Ed Enters The Antique Business

‘The Brats ring up with another of their wheezes,” Ed confides to his diary, referring to the 20-something year-old super-sharpies who monitor his company for its private equity owners.

‘”Have you seen what Xpenscale are doing with their old stock?” asked The Brat.’

‘”No”, I tell him, “what?”‘


‘”They’re flogging off old, written-down stock,” said The Brat.’


‘”But they, like us, have a policy of not selling anything older than two years,” I tell The Brat.’


‘”Not any more they don’t,” replies The Brat, “they’ve extended their standard terms of business to include product up to five years old”.’


‘”Phew,” I reply, “it’ll take some persuading of the customers to accept that – they’ll want all sorts of tests to be performed on the stuff which will incur costs”.’


‘”Don’t faff about Ed, just get on and do it,” says The Brat in an unnecessarily nasty tone of voice”.’


‘”But it sends a really bad signal to the customers – they’ll think we’re desperate and have massive inventory,” I tell him.’


‘”Look some customers won’t give a shit Ed – Chinese toy manufacturers, cheapo gadget assembly shops etc – they probably don’t even look at the date codes,” says The Brat.


‘”Oh well, OK, I’ll do it,” I tell The Brat, ‘roll on my $25 mill.’



  1. Most aren’t really Ponzi schemes, though there are a couple in the virtual worlds. Usually they are just straightforward frauds that the people being ripped off don’t want to think about and the authorities don’t want to be made aware of because technology is too complicated for most legal minds.

  2. You should call it ‘Techno-Ponzi: High Tech Scams’ it would sell very well.

  3. I had been thinking of writing a book on cons in professional industries but the more I look the more I find new ones.
    The solar one is one of the worst though because it comes directly out of my taxes !

  4. I expect he’ll be hot on the heels of this tip, Dr Bob, Ed’s not one to miss a trick. And see Mike’s wheeze with mrlaser.com.

  5. Bloody hell, that’s appalling Mike.

  6. It’s a wonder that Ed (or the Brat) hasn’t twigged that if the top is machined off and then re-etched with the part number and date then it becomes a ‘new’ part with the ‘correct’ date after the ‘last’ operation.

  7. Ah yes, the dreaded ‘focus’ NoI. Focus always seems to me to go against the grain of the semiconductor industry where the pervasiveness of the product means that the identification of new future revenue streams is fundamental to growth.

  8. David, I see how PE owned semi company works from the inside on a daily-basis, being employed there… Lots of fun and, of course, continuous ‘focus’.

  9. Well Freescale of course is also owned by a private equity company – the same as Ed’s company, NoI, so this antiques wheeze could have been passed on from one set of PE Brats to another set of PE Brats.

  10. SemiDetached, Freescale announced such decision recently.

  11. I suspect there may be less to this than meets the eye. Processor companies always have a stash of parts in unpopular speed bins and network processors, as one example, have market lifetimes well over 5 years. Would Xpenscale be in the business of network processors by any chance?

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