Parsing the Unilever dual listing

NV and PLC together with their group companies operate effectively as a single economic entity.


Unilever was founded in 1930 following a business merger between Naamlooze Vennootschap Margarine Unie of the Netherlands and Lever Brothers Limited of the UK. To avoid punitive taxation levies and the disruption to the business that would result from dividing integrated national companies into their component parts, both companies pooled their interests through a business merger as opposed to a legal merger. Two controlling companies were set up, one English (Unilever Ltd - now Unilever PLC) and the other Dutch (Naamlooze Vennootschap Margarine Unie – now Unilever NV). To allow both companies to operate as a single legal entity notwithstanding their independent legal structures, a series of agreements was put in place: mutual sharing of brands and technology; equalisation of dividend; mutual guarantee of borrowings; identical Boards of Directors and equal treatment for shareholders in the event of dissolution.
Comment: I gather it doesn't matter which one. We have UN


WFC-Q - another Preferred example

Wiki article: Preferred stock

Did you know this about Preferred stocks?

Preferred Ticker Symbols & Security Names


Preferred stock ticker symbols are confusing - to everyone. There is no single system of ticker symbols in use for preferred stocks. The correct ticker symbol for a preferred stock depends on whose information you are accessing. The NYSE preferred ticker symbol format often used to refer to preferred and income securities is the xxxPRx, xxPRx, xPRx, xxPR, etc. format where the x's represent any letter. The basic problem with this NYSE ticker symbol system is that it is incompatible with the Nasdaq ticker system where symbols in the xxPRx, xPRx, xxPR formats are not preferred stocks. Therefore a single ticker symbol system incorporating the NYSE symbol system can not be used as a universal system for anyone listing both NYSE and Nasdaq preferred securities. The system even precludes any fancy programming to identify preferreds without requiring the input of the stock exchange in conjunction with the ticker symbol.

One further problem with preferred ticker symbols is that various information sources will throw in spaces in the symbols when they refer to an income security's ticker symbol. For example, you will see a xxxPRx ticker symbol referred to as xxx PR x, xxx PRx, etc. This type of reference can come from the company issuing the security, from the financial media (especially general newspapers), and even from the stock exchanges themselves. Those spaces may be fine for people but computers have no sense of humor at all concerning them and the computer just doesn't find the security you want when you add spaces to the ticker symbol.

As a result of the above, there are a considerable variety of preferred ticker symbols in use. The NYSE uses ticker symbols in the form of xxxPRx for preferred stocks.
Comment: Doesn't work for CHSCO of CHS Inc.

For a full list of the 820 preferred stocks are all known preferred stocks trading on the major stock exchanges plus most of the preferred stocks trading on the OTCBB, Pink Sheets and Other OTC markets, register and log onto quantumonline.com


Sosefina of God

Mother held in newborn’s death in convent; Samoan came to become nun


Sosefina Amoa came to the United States this month and joined a convent in the District with an eye toward studying to become a nun.

She didn’t know she was pregnant.

So when she delivered a baby boy alone on the floor of her room with the Little Sisters of the Poor last week, police said the 26-year-old Samoan woman panicked and put a cloth over the infant’s mouth and nose, suffocating the boy minutes after he was born.

The disturbing details were laid out in an affidavit filed by D.C. police in support of a warrant charging her with first-degree murder in the child’s death.

The court papers said that on Oct. 10, leaning on her bed for support, Ms. Amoa birthed the child onto the floor. She named him Joseph, and she laid with him for a time. But after giving birth, “she didn’t know what to do and was afraid that someone would hear the child crying and learn of her pregnancy.” So Ms. Amoa pressed a wool garment over his face until he stopped breathing.
Comment: The film referenced


The Nightmare of German Inflation - One day everything was fine. The next day hell was unleashed

Read this first: The Nightmare of German Inflation

For those who skipped or failed (or forgot) European history: The Weimar Republic

U.S. May Join Germany of 1933 in Pantheon of Defaults


Failure by the world’s biggest economy to pay its debt in an interconnected, globalized world risks an array of devastating consequences that could lay waste to stock markets from Brazil to Zurich and bring the $5 trillion market in Treasury-backed loans to a halt. Borrowing costs would soar, the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency would be in doubt and the U.S. and world economies would risk plunging into recession -- and potentially depression.
Comments: Imagine ... you've saved $ 1,000,000 for retirement ... but your money is worthless! (in the title 'hell was unleashed' ... not even close ... )


Ordering Finances Wisely - Credit Fraud and ID Thief are Rampant

"It's really amazing that in the age of unbelief, as a smart man called it, there isn't even more fraud. After all, with no God, there's no one to ever call you to account, and no accounting at all if you can get away with it." (Ben Stein1)

Luke 16:11, "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?"

John 10:10, "The thief...come[s] to steal."

The objective of this article series is to inform and motivate the Christian to better organize his finances. Because we live in a fallen world and among sinners, and because the Christian is to be a steward of all that the Lord has entrusted to him, we must be wise against the evil intentions of men. In former days, that threat might have been the wayside robber or the con man, but today the threats are more complex. This article addresses two of those threats: credit fraud and identity theft.

Credit fraud

Several years ago I took my brother out to a casual restaurant near my home in Plymouth, MN. We had leisurely meal and lingered to enjoy each other's company. I volunteered to pick up the tab and provided the waitress my Chase credit card. Shortly she returned it, I added a tip and signed the check and we left.

A typical restaurant charge will display only the meal amount sans tip as a pending change on a credit card or bank website immediately after the charge is rung up. After several days when the payment clears the total restaurant amount including tip will display on a bank or credit card website.

Later that evening I logged onto the Chase website to view my day's purchases. The restaurant change was indeed pending but there were other pending charges to my account that I had not authorized--both to porn-related websites and services.

"Credit card (or debit card) fraud is a form of identity theft that involves an unauthorized taking of another's credit card information for the purpose of charging purchases to the account or removing funds from it."2

Credit card fraud takes one of these forms:
  1. Unauthorized use of another's credit to procure goods or services. This would be the most common form of credit fraud;
  2. Purchase of goods of services with one's own credit card knowing that there is insufficient credit to pay for the goods or services procured; or
  3. Sale of goods or services to another knowing that credit fraud is being perpetrated. An example of this would be a store clerk knowingly accepting a fraudulent credit transaction.
A recent Forbes article states that 27% of cardholders have experienced credit fraud over the last years. Anecdotally I have been a victim of credit fraud twice in two years: once in the above cited case and last year on my corporate card. Credit fraud is less prevalent in Europe because those countries use a microchip in the credit and debit cards to enhance transaction security. This technology is called the EMV card and it will soon be common in the United States.3
Significant United States Federal legislation is in place to protect the consumer against credit fraud. "If someone makes unauthorized transactions with your debit card number, but your card is not lost, you are not liable for those transactions if you report them within 60 days of your statement being sent to you."4
In the case of the fraudulent charges on my Chase card, I called Chase that very day. They canceled that card and issued me a new one and even sent it via FedEx to my home. The charges were not held against me.

Identity theft

Identity Theft is a more devious and dangerous type of credit fraud. It is evidenced in two categories: Account takeover and application fraud. We experienced ID theft in early February after returning from a trip to Florida.

Our bank notified us that the address of our credit card had been changed. When I logged onto our bank account and checked the address for our accounts our credit card had an address in Maurice, Louisiana.5

"Account takeovers typically involve the criminal hijacking of an existing credit card account. Here an offender obtains enough personal information about a victim to change the account's billing address. The perpetrator then subsequently reports the card lost or stolen in order to obtain a new card and make fraudulent purchases with it."6
That very week,7 we experienced application fraud. Newegg called our home to inform me that someone called and ordered these items:
  1. A $650 Canon camera
  2. A $25 PlayStation video game
  3. A $20 set of earphones
They opened accounts in my name (with my home address as the billing address!) with Bill Me Later and Newegg Preferred Account to pay for these items.

"Application fraud refers to the unauthorized opening of credit card accounts in another person's name. This may occur if an offender can obtain enough personal information about the victim to completely fill out the credit card application, or is able to create convincing counterfeit documents."8
Our response to the two identity theft events was as follows:
  1. In the case of the account takeover, I immediately left work and went to my local bank branch. They canceled all our debit and credit accounts: HSA, ATM/debit card, and credit card. I changed the password on all of our accounts to a much more robust password. (It actually was fairly robust before: both upper and lower case alpha characters, at least one special character, and multiple numeric characters. I changed the authentication code that one is asked when one calls the phone bank--to a much more robust password.)
  2. In the case of the application fraud, we filed a police report with our city. I had to wait several days and then I visited the police department and requested a copy of the police report. This report was later provided to a service we procured called Experian Protect My ID.
  3. Using this service we placed a fraud alert on our credit files at the three major credit-reporting agencies. We also locked our credit to prevent new credit from being opened in our name without the credit-issuing agency contacting me prior to an account being opened.
When I recently traveled to Charlotte on business, I carried less than $30 in cash for a 4-day business trip. A pickpocket could have stolen my wallet and the maximum loss of cash would have been that minor amount of money. In today's high-technology world, the threats are much more insidious than the pickpocket or the common thief. More could be said about Credit Fraud and Identity Theft but this article explains the basics. Subsequent articles will address organizing one's finances to both protect against these threats and enhance one's financial stewardship.

Mayflower Society # 85879

I was accepted on August 7th into the Mayflower Society. I am a documented descendant of William White. I received my membership documentation this past Friday. My dear Sister (thank you Nancy) did all of the research ... I piggy-backed on her research. The above is not my certificate, but mine looks just about the same ... except it says William White as my Mayflower ancestor. 

Observations (and this is important): "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13) and "Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham" (Galatians 3:5-7)

The Gospel is clear in the above New Testament verses (and the following):
  • Being "born again" (John chapter 3) is the most  important birth and the most significant lineage!
  • A person becomes a child of God by faith (expressed as receiving Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord) in John 1:12-13
  • Abraham's faith saved him - "Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'" - All who are saved today or throughout history have been saved the same way!
  • The Gospel:
    • "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15)
    • "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)
    • "And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:42-44
The Mayflower Society is somewhat of an exclusive club and only verified descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims may join. But the better "club" is "the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven" (Hebrews 12:23


Kathee's flight almost directly over our house

Kathee's return flight from San Francisco.


Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 5: The Personal Income and Expense Statement

Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 5: The Personal Income and Expense Statement

  • Not an exciting topic but an important one
  • Published on SharperIron today
  • Observations:
    • The income and expense statement looks back. It is historical
    • Answers the question: where has the money gone? I think about a boat or an engineer that leaks. Where does it leak? And why?
    • One cannot budget effectively unless one first practices the income and expense statement process