Monthly Archive: January 2011

Quit while you’re behind

Shed a tear for Edgar Bronfman Jr., who has just been found guilty of insider trading in France. The alleged activity dates back a decade when he became entangled with Jean-Marie Messier whose Vivendi acquired Seagram and went blooey in the process. As a result, Edgar, the subject of my 2004 book, The Icarus Factor, lost three-quarters of his family’s fortune by turning $8 billion into $2 billion. For the book I interviewed Edgar Jr. and 100 other people who knew him and I don’t believe he’s capable of criminal activity. Neither did the prosecutor who wanted to drop all...

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A man in need

So, how is Piers Morgan doing in his first week replacing the inimitable Larry King on CNN? I’d give him a tentative three stars out of five. Interesting that his first two guests also do interviews for a living: Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern. Presumably Morgan the Brit wanted to show the world he could go toe-to-toe with the toughest in America. Well, maybe he can, but I find Morgan a tad aggressive for that time of night. He even admitted in his hour with Stern that he was trying to ask outrageous questions. At one point, he wondered whether...

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Old hand, new rating

Of all the analysts watching Research In Motion, few have been around as long as Michael Urlocker of GMP Securities. Urlocker was at Credit Suisse First Boston when he initiated coverage of RIM in February 1999, fifteen months after the company went public. “RIM has the lead in this growing technology,” he wrote in his first report about the emerging email market. “We see RIM as a high-risk, high-reward play on what could become the next Palm Pilot.” Urlocker put a buy on the stock at C$14.25. A year later, RIM’s share price was C$121.90. In his most recent report,...

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Black and Whyte and read

When Derek Burney was Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. he liked to tell a joke to American audiences. It went like this. A man on a wharf in the Maritimes notices some lobsters in a pail. It looks to him as if they could easily climb out and escape. He asks the lobster boat owner, “Shouldn’t the pail be covered?” “Oh no,” came the reply. “Those are Canadian lobsters. If one of them gets near the top, the rest of them will pull him back down.” We do love to tear down any one of our number who becomes successful,...

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