Minyanville's Business Briefs Exposed: General Motors, Apple, Vonage...
Business Briefs from a uniquely Minyanville perspective.
Here in the 'Ville we like to keep things smart, but we also love to laugh. All work and no play...you 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.
The Right Man for the Job
Former Ohio congressman and co-creator of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, Michael Oxley, will be joining Washington, D.C. law firm Baker Hostetter to help companies maneuver around Sarbanes-Oxley and will also defend executives accused of violating the law. In related news, the fox has been hired to guard the henhouse, the inmates have been granted permission to run the asylum, and Whitney Houston will be heading up the Atlanta P.D.'s narcotics division.
It Ain't the Stanley Cup, Boys
General Motors (GM) is letting each owner of its Saturn Aura midsize sedans borrow a replica of the vehicle's "North American Car of the Year" award for two days. In return, GM only asks that customers borrowing the award represent GM in a manner consistent with the company's image, namely by destroying whatever business they are currently in and running a personal financial deficit of about $7.5 million per day.
Hey, This Rules!
The Internal Revenue Service is asking tax lawyers and accountants to take the lead in writing some of its new tax rules. Following the IRS's lead, the U.S. Treasury has requested that American citizens and resident aliens help out by minting their own nickels, dimes, and quarters.
Quite a Fruity Chest You've Got There...
From the Minyanville news wire (also known as "the Internet") comes this: Apple (AAPL) will reportedly be introducing an iPod breast implant, marketed specifically, obviously, to female consumers. The product was developed after women complained that men constantly looked at their breasts and never listened to them.
Attack of the Killer V
A federal jury said Vonage (VG) must pay $58 million in damages and 5.5% of future revenues to Verizon for infringing on the company's patents. Verizon (VZ) patents infringed upon include: telephone receivers, telephone wires, telephone buttons, dial tones, call waiting, conference calling, caller ID, and those little holes in phone mouthpieces. A Vonage spokesperson said the company was waiting to see how Verizon responds to the verdict so they can copy the response verbatim and then pass it off as their own.
C'mon, Everyone's Doing It
New York prosecutors charged Paolo Maluf, a leading Brazilian politician, with stealing public money and moving it to a European tax haven through a Manhattan bank. Officials are reportedly preparing to interview WorldCom founder Bernard Ebbers, currently serving a sentence at a Louisiana prison, because, as a highly-placed Justice Department source says, "There's no way the guy didn't have at least a little something to do with this. I mean, at the very minimum, some sort of aiding and abetting. He must've. Right? Don't you think?"
Getting Mighty La-Z
La-Z-Boy (LZB) plans to close several manufacturing plants and lay off 500 of its 8,000 workers, due to increased competition in the comfortable reclining chair business. A LA-Z-Boy spokesperson said the company probably underestimated the threat posed by start-up reclining chair company Industrious-Boy.
The FBI underreported its use of the Patriot Act to force businesses to turn over customer information in suspected terrorism cases, according to a Justice Department audit. FBI Director Robert Mueller staunchly defended the bureau's aggressive use of the Patriot Act. "We knew there were going to be questions about our tactics," he said. "But, thanks to the Patriot Act, we are able to find out in advance exactly what those questions were going to be. In my book that makes the score FBI 1, terrorist-loving journalists 0," he added.
We've Only Just Begun
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday suspended trading for 35 companies that allegedly benefited from spam e-mail campaigns to hype their thinly traded penny stocks. Fourfold I. Dubious, a spokesperson for one of the companies allegedly benefiting from the spam campaign said, "Extra-Time is the only male sexual performance formula that not only stops premature ejaculation but actually cures it. You'll last 5 to 10 minutes longer, the very first night… guaranteed."
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