sells for $13m

The storied domain name is set to be sold for $13m, The Register has learned.

Bankrupt Escom LLC’s current owner, has sealed a deal to hand over the domain to a company called Clover Holdings Ltd, according to documents filed this week in a California court.

Escom purchased the domain from its previous owner in 2006. The price then was variously reported as being between $12m and $14m, making it one of the most expensive domains of all time.

According to bankruptcy court documents, Clover Holdings was chosen from among 12 bidders after making the “highest and best offer”.

Clover itself is a bit of a mystery. It is based on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent, and the email address listed in court documents is, the privacy-conscious webmail service.

The sale includes a couple of trademarks related to the domain.

The negotiations were handled by, a domain name auction company. Sedo, which will take a cut of the sale price, started soliciting offers in July.

The deal is subject to bankruptcy court approval. Escom sought a hearing on an accelerated timetable, which was granted yesterday. The hearing will be held next Wednesday, 27 October. is a domain with history. Originally registered by entrepreneur Gary Kremen in 1994, it was soon hijacked by convicted conman Stephen Cohen.

The theft was challenged in court, but it took Kremen five years to recover the domain, during which time Cohen was reportedly making up to $500,000 a month from advertising on the site.

A court ultimately issued a $65m judgement against Cohen, who fled to Mexico and was eventually arrested. He was released from prison in 2006.

The domain had almost as turbulent a time under Escom’s ownership. A fight broke out between the company’s creditors earlier this year when one of them pushed the domain to auction.

A few days before it was due to commence, other entities involved in Escom’s complicated ownership structure filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition, effectively putting the stoppers on the auction.

These entities, controlled by Mike Mann, claimed that the selected auction house, which does not specialise in domain names, was not the place to get the best price for the domain.

A deal was eventually reached which allowed the bankruptcy court to order, in June, that Sedo could handle the sale instead.

Had a private sale not been agreed, was scheduled to go to public auction next week.

Greece Prepares To Sue Wall Street

The only benefit of hitting rock bottom is you can’t really fall further. Which is precisely what has happened with Greece. The little country that started off the chain reaction that has already led to a currency and liquidity crisis, and made the solvency crisis in Europe all too tangible, by belonging to a monetary union it had no place in (a union which no reason to exist in the first place), is once again reminding the world of its existence, this time by G-Pap opening his mouth and inserted two whole legs in it. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to be aired today, G-Pap has threatened he may sue US banks for “contributing” to his country’s debt crisis. For those of you lacking in analogy skills, Greece is in the same shoes as a bankrupt debtor who wants to sue his creditors for daring to hike up his interest rate when the only means he has to roll his debt is by using another credit card (this one issued by US and European Taxpayers), even as bankruptcy is literally hours away. The Greek summation: that of a petulant 5 year old who has just broken dad’s favorite gadget: “We have made our mistakes,” Papandreou said. “We are living up to this responsibility. But at the same time, give us a chance. We’ll show you.” Now that would be amusing – after Greece destroyed its economy the first go round, we can’t wait to see what the country does for an encore. The only reason Greece is not bankrupt now is because even as its past mistakes have caught up with it and climaxed in a solvency and liquidity crisis unseen since the Lehman days, the country’s end would bring down all of Europe. If Greece would not have impaired French, German and UK banks, the country would have long been allowed to default. Yet diversion is always a good tactic: let’s bring the “speculators” into this yet again. After all it is unheard of in these turbulent Keynesian times for anyone, especially our own Fed Chairman, to own up to their endless mistakes. It is always, without exception, someone else’s fault.

More from Bloomberg:


Papandreou said the decision on whether to go after U.S. banks will be made after a Greek parliamentary investigation into the cause of the crisis.In the CNN interview, Papandreou said many in the international community have engaged in “Greek bashing” and find it easy “to scapegoat Greece.” He said Greeks “are a hard-working people. We are a proud people.”

“Greece will look into the past and see how things went,” Papandreou said. “There are similar investigations going on in other countries and in the United States. This is where I think, yes, the financial sector, I hear the words fraud and lack of transparency. So yes, yes, there is great responsibility here.” Continue reading »

LyondellBasell Board Said to Reject Reliance Bid

RejectedMarch 1 (Bloomberg) — The board of bankrupt LyondellBasell Industries AF rejected a bid from Reliance Industries Ltd., owner of the world’s largest oil-refining complex, two people briefed on the matter said today.

Reliance, based in Mumbai, had raised its offer for a controlling stake in Lyondell to $14.5 billion, two people with knowledge of the offer said Feb. 22. Lyondell is based in Rotterdam.

Buying LyondellBasell would create a company with more than $80 billion in revenue and give Reliance chemical plants and two oil refineries in the U.S. and Europe. The chemicals maker had rejected a revised Reliance bid that valued it at $13.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 8.

Lyondell was formed in a 2007 deal financed with $22 billion in debt in which it was bought by Basell AF, a unit of Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries Holdings LLC. Creditors have said the buyout crippled one of the world’s largest polymers, petrochemicals, and fuel companies, causing it to seek bankruptcy.

Lyondell spokesman David Harpole declined to comment.

Grade 3 Math Assignment

Grade 3 Math Assignment

Tom has 1 apple.

Tom has promised to give Robbie, Jim, Anne and Mary, half an apple each.

How does Tom get 4 half apples from 1 apple?

Bonus Question:

While Robbie, Jim, Anne, and Mary are waiting for their half apple, Tom gets hungry and takes a couple bites out of the apple.  How does Tom now turn a half eaten apple into 4 half apples?

And you aren’t allowed to call it an iApple and say it can do anything.

Here is the basic problem and why Italian and Spanish bonds are getting crushed again today (ignoring horrific unemployment data out of Spain).

If Italy defaults with a 40% recovery, there  is 1.613 trillion euro of debt affected (that is up about 10 billion in about a month).  That means creditors would lose 970 trbillion.   Spain with 663 billion would cost almost 400 billion (its debt has shot up about 15 billion in a month). 

The problem is that EFSF doesn’t take default off the table.  It may delay the time to default (by helping roll debts as they mature), but all it mainly does is shift who would take the loss.  The guarantors can’t handle losses that big. Continue reading »