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I don't know whether to be happy or not. On the one hand, given Disney's current habits, this will do nothing to slow down Marvel's descent into unmitigated sleaze. (Find out how many Marvel characters are now said to have incestuous relationships, you'll be surprised.) On the other hand, it probably represents the final end to the old and bad tradition of Marvel being the cash cow for financial adventurers using it for their own purposes. (Two words: Ron Perelman. I think that using the company you are buying as collateral to have the money to buy it, and thus load it with debt the moment you bought it, ought to pass from the number of sharp financial practices into the register of criminal frauds.) Whatever else may be said about Disney, it is at least an entertainment company, and to that extent its goals are the same as Marvel.

Date: 2009-08-31 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] super-pan.livejournal.com
I did read an article about one of the incestuous relationships (don't remember which). Call me a prude, but I can do without that. It's also a weird thing about fandom too, this thing with incest, such as Twincest in HP, Wincest in Supernatural. Personally, I don't get it.

I suppose we'll see how Disney's buying of Marvel will go.

Date: 2009-08-31 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fpb.livejournal.com
Well, you may disagree, but from my point of view it's not different from slash. And as it happens, I have written both slash and incest myself. What I object to is the obsession of some writers to cast everything in that light, and, in the case of Marvel, the rewriting of the past of heroes that have been around for forty or more years (eg Pietro and Wanda).

Date: 2009-08-31 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fpb.livejournal.com
PS: It seems a long time since I heard from you. Welcome back and thanks for commenting.

Date: 2009-09-03 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stigandnasty919.livejournal.com
"using the company you are buying as collateral to have the money to buy it"

Is one of those strange sharp practices that used to be barred and came back in the age of "efficient use of capital". Whatever lender accepted that collateral needs their head felt.

I am currently reading a book on banking which should be sent to all senior executives of financial institutions as their bedtime reading.

The Country Banker by George Rae, first published in 1905, has sections warning of the dangers of lending without evidence of borrowers income (self-cert mortgages), lending based on land prices and on reducing your capital base.

It also points out that there is, and should be, a difference in the way in which Bankers and accountants think.

Interesting how many heads of our banks come from accountancy backgrounds.

Date: 2009-09-03 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fpb.livejournal.com
Oh, the buyer (Perelman) didn't suffer any. He purchased a company bung full of valuable brands, with almost unmatched worldwide recognition, and with a back library to wake the dead. And the bankers did not suffer either - had Perelman defaulted, they would have been the owners of said assets. The people who suffered were the company and its employees, who, from the moment this scoundrel became its legal owner, were squeezed like oranges to pay the debt he had loaded on the very company he'd bought. Nice fucking work if you can get it. And since this kind of sharp practice is to the advantage of, one, bankers, and, two, the kind of international adventurer whom the Tory Blur and Lord Mandelson love so intensely, and only disadvantages those who actually work and build up value and profit, you can tell that the chances of it ever being outlawed are exactly two - slim and fat.

Date: 2009-09-04 10:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stigandnasty919.livejournal.com
The reason why I would regard this as bad practice by the bank is that a loan secured on the property being bought, with the debt being transferred to the company being bought, is inherently risky. It reduces the value of the company dramatically and makes the liklehood of failure that much more likely. Risks are bourne solely by the company being bought and the bank. Perelman managed to buy a company whre he carried none of the risk. Why would any banker agree to that?

Should the Bank have to realise the security, it is very unlikely that they would have fully recovered their loan. They almost never do. In effect they are speculating on what they see to be a rising market.

That type of speculation is the very thing which brought about the current crisis. In the case of Marvel the Bank did ok, becasue the business was able to work its way out of the difficulties, in many other cases that would not be true and many companies in the same position have and will continue to collapse.

The banks lent money to buy an asset, and in doing so dramatically reduced the value of that asset - a highly risky strategy. Old boring bankers would not have done this type of deal. There is also very good argument for regarding it as being at the very least unethical






Date: 2009-09-04 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fpb.livejournal.com
Oh, I agree. My idea of good business is one where all the parties to a deal have a final advantage. In this case, the bank and Perelman had the advantage, and Marvel suffered for years. In fact, it may well be that the great comics revival of the eighties was muffled because Marvel was forced by circumstances to go all out for immediate profit, instead of working out a long-term strategy to build up the market; although in general the American comics industry has NEVER had management capable of thinking strategically. In a sense, it and Perelman deserved each other.

Date: 2009-09-13 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fpb.livejournal.com
Have you ever seen "Archie meets The Punisher"? Or "Superman vs. Bugs Bunny"?

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