republican techniques of screwing the little guy and sucker punching the market, Al made his money through his political connections.
    Current TV, that he sold to Al-Jazeera, wasn't worth the $70 million they paid for it. Someone liked Al well enough to give him the money. Buying Current TV was just the cover story. Whether it was someone in Qatar (which is where Al-Jazeera is from) or someone who knew someone in Qatar who made that decision, we will probably never know. The only thing you can be sure is that someone has added Al to their ranks, just whose ranks those are is a little hard to tell. I mean, what has all this brou-ha-ha over global warming accomplished? Oh, that's right, tax breaks for wind power companies. I suppose that could be worth $70 million.
   The Apple stock deal was similar. Someone decided Al needed some money, so they gave him a job on Apple's board of directors, for which he didn't get paid, but he got some stock options, which he eventually cashed in. It's kind of like winning the lottery, except you don't even have to buy a ticket, you just have to know the right people.
    Apple stock is kind of like Tesla stock. Some people are just ga-ga over it. I wouldn't be surprised if both were a complete sham. Say you start a company and you issue a million shares of stock which you sell for a dollar each to your friends (pretend you have a lot of friends). Now you have a million dollars to use to start your company. Now your friends start talking about what a great company you have and how it's going to make a bunch of money and more people want to get in on the action, so they try and buy shares in the company, but nobody is selling any shares, except for your cousin Arnold who you never got along with very well anyway, but he's only got one share, and there are like a zillion people who want to get in on this deal so they start bidding the price up and eventually somebody buys Arnold's share for a $100. Now your company, which last week was worth one million dollars is now "worth" $100 million because this one share was sold. Right. Dump a a big chunk of shares on the market right now and watch the price plummet.
     Now all you have to do is wait out the SEC specified waiting period, and if people are still ga-ga over your stock, you can dump your options on the market for a nice fat windfall, without having to use any of your own money.

Title stole from Dustbury.

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