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Friday, February 27, 2009

Rocky Mt News - Final Edition - Creative Destruction??? (no news, is no news!)

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

After 149 years and 311 days, the Rocky Moutain News published its FINAL EDITION on February 27, 2009

"The unthinkable has become commonplace"..."An uninformed society breeds a lot of social evils"...Very sad.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire: "D. It is written"

Slumdog Millionaire cleaned up at Sunday night’s Oscars, taking home eight Academy Awards.

Best Picture, Directing, Song, Score, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography, and Writting (adapted screenplay).

A film made for $13 Million, a nonexistent publicity budget, no recognisable stars, subtitled in Hindi, based on a book written by a part-time writer...if there was one movie that was destined not to sweep the Oscars, surely it was "Slumdog Millionaire".

So, how did it do it?

A. The filmmakers cheated

B. They got lucky

C. It's a work of genius

D. It is written

The story of how impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik became a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?" -- an endeavor made without prize money in mind, rather, an effort to prove his love for his friend Latika, who is an ardent fan of the show.

As the movie ends in the happy reunion of Jamal and Latika, the woman he loves, the answer is: "D. It is written".

With Sunday night's success, life imitated art in spectacular fashion.

Winner, Best Adapted Screenplay - Simon Beaufoy

Hi gang. Thank you very much indeed. There are certain places in the universe you never imagine standing. For me, it's the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium and here. It's a tremendous honor, so thank you to the Academy. I certainly wouldn't be standing here tonight without Vikas Swarup, who wrote the book, without which none of Slumdog would ever have happened. So thank you, Vikas.

Tessa Ross from Film4 who shoved the manuscript to my hand and said this is yours, you must go to India. Thank you. My parents who've always supported me throughout everything. My wife Jane, for whom repressed English writers have to write love stories 'cause they can't really say what they mean. Susan Landau and Charlotte Knight, both my manager and my agent, um, and of course, the wonderful Dev, the wonderful Latika and the cast and crew of the film who have taught me so much about India and so much about writing, so they've all sort of changed my life. And finally, um, thank you so much to Danny and Christian, the other two musketeers. Thank you very much.

Slumdog Millionaire - August, 15, 2007 draft script by Simon Beaufoy (based on the novel by Vikas Swarup) - hosted by: Fox Searchlight - in pdf format

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Greatest Depression

Gerald Celente is a trend forecaster, author, and CEO of The Trends Research Institute.

Celente was born in The Bronx. His early political experience has included running a mayoral campaign in Yonkers, New York.

In 1979 Celente heard President Carter call The Shah of Iran "a bastion of stability in the Middle East." Celente had been to Iran and saw that a revolution was imminent. He realized Carter was believing what was politically convenient for him to believe and at that point Celente declared himself "a political atheist." Celente invested in gold and oil which he correctly ascertained would soar in value when the Iranian Revolution took place. He took the money he earned and began the Trends Research Institute in 1980.

Gerald Celente founded The Trends Research Institute (initially called the Socio-Economic Research Institute of America) in 1980 in Rhinebeck, New York. Its successful predictions include Black Monday, the fall of the Soviet Union, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the bubble burst, the subprime mortgage crisis, and the financial Panic of 2008 including the statement that "corporate giants would tumble to their death." The Trends Research Institute publishes the Trends Journal, a publication that identifies, forecasts and analyzes business, socioeconomic, political, consumer, environmental and other trends. The purpose and focus of the Trends Journal is to inform readers of future trends and provide strategies on how to prepare and profit from what lies ahead.

Celente has criticized the core Consumer Price Index because it does not integrate statistics for food and fuel. He accuses the Federal Reserve of "jive talk" about interest rates, claiming that they are in a "rate trap" where lowering interest rates crashes the dollar and raising them crashes the economy. He claims the Fed is exacerbating the economic crisis of 2008 by "bailing out their buddies with cheap money". He also believes that the general populace has more wisdom regarding the crisis than Wall Street, the media, and the political world. He has repeatedly said the public should not be looking for solutions to the economic crisis from people who failed to see it coming in the first place. Celente is on record with the Hudson Valley Business Journal and UPI presswire service as having stated on November 12, 2007 that the coming year would bring the beginning of an economic crisis "the likes of which no one alive has ever seen."

On November 14, 2008, Celente appeared on Fox Business Network and predicted economic depression, tax rebellions, food riots, and more concern for buying food than Christmas presents by 2012 in the United States. Celente also has predicted in his Top Trends of 2009 newsletter that governments across the country would be squeezing the little guy for every last dime wherever it could.

Celente also predicts in 2009 and beyond food-producing gardens will become common on people's lawns, as resources generally become more scarce. Celente says to escape the mood of economic depression people will be delighting in entertainment and alcohol. Other predictions for 2009 and beyond include a possible revolutionary advance in renewable energy technologies, miracle cures from stem cell research, a shift toward holistic healing practices, and a crash of the overpriced college-industrial complex.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's a dog-eat-dog world...Sirius(ly)

UPDATE: Sirius XM Reiterates Bankruptcy Potential On Tuesday
February 13, 2009: 02:23 PM ET

(Updates throughout with details, background and comments from hedge fund manager and analyst)

By Nat Worden and Andrew Edwards


Gamesmanship between media moguls in a high-stakes standoff over control of the satellite radio industry continued Friday as Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) reiterated that it could file for bankruptcy as early as Tuesday if it can't reach a deal to meet its mounting debt obligations.

That disclosure came as the embattled satellite-radio provider announced it exchanged $172.5 million in notes that come due in December for new notes that come due in June 2011.

The move doesn't address the $175 million in bonds that mature Tuesday and are majority-owned by satellite mogul Charles Ergen, according to The Wall Street Journal. Because of the pending bond payment Tuesday, many see Sirius's fate being decided this weekend.

The Journal reported Friday that Sirius XM has significantly narrowed the divide in negotiations with Ergen, who controls Dish Network Corp. (DISH) and EchoStar Corp. (SATS), over a deal to save itself from bankruptcy. But the country's sole satellite radio operator continues to discuss a rival offer from Liberty Media Corp., which is controlled by John Malone.

The situation pits Ergen and Malone - two longtime, asset-swapping rivals in the media business who are both based in Englewood, Colo. - against each other with Sirius XM Chief Executive Mel Karmazin trying to salvage his equity holdings in the company along with his legacy.

A spokesman for Sirius XM didn't respond to inquiries. Marc Lumpkin, a spokesman for EchoStar declined to comment, as did Courtnee Ulrich, a spokeswoman for Liberty Media.

A hedge fund manager with a stake in the outcome of the negotiations who declined to be identified said Friday's announcement likely means Sirius XM likely is telling debt holders that it's on the verge of a deal to avoid bankruptcy.

"You can't give them a new security and then go bankruptcy three days later," he said.

XM Sirius said it will pay debt holders accepting the exchange offer a fee of $9.45 million, with $5.07 million paid in cash and the rest in Sirius XM common shares. The company's stock was recently trading up 3 cents to 10 cents. Sirius XM's 9.625% coupon 2013 bonds traded up 13% to 46 cents on the dollar, according to Market Axess.

Ergen began acquiring Sirius XM debt in the fall. He has offered to inject about $500 million into Sirius XM and restructure the debt he holds in the company in return for control. His offer is contingent on the successful renegotiation of about $600 million in Sirius bank loans and about $200 million in other debt. Also, he is reportedly prepared to let Karmazin, who took the reins at Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. in 2004 and guided it through its arduous merger with XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., keep his job.

Ergen had made an unsolicited offer to take control of Sirius XM last year, but the company rebuffed it.

Liberty Media, which controls Dish Network rival DirecTV Group Inc. (DTV), has said it would make an investment that would enable Sirius XM to meet its credit obligations in exchange for a sizable stake, a person close to the situation told the Journal earlier this week.

Neither offer involves buying out Sirius's equity holders.

After the landmark satellite radio merger was approved in July, the company emerged from the regulatory process with its growing business buried under a crushing debt load that now amounts to $3.25 billion. Plans to refinance its debt were quickly dashed as the financial crisis began to envelop Wall Street, making it all but impossible for companies to tap the credit markets.

Meanwhile, deals with a number of major automakers have left the company's fortunes largely intertwined with the U.S. auto industry, which is fighting a weakening global economy.

"There is real value to Sirius XM underneath all its debt," said Frederick Moran, analyst with the Stanford Group Co. "Karmazin is doing the best he can to stave off bankruptcy, but it has been an uphill battle given the company's slumping subscriber growth and lack of cash flow and profitability."

Moran said the satellite television providers don't compete with Sirius XM, but they do see an opportunity in the company's troubles to get into a business that is complimentary to their own.

"[Satellite radio and television assets] could gel together nicely," Moran said. "If you're one of the two largest satellite TV providers with a multimillion subscriber base, you could move into radio and cross-market your offerings while sharing programming resources, and you could utilize your satellites and radio transmissions more fully."

-By Nat Worden and Andrew Edwards, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5216;

(Kerry E. Grace contributed to this story.)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires
02-13-09 1423ET
Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's Time To Get Sirius

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