Monday, June 10, 2002

The idea is pretty interesting, actually: The group, or agency, is called Found, and the notice comes from their Unclaimed Funds Department. If you have no idea what I am talking about, read our front page at River City News. The very idea of such a firm brings to mind images of suit-wearing, hard-working, bespectacled accountant-types frantically making calls and running through the office, occasionally with a "whoop! - I found another unclaimed thousand, boss!" rattling down the hall. The office manager is no doubt a tough, no-nonsense guy. "Track down who it belongs to - NOW!" he roars, and five people jump on the phones.

Or they fire off emails, hoping desperately to locate the people who have left so much money unclaimed. A thousand here, a million there - the numbers add up, dammit! And until Found had the guts to step forward and start getting to the bottom of this mess, the unclaimed cash was just rolling around in Swiss bank accounts, or perhaps in untouched inventory somewhere. That diamond mine in New Guinea just busted open again; there are riches to be claimed.

We at River City News hope desperately that Found has matched us with an unclaimed fortune. After all, their unsolicited e-mail asserts that more than 30,000,0000 people have unclaimed money out there - somewhere - that they don't know about. What we don't know about is exactly what kind of a number is 30,000,0000 - is there a comma in the wrong place, or is that an unclaimed zero? No matter, it's a lot of people. And, for investment sake alone, I think we've got a winner in Found I'm pretty sure that the next time I want to buy some stock, a company that is sitting on millions in unclaimed riches is a great place to start.

By the way, check out longtime pal Harrison Pak's moving account of his struggle with e-mail and identity. Go to River City: In Too Deep. Thanks, Harrison!