Archive for May, 2013

Setback for Canada pipeline over safety

Friday, May 31st, 2013

British Columbia’s environment minister said questions about proposed Northern Gateway pipeline ‘were not satisfactorily answered’ in panel hearings

Blow for oil groups over Canada pipe plan

Friday, May 31st, 2013

British Columbia’s environment minister said questions about proposed Northern Gateway pipeline ‘were not satisfactorily answered’ in panel hearings

Co-Founder of CNET Goes Bankrupt: 2 Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Halsey Minor goes bankrupt buying paintings like Peaceable Kingdom

Halsey Minor, who co-founded CNET, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Minor was a mega-millionaire who once was pegged by Fortune magazine, back in 1999, as having a net worth of $350 million.  Now his net worth could be negative $90 millionaccording to a Wall Street Journal blog post.  He even owes money to his former executive assistant.

CNET was sold to CBS in 2008 for $1.8 Billion, although Minor had left years earlier before the DotCom bust of 2000.  Minor, who is a relative of Admiral Halsey, also was a tech investor who picked some winners.  One was acquired by Google and became Google Voice. Minor was also an investor in Salesforce.com.

CNET, Salesforce, Google Voice — clearly the man is a tech genius who knows how to identify tech’s next big thing. He made a fortune by the time he was in his thirties. So what went wrong?

Minor’s financial troubles seem to stem from expenditures and investments that later proved disastrous.

He bought expensive real estate. Case in point: a house in posh Bel Air that he bought for $20 million and put back on the market a year later for $12.9 million.

Then there was the house in Presidio Heights, San Francisco, that he bought for another $22 million — and claims to have put in another $15 million in improvements.  There was other real estate, too, including the Landmark Hotel, Charlottesville, Virginia, that he was developing for $31 million — among other properties.

Let’s not forget the race horse. He paid $3 million for a Kentucky Derby contender that went lame before the big race.

And then there was the expensive artwork. He bought millions of dollars of artwork at Sotheby’s auction house, and then was sued for not paying for it.  One of the paintings in question was Peaceable Kingdom (pictured above), by artist Edward Hicks.  Minor ended up in litigation, lost and paid $6.6. million to Sotheby’s.

And now he’s bankrupt.

I don’t write about Minor to gloat about someone else’s misfortune. On the contrary, “there but for the grace of God go I” is more of my sentiment in such situations.

But it does suggest two points for entrepreneurs to take away from this saga of “tech millionaire goes bankrupt:”

  • You can be a genius in one area and be a huge success — but get out of your element and it could be a completely different story.  When it comes to diversifying, walk carefully.  On the one hand, diversifying can reduce risks inherent in over-relying on a single area. But get too far afield from what you know best in your business, and it increases different kinds of risks.
  • Financial independence is not so much about how much you make — it’s about how you spend it.  Even multimillionaires can spend it all foolishly.  Cost control in business, in government and in your personal finances is important. Don’t be the one who goes bankrupt.

Image: Peaceable Kingdom

The post Co-Founder of CNET Goes Bankrupt: 2 Lessons for Entrepreneurs appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Small-cap week, June 1

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Volex is among the market gainers after the exit of chief executive Ray Walsh. Scapa, Northern Petroleum and Cupid are also featured

Co-Founder of CNET Goes Bankrupt

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Halsey Minor goes bankrupt buying paintings like Peaceable Kingdom

Halsey Minor, who co-founded CNET, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Minor was a mega-millionaire who once was pegged by Fortune magazine, back in 1999, as having a net worth of $350 million.  Now his net worth could be negative $90 millionaccording to a Wall Street Journal blog post.  He even owes money to his former executive assistant.

CNET was sold to CBS in 2008 for $1.8 Billion, although he had left years earlier before the DotCom bust of 2000.  Minor, is a descendant on his mother’s side to Admiral Halsey, also was a tech investor who picked some winners.  One was acquired by Google and became Google Voice. Minor was also an investor in Salesforce.com.

CNET, Salesforce, Google Voice — clearly the man is a tech genius who knows how to identify tech’s next big thing. He made a fortune by the time he was in his thirties. So what went wrong?

Minor’s financial troubles seem to stem from expenditures and investments that later proved disastrous.

He bought expensive real estate. Case in point: A house in posh Bel Air that he bought for $20 million and put back on the market a year later for $12.9 million.

Then there was the house in Presidio Heights, San Francisco, that he bought for another $22 million — and claims to have put in another $15 million in improvements.  There was other real estate, too, including the Landmark Hotel, Charlottesville, Virginia, that he was developing for $31 million — among other properties.

Let’s not forget the race horse. He paid $3 million for a Kentucky Derby contender that went lame before the big race.

And then there was the expensive artwork. He bought millions of dollars of artwork at Sotheby’s auction house, and then was sued for not paying for it.  One of the paintings in question was Peaceable Kingdom (pictured above), by artist Edward Hicks.  Minor ended up in litigation, lost and paid $6.6. million to Sotheby’s.

And now he’s bankrupt.

I don’t write about Minor to gloat about someone else’s misfortune. On the contrary, “there but for the grace of God go I” is more of my sentiment in such situations.

But it does suggest two points for entrepreneurs to take away from this sage of “tech millionaire goes bankrupt:”

  • You can be a genius in one area and be a huge success — but get out of your element and it could be a completely different story.  When it comes to diversifying, walk carefully.  On the one hand, diversifying can reduce risks inherent in over-relying on a single area. But get too far afield from what you know best in your business, and it increases different kinds of risks.
  • Financial independence is not so much about how much you make — it’s about how you spend it.  Even multimillionaires can spend it all foolishly.  Cost control in business, in government and in your personal finances is important. Don’t be the one who goes bankrupt.

Image: Peaceable Kingdom

The post Co-Founder of CNET Goes Bankrupt appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Source

Week in review, June 1

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Hedge funds blot a banker’s copybook, advertisers turn on Facebook, and China looks to secure a reliable supply of safe pigs

Bet on blackouts in US energy investment

Friday, May 31st, 2013

John Dizard warns it is a bad idea to view US utilities as rock solid, but advises that ill-conceived renewable targets may present opportunities

JKX bans investors from vote to oust CEO

Friday, May 31st, 2013

UK-listed Ukraine oil and gas producer blocks a move against the ousting of the company’s chief executive and commercial director

JKX bans main investors from AGM vote

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Ukraine oil and gas producer blocks a sustained move against the ousting of the company’s chief executive and commercial director

MEPs Shocked by Plans of Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister to Reinstate Communist Spies as Diplomats

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Plans of Bulgaria’s new Foreign Minister to reinstate communist-era State Security agents have shocked EU officials.

Upon assuming the post of Foreign Minister on Wednesday, former Socialist MEP Kristian Vigenin commented that many of the country’s diplomats, exposed as agents of the  communist-era  State Security, DS, had suffered humiliation due to the undignified acts of the previous government of the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.

Colleagues of the former socialist MEP, as cited by the Focus news agency, remind him, that the civilized world “pays respects and tribute to the victims of the totalitarian regimes, not to the officers of the secret police who participated in these repressions directly or indirectly.”

“The efforts to reinstate diplomats, agents of the former State Security are not a good signal for Bulgaria,” German EPP MEPs Michael Galer and Elmar Brok say in a statement.

“To our great disappointment we learned that our former colleague, Kristian Vigenin – a representative of the young generation of Bulgarian politicians whom we worked with at the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs – immediately after his appointment as Bulgaria’s new Foreign Minister declared that the reinstatement of former collaborators or full-time employees of the former State Security, who had until recently held senior positions at Bulgaria’s diplomatic service, would be a main priority,” the MEPS state, condemning as “totally inappropriate” Vigenin’s claims that these people had endured repressions and humiliation and their potential was not to be wasted.

“In 2000, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted a Law on Declaring the Criminal Nature of the Communist Regime in Bulgaria.Over the past four years, Bulgaria made some important steps towards  understanding its communist past, including by granting all citizens access to the archives of the repressive institutions of the communist power and by subscribing to the initiative to mark August 23 as the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism and other totalitarian regimes. We believe these accomplishments should not be questioned, but should be preserved, encouraged and deepened with a view to overcoming the traumas of totalitarianism,” the MEPs conclude.

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