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Minyanville's Business Briefs Exposed: Motorola, General Motors, Oracle...


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.

Sorry, Wrong Number

Analysts were looking for answers from Edward Zander, CEO of Chicago-based Motorola (MOT), during a conference call on Wednesday, but were bewildered when Zander told them that he "wanted them to want him and needed them to need him." They listened for another fifteen minutes before realizing they had accidentally been connected to Robin Zander, lead singer of Rockford, Illinois-based Cheap Trick.

Ethanolic's Anonymous!

According to the Wall Street Journal, a backlash against ethanol plants has broken out in the Midwest. The backlash is related to complaints that ethanol plants deplete aquifers, draw heavy truck traffic, pose safety concerns and contribute to air pollution; unlike oil refineries, which just make yummy oil. Black Gold. Texas Tea. You know, the good stuff!

Well Deserved, Fellas!

General Motors (GM) announced it will be giving stock bonuses to CEO Rick Wagoner and other senior executives, even though the automaker has lost $12.4 billion dollars over the past two years. Inspired by GM's logic, Time Warner (TWX), which CEO Richard "Dick" Parsons has steered back to success, says it plans to send Parsons a bill for 80 bucks and take his long-distance calling privileges away.

Weet The Hell?!?

(AMGN) halted a study after finding poor results in patients using its colon-cancer drug Vectibix. A red-faced Amgen spokesperson explained, "We really screwed this one up. We accidentally gave those patients Weetabix, not Vectibix. But they were really regular. Um…oops, I guess. Our bad."

Don't Be A Fool, Stay in School!

Bill Gates will receive an honorary Harvard degree and deliver this year's commencement speech -- 32 years after he dropped out of the university to founded Microsoft (MSFT). Gates will reportedly warn Harvard undergrads that unless they stay in school they could wind up with a dead-end job, like billionaire CEO of a multinational software company.

Count Me In!

In a filing for its public share offering, giant buyout firm Blackstone Group said investors will have little, if any, say in its decisions and will be selling shares in its management company, not its highly profitable investment funds. According to reports, Blackstone also plans to slowly poison its investors with arsenic, subject them to intense public humiliation, and laugh at them behind their backs.

Is Everything OK, B?

KB Homes' (KBH) profit plunged 84% as new-home orders and prices dropped. On a more positive note, Kay Bee Homes showed stellar growth, as did K. Bee Homes, Kayb Ehomes, and Katie Holmes.

Didn't The Kinks Sing Something About This?

Software giant Oracle (ORCL) says rival software-maker SAP broke into its computer systems and stole its ideas. Wearing his trademark tin foil hat to protect himself from the giant squirrels that beam thoughts directly into his brain from the planet Zoltar, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said that SAP also had people hiding in his closet, black helicopters following him, and was monitoring his dreams.

Fern What It's Worth...

According to The New York Times, Intel (INTC) is prepared to build a chip plant in northern China. A spokesperson for Intel said, "Other types of plants like ferns, snapdragons, and rhododendrons grow much more quickly than chip plants do. We don't want to wait, so we're just building ours instead."

The Costanza Fund

Brian Hunter, the energy trader whose risky bets triggered the largest hedge fund failure in history, has formed a new fund only six months after his old firm, Amaranth Advisors, collapsed. Hunter said his new fund will focus exclusively on doing the opposite of what his last fund did.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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