Taking a close-up view, transparency in a centralized system is clear

Dec 23, 2005 | 05:20 AM | Paul Schaffer

The future and the past are sometimes more alike than visionaries like to think.

This autumn, the U.S. Defense Department's domestic metal scrap began reaching the marketplace through an electronic auction platform run by Liquidity Services Inc., Washington.

"Liquidity Services and its subsidiaries enable government agencies, businesses and financial institutions to market and sell surplus assets and wholesale goods . . . using innovative online auction marketplaces," the company says in its literature.

Now that the company wants to sell stock to the general public, Wall Street lawyers are taking a look at the Defense Department (DoD) contract with gimlet eyes.

In the draft document given to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission containing company details for the proposed stock sale, Liquidity Services reframed its self-description of the 2005-to-2012 DoD deal....

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