Thursday, August 10, 2006

Whores

I sat down to bore myself to death with one of my trade mags when I came across an article on the front page (which is about as far as I usually get into this mag) that noted a business by the name of Banyan Technology that resides in a Cleveland suburb. The article made note of how difficult it is for tech startups in the midwest to get venture capital, but somehow Banyan had the good fortune of coming by a couple hundred thousand in cash.

Of course it didn't take much of an investigation to discover that ol' Banyan got their cash from one of the various corporate whore funds that's been propped up with taxpayer money. Here's what our esteemed governor said about Ayalogic, another Ohio corporate whore:
“We’re committed to creating the conditions for entrepreneurial success in Ohio,” Taft said. “But it is only through technology pioneers like Ayalogic with the ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurial energy to create a new generation of products, and venture capital firms like JumpStart, Draper Triangle Ventures and Early Stage Partners willing to place a bet on promising entrepreneurs with great ideas that we will reach our full potential.”
Some 'bet', nothing beats gambling with other people's money! However, I'm sure the governor went out of his way to appoint top notch people who would insure a highly ethical and upstanding process, right? Yeah right:
In November, 2003, Gov. Bob Taft made seven appointments — including Terrence Gasper, the chief financial officer of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation — to a new state board designed to spark investment in firms started by Ohio entrepreneurs. In October, 2004, Gasper was forced to resign from the bureau because of the bureau’s $216 million loss in a Bermuda-based hedge fund. But Gasper remained a member of the Ohio Venture Capital Authority until June 6, 2005, when he submitted a resignation letter as the bureau disclosed the hedge-fund loss in the wake of the scandal over its rare-coin investment with Tom Noe.
...
Three weeks ago, Gasper pleaded guilty to public corruption charges, admitting that he traded investment business for personal gain, including use of a Florida condominium from two brokers and $25,000 from Noe, whom he helped get $50 million from the bureau to invest in rare coins.

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