Friday, August 05, 2005

Wow, Congratulations American Investors
You Really Know How To Invest Your Money

From Associated Press:

SAN FRANCISCO - Inc., the maker of China's leading Internet search engine, mesmerized Wall Street Friday as its stock more than quadrupled — a dazzling debut driven by the company's connections to Google Inc. as much as its own tantalizing potential.

The Beijing-based company's shares closed at $122.54 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, a 354 percent gain from its initial public offering price of $27. That represented the biggest one-day gain since the final days of the dot-com when IPOs regularly soared.

No IPO has climbed as high on the first day of trading as Baidu's did Friday since the shares of software maker Selectica Inc. soared 371 percent during their March 2000 debut, according to Selectica's shares closed unchanged Friday at $3.15 on the Nasdaq.

The rapid run-up gave Baidu a market value of $4 billion — a lofty appraisal of a 5 1/2 year-old company that only recently became profitable. Baidu earned $1.8 million on revenue of $13.6 million during the first half of this year.

The company's management expects much bigger things as more of China's vast population surf the Internet. More than 100 million of China's residents currently surf the Web. Baidu has been able to pluck enough visitors from that audience to emerge as the world's sixth-most trafficked Web site.

Yes, that's right, investors around the world, including many in America, have just poured money into a company that provides internet searching in China - a country whose government has a complete lockdown on the internet.

So, in other words, you invested in a company that is forced to facilitate Chinese propaganda.

But, hey, it was a good investment. You'll make money, and that's all that matters, right?

I remember that for a few days after 9/11, the Stock Market was closed in America. The day before it was to reopen, Courtney Love went on the Howard Stern Show and encouraged everyone to leave their money in market by pledging to personally invest $2 million in the market the very next day. And she did.

Meanwhile, many other chickenshit American investors pulled money out by the truckload, and Ms. Love lost a ton of money.

Whatever you think of Courtney Love, she is to be forever lauded for her display of Patriotism. I will always love her for that.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Investing in Chinese companies which specialize in the dissemination of information, is like investing in the obliteration of free speech. But, if that's what it takes to make a buck, we'll find that there are many Americans who are willing to put their money where their belief system is; Capitalism Uber Alles.

If the business of America is business, and nothing else, then America is doomed. Business is the collaborative effort of the people to put bread on their table. It is truly a holy endeavor. Sure, there is a jungle-like quality to business, but we all know that we must limit that aspect of it, and recognize that we are in it together. That if we allow the system to fall apart that all of us will suffer.

I am willing to tolerate a lot of abuse in business, because I know that there are a lot of gray areas, and I recognize that many of them are the ponds of innovation. But, I am sickened by people who would invest in the suppression of free speech.

Speech is the process by which we order our thoughts. It is the locus of human creativity. It is the prerequisite of freedom of choice. Without speech, our work upon the earth would be chaos. When free speech is denied, the human being flounders amidst a jumble of information and, overwhelmed, he submits to the forces around him.

Congratulations, all you great investors, you have invested in the further dispersal of the human will.