Gambling on the Virtual World Trade Center

by Pixeleen Mistral on 15/04/07 at 10:06 pm

by Rhinestone Bling, business reporter

…coming soon to a metaverse near you

Friedman- SL Entrepreneur LukeConnell Vandeverre is gambling despite the recent Linden discouragement of the practice. His brand of gambling doesn’t involve cards or dice, however, it involves stocks and buildings; namely, it involves his holdings in the Second Life World Stock Exchange and SL’s version of the World Trade Center.

”I predict that within 2 months of completion [The World Trade Center] will be one of the most visited locations in Second Life with an average visit time of 15 minutes,” Vandeverre said. He is so certain of this, in fact, that he is betting 12% of his SL company, Hope Capital Ltd., as well as the good will of some of his investors on this prediction.

Tower 1 of the World Trade Center was reproduced in scale by Brautigan & Tuck Holdings and then purchased by Vandeverre’s Hope Capital Ltd. on April 7 for two million shares of HCL stock, estimated by Vandeverre to be roughly 12% of the company. The stock used to purchase the building did not come from existing stock, but was issued especially for the sale, significantly diluting the available HCL stock. The controversial part of this transaction is that Vandeverre made this move without consulting the HCL stockholders.

virtual symbol, monument, and investment

Shaun Altman, founder and CEO of Cyberland and the founder of the Metaverse Stock Exchange, which merged with the World Stock Exchange in February, is the single largest stockholder in HCL. He was not consulted about the transaction. “My only reaction so far is that I’m very disappointed that the CEO couldn’t manage to keep his largest shareholder in the loop on something like that. I definitely feel that any changes to the share float should only be done with a shareholder vote.”

“Depending on the bylaws of the company, and the state or country in which it was chartered, if this were a real life situation, Vandeverre would be in for some serious interrogation at his next board meeting, and would more than likely find himself under investigation by someone like the SEC,” says Hammer Flanagan, a real life stock analyst. “The fact that HCL’s headquarters happens to be located across the street from the building he bought, sitting on a sim owned by the people he just gave significant interest in his company to, would be enough to bring scrutiny.”

To complicate matters, Hope Capital is publicly owned and traded on Second Life’s World Stock Exchange, and to complicate matters further, the World Stock Exchange is owned by Hope Capital. Currently, Hope Capital shares sell for roughly $3 lindens per share, so in terms of real money, at the current exchange rate, Brautigan and Tuck received roughly $26,000 US for their building. Brautigan & Tuck Holdings is a partnership between IntLibber Brautigan and Tavi Tuck. BNT owns over 12 sims in its new continent of Ancapistan, Friedman is one of them. Both Brautigan and Tuck are currently listed as members of the Board of Directors of HCL.

One of the things that is potentially lost in this is that the building in question is a model of the World Trade Center. In giving a tour of the building for this story, Vandeverre stressed the importance of the SL World Trade Center as a symbol and a monument. The lobby of the building features a video that is a touching tribute to the buildings, from their construction to their destruction, as well as a statue dedicated to the firefighters who lost their lives there on September 11. Using the building as a memorial is clearly at the forefront of Vandeverre’s thinking. “These buildings represent the achievements of mankind, the world and their resolve and ability to recover from such tragedy,” said Vandeverre. IntLibber Brautigan, builder of the project, was touched personally by the events on September 11th as a friend of his family, John Ogonowski was the pilot of Flight 11 which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46 a.m.

Whether the building will be a financial success is the matter of some debate. Vandeverre is certain that it will not only become an SL fixture, it will do so quickly. The building has twenty floors, and “each floor will be leased to real life companies at $70 USD per month, on completion the WTC project will generate reasonable earnings for Hope Capital and will achieve a return on investment within 5 months, therefore increasing shareholder value. Based on an average of 70 visitors staying an average of 15minutes each we can accomadate for 3066000 in unique visitors each month,” he says.

“I’m not so certain people will put their businesses there,” said Beverly Winkler, a real life employee of one of the companies formerly housed in the World Trade Center. “It’s like a shrine, a memorial. With wide open real estate available in Second Life, why would a real life company take the risk of an uncertain public perception when they could start fresh?”

Which is, exactly, the gamble that HCL is betting $26,000 on.

43 Responses to “Gambling on the Virtual World Trade Center”

  1. Artemis Fate

    Apr 15th, 2007

    10 bucks says griefers will attempt to crash a 747 into it by the end of the month.

  2. hang on a minute

    Apr 15th, 2007

    er…and what is to stop any other company creating another World Trade Center somewhere in sl and doing the same thing.

    Removing all the fluff and pr hype this is nothing more than a sly commercial opportunist trying to capitalize on peoples emotions.
    “The building has twenty floors, and “each floor will be leased to real life companies at $70 USD per month, on completion the WTC project will generate reasonable earnings for Hope Capital and will achieve a return on investment within 5 months, therefore increasing shareholder value.”

    Speaks about what the real intent of the project is, nothing to do with being a memorial at all. If it was truly intended to be a memorial it would not house commercial business but be a more extensive showcase of the lives of the people that died working there.

    I truly hope a rash of virtual world trade centers spring up and sink this guys *business* plan.

    Additionally, his share dilution actions further illustrate his complete lack of business ethics.

    Forget the nice words he is blathering about heroes and the 911. People are defined by their actions, not their words, and his actions define him quite sharply.

  3. Artemis Fate

    Apr 15th, 2007

    Yeah, nothing honors the memory of 9/11 by building a to-scale replica of the towers, then charging out of the ass for people to put in their dildo, dog penis, pony girl, and sexual asphyxiation tanks stores up for sale.

  4. Nimrod

    Apr 15th, 2007

    Sorry if I missed it, but where is this located?

  5. Economic Mip

    Apr 15th, 2007

    This absurdity, and other previous events really make me think that Shaun and Vandeverre are the Second Life equivalent of Nicole Riche and Paris Hilton. Now if only I could figure out a way to dump Zimbabwe’s ZSE (and its over 600% YTD returns) into Second Life, these clowns would be out of business in a month.

  6. Hiro Pendragon

    Apr 15th, 2007

    Sick exploitation. Sigh.

  7. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 15th, 2007

    I’m not feeling very good about this. One of my RL jobs was in a building that got ruined by 9/11. I lost neighbours and fellow parishioners in 9/11. I have enough trouble with people building any replica around it in RL that I find any SL version of it to be facile, witless, or even griefer material.

    No doubt the people doing this in SL had the best intentions. But…the scandalous behaviour around it really colours the whole thing.

    I mean, basically, it comes down to this: how can you print stock out of thin air and award it to your friends in payment for a building — a building that doesn’t seem at all equal to the value of that stock, now, or in the putative future when the building might make more?

    I mean, that’s the open question here. How can you print stock of that magnitude and do a deal this big, but not tell the other board members or major stockholders? That’s what this report brings to light.

    People in SL always do business with their little friends. It’s normal. This is how kids play store. The question is, whether anything can scrutinize it. Must we demand that operations like this meet the standards of RL regulation of financial institutions? If we did that, we wouldn’t have an SL.

    But if people start to cash out large amounts of real-life US dollars from things like this, and hold out the prospect to others that they can make money from it, probably more responsibility is warranted.

    I’ll just note that I bought L$3,000 worth of stock, and some of the companies don’t seem to exist any more lol. The stock is now worth about L$1,500. Oh, well, it’s a game.

  8. Hiro Pendragon

    Apr 16th, 2007

    I just visited. I saw two empty shells of buildings, standing like cold, soulless hulking tombstones, looming over the stock exchange of which I have read nothing but negative things of late.

    I then saw a “memorial”, which was a fairly simple monument that could take any decent builder an hour or two, a copyright-violating video from the Discovery Channel, and the “Hope” Capital Company’s logo right next to it, as if to associate and make like they care about 9/11.

    I then when to the top of the second tower. I saw the CEO of Hope Capital’s helicopter parked on top – on top of it all.

    The whole series of images was very disturbing to me. I found it arrogant and containing a large lacking of good judgment. Frankly, as much as I was insulted when W-Hat did their WTC griefing, I felt that this wholesale financial exploitation of the twin towers image was far worse an injustice.

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 16th, 2007

    That’s an interesting report, Hiro.

    I guess it’s the lot of male egos to build big phallic towers in RL and SL…and blow them up, too. The impulses that make the Hope Capital guy park his copter up top is not unlike the one that makes the RL people do the same thing.

    I mean, Second Life is for dreaming big, being bold, not waiting for approval, not fearing failure. So you have to hand it to this guy that he built this thing filled with chutzpah. But…I find it makes me very uncomfortable on so many levels.

    The other day, I went to the WSE. It had a marble foyer and wasn’t built as well as something that, I dunno, Forseti, or Adam Zaius or Barnesworth would build if they were assigned to do “monumental”. It was texturey and not primmy, if you know what I mean.

    It had lots of different stuff in it to help people play stock exchange. One of those special SL moments occurred, about which I’ve been looking for a place to blog. A very prominent forums poster who was routinely bashed, somebody’s alt I think, rolled into the marble-floored venue. I was standing by the ATM thingie, trying to reset my password.

    He then proceeded to type a number like this: “8123849827 withdrawl” i.e. eight million Lindens.

    I gasped to myself and thought, wow, this is quite the operation! Wow! eight million Lindens! Imagine having that many to withdraw. I’ve never had that many Lindens in my hands, etc. etc.

    I wondered to myself whether five minutes later I’d see the LindEx rock with a new dump, and the whole thing devalue by a point the next day. But…nothing.

    I told a friend about this, and he pointed out that very likely, the guy was bluffing. That he had no eight million. But he wanted to make all the eavesdroppers and lifers and touters and pumpers and dumpers standing around pretending to be AFK think something was happening.


    So I pulled myself up out of my AFK slump and typed “1212324908 withdraw” TOO. Of course I only have a lousy $17 Lindens in there and it gave me a message like “you do not have sufficient funds” — but that was visible only to me. I then brisky walked out and flew away ROFL.

    Yes, SL has its fun moments, eh?

  10. Shaun Altman

    Apr 16th, 2007

    Economic Mip / Everyone:

    Please do not attach my name to anything related to these builds, nor their purchase. As a shareholder, I was not consulted on any aspect of this transaction, nor afforded the opportunity to enter a vote. Had I been, my vote would have been a resounding no, for a variety of reasons.

    In fact, having had a chance to visit the builds first-hand for the first time tonight, I can only say that I agree with much of what has been said in these comments. In addition, my visit tonight has prompted me to unload more of my HCL position. There is no “Shaun and Vandeverre” involved with this WTC project, or for that matter any other HCL project. there is only “IntLibber and Vandeverre”. I resigned my post as a director of the WSE long ago, at the same time that I sold my portion of it back to HCL.


  11. mootykips

    Apr 16th, 2007

    lol, this was intLibber’s doing. intLibber has now made tons of money off the likeness of the WTC, which is copyrighted by the port of manhattan.

    so not only is it tasteless, it’s illegal: enjoy your copyright partyvan.

  12. larryr

    Apr 16th, 2007

    and did this “real” money making venture approach the “real developers” who OWN the likeness and design of the WTC towers. Im sure the developers who spent millions to license the towers from the Port Authority of NY would love to hear how their “real life” property and IP are being used commercially by others…

    investors? avatars? not only stupid, but silly.

  13. shockwave yareach

    Apr 16th, 2007

    And how exactly does one copyright the image of a building, a public standing structure? MPA has a trademark on the name so people can’t go around selling “WTC Soap on a Rope” or “WTC Pez dispensers”. But if I recall correctly, the courts have said that recordings taken from public areas are legal as no expectation of privacy exists there. Thus I can take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge rather than have to purchase Postcards if I choose to.

    As for the build – I have better things to do with my time than visit empty representations of places I wouldn’t have cared to see in RL when they were still standing.

  14. Hiro Pendragon

    Apr 16th, 2007

    shockwave – fyi – there’s a difference between taking a picture of something in public space, and recreating that thing for commercial use.

  15. Hiro Pendragon

    Apr 16th, 2007

    Just had a conversation with LukeConnell. He expressed two sentiments about why the tower was done the way it was done.

    1. It “has” to pay for itself.
    2. His stock exchange represents what the WTC represented before 9/11.

    I told him off and muted him.

    Not only is 1 simply admitting, “He didn’t want to pay for it.” but 2 is such an arrogant, ignorant assertion, considering his virtual market is unregulated and populated 50%+ with gambling businesses, who are looming on shut-down either by Linden Lab or the FBI.

    What a joke. Sigh.

  16. Hiro Pendragon

    Apr 16th, 2007

    I might also add, for $26,000 US worth of stock, any number of professional Metaverse Development Companies would have done a far better job. $26,000, to me, sounds like 6 months of work from a dedicated, high-quality builder. The fact that it’s purportedly a friend of LukeConnell smells of cronyism.

  17. LukeConnell Vandeverre

    Apr 16th, 2007

    To whom it may concern,

    There is no conspiracy, insider trading or team. IntLibber Brautigan approached me with an opportunity to acquire the World Trade Center Project that he has been developing. I immediately toured Tower 1 and reviewed the entire project. As I said in the above interview “These buildings represent the achievements of mankind, the world and their resolve and ability to recover from such tragedy,”

    I also said in a press release regarding the acquisition that “The Twin Towers in Second Life will represent the world citizen, human vision, ambition, determination, progress and are dedicated to all the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the events on that day. The Twin Towers will both contain a permanent Memorial that will remain as long as Second Life exists.”

    I never said the following sentence, hence there are no quote marks:
    2. His stock exchange represents what the WTC represented before 9/11.

    The World Stock Exchange has absolutely nothing to do with the World Trade Center project.

    Upon completion of the project each floor will be leased out at L$4,800 per week in order to cover the land tier cost and to generate a return for the shareholders of Hope Capital Ltd. The original towers were created to provide a return for their owners as will the replica towers. We are simply bringing the towers back to life at least in spirit through the virtual world of Second Life while also educating visitors on the towers and remembering those who perished in the tragedy.

    The World Stock Exchange isn’t gambling and makes no reference to gambling. The World Stock Exchange is a registered group in the virtual world of second life, a multi-user online environment and is a fictional securities exchange using the inworld fictional currency (Linden Dollars). The World Stock Exchange is not a real securities exchange.

    The World Stock Exchange has attracted lots of investment in Second Life based businesses which in turn has resulted in increased economic activity, jobs, innovation and has in a small way contributed to the expansion of Second Life.

    The new shares that were issued to cover the cost of the acquisition were done so according to the WSE Terms of Service and Constitution. The impact to the equity on shareholders in minimal and the return on investment will significantly increase shareholder value in the long term and will surpass any short term loss of value.

    Occasionally there are residents who attempt to withdraw more funds than they have in their WSE trading account however when attempted they receive a message being told that they don’t have sufficient funds.

    Remember that Second Life was built as a place for people to entertain, share ideas, innovate, create and communicate. Lets not forget those fundamental principles through slander or false and misleading allegations. I’m in here to innovate and to create not to attack, hurt or offend. I’ve established a new concept in Second Life. It is an emerging market and there are many areas which we can improve on, however the market is only 5 weeks old and it needs time to develop. While the WSE continues to grow we are making every effort to improve its services, features, functionality, regulation, education and in time democratization.

    I appreciate your concerns and feedback.

    For further details please view the Hope Capital Report by visiting the following URL:

  18. Gaius Goodliffe

    Apr 16th, 2007

    “He didn’t want to pay for it.”

    Indeed, and he didn’t pay for it. Instead, he used his “license to print money”, creating another two million HCL shares out of thin air and paying with them. This, of course, devalues all the existing shares in the company, effectively meaning all of us with HCL shares paid for it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Luke has done this, either. I sold all my HCL shares a while ago, once it became clear that the CEO was dedicated to constantly devaluing them. Maybe it does increase the overall value of the company, but we all end up holding ever shrinking percentages of it, guarenteeing that we as individual investors never see any benefit from the overall increase in value. Increasing the value of the company WITHOUT issuing new shares would make HCL stock a great investment, but as long as this policy of constantly printing new shares continues, HCL stock isn’t worth the paper it isn’t printed on.

    “I might also add, for $26,000 US worth of stock, any number of professional Metaverse Development Companies would have done a far better job. $26,000, to me, sounds like 6 months of work from a dedicated, high-quality builder. The fact that it’s purportedly a friend of LukeConnell smells of cronyism.”

    Indeed, that’s the real rub. It’s not so much the potential for the building’s profits as the fact that a ridiculously large sum was paid for work that was clearly not worth that much. Six-month’s worth of man-hours by a top designer did not go into this building. Why was so much paid for it? Don’t throw out figures of how much money it might make, explain why so much was paid for something that could have been built much more cheaply, even if one employed some of SL’s most highly paid designers at their top per hour rate?

    The fact of the matter is, this was an excuse to give a huge amount of money to one of Luke’s insiders. It’s the WSE version of the famous $500 hammer. The hammer ain’t worth $500, but how do you hide kickbacks without making it obvious that you’re committing fraud? You sell goods at inflated rates. Very old trick. Of course, a $500 hammer would a bargain compared to this.

  19. Economic Mip

    Apr 16th, 2007

    To Mr. Vandeverre (Paris Hilton of Second Life),

    While I sincerely hope no one will pay the US $17.78 per floor, I admire your (misplaced) passion. First off, all of the largest gambling institutions are traded on your exchange. Secondly, with a mere 6,444 prims remaining on parcel, the renter would be paying that amount of money for 323 prims per floor (assuming the basement and other 20 floors not including the lobby are rented out). This does not seem like a wise business investment, especially since most of the building is accessible through two elevators only. I would also point out that in the event of a griefer attack (which this property will absolutely bring) the sim is shut down to all avatars without payment on file. I also cannot stress enough the tackiness of the attached harbor.

  20. Anonymous

    Apr 16th, 2007

    “While I sincerely hope no one will pay the US $17.78 per floor, I admire your (misplaced) passion. First off, all of the largest gambling institutions are traded on your exchange. Secondly, with a mere 6,444 prims remaining on parcel, the renter would be paying that amount of money for 323 prims per floor (assuming the basement and other 20 floors not including the lobby are rented out). This does not seem like a wise business investment, especially since most of the building is accessible through two elevators only. I would also point out that in the event of a griefer attack (which this property will absolutely bring) the sim is shut down to all avatars without payment on file. I also cannot stress enough the tackiness of the attached harbor.”

    Some extremely good points there. L$4,800 for 323 prims for only a WEEK, is a LOT, I know places that are like 2000 a month for more prims and in a popular location.

    And you have to get to each floor by elevator? Elevators in SL are always breaking, and they never worked well to begin with, not to mention they’re annoying to take (why would I want to wait for an elevator in a virtual world when I could just fly).

    Plus, it would feel weird to have some of my clothes for sale in a replica of the World Trade Center, or for that matter, pretty much ANYTHING for sale there. Especially the usual SL fare, as I mentioned: dog-penis and BDSM Sex toys.

  21. bryan campen

    Apr 16th, 2007

    I’m making a virtual iwo jima, but there will be surfing if you don’t mind.

  22. Totally Corrupt

    Apr 17th, 2007

    It’s clear Luke is in bed with IntLibber. I just can’t figure out why. Luke could buy his own sim with all the trading commissions he’s making. Oh, and did anyone else see that HCL report? Looks like someone snoozed through accounting class…

  23. Tim Loral

    Apr 17th, 2007

    Have you seen the kickbacks Luke gave himself in that HCL report? He paid himself like 10000 US$ for March and another 10000 or so dollars vanished in sorts of a black hole dubbed “loss to WSE bugs”. Despite a booming business with a rip-off commission of 3% on WSE trades he already burned 2.2 mio L$ of IPO money he collected from investors. Luke and his buddies such as that Brautigam guy are making a killing. HCL investors obviously are idiots who first take the risk and then even get scammed out of their money when the venture is successful.

    Soon the HCL stock will be worth 0 L$, but Luke and Brautigam will be driving Porsches.

  24. Get Real

    Apr 17th, 2007

    Luke, you are in for a rude awakening if you think you can get away with this BS for much longer. Wake the F up.

  25. Montana Corleone

    Apr 17th, 2007

    >> Soon the HCL stock will be worth 0 L$, but Luke and Brautigam will be driving Porsches.

    No, I think they’ll be in rl pokey lol

  26. Anonymous

    Apr 17th, 2007

    “He then proceeded to type a number like this: “8123849827 withdrawl” i.e. eight million Lindens.”

    Prok, 8,123,849,827 L$ is actually a little over 8 billion Lindens, or $30 million USD… so, yeah, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance the guy was bluffing. :P

  27. Rodders Holgado

    Apr 20th, 2007

    It saddens me that a countryman of mine would even attempt to make a single linden of such a devestating event. I watched that night (It was night in Aus) as the events unfolded, for a week I walked around depressed, rattled, shaken to the core like no other event had done before. I spend each Sept 11 now quietly and respectfully, it just doesn’t seem right to treat the day in any other way.

    Build a monument, yes, but make a buck from it, you are the most despicable person in Australia Luke Connell. All you care is that traffic will be 16 million, people will be there 15 minutes, each floor will generate $70 a month. What everyone cares about is that almost 3000 people died that day, 343 of them died trying to rescue those injured.

    Those are the numbers that count.

    What next Luke?? A Port Arthur Shooting Gallery?? You are a disgrace to humanity.

  28. James Mentone

    Apr 20th, 2007

  29. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 21st, 2007

    I find it fitting that Shaun Altman’s comments come adjacent to the comments of mootykips, leader of Patriotic Nigras griefing group. An economic griefer before a hate crime griefer.

    Fact is that Shaun is pissed. Pissed cause he was going to sell his stock to Anshe Chung for major bank.

    Anshe, of course, wants to control the entire economy of SL, she wants to be able to decide who is allowed to raise capital in SL (herself and her alts, and her cronies, of course). She thought she had the capital market in a chokehold with her control of SLX, where she could restrict the exchange limits of smaller land developers and estate owners, preventing them from bringing more capital inworld. WSE is a threat to her economic dominance, because it gives power back to the people to pool capital for the development of the SL economy.

    She thought her close friend Shaun could give her that opportunity to take control of the WSE. That didn’t happen, so they are dumping their stock hoping to panic people. I hear Anshe wants to open her own exchange. Pfft, if her record is going to speak for itself, I doubt anybody is going to trust their money in her hands.

    As for the World Trade Center, it is still nearing completion. We are ready to start leasing one building. The other will be completed this coming week. As they are placed adjacent to the WSE, in the nicest estate with the best infrastructure and security in all of SL, they sit in the most valuable real estate in SL, bar none. That, and the technology we’ve developed to make buildings of this size useful, are what make these buildings so valuable.

    Firstly, the elevators: non-physical, with 19 person capacity, these menu driven elevators travel 440 meters in under 10 seconds, even when a sim is locked down with physics off for security reasons. They travel in complete smoothness, with a fine decor that is unmatched. The elevator cars are coordinated by a central server that decides which cars to send to which floors, like any normal RL elevator system does.

    Secondly: prims. Occuping a half sim of land area, these buildings will be able to lease out over 20,000 prims to their tenants, using furniture rezzors for most of these, this prim-share concept is the wave of the future. Our unique multi-setting rezzors not only work flawlessly, they work WITH the rental/lease bot (NOT SLX).

    Thirdly: structural efficiency: while each tower is 100×100 meters in footprint, and 420 meters tall (making them the largest buildings in all of SL), with 20 floors, a lobby, and two level basements, the structures themselves only require 170 megaprims to construct. The structures have been thoroughly tested by our estate management for script and collision lag, and found little to none of the issues that are popularly claimed by the more prim-happy builders.

    Using conventional methods of valuing business opportunities, the two year potential revenues of this complex reaches 18,720,000 L$, far in excess of the value of the stock the buildings were sold for. Those who think one sim is as good as any other in SL should ask a real life major corporation: where would you want your corporate HQ: in East Podunk, South Dakota, or across the street from the New York Stock exchange?

    As for those attacking these structures regarding 9/11, how dare you? A friend of my family died in that tragedy, I know very well what 9/11 represents. The WTC victims were not people who were occupied about memorials and political posturing, they were men and women of commerce, who ardently believed in the value of global trade in making a better world. I can think of no better way to commemorate their lives, than to make my WTC buildings into temples of commerce for this new world economy, especially as more of the old world economy starts shifting into ours.

  30. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 21st, 2007


    That was quite the fabulous infomercial for your building, truly. The elevator sounds amazing, and the other stuff sounds cool. I’m not sure how furniture rezzers ultimately really save on prims because I think the limits even of temp-on-rez make themselves felt, but it sounds like an interesting way to manage a sim, the sim of the future! With men and women of commerce! Shoes for industry! Shoes for defense!

    But as for the other part, I can only say: no sale. First, while I have no special knowledge of Shaun’s business matters, I find it difficult to believe he’d sell any portfolio to Anshe. He began his Cyberland back in the day with the exact same notion you claim to have now, to have more competition in SL financial markets and land markets, believing that to be a good thing, and to have the public purchasing power to compete on the auctions.

    One of the problems I have with his claims about “the public” and your claims about “the public” is that there really isn’t any public. There are groups of avatars, mainly anonymous. Kids, some of them. Playing at stock market, without real knowledge, even. It’s a game.

    So the public isn’t that well-educated, well-managed, well checked and balanced thing you feign it is when you talk about “the public”.

    I have strong doubts that Shaun would want to sell out to Anshe, but who the hell knows. Doesn’t make sense to me. He’s a competitor to Anshe. Furthermore, while Anshe may indeed wish to have control over various markets and exchanges, I see the direction ACS has gone in lately as retreating from some sectors to concentrate and build out the sector they are good in, which is making island homes and leasing them out.

    But ultimately, whether Shaun or Anshe are the cunning evil forces you make them out to be, it doesn’t matter, because the question still stands:

    Why did Luke print stock, overvalue it, and give it out in exchange for even a very kick-ass building? It seems suspect. It seems like self-dealing from those outside the situation.

    You’re not responding to those charges.

    For that matter, this generic sort of question could be asked about the stock awarded to Shaun for his programming services. No doubt his programming serves really are worth good money.

    But in real life, people don’t use the barter method on a stock exchange. They don’t say, “I’ll program the stock exchange’s computers if you give me stock” or “I’ll build the stock exchange’s building if you give me stock.”

    Erm, maybe this is needed in the primitive capital accumulation period or something but it seems, well, primitive.

    But then, I don’t understand how stock markets work. They mystify me, so I don’t tend to buy much stock.

  31. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    Prok, as I’m trying to explain to you, the WTC buildings are a far better deal for HCL than they were for BNT. A business complex worth 18.7 million L$ sold for only 2 million shares valued at 3L$ a share? That deal should have made HCL soar to 9 L$ a share. It should have made all HCL shareholders a lot of money.

    Instead, it was attacked from the get go by Shaun, but not because it was a bad deal for the stockholders. How can he begrudge a 26k USD deal when he was going to sell his stock to Anshe for 150k USD? Instead, he does his level best to destroy the exchange with lies, inuendoes, attacks, etc. about myself, about Luke, and others.

    The ONLY reason Shaun is pissed was that the stock issued prevented him from handing a majority of HCL shares over to Anshe Chung. And no, he isn’t ‘a competitor’. He is, by his own words, a good friend of Anshe. I have the chat logs to prove it, as does Luke. If Shaun is so sure he is the one in the right, why don’t you demand he permit their release? I dare you demand it, and him to allow it. “The Public” wants to know….

  32. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    Being a good friend of Anshe’s is merely a function of having been in SL a long time. He’s a rival to Anshe in the land and other businesses. I see no evidence for your claim that he wished to sell these shares to Anshe. And you have to wonder, what, Anshe has to get shares *that* way? Seems odd to me. If you posit she wished to grab bunches of shares, couldn’t she just go buy them? Unlike the Lindens, I’ll bet you don’t have fire breaks on the WSE, and of course, if she put her 40 staff people in Wuhan to work with anonymizers, they could take down the whole pop stand. So it seems odd to me that Shaun would even have to be involved.

    Your valuation of the building strikes me as excessive. And one of the reasons why, in real-life, people use outside appraisers of things like this is precisely because you can’t expect the people building it and then trading stock for it to be fair.

    I don’t understand what on earth the release of chat logs in which Shaun says he is a friend of Anshe’s has to do with anything. Whether or not he wished to sell stock to Anshe is immaterial to the main point of this discussion: that your pal printed stock, and valued a building you all wished to value your way. That and other details coming to light just look like too much self-dealing for most people’s tastes. It doesn’t pass the sniff test, as people say in RL.

    I seriously don’t have any dog in this hunt. I don’t understand why there is so much bartering at the origins of these companies and exchanges. It seems rife with potential for fraud and corruption to me.

  33. Odysseus Burton

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    Before I go any further you should be all aware that I am an admirer of IntLibber and in fact am employed by him in the capacity of a security agent within his Estate.

    Is it just me, or are you all full of sh*t? IntLibber Brautigan built a pair of Buildings. They were digital replicas, externally only, of the Real World WTC. As to who owns the rights to the likness of these Second Life buildings, their creator does. These are not EXACT duplicates, but an “Artists Rendition” of an original work. As such they are the IP of their creator, as all things are in 2nd Life. That he sold them for a goodly sum is irrelavent. That there was HCL Stock Printed up to pay for it is not IntLibber’s problem, that is the problem of the person who conducted the transaction & bought the buildings.

    This is a tempest in a teapot over some strong emotions about very tradgic events within all of our memories, and the motivations of many of the participants on all sides of this affair are quite suspect. But as to the motivations of IntLibber, I have no doubts that the building was primarily constructed as a tribute to the many people of many nations that lost their lives on site of this tragedy. As to what the secondary considerations were,…well money of course, don’t be a fool.

  34. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    The math is pretty simple Prok. There are 20 floors per building, each with 10,000 square meters of floor space. 400,000 square meters of leasable space in total. Leasing each floor at 4900 L$ a week is a bargain for that much space, thats less than a half a linden per square meter per week, under two lindens a month per square meter. Its really the cheapest commercial space around.

    With 40 suites at 4900 a week, at 100% occupancy that comes to 18720000 L$ gross revenues over two years. That is the standard means of valuing a business opportunity: two years of gross revenues. Now, you can say “hey 75% occupancy is more normal”. Thats a fair assessment for a market average, but doesnt apply to specific places that are very exclusive and unique. Even if we were to apply a 75% occupancy to be on the conservative side, that is still L$ 14,540,000 in two years of gross revenues. That is also not counting the possible revenues from stores in the lobby, ad revenues from adboards, and the potential to lease the car garage to a major car company for dealership space.

    So, even 14,540,000 L$ is far in excess of the $6 million linden value of the stock in the sale (now worth under $4 million thanks to Shauns virulent attacks and propaganda).

    By that time, Shaun had already sold several million shares to Anshe and earned over $50,000 US. This was before the market even noticed, Anshe had dropped almost 20 million lindens on the exchange in quiet without the public finding out. Shaun was in control of the market software then, btw. Shaun also refused to implement important features to prevent CEOs from selling their stock before the time period specified in the exchange rules, a feature Luke had repeatedly requested of him. Shaun engineered the minicrash by enabling shifty CEOs to sell out their own stock and make off with shareholder money too.

    All these activities have taken place while many CEOs (including Shaun) refuse to divulge their RL identities to shareholders to improve shareholder security. In the post Enron world, one would think people would be allergic to just giving their money to anonymous ghosts. People shouldn’t complain if their money turns to vapor when they invest in vaporous identities. This is why I clearly identify who I am IRL. I think all CEOs should.

    Also: companies pay for things of significant value with stock instead of cash all the time in RL. Ask Kirk Kerkorian how he got his stock in Mercedes, or how Steve Jobs got control of Apple back by merging Next with it.

  35. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    Intlibber, the math of towers doesn’t get to be compared to the math of a parcel where the tenant controls the whole parcel.

    In a tower, you can’t grant your tenants all their privileges and rights, i.e. music to change, control of the ban list, etc. They basically just perch, and can’t really run the venue.

    It’s one of the mysteries of Second Life that in fact people *love* towers. They love the concept of taking elevators up into towers (that’s why any naysayers on that aren’t getting the reality of the customer base), they love the idea of “office space” or “apartments”.

    BUT the reality is that they can’t control the space, then they churn. So I’m thinking $4900 is way off as a price, I charge, less, but whatever.

    The point is, the valuation was done by insiders. The payment was made in stock, which is going to raise suspicions.

    It simply doesn’t strike me as ethical. I think these online entities need to have by-laws and ethics even more stringent than first life because of the ephemera and the transitory nature of the world, and the anonymity.

    I think that even with people liking office buildings and such, you can’t really put the kind of future rentals valuation that you are putting on this building, and then sell it for stock, it’s just too risky and precarious.

    Add to that the controversy factor over the WTC — people just don’t share your take on it. You’ll simply have to respect it.

    I can’t insist on someone sharing their RL ID. That is not the principle of Second Life. I think it’s a good one to have, the idea of anonymity, and if you cannot come to trust people through their actions in world, you cannot replace that with RL credentialing.

    >By that time, Shaun had already sold several million shares to Anshe and earned over $50,000 US. This was before the market even noticed, Anshe had dropped almost 20 million lindens on the exchange in quiet without the public finding out. Shaun was in control of the market software then, btw. Shaun also refused to implement important features to prevent CEOs from selling their stock before the time period specified in the exchange rules, a feature Luke had repeatedly requested of him. Shaun engineered the minicrash by enabling shifty CEOs to sell out their own stock and make off with shareholder money too.

    I have no way of evaluating this, and I don’t see where the proof is. The question of course emerges of why there are shifty CEOS in the first place, that you and your friends brought in.

    Sure, Steve Jobs got stock, CEOS always get stock. But the institutions are not created that way, and they aren’t managed with only barter relations.

  36. mootykips

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    intlib, while I don’t really mind your labeling, I don’t think accusing your stockholders of being griefers is a Good Idea.

    Oh well, Prokofy vs intLib. Looking to see how this one plays out.

    /munches popcorn

  37. Odysseus Burton

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    You shouldn’t mind being labelled mootykips as your own eMail address is “”, the very purpose of the patriotic nigras and their own stated purpose is to “ruin the second lives” of many. Far as I’m concerned that organization is nothing but a criminal enterprise masquerading as a group that just wants to have fun. By destroying anything related to the Furrie World, and what you cannot destroy you mock & ridicule with hyperbole of a massive and uncontrolled nature…

    …quite frankly you’re an asshole with nothing better to do than stir the pot and see what happens.

  38. Montana Corleone

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    If you really wanna know the genius behind the WSE check out:

    Australia’s Second Life news source, who have an interview with Luke…

  39. mootykips

    Apr 22nd, 2007

    lol Odysseus, that’s not what I meant. ‘Labeling’ is “A word or short phrase which is used to describe a person, movement or school of thought” (shouldn’t have expected furries to know English anyway, half their vocabulary is “yiff”). For example, I don’t mind when intLib calls me an “economic griefer”, but I’m simply saying that ‘labeling’ your stockholders as “griefers” is far from the best of ideas. God knows they actually have a say in your business transactions.

  40. Harlequin Salome

    Apr 23rd, 2007

    First off, I’m stunned. I’m agreeing with Prok so far here. End of freakin’ days o.o

    Printing money and diluting stock is not ethical. You just totally gutpunched stock prices without consulting your shareholders. That shows a disregard for them, who helped fund this disgusting project of yours. No offense, but this is not a time to be questioning *others* on handling of money. Remember, rule one of debating, don’t attack your opponent as a way to answer a question, makes you seem desperate.
    Secondly, to use the WTC is something that I honestly think you both should be slapped for. And to park your personal helocopter on top of it… well, other than a model of yourself reaming your stockholders I can’t think of a better image to describe this “venture”.

    But allow me to speak, as someone with real life stock experience. Specifically in the Mercantile Exchange in Chicago. S+P 500, NASDAQ, and commodities. The thing that keeps the markets going is simple. There is only one market, more or less, and commodities are set. There is no second stock exchange to compete, and that helps it stay strong. The stock market is volitile as it is, and someone else will start their own, and then we have competition for who has who, etc. And then companies start disappearing.
    It happens irl, too, but with far less regularity. You are hoping for a measure of control you simply can’t get, so I personally think either you’re both fucking idiots, or you’re hoping to take the money and run as it were.

    I personally love stock trading, and I won’t go near that place. I hope it goes bankrupt, and you both lose a great deal of money, and you take down that offensive mockery.

  41. Rolf Carter

    Apr 25th, 2007


    How dare YOU try to profit from the death of almost 3000 people, and then claim to have a right to because “you knew the pilot”. I knew a passenger on that very flight, he was not a man of Commerce, he was just a quiet, respectful family man who did his bit for the community to try and make this world a better place.

    You are cashing in on his death and as far as I’m concerned, that makes you and Vandeverre complete scum.

  42. Abraham

    Jun 20th, 2007

    Wien ist mir im moment zu distanziert… Dann will ich dir wenigstens auf diesem wege meine lieben grube zukommen lassen!!! :)

  43. Abraham

    Jun 26th, 2007

    Very creative… May be you make new design for my sites?

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