Archive for November, 2008

The moment of truth in the nation’s automotive bailout debate might have come this week. As the CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler begged Congress for federal aid, a Detroit radio talk-show host asked whether Michigan, as well as the car companies, should get assistance. The state is being hit by an economic hurricane, he said, just as New Orleans was hit by a natural hurricane.

Huh? Will the victimology myth never end? Hurricane Katrina was an act of God. The car crisis is an act of man. For the difference, consult the Bible. Any version will do.

Yesterday, congressional leaders gave the car companies until Dec. 2 to come up with viable business plans and renew their request for aid. Meanwhile, it’s worth examining the myths that are shaping this debate. One is GM’s assertion that “bankruptcy is not an option.” In truth, GM already has conceded that it’s bankrupt — by publicly stating it’s nearly out of cash and needs emergency assistance. The company hasn’t made a formal bankruptcy filing, which is no small matter. But it has declared bankruptcy everywhere else. Chrysler, at this week’s Senate committee hearing, did the same.

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SHANGHAI — China announced a huge economic stimulus plan on Sunday aimed at bolstering its weakening economy, a sweeping move that could also help fight the effects of the global slowdown.

At a time when major infrastructure projects are being put off around the world, China said it would spend an estimated $586 billion over the next two years — roughly 7 percent of its gross domestic product each year — to construct new railways, subways and airports and to rebuild communities devastated by an earthquake in the southwest in May.

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The US Treasury said Monday it would seek to borrow a record 550 billion dollars in the October-December period to help stabilize the financial sector hammered by the global credit crisis.The fourth-quarter borrowing estimate was substantially higher than the 408 billion dollars announced in July, and is a record high for quarterly estimates, a Treasury official said.

“The increase in borrowing is primarily due to higher outlays related to economic assistance programs, lower receipts, and lower net issuances of state and local government series securities,” the Treasury said in a statement.

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Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr came prepared with a list of the top things that start-up CEOs should do. He surveyed 18 of Kleiner’s companies, and here’s what they suggest [update: Doerr has since added an eleventh point]:

  1. Act now. Act with speed. Raise money. Get a loan, secure financing. Focus, cut or sell.
  2. Protect the vital core of the business. But use a scalpel not an ax. Be surgical. Protect the vital core of the company. Cut once, deeper than you think.
  3. Make sure you have at least 18 months of cash. Or more — on a conservative revenue forecast.
  4. Defer facility expansions. Don’t spend money on tech infrastructure, such as new software or computers. Doerr noted that Andy Bechtolsheim’s new startup, Arista uses Google Docs (free web office software).
  5. Reevaluate your R&D priorities.
  6. Renegotiate any contracts that you can. Everything is negotiable.
  7. Remember, everyone in the organization should be selling, from the receptionist to the engineers.
  8. Offer people equity instead of cash e.g. in place of bonuses. (You can do this with outside vendors as well).
  9. Secure your cash. Treasuries, or treasury backed securities, are more secure than money market funds.
  10. For your revenue plan, develop and obsess on leading indicators — e.g. bookings, unique visitors, conversions.
  11. Over-communicate with everyone – employees, investors, partners and particularly customers. Don’t sugar coat things, communicate your resolve.

More here.

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“We Do for the Troops”Presents

“It’s about Troops not Policy” Veterans Appreciation
November 14, 2008
War Memorial Veterans’ Building
401 Van Ness Avenue
Green Room
San Francisco, CA 94102

Cocktail Reception & honoring our troops: 600PM
District Installation Ceremony: 700PM
Green Room- Social with 3DJ’s and dancing: 715PM
VIP Room – Military/Business/Civic Leaders Social: 7:15PM
*$10 suggested donation at door
All proceeds go to educational, vocational, medical, and social programs for the Veterans of the San Francisco Bay Area.

*VIP Social room available to all donors of legal drinking age

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Steven R. Gerbsman, Principal of Gerbsman Partners and Kenneth Hardesty, a member of Gerbsman Partners Board of Intellectual Capital, are pleased to announce their success in maximizing stakeholder value for a technology company that provided comprehensive standards-based solutions for role-based access control (RBAC) across enterprise networks and a medical device company that focused on the development of innovative cardiac reshaping devices to treat functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, both of which are significant in the progression of congestive heart failure (CHF).

Gerbsman Partners provided Crisis Management and Investment Banking services, focused on the control, preservation and forecasting of CASH, stabilized the creditors, provided leadership to management and the Board of Directors and facilitated the sale of associated Intellectual Property and assets. Due to market conditions, these venture capital-backed companies and their senior lenders made the strategic decision to maximize the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property.

Gerbsman Partners provided leadership to the company with:

  • Technology and Medical Device experience in developing the strategic action plans for maximizing value of the business unit, Intellectual Property and assets;
  • Proven domain expertise in maximizing the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property through a targeted and proprietary Gerbsman Partners “Date Certain M&A” plan;
  • The ability to “Manage the Process” among potential Acquirers, Lawyers, Creditors, Management, Board of Directors and Advisors;
  • The proven ability to “Drive” toward successful closure for all parties at interest.

About Gerbsman Partners

Gerbsman Partners focuses on maximizing enterprise value for stakeholders and shareholders in under-performing, under-capitalized and under-valued companies and their Intellectual Property. In the past 60 months, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in maximizing value for 50 Technology, Life Science and Medical Device companies and their Intellectual Property and has restructured/terminated over $750 million of real estate executory contracts and equipment lease/sub-debt obligations. Since inception, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in over $2.2 billion of financings, restructurings and M&A transactions.

Gerbsman Partners has offices and strategic alliances in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Europe and Israel.

Gerbsman Partners
211 Laurel Grove Avenue, Kentfield, CA 94904
Phone: +1.415.456.0628, Fax: +1.415.459.2278
Email: Steve@GerbsmanPartners.com
Web: www.gerbsmanpartners.com

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Andrew Sherman, Esq. of Dickstien Shapiro, LLP, and a member of Gerbsman Partners Board of Intellectual Capital is a transactional lawyer, strategic advisor, Adjunct Professor in the MBA programs at the University of Maryland and at Georgetown University, keynote speaker at conferences and is an author of seventeen (17) books on business growth and development.

Attached is one of his many papers on maximizing value for Small Business. Andrew will also be releasing next week his first book on personal growth and development Road Rules: Be the Truck. Not the Squirrel.

Please take a look at Be the Truck

Road Rules has recently been called “an elixir for calming frayed nerves” by a national radio host and “a source of calm during the storm” by the CEO of a global company.  Andrew has received extremely positive reviews from the business, legal and capital formation communities.

For additional information, please contact Andrew below.

Andrew J. Sherman, Esq.
Dickstein Shapiro, LLP
1825 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-5403
(ph) 202-420-5000
(fax) 202-420-2201

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