Because legal entities are capable of worse crimes than their corporeal counterparts.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What The Fuck: AT&T/iPhone Edition

Don't believe the hype.

This post is about AT&T (formerly known as Cingular, formerly known as AT&T, formerly known as Southwestern Bell Corporation (Bell or SBC), formerly known as American Telephone and Telegraph [which sounds a lot like AT&T, doesnt it?] ). I decided on this corporation because of the hype behind Apple's soon-to-be-released iPhone.

I'd post a bunch of pictures and videos of the iPhone here, but chances are you're inundated with such things, and can find them on other websites. I know that of all the times I've passed the TV downstairs in the last week or so, I've seen iPhone commercials on about 20% of the time -- which is a lot, given that I'm just passing it.

If you don't already know, when you pick up that shiny new iPhone for $499 or $599, depending on what size hard drive you get, you're required to get at two year service contract with AT&T, one of the largest telecommunication corporations in the country. AT&T is a corporation so fully associated with telecomm throughout their history that their NYSE trade symbol is simply 'T.'

I won't bore you with all of the boring details of the history of this giant, their innovations in telecomm, the monopolies, the splits, the mergers, and all that stuff. The company is through and through a classic definition of a corporation. Given that it has such a strong history in telecomm, it was one of the first monopolies, and it was a "natural" monopoly. Don't take my word for it; the entirety of the internet is at your fingertips. Do a little research.

About a year ago, AT&T changed their privacy policy to say that they own your confidential information, not you. A year ago, when this happened, if you wanted to get out of your service contract, you could, because of this fundamental change to the user/company agreement. So you know, whenever a company changes something like this, you're free to drop the service, no matter how much time you have left on it. It's a nice way to quit.

Back to the matter at hand -- do you really want to spend two years with a company who values your privacy so little that they consider your confidential information theirs? I know the iPhone is shiny and pretty, but...fuck.

Do a little research, decide whether or not it's worth the $600, two years, and loss of civil liberty, and remember that for now, a phone is still, really, just a phone. When we have total convergence of communication and entertainment mediums in a few years, get back to me. For now, just put your boner away, technogeek. And think.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

"What The Fuck" Fridays: Baxter - A Company I've Never Heard Of

How do you get to be a corporation in the Fortune 500 without having your name widely known?

Shit, I don't know, ask Baxter (Google Finance Link). Maybe the problem is that I don't watch TV and generally stay away from financial news unless I'm writing these posts?


Their stock jumped 20 points over the last year, and it's basically been a steady upward climb.

Oh wait, hold on, the stock was around the same point it is today, back in 2002, and then it plummeted. I really have no idea what's going on with this corporation. It seems like a strong buy right now though, and in the past, except for that 2002 hiccup, it's been super-fucking-strong. Well, we can safely say that right now Baxter must be doing something right. Right? Right, I guess.

But what does Baxter do?

Well, it looks like they are primarily involved in the development and manufacture of unique medical products. For an example of one of their important innovations, in the 1950s, they were the first company to make commercially-available fake kidneys.

They develop a bunch of cures, treatments, patches, and bug fixes (lol) that appear to be more involved in saving lives, than, for instance, a cure for erectile dysfunction. Currently, they're working on a Bird Flu Vaccine.

The company did 10.4 billion in sales in 2006. Unfortunately for you, I have no problem with this, and no problem with Baxter. Seems like a solid place to me.

Oh, and about that issue in 2002, when the stock price basically rebooted itself? That was because sales were going to be below the company's forecast, and I guess the stockholders got shook! David Lothson, who in 2002 was an analyst for UBS (I have no real idea who they are but they are obviously a financial services company) said this of the selloff: "We believe investors have overreacted to weakness in the company's second-quarter Bioscience revenues." Yes, yes they have. (link)

Lastly, their stock is worth more than AstraZeneca's, which I think is great. I mean granted, they operate in different areas of medicine. But even so, Baxter is proof that you don't have to stay in the news and in the commercials to have a solid medicine-related company. Or maybe they do have commercials. I don't know. I don't really watch TV. Anyway, you don't really have to create a bunch of different cures that do marginally meaningful things/the same thing over and over again but just marketed differently to have a good medical company.

The only two Baxters I knew of before making this post were Baxter Stockman, and my second grade teacher, Ms. Baxter.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Short Update: Get Rich Or Die In A Shipwreck Trying

I'm almost done with my last paper of the semester. Finals are next week, but this is really the "hump," as it were.

"What The Fuck" Friday will return next week. Maybe. Definitely. Maybe.

A publicly traded company called Odyssey Marine Exploration found the richest shipwreck in history today. Estimates put the worth of the gold on board the ship at or around the 500 million dollar point. According to Google Finance, the business has 57 employees. If that money is divided evenly among those employees, that's nearly 10 million per employee; employees that were, up until this point, on a sinking ship, so to speak.

The shareholders are obviously happy. If you look at the Google Finance link above, it's quite obvious when this exciting news broke, because the price of the stock nearly doubled in value at that point.

So, when something like this happens, do the shareholders get a piece of the findings, or do they just get to keep whatever money they made from the stock price rising? I should look into this for a future blog post. As for now, I need to finish a paper.

PS - notice how the price rose sharply, then fell -- I bet this is when the people who were very disappointed with the stock's performance realized a good thing when they saw it, and got the fuck out of dodge.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Writing Hella Paper; What's Going On In The [Tech] News?

This is one of those weeks. Big paper due tomorrow. I'm writing it on 'Blaxpoitation' films. More specifically, the co-opting of Black films to make Hollywood money.

Cisco, though not incorporated in Delaware, revised their quarterly forecast and it isn't as strong as investors expected. This had a sharply negative impact on the stock. This, in turn, had a negative impact on other tech stocks. Did you know that Gateway's stock is worth less than 2 dollars? Yeah, neither did I. Wow. I saw that the shares fell 8%, and then I saw that they fell to 1.91, which isn't really catastrophic; it was only a 16 cent decline.

Apple's stock is worth over one hundred dollars per share. Unlike Google's stock, I think that Apple's stock is actually worth what people pay for it. They keep their investors happy. Not to say that Google doesn't, but...don't you think that nearly 500 dollars per share is a bit of a stretch of Google's worth? Actually, maybe not. We should explore that in a future post. Google is truly interesting these days...


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Hewlett-Packard Doing Well, As Usual

HP raised its second-quarter forecast today.

HP is the world's number one PC-maker; their stock is up 8% this year. They have over seventeen percent of the PC market. Their biggest competitor is Dell, who has a higher share of the market in the US, but a lower market share in the world at large.

The stock is worth $44.58 per share as of this posting, according to Google Finance.

Monday, May 7, 2007

I Have Ten Minutes To Post. This is a Ten-Minute Post

This morning, I was walking with my Mom in White Clay Creek State Park. She was telling me about this great book she was reading, called Skinny Bitch. My Mom, though she used to be a vegetarian, is now at least fifty pounds over weight. She believes the book is going to help her get back on track with her life, and for this I am glad; I think that if she doesn't turn her shit around in the next decade, she'll be dead. Even though she's not morbidly obese, I already sometimes consider her a corpse, due to her lack of motivation and lack of energy. She lacks these things because she doesn't exercise and she doesn't eat well at all.

I don't have the same problem she does. My diet is almost entirely vegetarian (I eat fish a few times a week). The fucked up thing is that she has a bachelor's degree in nutrition. She's just now learning some things that I consider elementary, because in school, they were teaching her things that would allow her to continue pushing the USDA's agenda, which is basically to sell a lot of meat and dairy products. This morning she said to me, "I thought that vegetarian cooking had to be so specific and so complex, and now I'm learning that that's not the case." This has been her argument for years; she's always said that she stopped being vegetarian when her third child (my younger brother) was born because she didn't have the time to prepare proper "nutritious" vegetarian meals any more. You can get nutrition in a lot of ways. I know vegans that are healthy. Most vegetarians are just as healthy as anyone else. I would post some nude pics just to show you how healthy I am, but that isn't the focus of this blog.

I also learned that she was just a vegetarian while she was primarily because it was a cool thing to do. Vegetarianism, like any other diet choice or lifestyle choice, should not be based on a fad. If you start The South Beach Diet because it's a fad, you're going to go pick up the book that tells you how to lose weight on The South Beach Diet. When that diet goes out of style, are you going to switch to the next cool diet and buy that book while your weight fluctuates? Huge weight gains/losses over a short period of time are TERRIBLE for your health, by the way. Dieting is stupid. Don't diet; make changes to your diet. There's a difference.

I told the information about Morningstar Farms and Kashi, among other brands, to Mom; she was floored by it, as I was.

It's been a fun ten minutes.

Related links:
Wikipedia page on Hegemony
Manufacturing Consent - This related documentary is free on isohunt and probably a few other trackers.

Friday, May 4, 2007

"What The Fuck" Fridays: What the fuck is going on with Kellogg's

No seriously, what's new with Kellogg's? I basically only know them for their cornflakes.

According to the geographically accurate map above, Kellogg's is near the top of our fair state. In the future, I will jump across the state, not really giving a fuck about hitting these companies in linear order. I'll get to them all eventually. I swear.

Kellogg Company sold 10.9 billion dollars worth of cereal in 2006 alone. Get money. They made nearly 5 billion in gross profit in the same year. Get money.

You might wonder, "How does one company push so much cereal?" I wondered the same thing. The answer is this: If you live in America, Kellogg Company owns most of the brands you see in grocery stores in cookies, snacks, cereals, crackers, and other assorted foods. They're probably best known for their breakfast brands. Basically, if you go to a store and buy breakfast stuff and it's not the "no frills" brand, you are probably filling up your shopping cart with some Kellogg's. For example: they own Pop Tarts®, Nutri-Grain®, Kashi®, Rice Krispies®, Frosted Flakes®, Fruit Loops®, Keebler®, Cheez-It®, and even Morningstar Farms®, which actually surprises and concerns me. You see, I love Morningstar Farms® frozen foods. For some reason, I thought they were independent. Oh, also, that list is far from complete. Kellogg's is basically runnning shit in the breakfast food industry. One might wonder how they are able to rack up such huge profits and sell people so much stuff under the same umbrella corporation, while people either a) don't notice or b) don't care that they're all buying stuff from the same corporation. I think it's a combination of both. You see, Kellogg's has SUPER strong brands that have been around for a long time. These brands, regardless of who owns them, appear to the public to be independent entities. For instance, no one would think that Tony The Tiger gets kickbacks whenever he eats Eggo Waffles with his frosted flakes, but that's probably how shit goes down, because they're part of the same company. It's just that people don't associate them because the brands look very different from each other.

For an example of just how far Kellogg's has taken their brands, check out their press kit page. They literally have full biographies for some of their more popular mascots. Ernie, the Keebler Elf has some kind of weird shit going on where no one knows his middle name, but the names of some other shady elves, like Fast Eddie, and Buckets, are dropped in the bio. Interesting stuff.

Kellogg Company: the ten billion dollar example of how proper brand management can make your company into a corporate behemoth. Remind me to try to find alternatives to those tasty Morningstar Farms® sausage patties.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Before I saw the face above, I planned on writing about the 2006 Delaware Division of Corporations Annual Report. You get the usual circlejerk-of-an-introductory-message about how unique Delaware is, and how excellent it is for businesses and all of those other really nice ways of saying we're a safe haven for criminals. Oh, and Delaware supports corporate "best practices." How exciting!

The Department of Insurance got a full-time administrator this year.

Among other things, I found this:

"In January 2006, the State restructured its bank franchise tax to maintain Delaware’s leadership in attracting financial services companies."
...In other words, "we made bank taxes lower so we could get more banks to plant headquarters in this state -- GET MONEY!"

Web-based transactions are going up (hi), companies know that if they're going to get nailed, Delaware is a good place for it to happen because of certain laws, and, uh, near the end the good Doctor mentions something about pleasure. Right.

Finally, here's a heartwarming picture of a few of the corporations that are in love with Delaware:

Delaware Secretary of State, Harriet N. Smith Windsor: Sea Hag, or Just Some Unfortunate Bitch?

Jesus Christ. First post of the blog, and I'm already in WAY too fucking deep.

The Delaware Division of Corporations had just put out their 2006 annual report. I go to the website (, and download the PDF to see just what's been going on for the past year. The PDF opened onto my monitor and I was greeted by the fanciful visage you see to the right.

P.S. - I will never vote for anyone this ugly. Ever.

I'll try to make this shit a little more informative in the next post. I just need to take a break and maybe rethink this whole thing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

About This Site

Commentary on the corporations inhabiting the fair state of Delaware, where the men are men, the women are women, the weather is fair, and the corporations are corporate as fuck. Includes relevant information on hostile takeovers, tax sheltering, questionably high profit margins, the interesting state of the pro-business legal climate, general news regarding the corporations that make Delaware their home, drama about Delaware politics, businesses incorporated in Delaware, corporate law and more.