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Business Failures

BUSINESS
December 20, 2003 | From Associated Press
Instafi.com has shut down, leaving about 100 employees without jobs and final paychecks. The Irvine-based company once employed 350 people and arranged more than $500 million in loans per quarter, but was caught unprepared by a rise in interest rates in July that caused a sudden slowdown in refinancing applications, the Orange County Register reported. "When the rates changed, we were totally caught with our pants down," Dan Moore, 44, a former Instafi.com loan officer said.
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BUSINESS
April 21, 2003 | Margaret Wong, Associated Press
Amy Kok placed discount prices on everything in her clothing store -- not just the fashionable inventory but also the mirrors on the walls and the whirring electric fans cooling the room. Kok turned on the fans after shutting off the expensive air conditioning, and one already had a "sold" sign on it. In just a few days, the SARS crisis in Hong Kong had ruined her business of 10 years.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2003 | P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
Inside the white-and-steel offices of Cinesite Inc., there's panic in the halls as digital artists rush to finish the second "X-Men" movie, "X2." Phones ring incessantly at the Los Angeles visual effects house as visitors from movie studios chat about scenes in which the blue-skinned mutant called Nightcrawler teleports through a government building. Empty soda cans in pristine condition overflow from trash cans -- there simply isn't time for the 250 employees to crush them.
BUSINESS
February 22, 2003 | From Reuters
Accounting firm Deloitte & Touche agreed to settle claims stemming from its audit of collapsed insurer Kentucky Central Life Insurance Co. for $23 million, according to court documents. The settlement agreement was filed in Kentucky's Franklin County Circuit Court for approval. A hearing may be held in early March. The settlement resolves all allegations against Deloitte related to its role as auditor of Kentucky Central Life, which collapsed in 1993.
WORLD
February 7, 2003 | Ching-Ching Ni, Times Staff Writer
SHANGHAI -- At 27, Shi Yuzhu used his life savings of $500 to start a software empire that he appropriately named Giant. His success seemed so unstoppable people called him China's Bill Gates. But his believers were less charitable when Shi's multimillion-dollar company collapsed, earning the whiz kid and CEO the dubious honor of being one of China's biggest failures.
BUSINESS
October 9, 2002 | MICHAEL A. HILTZIK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The demise Tuesday of Cadiz Inc.'s plan to build a multimillion-dollar water storage project in the Mojave Desert places the company under a huge financial strain that raises the question of whether it can survive. The project, which was to be built in partnership with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, was to generate an estimated $500 million to $1 billion in revenue for the company over the next 50 years.
NEWS
October 3, 2002 | SCOTT TIMBERG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Like everyone else--including, I'm told, the people who ran the paper--I found out only Wednesday that New Times Los Angeles was closing. New Times, where I worked for almost five years, was both the most exciting job I've ever had and the most cruel. At its best, the place had a Wild West openness and imagination. Through good times and bad, though, I often thought an office shrink should be part of the benefits package.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2002 | Lisa Girion
The House Government Reform Committee has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 10 to examine why the Justice Department has failed to conclude an investigation into alleged fraud surrounding the $3.2-billion sale of Executive Life Insurance Co. in 1993, two years after it was declared insolvent and seized by the California Insurance commissioner.
BUSINESS
August 1, 2002 | Bloomberg News
Enron Corp.'s creditors' committee has asked a bankruptcy judge to force J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to cooperate with the panel's probe of a series of controversial oil and gas trades. The transactions between Enron and Mahonia Ltd., a bank entity, have been scrutinized by congressional investigators and are the subject of a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court between J.P. Morgan and 11 insurers who guaranteed the trades with surety bonds.
BUSINESS
July 31, 2002 | Times Wire Services
Vanguard Airlines Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid a liquidity crunch that forced the low-cost airline to shut down operations and fire about 1,000 employees. The Kansas City-based based carrier said it continued to seek funds in order to resume operations, but Chief Executive Scott Dickson said the company's shutdown probably would be permanent.
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