Thursday, October 4, 2007

Planktos and The Company You Keep

David Baines, who writes for the Vancouver Sun is a damn good reporter and, I suspect, a junkie for stories about the underbelly of the markets. The Sun let's him have at it and B.C. is fortunate he prefers a mountain view to go with the ocean, rather than, say, Boca.

I've been asked if I have something against Planktos.
Not really.
I've got no money in the game, long or short.
I don't know those people.

But I do know the people targeted by the flim-flam brokers, the con-artist promoters, the sleaze-bag "P.R" types and the B.S. deal-men.

It's the 64 year-old in Queens who realizes he doesn't have enough saved for retirement, who out of desperation rolls his liquid $10 G's. on a cold-call rather than going to Atlantic City.

It's the farm-wife in Iowa who's weltenschauung (a word she wouldn't use) doesn't have crooked stock promoters in it.

It's the hippy-dippy kid at Berkeley who wants to buff his green credentials for the girl in his poli-sci class (but make a buck if she blows him off).

It's the guy putting in 80 hour weeks trying to get his business off the ground, who might be able to hire some help if this deal works out.

I've met them all.

Enough with my amateur efforts, here's how a pro tells a story:

Dealers have obligation to disclose all stocks
David Baines, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, October 03, 2007

For years, the B.C. Securities Commission has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with offshore banks that trade junior securities in our market. So far, the mice have won, and will continue to win until the commission gets the brokers of this province under control.

The latest skirmish features a Liechtenstein bank called Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank, which operated a brokerage account at Gateway Securities (formerly Golden Capital Securities).

Several weeks ago, commission investigator Kevin Stuart reviewed the account and discovered "suspicious trading activity" in certain stocks quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board and "pink sheets" in the United States....

Stuart did not comment on the other 50 companies whose shares were washing through the Hypo account, but I can tell you I have never seen such a sorry lot.

They include several companies I have already written about, including Nelson Skalbania's Planktos Corp., which is touting a plan to seed the ocean near the Galapagos Islands with iron filings to promote algae blooms and consume carbon dioxide; and Trent Jordan's Lamperd Less Lethal Inc., which was purportedly developing "less lethal" rubber bullets for law enforcement agencies.

Both were shamelessly touted by U.S. newsletters who aim their pitches at the mooches and pooches of this world....