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Minyanville's Business Briefs Exposed: General Motors, Qwest, Wal-Mart


Business Briefs from a uniquely Minyanville perspective.


Relax, it's only money.

Here in the 'Ville we like to keep things smart, but we also love to laugh. All work and no know how it goes. With that in mind we give you The "Off-Balance Sheet," a place where Minyans can experience humorous takes on the world of finance, personal stories from our Professors and Minyans and all the other stuff that makes life worth living. So take a break from the flickering ticks and dive in.

Spelled Unlike it Sounds

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn will reportedly give up his responsibility for Nissan's North American operations a month after Nissan warned that it expected to post lower profits for the 2006 fiscal year. Ghosn [pronounced GOHN] has been taking heat for the introduction of a number of failed models last year, including the Nissan Fresclxhgshn [pronounced SPIRIT] and the Nissan Thofghdl;fjgdl [pronounced TOM].

Redstone Pay Per View?

CBS Corp., bowing to shareholder complaints that Chairman Sumner Redstone is among company executives who are overpaid, cut his salary and cash bonus for 2007. In an effort to more closely link his pay to the performance of CBS, Mr. Redstone, who previously took in $1.75 million per year and more than $6 million in annual bonus pay, will now be paid $125,000 every time a case is solved on CSI Las Vegas, New York or Miami, and $52,000 each time a contestant on The Price is Right wins a Hawaiian vacation during the Showcase Showdown.

We're On a Tight Budget

General Motors (GM) warned investors this week that it has discovered "serious flaws" in accounting that could adversely affect the company's financial condition. The flaws were discovered after an internal investigation uncovered a pile of ATM receipts in the inside pocket of an old suit with withdraw amounts ranging from $40 to as much as $160.

Ultimate Nacchios

Former Qwest (Q) CEO Joseph Nacchio is set to go on trial for insider trading as jury selection starts Monday in Denver federal court. Nacchio, along with co-defendants Gerald Mozzarellastick, Terrence Buffalowing, and Ricardo Jalapenopopper had no comment at press time.

You Can't Spell "Conrad" Without "Con"

A jury has been selected in the racketeering trial of former media executive Conrad Black. In keeping with the Constitution's guarantee of a jury of one's peers, all jurors and alternates are Canadian-born billionaires who are universally reviled and who have used corporate funds to vacation in Bora Bora and throw $62,000 birthday parties for their wives at New York City restaurant La Grenouille.

Those Oily B****rds

OPEC ministers said on Thursday that they would not increase oil production to meet rising demand. Mohamed bin Dhaen al-Hamli, OPEC's president, says oil field workers are simply too busy hating Americans, Israelis, Brits, Scots, Poles, Kurds, Russians, Germans, Norwegians, Danes, Canadians, Mexicans, Italians, Spaniards, Koreans, Bulgarians, and Australians to up their output.

Mmmmm, This Ritalin is Delicious!

Cadbury Schweppes
(CSG), the British soft drink and chocolate maker, said it plans to separate its soda and candy divisions in order to sharpen its focus. Analysts agree that the company should be able to focus a lot more clearly without all that sugar.

Who Says You Can't Have It All?

Wal-Mart (WMT) has quietly renegotiated leases with a number of banks operating branches in its stores, giving Wal-Mart the exclusive right to offer mortgages, home-equity lines of credit, consumer loans, debit cards, and insurance and investment products. A Wal-Mart spokesman said, "Once we're done destroying the banking industry's revenue stream, we're going to get to work on ruining five or six other businesses that have the gall to exist."

What's The Poop?

A recent survey of Washington Park in Wyoming by The Powell Tribune revealed at least 108 dog-poop piles in the 3.6-acre park, the newspaper reported. In related news, a separate Minyanville survey revealed 100% of Powell Tribune reporters vow to quit immediately if ever again asked to go to Washington Park and count piles of dog poop.
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