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Friday, November 28, 2008

Forward of the day...

Somali Pirates in Discussions to Acquire Citigroup

November 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Somali pirates, renegade Somalis known for hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup.

The pirates would buy Citigroup with new debt and their existing cash stockpiles, earned most recently from hijacking numerous ships, including most recently a $200 million Saudi Arabian oil tanker. The Somali pirates are offering up to $0.10 per share for Citigroup, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said earlier today. The negotiations have entered the final stage, Ali said.  ``You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to offer the shareholders anything," said Ali.

The pirates will finance part of the purchase by selling new Pirate Ransom Backed Securities.  The PRBS's are backed by the cash flows from future ransom payments from hijackings in the Gulf of Aden.  Moody's and S&P have already issued their top investment grade ratings for the PRBS's.

Head pirate, Ubu Kalid Shandu, said "we need a bank so that we have a place to keep all of our ransom money.  Thankfully, the dislocations in the capital markets has allowed us to purchase Citigroup at an attractive valuation and to take advantage of TARP capital to grow the business even faster."

Shandu added, "We don't call ourselves pirates. We are coastguards and this will just allow us to guard our coasts better."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jobs: (Development) Policy and Research Communication (UK) 

"DFID is seeking experienced policy and research communication specialists to help create and deliver a new service delivering high profile policy and research communications and ensuring research evidence is taken up. There are six posts which can be located in either London or East Kilbride.

The new Policy and Research Communications Unit will help implement the new Research Strategy - a strategy that will drive up to £1billion spend over the next 5 years to:

  • ensure research makes a much greater impact on the reduction of global poverty and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • manage high profile policy and research events;
  • exploit developments in new communication technologies to promote DFID's profile in international development policy and research.

For more information and how to apply see the DFID website."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nation Media Group's new Facebook-style (?) site: Zuqka

Update 9 December: it's half dead at

Test drive reports here