Of all of the desperate, inspired, cockamamie ideas proffered by companies in dire straits to pump up stock prices or otherwise stave off disaster and demise in this fetid, pandemic-infested world, none was quite so brazen as that offered by Hertz. After the better part of a decade of bad decisions and pivots that ultimately went nowhere, the bankrupt car-rental company at last came up with a stroke of pure genius: Why not sell a half-billion dollars’ worth of stock, and we use the term “worth” loosely, as in the very regulatory filing making that offer, Hertz conceded that those shares would prove almost certainly worthless? If the stock-market Stoolies couldn’t get enough of the stuff, why not indeed?

Turns out the answer to that question is, “because Jay Clayton called and said not to.” Fortunately for both Hertz and some of those aforementioned senseless Hertz stans, however, the SEC chair didn’t pick up the phone quite quickly enough, and so unlike Kodak, Hertz actually got something out of its insulting-on-its-face salvation plan.

Hertz suspended the stock sale after the Securities and Exchange Commission raised questions, but not before issuing 13.9 million shares, netting $29 million, according to a securities filing by the company on Monday.

The stock closed at $1.69 on Monday, implying a $240 million market capitalization.

Don’t worry, day traders: Even though you’re already underwater on those new shares—which went for an average of $2 apiece—we’re sure that “significant and rapid and currently unanticipated improvement in business conditions” will come around and save you, once Vladimir Putin’s untested and possibly fictitious coronavirus vaccine saves the world.

Hertz Sold $29 Million in Stock Before SEC Stepped In [WSJ]

Related

brokendowncar

What, No One Wants To Trade A Hertz Pink Sheet?

That NYSE listing is apparently worth several dollars a share to a stock that’s only worth several dollars a share.

burningmoney

Hertz Would Like To Sell You Half A Billion Worth Of Worthless Stock

Behold, the most amazing regulatory filing in the history of stupid capitalism.

hertz

Turns Out Hertz’s Future Not As Bright As Day Traders Hoped

Their first stock market toy is being taken away, and they aren’t getting anything for it.

By Mariuszjbie (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The SEC Would Also Like To Know Why, How Kodak Shares Are Up 600%

What did CEO Jim Continenza know, when did he know it and what did he do with that knowledge?

(Getty Images)

Have You Heard Of The Penny Stock Companies That Are Gonna Save Us?

The SEC has, too, and now you can’t trade them anymore.

(Getty Images)

Jay Clayton Doesn’t Want To Start Smacking Insider Skulls, So Don’t Make Him

He’s this close to not having to give a s**t about any of this any more, you guys. Come on.

(Getty Images)

SEC Says Funhouse Accounting OK Until It Figures Out Its Own New Rules

You can probably just forget about them until at least Jan. 20, 2021.