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Strange Business: Encana Executive Curses Out Analyst During Conference Call


Plus, tune in for what's believed to be the next big hit in Norwegian TV: a broadcast of a burning fireplace.

So Much for Polite Canadians?

An unknown executive at Canada's largest natural gas producer Encana (NYSE:ECA) let the pressure of the the company's fourth-quarter conference call get to him and cursed at Canaccord Genuity analyst Phil Skolnick. After Skolnick received an answer to his inquiry about whether new Canadian investment regulations would prevent Encana's takeover by foreign state-owned entities, one of the 20 executives present disparaged Skolnick, saying, "F***ing a**hole." The conference call had already been tense because Encana missed analysts' forecasts for its oil production; the company has been searching for a new CEO to replace the unpopular former CEO Randy Eresman.

Is There Anything to Do in Norway?
Source: ShortFormBlog

Norwegians have interesting taste in television programming. While the US has mind-numbing shows like Jersey Shore, Norwegian public television broadcaster NRK will air a 12-hour special featuring nothing but a burning fireplace with commentary from firewood experts. While this may sound excruciatingly boring, NRK experienced great success airing a non-stop, 134-hour broadcast of a cruise ship going up the Norwegian coast along with an 8-hour show featuring a train traveling from Oslo to Bergen. NRK even showed a rerun of the train's journey due to its popularity.

Michael Jordan Still a Slam Dunk in Business

Michael Jordan has been equally successful in his career off the court and on it. Many athletes struggle financially after the peak of their careers (think Mike Tyson, Curt Schilling, and Scottie Pippen), but the soon-to-be quinquagenarian raked in about $80 million last year. What's his largest source of income? The Jordan Brand, a division of Nike (NYSE:NKE), generates the largest chunk of his earnings at $60 million. The former NBA superstar also partners with Gatorade, Hanes (NYSE:HBI), Upper Deck, 2K Sports, Presbyterian Healthcare, and Five Star Fragrances. Additionally, he owns a North Carolina car dealership, a motorsports team, and an 80% stake in the Charlotte Bobcats.

Splurging on Vacation

The two largest car rental companies, Enterprise and Hertz (NYSE:HTZ), have been expanding their selections of luxury rental cars for individuals who don't mind shelling out a bit more money for a better ride. Enterprise has expanded its "Exotic Car Collection" to 13 locations in six states, while Hertz's luxury vehicle collection grew 15% from 2011 to 2012. The Enterprise location at Los Angeles International Airport, for example, offers a $250,000 Bentley GTC convertible for between $800 and $900 per day -- after a $10,000 deposit.

Good Guys Finish Last

Want to jump back into a career after getting caught in illicit activities? Try going on speaking tours and writing books. Conferences and businesses will pay well to feature infamous individuals. The Knight Foundation, for example, promotes "quality journalism" and recently paid Jonah Lehrer $20,000 to discuss his plagiarism as a science writer. Other unscrupulous individuals who now appear on the speaking circuit include Jayson Blair, Michael Milken, and Jack Abramoff.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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