Ed Shoben: ‘Enjoyed the story about MBNA. But, 0.8%? MBNA has a money fund (sponsored by the Am. Assoc. of Individual Investors) that will pay almost 2% on amounts over $50K.’

☞ I love it. Borrow from MBNA at 0%, lend the same money back to MBNA at 2%.


One place not to invest the money you borrow at 0%: the stock of Borealis Exploration, of which I have written here so many times before. Full disclosure (yet again): I own a ton of this highly speculative stock. But while it remains wildly speculative – and I’m not kidding when I say you must only gamble money here you truly expect to lose, as when you bet money on ’22 red’ at roulette – one could make the case it’s not quite the total fantasy today, at $9 or so, that it was when we started making fun of it at $3. (Even at $9, it sells for just one fiftieth the value of Krispy Kreme, and just about the cost a single high-end 10-seater corporate jet.)

Several of you have investigated this company’s web site, read its annual reports, inspected its patents, and written to tell us it is too good to be true. The company has, let’s face it, nearly as many Red Flags as the former Soviet Union. (For starters, it used to be a Canadian mining stock. For continuers, it’s now headquartered in Gibraltar. But mainly, it claims not one but a handful of near-cold-fusion-like claims of stunning technological breakthrough.)

Still, the press releases keep coming. Yesterday, there was this:

Chorus Motors plc said today that Dr. Robert L. Carman Jr. has joined the company as Program Manager for Aerospace Applications. Dr. Carman has also been appointed to the same position at Cool Chips plc and Power Chips plc; all three companies are majority-owned subsidiaries of Borealis Exploration Limited.

Dr. Carman, formerly of the Boeing Company’s Rockwell International Aerospace sector, spent 18 years as a program manager within the rocket engine, launch vehicle and satellite areas. He is also internationally known for his original work in lasers and nonlinear optics, and, more recently, for his pioneering work on virtual corporations, in conjunction with DARPA and various aerospace industry organizations.

His prior experience includes senior research and program management positions at the
University of California’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory.

Dr. Carman has published more than 80 original, refereed journal publications, authored several patents and contributed to more than eight books, lectured in ten countries and consulted for the U.S. government in several capacities as well as acted as a consultant and advisor for many Fortune 500 U.S. companies. His Ph.D. is in Physics from Harvard University.

Dr. Carman said: “The technology developed by Borealis will be transformative throughout the aerospace world. Its adoption and implementation is now my job, which I am looking forward to with great relish.”

Ignited by that press release, trading volume in Borealis exploded yesterday to 600 shares. Someone, or a collection of people, bought nearly $6,000 worth! (This from someone, or a collection of people, who sold $6,000 worth.) Krispy Kreme, meanwhile, traded 756,700 shares, or about $31 million worth.

I mean no disrespect to the genius that is the Krispy Kreme Donut when I suggest that it is the thing no one wants (or wants no more than 600 shares of), that is sometimes the more intriguing bargain than the thing everyone craves.

Then again, I’ve never met Dr. Carman – I don’t know if he even exists. But what if he does exist? A boy can dream, can’t he? And what if his enthusiasm for Borealis is real – and, most crucially, well-founded?

So I’m beginning to think (and this is always a bad sign, so take it with a grain of salt) that Borealis could be like a roulette table where the odds are in the bettor’s favor. You still have only a small chance of winning, and will probably lose all your money. But if you do win, it would be such a big win that it justifies the risking the likely loss. If, that is (and it is a very serious if), you can afford the likely loss.


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