Skip to main content

Musk Says He Has the Means to Buy Twitter, but Investors Aren’t So Sure [NYT]
“It’s one of the barest-bones acquisition offers I’ve ever seen,” said Howard Berkenblit, head of the capital markets team at Sullivan & Worcester, a law firm. “It’s almost like he tweeted the offer” and plans to determine the next steps “depending on what Twitter wants to do.”/On Thursday afternoon, Twitter’s board appeared to be leaning against a deal. The directors were weighing whether to adopt a so-called poison pill…. Twitter shareholders didn’t seem to believe that Mr. Musk would be able to get the funds to cobble together a bid. Shares of a takeover target typically rise, but Twitter’s stock fell almost 2 percent, closing at $45.08 — significantly below Mr. Musk’s offer of $54.20 a share….
Securities lawyers said the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is the nation’s top financial regulator, was likely to scrutinize Mr. Musk’s moves. If it pursues a case, that could deter banks, private equity firms and Twitter shareholders from embracing his offer.

Elon Musk Contends Censorship, Not Abuse, Is Twitter’s Problem [WSJ]
“If in doubt, let the speech, let it exist,” Mr. Musk said Thursday during an interview at a TED conference in Vancouver. “If it’s a gray area, I would say let the tweet exist….”
Mr. Musk made clear he doesn’t think anything goes is the best approach either: He said he would like to crack down on scams and spam posts that populate his Twitter feed.

Elon Musk Is No Longer Twitter’s Largest Shareholder [WSJ]
Funds held by Vanguard Group recently upped their stake in the social-media platform, making the asset manager Twitter’s largest shareholder and bumping Mr. Musk out of the top spot…. Vanguard isn't making a directional bet on Twitter. Instead, the majority of its assets are in index and other so-called passive funds. The firm often sides with management on voting issues and doesn’t advocate for changes like a hedge fund or activist investor might.

Musk says U.S. SEC 'bastards' forced settlement over Tesla tweets [Reuters]
Musk said he felt forced to settle with the SEC because banks threatened to cease providing capital if he did not do so, which would have made Tesla bankrupt immediately…. "I was forced to admit that I lied to save Tesla's life and that's the only reason," Musk added.

Biden to nominate Michael Barr as Fed bank regulator in second attempt to fill post [CNBC]
Barr… had last year been considered as Biden’s pick to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. But progressive Democrats, concerned by what they viewed as his cozy ties to Wall Street, snuffed out his candidacy…. In tapping Barr again, the White House is betting that [former nominee Sarah Bloom] Raskin’s withdrawal at the hands of [Sen. Joe] Manchin is enough to persuade progressives — who might have preferred Raskin — to back a more-centrist choice.

Ricketts family withdraws bid to buy Chelsea Football Club [WGN]
The group also included Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who owns Citadel LLC…. ““In the process of finalizing their proposal, it became increasingly clear that certain issues could not be addressed given the unusual dynamics around the sales process.”

A Financial Services Company Illegally Leased Dogs, Massachusetts Says [NYT]
“Families in Massachusetts looking to get a dog should not be trapped in leasing agreements that are harmful, expensive, and illegal,” [Attorney General Maura] Healey said. “We will take action to stop this exploitive practice of using dogs as emotional leverage….”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the practice of leasing pets was believed to have started around 2013, with a Nevada-based company that would transfer its debt to Monterey after the animal was “purchased.” Consumers don’t interact with these companies during the application process, according to the A.S.P.C.A., and the word “lease” is not mentioned in promotional material.

The Wolf of Crypto [NYT]
This month, at his house in Miami Beach, [Jordan Belfort] hosted nine blockchain enthusiasts and entrepreneurs for a weekend-long crypto workshop — a chance to hang out with the Wolf and enjoy an “intimate financial experience” with his crypto-industry friends….
He is… a recent convert away from crypto skepticism. Not long ago, he shot a YouTube video about the dangers of Bitcoin, which he called “frickin’ insanity” and “mass delusion….” Now, Mr. Belfort is an investor in a handful of start-ups, including a new NFT platform and an animal-themed crypto project that he said is “trying to take the dog-and-pet ecosystem and put it onto the blockchain.”

Related

mlk memorial

Holiday Bell: 1.17.22

Bankers making bank; Chris Hohn on top; Antonio Horta-Osorio less so; the wrath of Musk; and more!

tiffany

Opening Bell: 6.5.20

Unemployment falls; bankruptcies rise; Slack ain’t Zoom; Musk v. Bezos; Ken Griffin buys a painting; and more!

creation-of-elon-musk5

Opening Bell: 9.29.17

Elon Musk wants to be Rocket Man; Roku IPO goes vertical; the Trump Trade is back; Thomas the Tank Engine is a cruel, repressive nightmare; and more.

charlie brown christmas tree

Holiday Bell: 12.23.20

SEC kills IPOs; Trump temper-tantrum; Apple rejected Tesla; garbage company rejects Nikola; and more!

ice cube

Holiday Bell: 4.2.21

Coinbase to list; Hertz worth more than Hertz thinks; an immaterial currency en route to an unreachable planet; and more things that only sound like April Fools jokes!

By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Mike Pompeo) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Holiday Bell: 10.8.18

Pompeo treated like a bull in a China; Tesla looking to hire Elon a daddy; Somebody is long GE; Banksy trolls the art world; and more!

Holiday Bell: 12.31.12

Cliff's Edge Draws Close (WSJ) What happens Monday could go some way to determining the short-term fate of the U.S. economy and the reputation of the government, both of which have been dinged by the spectacle of endless seemingly circular negotiations. Carrying the baton late into Sunday evening were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky) and Vice President Joe Biden. A spokesman for Mr. McConnell said Monday morning that the two men "will continue to work toward a solution." In the past two weeks, at least three different sets of negotiation teams have sought a way out...Still, some remained hopeful elements of a deal were on the table and could be brought into alignment at the last minute. "We're very close," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.). "It is like a kaleidoscope," meaning there are many moving parts that can look beautiful or ugly depending how they're arrayed. Experts Forecast The Cost Of Failure To Compromise (NYT) In the event no compromise is found, however,the Congressional Budget Office and many private economists warn that the sudden pullback in spending and the rise in taxes would push the economy into recession in the first half of the year. Under this outcome, Mr. Gault said, the economy could shrink by 0.5 percent over all of 2013. With the clock ticking, some observers bolstered their criticism of Washington. "If we have a recession, it's unforgivable," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. "For the first time in modern history, we will have a self-inflicted recession in the U.S." New Year's Countdown To Higher US Taxes Starts (Bloomberg) The IRS has said it will issue guidance by today on paycheck withholding for 2013, which depends on the income-tax rates Congress is debating. Higher rates would mean less take- home pay for workers starting as early as the first paycheck in January. Both Democrats and Republicans support extending current rates for families making less than $250,000. They disagree on whether to raise levies for top earners. Rates are scheduled to increase for all income levels Jan. 1 if Congress doesn’t act. Parties Pivot To Blame (WSJ) If Congress and the White House fail to strike a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, Republicans are under few illusions as to who will get much of the blame—even if past polls suggest there will be plenty to go around. "The poor Republicans will get the brunt of it, which may be unfair, but such is life," said Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a former White House budget chief under George W. Bush. "The Republicans are seen as the obstinate ones, where at the very least, the president and his side are equally so." Polls since the November election have found Americans more ready to blame the GOP than President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats if the two sides fail to reach a deal to avoid the wave of tax increases and spending cuts coming Jan. 1. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll earlier this month showed 24% would blame Republicans while 19% would blame Democrats. Merkel Says Euro Zone Crisis Far From Over (Reuters) FYI. Mario Batali wins biz feud over UK chef Gordon Ramsay (NYP, related, related) Batali says the prickly Brit star has agreed to give up on using the name The Spotted Pig for a London eatery — amid outcry that he had swiped it from Batali and his partners. “It didn’t make him look great,” Batali said of Ramsay’s recent trademarking of the name in the UK. “I don’t think it was an intentional shot across the bow by Gordon,” Batali told the Eater Vegas blog. “His team is just [trying] to build businesses. There’s got to be a thousand other animals they could have chosen besides The Spotted Pig. A striped minx, for example.” Experts Back Deutsche Whistleblowers (FT) Accounting experts say Deutsche Bank appears to have improperly accounted for billions of dollars of credit derivatives trades by failing to value adequately the risk that its trading counterparties could walk away. Jersey woman charged at boyfriend with hammer after he refuses to pay for laundry, reports say (NJ) Jazmin Duran, 24, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, domestic violence, possession of weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, resisting arrest police reports said. Police were called to Garfield Avenue near Armstrong Avenue at 2:52 p.m. on a report that a man was locked in the bathroom and his girlfriend was hitting the door with a hammer, reports said. When police arrived, the 49-year-old boyfriend, was still locked in the bathroom, reports said. After a brief struggle, police were able to detain Duran, reports said. When he came out he told police that Duran was mad at him and attacked him with a hammer, reports said. The victim said that he was undressing to get in the shower while talking to his girlfriend about getting her eyebrows done, when she asked for him to pay for doing her laundry, reports said. He responded that he didn't have money to pay for her laundry, reports said. He said she became irate and began to scream, reports said. BofA Settlement Hits Snags (WSJ) A big legal settlement usually marks the end of the bulk of the work for the Justice Department. But a year after a $335 million deal with Bank of America Corp. to compensate minority borrowers for alleged discrimination, much remains to be done. The department's settlement administrator just began notifying affected borrowers in November, about five months later than originally planned. Then, weeks after letters went out to more than 233,000 presumed victims, about 10% of those letters have been returned as undeliverable, according to Justice Department officials. U.S. officials had warned that it might take two years for eligible borrowers to receive money from the settlement, but they also expressed hope that checks could be mailed out sooner. Those hopes have dimmed. Facebook Analysts Stick To Script (WSJ) Facebook Inc. FB +1.03% has gotten a thumbs-down from investors since its initial public offering. But securities analysts who work at the investment banks that did the deal have never wavered in their enthusiasm. Since the social-networking company went public in May, analysts at Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs—Facebook's three biggest underwriters—have issued 40 reports on the stock. Every report has urged investors to buy. Skin In The Game (NYP) West Village cosmetic doctor Yelena Yeretsky usually works to make the power women of Wall Street look flawless. But now men are asking for her services. Yeretsky says, “The men usually want chemical peels so they look glowy. I remove lesions and skin tags and non-cancerous growths from years of playing golf in the sun.” French Court Says 75% Tax Rate on Rich Is Unconstitutional (Bloomberg) President Francois Hollande’s 75 percent millionaire-tax is unconstitutional because it fails to guarantee taxpayer equality, France’s top court ruled today. The tax, one of Hollande’s campaign promises, had become a focal point of discontent among entrepreneurs and other wealth creators, some of whom have quit French shores as a result. The ruling comes as the president seeks to cut France’s public deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product next year from a projected 4.5 percent this year. For Euro, All Eyes On ECB's Playbook (WSJ) "Global central banks are engaged in a race to the bottom. It's difficult to call which major currency will be the ugliest," said Munich-based Thomas Kressin, who heads currency strategy for Pacific Investment Management Co., one of the world's biggest bond-fund managers. Expert: Champagne cork can put an eye out (UPI) The pressure inside a champagne bottle can launch a cork at 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle, fast enough to shatter glass, U.S. eye experts say. Dr. Monica L. Monica, an ophthalmologist and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said the speed at which a cork can be unleashed is fast enough to permanently damage vision, including rupture of the eye wall, acute glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens and damage to the eye's bone structure. These injuries sometimes require urgent eye surgeries, Monica said. "When a champagne cork flies, you really have no time to react and protect your delicate eyes," Monica said in a statement. Programming Note: We're on an abbreviated, vacation-esque schedule. Opening wraps and brief updates should anything happen that people need to know about (fiscal cliff deal is struck, Raj Rajaratnam leads his fellow inmates in a NYE flashmob set to 'Thriller,' etc). Happy New Year and we'll see you in 2013!

By D J Shin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Holiday Bell: 12.30.20

Humans power piddling hedge fund returns; Dan Loeb keeps busy right ‘til the ball drops; Congress set to shatter SEC’s Supreme shackles; and more!