Davos Newbies Home

In the current issue of Fortune, venture capitalist Roger McNamee warns, “The number of charlatans masquerading as CEOs just boggles the mind.” In supposedly well-ordered Japan, the statement can have more frightening meaning.

According to today’s Financial Times, yakuza, Japan’s gangsters, are infiltrating new economy companies. Masafumi Okanda, who was president of online music retailer Liquid Audio Japan, was recently arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a former colleague who planned to start a rival business.

The yakuza used to plague Japan’s blue chip companies, particularly at AGMs, where they would disrupt meetings if a protection money payoff had not been given. Since the law has cracked down on the abuse, they have turned to the easier, less visible prey of start-up companies. Don’t technology companies have enough problems these days?

One thought on “Davos Newbies Home

  1. Adam Curry

    You can read all about New Economy Gangsters in almost any DotCom’s SEC documents. It’s kinda fun too!

    Just look for any dotcom stock that has bottomed out in the single digits, only to rebound anywhere from 50-500%. Then look for an ‘S8’ filing, meaning that special stock options, usually warrants have been given to a ‘consultant’.

    As far as I understand the scam, the ‘consultant’ then uses his network of other ‘consultants’ to create liquidity in the stock, by trading it amongst themselves in an informal fashion. Once the stock is up, then the consultant cashes in his warrants and is off to the next gig….


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