March 17, 2007

Subprime Mortgages

That things have gone wrong in the subprime mortgage business is no surprise. But as ever there's no mess that cannot be made worse by ill thought out government intervention.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to look into the crisis in the subprime section of the U.S. mortgage market, said Chairman Christopher Dodd.

Dodd announced the date of the hearing on Friday, a day after he said the committee would meet next week.    

In a statement, the Connecticut Democrat said "predatory lending practices" endangered home ownership for millions of people. "As chairman, I will use all the powers and tools at my disposal to keep families victimized by predatory loans in their homes and ensure that America's dream of home ownership remains alive," said Dodd.

Dodd has a lot of Wall Street connections and the worry is that his solution will bail out the lenders, his buddies, at huge expense to the public purse. Remember the savings and loan crisis? This will almost certainly turn out to be more of the same.

March 17, 2007 in Investment Scams | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Disney, Pixar and Stock Option Backdating

It looks like the backdating of options at Pixar is not as serious as thought:

An investigation by Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) found that Pixar Animation Studios had backdated some employee stock options before it was acquired by Disney, Chairman John Pepper said in a statement on Friday.

Pepper said the probe found no one currently associated with the company had engaged in deliberate misconduct, a statement that appeared to clear Disney-Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter and Apple Inc. (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive Steve Jobs who sits on Disney's board.


The board decided that Disney should pay any additional taxes owed by employees who hold backdated Pixar stock options, Pepper said, adding that he expected no impact to financial statements as a result.    

Pixar, founded by Jobs, had awarded stock options to Lasseter when share prices were within a dollar of the annual low in 2000, according to securities filings. Pixar was acquired by Disney last year.

However, look at that statement about paying taxes. You see, backdating options is not in fact illegal at all. But, if you do backdate them to make them in the money at the time of award, then taxes should be paid upon that amount that they are in the money. That's what the whole scandal has really been about and it does look as if Pixar was at fault there. Otherwise, why be paying more taxes?

March 17, 2007 in Investment Scams | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2006

Sao Luis Mining, Inc.

This is the sort of share tippingthat got Jerome Armstrong into such trouble.

Ignore all these sorts of pieces of advice. They’re known as "pump and dump".

Company: Sao Luis Mining, Inc.


Exchange & Symbol: Other OTC: SAOL.PK


Shares Outstanding: 44,833,400


Current Price: $0.75   !UP BY 0.50 IN A WEEK!


Targeted 10 Day Price: $2.25


Industry: Diamond Mining & Precious Mineral Exploration










Sao Luis Mining, Inc. is well positioned to become a major supplier of diamonds to the international diamond cutting centers and diamond dealers worldwide. The prices for diamonds continue to rise. The demand surpasses the supply and recent studies have shown that this shortage will continue to grow. Due to civil unrest in many of the producing African countries, international mining companies from around the world are aggressively seeking the acquisition of producing properties in Brazil.
The initial phase of the Company’s business plan strategy is the final acquisition of the 35% joint venture interest with SL Mineradora LTDA in its Sao Luis River Basin diamond mining operation, as well as securing the 65% option for an additional SL Mineradora property. This will insure the position of Sao Luis Mining becoming a dominant player in the region and allow the Company to continue to focus on maximizing shareholder value.
The properties are part of a 30,000 hectare (74,000 acre) diamond mining portfolio located in Juina, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The exploration rights are presently held by SL Mineradora LTDA., the joint venture partner. The Company plans to reinvest profits from revenues into additional properties from the SL Mineradora portfolio.
The Sao Luis River Basin Project is located in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, approximately 30 kilometers from the town of Juina. The joint venture property covers an area of 1889 hectares (4,666 acres) and has produced hundreds of thousands of carats of diamonds since production commenced in 2000. The Department of Natural Mineral Production (DNPM) has documented that 119,334 carats of diamonds were produced from this property in 2004 and 2005.
The majority of the Company’s investment in the joint venture will be used for additional mining equipment and improvements to the mine’s infrastructure. These planned improvements to the mining operation should increase production three fold within 6 months.
The property has had extensive geological surveys, the most recent being in 2005. The report stated that the estimated resource of the area, involving only the first level of sedimentary deposits, which includes gravels mineralized with diamonds, totaled over 12,695,000 carats with an estimated wholesale value of $320 million. These numbers represent only a portion of the diamond gravels on the property and are expected to at least double after the additional geological testing that will accompany the expansion of the existing mining operation.
Sao Luis Mining, Inc. will market the diamonds from the joint venture. The Company has an existing distribution network for the production of its properties. These include buyers in the United States, China, Belgium, Israel, India, and the Republic of South Africa. Numerous international buyers have already contacted the Company to purchase the production.


Visit the website at and see the actual photos of the mine’s operation.

July 7, 2006 in Investment Scams | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack