Thursday, March 25, 2010

"FBI To Track Missing Millions From the IT-Factory Scandal"

The Danish business newspaper Borsen claims (March 25) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will try to track down 52 million missing dollars that Stein Bagger bilked out of unsuspecting customers in the IT Factory scandal. Bagger was recently sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud, and his partner Mikael P. Ljungman (to the left in the photo) is now awaiting his verdict.

Mikael Lungman was also partner to Carl Freer in starting up Media Power in New York, a company that was quickly dissolved after the IT Factory story broke. Carl Freer took his business back to the West Coast, focusing on a reorganized GetFugu, which was turned into a stock company early last year.

The Danish news site The Copenhagen Post writes that “Denmark’s fraud police have given the FBI information leading to the money via Mikael Ljungman – whose guilt or innocence in the year-long IT Factory case will be decided tomorrow by the High Court – who operated the company through which Bagger defrauded numerous banks and investors.”

Quoting Børsen, The Copenhagen Post writes “the investigation is partly being conducted through the American Embassy in Copenhagen, where thousands of pages of documentation regarding the case are being reviewed. The FBI reportedly offered the Danish police half of what they recover in exchange for the information, although that agreement must first be approved by Boris Frederiksen, the lawyer acting on behalf of the state for the recovery of IT Factory’s assets.”

The Danish police suspects that much of the missing money “were laundered by Ljungman through companies operated in the US by Swedish businessman Carl Freer…”

“Prosecutors say that Media Power’s assets were built upon those of its subsidiary Ecommerce, which itself was supported by the fraudulent funds of IT Factory.
Immediately after taking out the patents, Freer sold them to his own company Getfugu, against shares valued at 67 million dollars. Ljungman has pleaded not guilty to the fraud charges and Freer’s attorneys have denied all allegations of wrongdoing on his and his companies’ parts.”

When I asked Carl Freer to comment on the FBI-report, he answered that “the claims are incorrect.” He sees this as just a reflection of allegations in a "sham civil suit" from his former business partners.

Hans Sandberg

Monday, March 22, 2010

It Was A Blustery Day For the Republican Leadership

Their long fight to deny 32 million Americans health care was about to fail, and even though it was clear that no more huffing and puffing was about to change that, John Boenher, the House GOP leader couldn't hold back his frustration. Earlier yesterday he had said that the next 24 hours would be "Armageddon" and that the health care bill would "ruin our country."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The $50 Question: Ronald Reagan vs. Ulysses S. Grant

A Republican congressman from North Carolina, Patrick McHenry wants to replace President Ulysses S. Grant with President Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill.

“Every generation needs its own heroes,” McHenry says on his web page. “One decade into the 21st century, it’s time to honor the last great president of the 20th and give President Reagan a place beside Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy.”
The Princeton professor and author of The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008 doesn't like the idea at all. Today he wrote in the New York Times:
"Though much of the public and even some historians haven’t yet heard the news, the vindication of Ulysses S. Grant is well under way. I expect that before too long Grant will be returned to the standing he deserves — not only as the military savior of the Union but as one of the great presidents of his era, and possibly one of the greatest in all American history.

Now, Ronald Reagan also has historic achievements — chiefly, discarding the advice of his hard-right supporters, embracing the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and taking the first important steps toward ending the cold war. On the other hand, his record on domestic affairs — especially his unsubtle winking at pro-segregationist Southerners and his administration’s fiercely reactionary policies on civil rights — was appalling.

To honor Reagan’s genuine achievements by downgrading those of Grant would deepen our chronic historical amnesia about the Civil War and Reconstruction, the central events of the first 250 years of American history, and their legacy of nationalism, freedom and equal rights. It’s hard to imagine that Ronald Reagan, whose modesty was part of his charm, would have approved of such a disgraceful act toward another president from Illinois."
Hans Sandberg

Saturday, March 13, 2010

MBA-Students at Top University To Study Business Vikings

"Swedish-American Currents" will be used by MBA-students at The Center for International Business Education and Research at the George Washington University this winter. Students at GWU's interactive Global MBA Program will study Swedish business culture during seven weeks using among other material, the new, 2010 edition of my book.

Caught By Glenn Beck

Monday, March 8, 2010

China's Economy Is Growing Fast, But Still Far From the Top

Remember this when discussing the Chinese Economic Miracle. For all of its impressive economic growth, it still lags behind the EU and the U.S.

Here is Wikipedia's 2008 GNP-list:
1 United States $14,441 Billion
2 Japan              $4,910 Billion
3 China              $4,327 Billion
4 Germany         $3,673 Billion
5 France            $2,866 Billion

Also check out this graph: GDP in 2008, Millions of US Dollars

If you compare per capita, China ends up on 99th place in IMF's list (2009) with $3,566/capita compared to $46,443 for the U.S., $43,147 for Sweden, and $94,418 for tiny Luxembourg, which leads the pack. China's growth is astounding, and shows what a country can do if it can combine market incentives with a clever strategy for investments in infrastructure, education and a trade policy that is heavily focused on promoting it's export potential. The limits of growth will in China's case weigh in more and more as the country depletes its energy and water resources, and the population's willingness to accept severe pollution and social dislocation and inequalities abates, putting more pressure on it's ossified political system.

Hans Sandberg

The Oscars: Either Very Good or Very Interesting, Not Both

The Hurt Locker: A very interesting movie, but not very good.
Avatar: A very good movie, but not very interesting.


Hubble Telescope Images