Monday, September 1, 2014

The Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes

The Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes was a frigate belonging to the Spanish Armada, which was launched at the port of Havana 1786 and was part of the convoy that covered the trade route between the American colonies and Spain. On 5 October 1804 at the Battle of Cape Santa Maria, Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, commanded by José Manuel de Goicoa and Labart, was sunk in waters near the Strait of Gibraltar.

While sailing back from South America with more than 200 people on board, the ship was intercepted by British ships. Spain was a neutral country at the time, but had been showing signs of declaring war in alliance with Napoleonic France. The galleon was ordered to change course towards England, but its senior Spanish officer refused and opened fire on the British.

Tales recount that the Mercedes broke 'like an egg, dumping her yolk into the deep' after the attack most of the survivors were rescued from one or two small boats. The English Prize Office removed 4,773,153 gold and silver pesos from three captured ships, 1,307,634 of which belonged to the king of Spain. After the incident, Spain declared war on England.
In late 2012 a treasure haul was salvaged and displayed. The loot had been at the centre of a five-year legal battle between a U.S. salvage company and Spain. US firm Odyssey Marine Exploration found the lost treasure off Portugal's Atlantic coast in 2007.

At the time, the treasure was estimated to be worth $500m (£316m).
International treaties generally hold that warships sunk in battle are protected from treasure seekers. Odyssey lost every round in federal courts as the Spanish government painted the company as modern-day pirates.

The company has said in earnings statements that it has spent $2.6 million salvaging, transporting, storing and conserving the treasure.

Bombardier Inc - BBD-b.t

Bombardier Inc - BBD-b.t is a global transportation company with 80 production and engineering sites in 26 countries, and a worldwide network of service centers that operate two industry-leading businesses; Aerospace and Rail transportation.

Everywhere people travel by land and in the air, a Bombardier product is ready to transport them.

On August 28, 2014 the media released News

The Financial Post reports in its Thursday edition Bombardier is expected to resume flight testing for the CSeries in early September after months of delays. The Post's Kristine Owram writes the CSeries was grounded in late May after an engine fire and has not flown since, raising concerns Bombardier would be forced to further delay the jet's entry-into-service date.

AltaCorp analyst Chris Murray said new, revised engines from Pratt & Whitney continue to be delivered to Bombardier and installed on the first four flight-test vehicles. Bombardier has been saying flight tests would resume "in the coming weeks" almost since the engine fire first occurred, but Mr. Murray said it appears those tests are finally just around the corner. The company still expects the smaller version of the CSeries to enter into service by the second half of 2015, but Mr. Murray said any further delays could push that into 2016. Bombardier's financial performance has troughed and should steadily improve over the coming years, he said, adding that its valuation discount relative to its peers offers a "highly attractive entry point." AltaCorp rates Bombardier as outperform with a $5.50 price target.

On July 31, 2014 the company released Numbers

Bombardier Announces Financial Results for the Second Quarter Ended June 30, 2014

Bombardier today reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014. Revenues totalled $4.9 billion for the quarter, compared to $4.4 billion for the same period last fiscal year, which represents an increase of 8.9%, excluding currency impacts.

For the second quarter ended June 30, 2014, earnings before financing expense, financing income and income taxes (EBIT) totalled $257 million, or 5.3% of revenues, compared to EBIT before special items of $257 million, or 5.8%, and EBIT of $288 million, or 6.5%, for the same period last fiscal year.

On an adjusted basis, net income amounted to $192 million, or earnings per share (EPS) of $0.10, for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014, compared to $158 million, or $0.09, for the same period the previous year. Net income totalled $155 million, or EPS of $0.08, compared to $180 million or $0.10 for the same period the previous year.





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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Yamashita's Gold

Yamashita's Gold
In the closing months of World War II General Yamashita Tomoyuki was in charge of hiding tons of Japan's looted gold and treasure.

Expert teams accompanying Japan's armed forces systematically striped anything of value from conquered territories. An effective US blockade prevented shipment and at one time there were more than 175 Imperial treasure sites hidden in caves and tunnels throughout the Philippines.

With US forces closing in, the chief engineers of all the vaults were called together with General Yamashita 67 meters underground in Tunnel 8 in the mountains of Luzon. They became drunk on sake and sang patriotic songs.
At midnight, General Yamashita Tomoyuki and his aids slipped out. Dynamite charges were set off in the access tunnels, entombing the engineers. The General escaped to Tokyo by submarine and three months later surrendered to American troops.

Yamashita's driver led the Americans to more than a dozen treasure vaults in the rugged country north of Manila. What they found astounded everyone. In November 1945, General MacArthur strolled down row after row of gold bars stacked two metres tall during a tour. In another 500 meter tunnel west of Mindanao, 12.5kg Gold bars were stacked 1 meter high. After discussions with his cabinet, President Harry Truman kept the recovery efforts a state secret.

After surrendering on September 2, 1945, General Yamashita was charged with war crimes. During his trial there was no mention made of plundered treasure or of Japanese looting during the war.

On 23 February 1946, at Los Baños, Laguna Prison Camp, 30 miles (48 km) south of Manila, Yamashita was hanged.

In 1992, Imelda Marcos claimed that Yamashita's gold accounted for the bulk of the wealth of her husband, Ferdinand Marcos. Despite the best efforts of treasure hunters, no gold hoards have ever (officially) been found.