SEC Decides It Wants A Bit More Info On This Xero Thing...

from the so-you're-doing-what-now? dept

Many people have wondered why it took a car crash (and the subsequent report of stolen luxury cars, false identification, unlicensed weaponry and lots of other issues) before the folks behind Gizmondo were put in jail. After all, it was known for quite some time that there was a lot of questionable activity at the company. Million dollar salaries, gifts of luxury cars, convicted felons in charge... and no one seemed to want to ask what these guys were telling investors? Based on that, many people have been wondering how Xero has been able to pull what appears to be a very similar plan, involving a nearly identical unproven business model and many of the exact same people (not to mention the typically sketchy reverse merger to get access to public markets). Well, now it appears that the SEC is interested and is investigating just what Xero has been telling potential investors. Given the history of how Gizmondo inflated the company's prospects to investors while lining their own bank vaults (pockets alone couldn't hold what they were taking), it's almost amazing it's taken this long. Still, whether or not the SEC is investigating, it's positively amazing that any investor is willing to invest given some of the questions raised.

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  • identicon
    potential sucker, 26 Jun 2006 @ 12:26pm

    I'm in

    Goes to show how desperate some people are to buy into "the next big thing" without any knowledge of what that thing is.
    Too much money + not enough brains = poor investment choices

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2006 @ 1:00pm

    So who is investigating Vonage?

    Lets see, executives with stock problems in the past, questionable business model, IPO problems, patent lawsuits.

    Sounds pretty good to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anonymous coward, 26 Jun 2006 @ 4:32pm

      Re: So who is investigating Vonage?

      "Lets see, executives with stock problems in the past, questionable business model, IPO problems, patent lawsuits."

      Sounds like most executives today. Throw in "questionable campaign contributions" and you just described most biz execs AND politicians.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2006 @ 1:05pm

    depressing but inevitable

    It's a limiting condition of unfettered crony capitalism going into meltdown.

    Too much money accumulates at the top. But you can't just sit on that money, you must re-invest it, keep it moving. When you have billions to invest you will throw it at anything. But the pool of potential good investments dries up. Having succesfully created a walled city, with all real competition from genuine innovation locked out the top few hundred big players, the monopolists, the criminal cartels, IP extortionists, litigators and the usual suspects in the all too familiar hive of scum and villiany have nothing left but each other. You get a small pool with sharks swimming with sharks.

    They can't / won't / don't speak the language of normal engineers, scientists and inventors, and can't / won't / don't look anywhere outside their nepotistic circle jerk of fellow weasels.

    Vision narrows towards trying to repeat the same successful formulas with diminishing returns, all real risk vanishes. Look at the games industry and film industry for examples.

    All the top minds have got rich and got out, are crippled and taken out of the game by NDAs and prohibitive contracts they signed, or are sitting on their ideas waiting for better times.

    Sit back and enjoy the train crash. Watch them tear each other apart and suffocate one another in the ditritus of their own filthy self made mess of patents, litigation, entry barriers and lock out.

    It's like the proverb of the monkey with his hand stuck in the jar of nuts. They can't let go of the seeds of their own destruction. Meanwhile the Chinese are poised to turn us into third world economies because they still remember the real reason for enabling technology - human utility and the benefit of society at large. Sweeping legal and political reforms are all that can save us from having a dead technology economy within 10 years. Either we take back control from the pigopolists or we perish.


    I know its a depressing and unpopular position, but the number of people who get emotionally charged when I state it just confirms for me that there's truth in it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      dorpus, 26 Jun 2006 @ 3:25pm

      Re: depressing but inevitable

      Too much money accumulates at the top. But you can't just sit on that money, you must re-invest it, keep it moving. When you have billions to invest you will throw it at anything.

      Incidentally, America's middle class is guilty of this too -- they swap their overpriced suburban homes, believing in the myth that homes "save money". Every middle class American is obliged to boast about how much money they made from home ownership, ignoring inconvenient little details like homes that couldn't sell, so they had to rent it to a Mexican family.


      It's like the proverb of the monkey with his hand stuck in the jar of nuts. They can't let go of the seeds of their own destruction. Meanwhile the Chinese are poised to turn us into third world economies because they still remember the real reason for enabling technology - human utility and the benefit of society at large. Sweeping legal and political reforms are all that can save us from having a dead technology economy within 10 years. Either we take back control from the pigopolists or we perish.

      You seriously overestimate the Chinese, hehe. Chinese capitalism is just a more corrupt and inbred version of what you describe -- in China's case, add companies that copycat whatever Western/Japanese companies do, government officials who sell their services to the highest bidder. The Asian financial crisis occurred in 1997 precisely for this reason, and China was spared at the time because its capitalism was too primitive. Everyone knows China will have its own financial crisis soon.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Republican Gun, 26 Jun 2006 @ 1:19pm

    Funds

    Only invest money into funds managed by professionals who do due dilegence making buy and sell decisions. Buying securities in the open market is gambling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wonder Llama, 26 Jun 2006 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Funds

    Buying securities in general is gambling. If there weren't any risk to it, there wouldn't be any return.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JerseyRich, 26 Jun 2006 @ 3:35pm

    As the head of the Mexican family you rent to, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for letting me, my wife, and my 11 children rent your former home. :-P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I, for one, 26 Jun 2006 @ 8:27pm

    Nevermind China, it's our country I speak of.

    Says Dorpus - "You seriously overestimate the Chinese, hehe. Chinese capitalism is just a more corrupt and inbred version of what you describe"

    No doubt you're quite right. China was an example I just pulled out of my ass. I don't know anything about China except that it's fashionable to mention China at any opportunity. As easily, I could have said India or another competitive economy. But comparatives weren't really my main point.

    It doesn't really matter that countries with a greater liquidity of money and power will eventually usurp us, it's obvious and inevitable that they will at some point. What matters to me is being stuck in a Western country with scant and still diminishing opportunity for new business because of blatent corruption. I hate the disparity between the propaganda of us in lands of golden opportunity for the smart and ambitious, and the stinking reality of the situation - that we are all second class citizens here, without rights or means of self empowerment unless we are prepared to join the criminal classes.
    Meanwhile the corporations and their representatives indulge in one shocking act another, defying not just morality and legality, but common sense. We are truly witnessing a bonfire of principles and wealth in this age. I mean real *wealth* not money.

    And this is somehow news? I mean, we're all pretty jaded to it now. Look at the cynicism and resignation in every single post. I want to try to make sense of it and see a way forward instead of sarcastically saying "Well, there's a surprise!" As I get older I see more and more where the lefties are coming from. That when we allow unchecked private growth we get to a situation where corporate power threatens the very principle of government by and for the people. More and more it looks like they were right about the catastrophic conclusion of global free markets - an idea I have believed in for decades - I mean I want to believe, but show me the good news, where is it? There isn't any. I have to admit I was wrong about that cause. We are obviously descending into a spiral of "superpower" that is choking the very roots of innovation - freedom to experiment, broad education, capital opportunity, diverse markets...

    Even if you point to the remarkable scientific accomplishments in medicine and agriculture by large corporations you have to ask yourself, "For who's benefit?". It's clearer with every day that this progress has nothing to do with the will or needs of the people - take the example of GM and drug patents to which there is near universal common hostility.

    This story makes me quite emotional and politically aroused because it's a shining example of the *symptomatic* process going on. Another was the SONY rootkit debacle. Both indicate clearly that criminal behaviour is acceptable in business and the law is too timid to tackle powerful interests. This is a very bad point in our history.

    Rather than being reactionary and saying "We must smash the corrupt corporations and their statist bedfellows" I'm trying to say that their fate is already sealed. Fascism and it's equally insidious namesake Corporatism has never prospered. Eventually it turns on itself. One clear indicator of that process already in operation is a story like this Gizmondo Xero thing. They are scamsters plain and simple, they know the Emperor has no clothes, they know their portfolio is bullshit and so does everybody else with a clue, but they are part of the dance being played out at the top where VC money has to be shuffled about and business must be seen to be done. The net useful result to the economy is zero, or worse.

    Watch as the process unfolds, as the main players start to bog down in the swamp of unending litigation and mutual hostility over an ever more concentrated pool of power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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