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Curious George
strongly that deepwater drilling presents a glorious opportunity. A Cardiff Marine affiliate recently ordered two newly constructed drill ships from Samsung Heavy Industries for $1.4 billion.

The sudden tacking by DryShips hasn't played well with shareholders. In a December 2007 conference call investors complained about DryShips' intention to pay Cardiff Marine a $4 million fee for brokering the Ocean Rig deal. They also expressed concern that Economou was using the public company to fund his private interests. Would Economou now press Ocean Rig to buy Cardiff's new ships? "The more salient issue is that DryShips' balance sheet is potentially being deployed as bridge financing for Mr. Economou's long-term entry into the drill-rig sector," says Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Tim J. Tiberio.

But Economou, who owns 34% of DryShips, has learned he can do nearly anything he wants in the capital markets as long as it's fully disclosed. "Once you have full disclosure, if you don't like it, don't invest," he says. He does, however, sometimes seem to be disdainful of his shareholders.

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