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BP Exec Who Led Cleanup Settles On Charges Of Insider Trading

Posted on April 21st, 2014 at 13:50 by Paul Jay in category: Robber Barons, They never learn



A former BP executive who led the company’s cleanup of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has agreed to pay $224,000 in penalties and restitution in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly trading on inside information on the disaster.

SEC regulators say Keith A. Seilhan, 47, a 20-year veteran of BP plc, sold his family’s $1 million portfolio of BP securities after learning that the public estimates of the extent of the Gulf of Mexico spill were grossly underestimated. The regulators say the sale of the stock and options saved Seilhan from more than $100,000 in losses.

Seilhan has agreed to pay a $105,409 civil penalty and the same amount in “ill-gotten gains,” as well as more than $13,000 in prejudgment interest, Reuters says.

Forbes says:

“In his position as Incident Commander [in Houma, La.], Seilhan learned of nonpublic information relating to the seriousness of the disaster, including initial oil flow estimates from the sunken rig that were significantly greater than the public estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. Indeed, those private estimates were between 52,700 and 62,200 barrels per day — a 10x increase than that provided to the public.

“After he learned of this information, Seilhan [liquidated his portfolio.] … By doing so, Seilhan and his family were able to avoid over $100,000 in losses as BP’s share price eventually declined 48%. Later, after BP announced it had successfully capped the well, Seilhan repurchased shares of the BP Stock Fund (composed nearly entirely of BP shares) at a lower basis.”

Mary McNamara, an attorney for Seilhan, said her client wanted to “avoid further distraction and protracted litigation” by settling the matter, according to Reuters.

“Mr. Seilhan is widely respected for his work helping to lead the cleanup and containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010,” McNamara added.

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  1. On the bright side, another wicked old basket has popped an artery: Charles Keating has died:


  2. Sue, I don’t know if we can blame just one for being wicked when the whole bunch are wicked. How do you prosecute just one?

Your Adventure, Your Way!

Posted on December 18th, 2012 at 15:44 by Paul Jay in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself, They never learn

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  1. Is this a Predator which I see before me,
    The handle toward my hand?
    Come, let me clutch thee.
    I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
    Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
    To feeling as to sight?

Six facts about guns, violence, and gun control

Posted on July 24th, 2012 at 18:10 by Desiato in category: batshitinsane, Do you feel safer yet?, News, They never learn


Since 1990, Gallup has been asking Americans whether they think gun control laws should be stricter. The answer, increasingly, is that they don’t. “The percentage in favor of making the laws governing the sale of firearms ‘more strict’ fell from 78% in 1990 to 62% in 1995, and 51% in 2007,” reports Gallup. “In the most recent reading, Gallup in 2010 found 44% in favor of stricter laws. In fact, in 2009 and again last year, the slight majority said gun laws should either remain the same or be made less strict.”

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U.S. money wasted on Afghan projects, auditor finds

Posted on July 23rd, 2010 at 14:55 by John Sinteur in category: They never learn


A federal watchdog criticized U.S. agencies on Thursday for squandering taxpayer money on facilities in Afghanistan that are too complex and costly for the Afghan government to maintain.

U.S. officials acknowledge that they plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to hire contractors to operate a complex of buildings in troubled Kandahar and other facilities in Afghanistan for the next 10 years.


“Why in the world are we continuing to construct facilities all over Afghanistan that we know, and the Afghans know, they will not be able to sustain once we hand the facilities over?” asked Arnold Fields, the special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction.


This is not the first time Washington has been accused of overbuilding projects for a frail allied government. During the George W. Bush administration, U.S. agencies were faulted for building power plants in Iraq that were never employed to capacity because they were too complex for Iraqi engineers to operate.

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Morgan Stanley Plans to Turn Downgraded Loan CDO Into AAA Bonds

Posted on July 9th, 2009 at 15:08 by John Sinteur in category: They never learn


Morgan Stanley plans to repackage a downgraded collateralized debt obligation backed by leveraged loans into new securities with AAA ratings in the first transaction of its kind, said two people familiar with the sale.

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  1. Sooo, they do the same brilliant financial sleight of hands that sank the economy in the first place?
    Pure genius, I tell you, pure genius.

  2. Back in March, the new C.E.O. of A.I.G., Edward Liddy, went to Washington to testify. I guess we can now safely say that the names he didn’t have can now be had by contacting Morgan Stanley.


    grayson: Mr. Liddy, you said before that there’s 20 or 25 people who were involved in the credit default business. What are their names, please?

    liddy: I don’t have their names at my disposal, sir.
    grayson: Well, I’m sure you remember a few of the names. I mean, they did cause your company to crash.

    liddy: You know, I’ve been at the company, as you know, for six months. I don’t know all the people that were in AIG F.P., and many of them are gone.

    grayson: Well, there or gone, it doesn’t really matter. I want to know who they are. Names, please.…

    liddy: If it’s possible to provide you the names, we will. We will cooperate with you.

    grayson: That’s good, but I want to know the names that you know right now.

    liddy: I don’t know them, sir.

    grayson: Not a single one. You’re talking about a group, a small group of people who caused your company to lose $100 billion, as you sit here today, you can’t give me one single name.

    liddy: The single name I would give you is Joseph Cassano, who ran …

    grayson: That’s a good start. You already gave that name. Give me another name.

    liddy: I just don’t know them. I do not know those names. I don’t have them all at my command.

    grayson: Well, how can you propose to solve the problems of the company that you’re now running if you don’t know the names of the people who caused that problem? … I would expect you’d at least know more than one name. How about two names? Give us one more name.

    liddy: I’m just not going to do that, sir, because that will provide—that’ll be the—that could be a list of people that we could do—individuals who want to do damage to them could do that. It’s just not …

    grayson: Well, listen, these same people could now be working right now today at Citibank. Is it more important to protect them, the ones who caused the $100 billion loss, or protect us? Which is more important to you right now?

  3. (oh, by the way, that link I picked the quote from is a great article by itself as well)

Truck and SUV sales rising as gas prices drop

Posted on December 26th, 2008 at 12:30 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, They never learn


After nearly a year of flagging sales, low gas prices and fat incentives are reigniting America’s taste for big vehicles.

Trucks and SUVs will outsell cars in December, according to researchers at the automotive Website Edmunds.com, something that hasn’t happened since February.

Meanwhile the forecast finds that sales of hybrid vehicles are expected to be way down.

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  1. What is surprising about this? Americans are the dumbest, most self centered f*cks on the planet who will happily massacre millions while simultaneously voting for the worst possible candidate in history, twice. Nuclear armed exceptionalism, narcissism, and avarice. Pray this nation I am trapped in either implodes completely or gets hit by a meteor or something because short of catastrophe, the U.S. will never change course until it drives everyone off a cliff.

  2. Amen! But would the Chinese be any better? We are bound to find out… 🙂

  3. Americans prefer big, comfortable, safe vehicles. I’d like to see those bigger vehicles become more fuel-efficient but CAFE standards will ultimately do what free choice isn’t doing … force Americans to buy more fuel efficient vehicles by eliminating some of their choices. And when did Americans ever “massacre millions”? That’s Europe’s schtick.

  4. I didn’t know Stalin and Mao were European… I think there’s not many continents left that have no “million killed” in their history. Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Amin… I don’t have the name of an Aztec leader but they qualify as well. Now that there’s more than a million Iraqi killed since 2003 the USA has joined this illustrious club – or should we count the native americans as well? In that case there’s also the Maori for Australia. Perhaps we should all emigrate to Belgium.

  5. John,
    What did the poor Belgians ever do to us for you to threaten them like that?

  6. Maybe the original point of this post was about condemning Americans for their short-sightedness in vehicle choice. A reply added their institutional greed, their electoral blindness (absolutely true), but then, somehow, the condemnation leapt to mass slaughter of millions. So, a few clarifications of the record, as I (and Wikipedia) see it. First, Stalin’s government was most definitely situated in Europe (Moscow is west of the Urals), making him (and the slaughter he invoked) European. Second, it would appear that at least 90 % of the native Americans died of disease. Third, while the number of Iraqis killed by Americans (in a useless war)is most definitely in the tens of thousands, that number is utterly dwarfed by those killed internally by Saddam, or at his direction in a war with Iran. America may have killed over a million Germans and Japanese in WWII, but it seems that then, everybody was busy ‘doin it’. So, Americans have many faults, but none like the Belgians, who killed between 5 and 8 million in the Congo, and started conflicts that have killed that many again, in that Paradise. America, si, Belgium, no.

The word of the year in American, English, German, Dutch, Austrian, Japanese, Chinese (Taiwan)

Posted on December 17th, 2008 at 18:14 by John Sinteur in category: News, They never learn


Austria: Lebensmensch — “most important person in your life.” The word took on a sexual connotation when Stefan Petzner used it after the death of  Joerg Haider– leader of that nation’s far right — and acknowledged the two were one of those couples that could only be married in Massachusetts or Connecticut. By vote.

Holland: Swaffelen (won 57% of vote at a dictionary publisher web site). “to swing one’s penis, making it bump against something, in order to stimulate either oneself or someone else.” Runners-up: “wiiën” (playing on a Wii game console) and “bankendomino” (banks falling over like dominoes).

Note that “swaffelen” made it because of a website campaign by GeenStijl (who earlier had a Doritos snack named after them in a similar way, and who is now campaigning to have Sourcy name a new water after them. Marketeers never learn.

For the words of the year in the other mentioned languages, follow the link.

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Senator: Let’s monitor P2P for illegal files

Posted on April 17th, 2008 at 17:11 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property, They never learn


A prominent Senate Democrat on Wednesday said federal and local police should use custom software to monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity, and he wants to spend $1 billion in tax dollars to help make that happen.

At an afternoon Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing about child exploitation on the Internet, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) said he was under the impression it’s “pretty easy to pick out the person engaged in either transmitting or downloading violent scenes of rape, molestation” simply by looking at file names.

Somebody break out a fresh clue-bat for Senator Biden…

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Microsoft officially 425 years behind the times

Posted on March 4th, 2008 at 21:05 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft, They never learn


In the wake of our story about Exchange 2007 failing to realize that February 29 is a real day, one astute Reg reader pointed out that Microsoft has no excuse for allowing its software to behave this way. “The rules of the Gregorian calendar aren’t really that difficult to grasp,” said someone called MacroRodent. “They are not trade secrets. And they have been available for centuries.”

Nonetheless, the SQL Server 2008 “community technology preview” was brought down by the dreaded Leap Year Day bug just 48 hours after Microsoft unveiled it. “We have recently discovered an issue with SQL Server 2008 CTPs that result in SQL Server 2008 not starting on Feb 29 GMT only,” read a statement from the company. “We recommend that you do not run or install this CTP on Feb 29 GMT to minimize any impact in your environment. You can install starting on March 1 GMT.”

And there was a very similar problem with Windows Small Business Server. On Leap Year Day, Windows SBS was unable to issue itself certificates because it stamped each certificate with the date February 29, 2013. So, it failed to recognize the correct date. And it replaced the correct date with a date that doesn’t exist.

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Sony Laptop Locks Out non-Sony Battery

Posted on February 2nd, 2008 at 12:13 by John Sinteur in category: They never learn


Yesterday I received a generic replacement battery that I had ordered for my Sony VGN-FS840/W laptop. When placed in the laptop the battery indicator flashes rapidly. The laptop will not turn on with the battery inserted, even if the AC cord is also used. The battery shows no charge and does not charge. Reading online I learned that Sony apparently uses a hardware lock in certain of its laptop models to prevent the use of non-Sony replacement batteries. See, for example, these blog posts.

As I said before, avoid all products with the Sony label – they’re out to screw you.

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Sony kills DRM stores — your DRM music will only last until your next upgrade

Posted on February 1st, 2008 at 21:35 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property, They never learn


“The Sony ‘Connect’ DRM-tastic music store is closing shop on March 31, 2008. Another failed experiment in DRM is leaving its paying customers out in the cold with soon-to-be unusable content (unless you violate the DMCA) in the form of audio files DRM locked to Sony’s ATRAC media players. Yet another in a seemingly endless stream of examples of how media companies are punishing their paying, legitimate customers for the RIAA’s own infuriating technological shortsightedness.”

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Want to Water During a Water Shortage? Plant New Landscaping!

Posted on November 20th, 2007 at 11:42 by John Sinteur in category: They never learn, What were they thinking?


The Southeast is having serious water shortages. Just look at Lake Lanier, the main water source for Atlanta.



So, what do you do when you live in Palm Beach, FL, there is a water shortage, fines for washing your car or watering your lawn except during specified hours, and serious enforcement efforts in place? The Journal’s Robert Frank tells us:

…According to the rules, residents who put in “new landscaping” can water three days a week, instead of the usual one, for 30 days after the planting. Once that period ends, homeowners can plant yet again — and resume the thrice-a-week watering. That has led some Palm Beachers to put in new trees, shrubs and turf — often at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars per residence — just so they can run their irrigation systems more frequently.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said he returned to Palm Beach after the summer and found that he had the only brown lawn on the block. “When I asked everyone how they were watering, they all said ‘new plantings,’ ” he said. “So that’s the loophole. We’re all just ripping out the old lawn and shrubs and putting in new ones.”

Now, if that doesn’t irritate you, check this out–under Florida’s rules in Palm Beach, if you use a lot of water, you just pay a surcharge. So, guess what the fabulously rich do? Use all the water they want and pay a surchage:

Consider Nelson Peltz. The investor and food magnate’s oceanfront estate, called Montsorrel, is among the island’s biggest water consumers. His 13.8-acre spread, which combines two properties, used not quite 21 million gallons of water over the past 12 months — or about 57,000 gallons a day on average — at a cost of more than $50,000, according to records obtained from the local water utility. That compares with 54,000 gallons a year for an average single-family residence in Palm Beach, says Ken Rearden, assistant city administrator of West Palm Beach. (West Palm Beach supplies Palm Beach’s water.)

Yes, an average home uses 54,00 gallons a year.

The USA… where you can be five years old for your whole life.

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Don’t Let OneCare Eat Your Email

Posted on March 11th, 2007 at 10:32 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft, They never learn, What were they thinking?


A reader brought to my attention a thread in Microsoft’s discussion forums for Windows OneCare titled “Outlook and Outlook Express Mail Store Missing or Quarantined“. The thread started with a message in January and it’s still running today, with no clear resolution. In brief, if you get a virus in an email message received by Outlook, OneCare’s next virus sweep may quarantine or delete your entire email store. If you receive a virus via Outlook Express OneCare may quarantine or delete the entire folder containing the virus. Really!

The proposed solution is to exclude your email from the virus scan.

Now how did most virus infections get to your computer again?

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  1. How about excluding all MS software from your systems?

Flaws Are Detected in Microsoft’s Vista

Posted on December 25th, 2006 at 14:06 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft, They never learn


Microsoft is facing an early crisis of confidence in the quality of its Windows Vista operating system as computer security researchers and hackers have begun to find potentially serious flaws in the system that was released to corporate customers late last month.

On Dec. 15, a Russian programmer posted a description of a flaw that makes it possible to increase a user’s privileges on all of the company’s recent operating systems, including Vista. And over the weekend a Silicon Valley computer security firm said it had notified Microsoft that it had also found that flaw, as well as five other vulnerabilities, including one serious error in the software code underlying the company’s new Internet Explorer 7 browser.


Microsoft has spent millions branding the Vista operating system as the most secure product it has produced, and it is counting on Vista to help turn the tide against a wave of software attacks now plaguing Windows-based computers.

Vista is critical to Microsoft’s reputation. Despite an almost four-and-half-year campaign on the part of the company, and the best efforts of the computer security industry, the threat from harmful computer software continues to grow. Criminal attacks now range from programs that steal information from home and corporate PCs to growing armies of slave computers that are wreaking havoc on the commercial Internet.

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Man slikt honderd bolletjes cocaine

Posted on September 21st, 2006 at 8:38 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!, They never learn


Een Nederlandse man is maandag in de Dominicaanse Republiek aangehouden met honderd bolletjes cocaïne in zijn maag. Dat heeft een woordvoerder van de DNCD, de Dominicaanse antidrugseenheid, woensdag laten weten.

De man werd gearresteerd op het vliegveld Punta Cana, vanwaar hij naar Amsterdam wilde vliegen. Hij is overgebracht naar het ziekenhuis, waar de bolletjes uit zijn maag zijn verwijderd.

Naar verluid had hij de bolletjes genummerd, en hebben ze in het ziekenhuis nog een hele leuke bingo avond gehad…

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With Exploits Out, MS Braces for Worm Attack

Posted on August 11th, 2006 at 17:26 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft, They never learn


A network worm attack exploiting a critical Microsoft Windows vulnerability appears inevitable, security experts warned Aug. 10.

Just days after the Redmond, Wash., software maker issued the MS06-040 bulletin with patches for a “critical” Server Service flaw, Microsoft’s security response unit is bracing for the worst after exploit code that offers a blueprint for attacks began circulating on the Internet.

Even before the release of Microsoft’s patch, the US-CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) warned that the flaw was being used in targeted attacks and that the appearance of public exploits is a sure sign that a worm attack is imminent.

An exploit module was added to the HD Moore’s Metasploit Framework that could launch attacks against all unpatched Windows 2000 systems and some versions of Windows XP.

Two penetration testing companies, Immunity and Core Security Technologies, have already created and released “reliable exploits” for the flaw, which was deemed wormable on all Windows versions, including Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

Look, whatever the article says, it probably makes sense to ban all liquid or gel substances from any building that has Windows PCs, make all people stand in ridiculously long lines to have their pocket books and backpacks security-checked for 8.5″ floppy disks carrying said exploit, and even perhaps start a secret list of people who are banned by name from actually accessing a PC at all. I recommend the first name be John Smith, that bastard.

Further, we should probably ban anyone that has dirt on their shoes, because I hear worms like dirt.

Safety first people. It may be an inconvenience, but it’s all about your safety, and the safety of democracy across the world. We will prevail over the security-exploiters.

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Bende tassendieven in tram

Posted on July 15th, 2006 at 8:49 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!, They never learn


• De politie waarschuwt dat er een bende tassendieven actief is in de tram. Op camerabeelden van de HTM is duidelijk te zien hoe drie mannen te werk gaan bij het stelen van tassen van passagiers.

Puik idee hoor, om die camera beelden op het net te zetten. Prima gedaan, dat je alle overige, onschuldige, passagiers even afplakt zodat ze niet herkenbaar zijn.

Alleen, doe dat dan niet in PowerPoint zodat elke 11-jarige bavo scholier de grijze vlakjes weg kan halen…

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IE blighted by flaw duo

Posted on June 30th, 2006 at 19:53 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft, They never learn


A brace of new Internet Explorer vulnerabilities have been disclosed on a security mailing list.

The most serious of the two flaws, which has been accompanied by the publication of proof of concept exploit code, involves HTA applications and creates a means to trick users into executing malign code providing users can be tricked into double clicking on an icon.

Workarounds against the flaw involve disabling active scripting.

The second security bug involves processing of the object.documentElement.outerHTML property. This vulnerability creates a means for hackers to retrieve information from sites a potential mark is logged into, such as a webmail page, in order to swipe user credentials.

Microsoft is investigating both flaws. The SANS Institute says it’s yet to hear of the active exploitation of either vulnerability by hackers.

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