Bad Crow Review: The Sunday Slacker
Behold some links and tomfoolery
Links are at the end, hoping for a little stimulation.
Yesterday’s photo and today’s are of a downtown wall mysteriously plastered with posters from Venezuela. It’s lovely.
“executives could contribute to the perception that the stock market is rigged to benefit the privileged”
The market? Rigged? Well I never. Everybody never.
ProPublica has a long story about corporate executives trading on inside information about their competitors and doing swell out of it.
The publication obtained a trove of IRS tax documents detailing the stock market activities of multiple corporate executives who made bank with the practice, sometimes legally and sometimes perhaps not.
On Feb. 21, 2018, August Troendle, an Ohio billionaire, made a remarkably well-timed stock trade. He sold $1.1 million worth of shares of Syneos Health the day before a management shake-up caused the company’s stock to plunge 16%. It was the largest one-day drop that year for Syneos’ share price.
The company was one Troendle knew well. He is the CEO of Medpace, one of Syneos’ chief competitors in a niche industry. Both Syneos and Medpace handle clinical trials for biopharma companies, and that year they had jointly launched a trade association for companies in the field.
The day after selling the Syneos shares in February 2018, Troendle bought again — at least $3.9 million worth. The value of his Syneos stake then rose 75% in the year that followed.
In February 2019, Troendle sold much of that position, netting $2.3 million in profit. Two days later, Syneos disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its accounting practices. The news sent the company’s shares tumbling. Troendle’s sale avoided a 25% loss, the stock’s largest decline in such a short period during either that or the previous year. (Troendle declined to comment.)
Absolutely a happy accident. The story has a number of similar tales, including a couple where the executives at issue went with variations of the “I didn’t do it and if I did it was fine” exculpation, and hung up when the reporters said they were looking at the data that very moment. One of them, in a brief conversation, did everything you’re not supposed to do when talking with investigative reporters.
In an interview, Grossman denied trading stock altogether. When told that IRS data documented his trading activity, and asked about Temple-Inland in particular, Grossman said, “I haven’t traded stock since then.” The IRS data shows he continued to trade. Grossman said that after he sold his company in 2008, he never worked for the buyer, Rock-Tenn. But his tax data shows he was on Rock-Tenn’s payroll through 2013. “They paid me but never used my services,” Grossman said. He asserted that he did not know about the acquisition talks involving Temple-Inland when he bought shares. Asked what prompted him to buy that day, Grossman replied, “That was 10 years ago.” With that, he hung up.
The entire financial system is rigged. I expect the lawyers had something to do with that mealy-mouthed “perception” that the stock market might be a part of that.
“We’re building a union that will help every worker realize their true potential so the working class can start winning again.”
UAW member Chris Viola has a piece in Jacobin about the ongoing success of the union reform movement. UAWD (Unite All Workers for Democracy) candidates have been successful in local and national union elections following a federal investigation into the union that resulted in corruption charges against a baker’s dozen of top union executives in 2019.
There’s a phrase on the shop floor, “they can do that,” that you’ll hear when management does whatever it wants. The same hand-wave response can be used whenever union leaders act without input from the membership, or when politicians tune out their constituents. But we’re building a union that understands that our power is in the working class, and we only win when we bring everyone together to face our problems head-on. So goodbye to “they can do that.” We’re all sick of hearing you. It’s time we set our own terms. It’s time we start saying, “we can do that!”
One can hear similar rhetoric across the union landscape, too often from the people impeding progress, but in this particular union they’re making it happen.
“This is propaganda, not a press release”
Axios, the poster-child for journalistic kissing-up, fired one of their Florida reporters for that accurate description of a DeSantis administration press release. An Axios executive told Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter Ben Montgomery that his reputation was “irreparably tarnished” in Tampa Bay after a DeSantis press aide tweeted out Montgomery’s emailed response to the release.
Montgomery said his former co-workers have expressed “outrage” to him about what happened.
“It might seem like a little thing for a guy in Tampa, Fla., to be out of a job for a minute,” Montgomery said. “But this has ripple effects for an administration that’s really had their way with the press and run roughshod over a lot of people — good people.”
“As far as I know, Ben never has lied to me”
That’s one of the witnesses who says long-time Texas political bigwig Ben Barnes recounted years ago his story of touring the Middle East with former Democratic Texas governor (and failed Republican presidential hopeful) John Connally, persuading leaders in various countries to tell Iran that Reagan would give the country a better deal than Carter if they held on to the American hostages until after the 1980 presidential election.
It has been more than four decades, but Ben Barnes said he remembers it vividly. His longtime political mentor invited him on a mission to the Middle East. What Mr. Barnes said he did not realize until later was the real purpose of the mission: to sabotage the re-election campaign of the president of the United States.
It was 1980 and Jimmy Carter was in the White House, bedeviled by a hostage crisis in Iran that had paralyzed his presidency and hampered his effort to win a second term. Mr. Carter’s best chance for victory was to free the 52 Americans held captive before Election Day. That was something that Mr. Barnes said his mentor was determined to prevent.
Reagan ruined everything.
“Could reversing age-related Menin loss reverse signs of physiological aging?”
Decline in the hypothalamic Menin may play a key role in aging, according to a new study in PLOS Biology by Lige Leng of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China, and colleagues.
The findings reveal a previously unknown driver of physiological aging, and suggest that supplementation with a simple amino acid may mitigate some age-related changes.
Might could ought, might could not. The major drawback of anti-aging technology, it seems to yr. editor, is that the world’s worst people will be the first and biggest beneficiaries of it when something proves out, as will inevitably happen. Living forever is evidently a common goal in billionaire circles.
Here’s a thing, though:
An experimental pill has achieved the complete remission of cancer in 18 near-terminal patients with aggressive tumors that did not respond to treatments. The illness, acute myeloid leukemia, is the most common blood cancer in adults, accounting for 120,000 cases each year. The three-year survival rate is just 25%. The new drug, called revumenib, has completely eliminated cancer in a third of the participants in a long-awaited clinical study in the United States. The results are preliminary and do not suggest a definitive cure, but the authors of the experiment are optimistic.
And from the same publication:
They came up with the idea one night over frozen pizza and Coke in the kitchen of their Hamburg college dorm. Mirco Wolf Wiegert and Lorenz Hampl, a couple of enterprising twenty-somethings looking for a business that was lucrative, yes, but above all fun, decided to create a new cola. Never mind that the worldwide market was pretty much cornered by another brand; theirs was going to be different – and better. With less sugar, much more caffeine and a recognizable flavor. They had no idea where to start, but they raised €7,000, registered the company and started looking for a manufacturer to help them create the formula.
Fritz-kola features “the maximum amount of caffeine allowed by law: 25 milligrams per 100 milliliters.” Oohrah.
Music in the mainline
Linda Perry wrote one of rock’s truly iconic songs before she left 4 Non Blondes, and I’ve linked to two performances of it—one with Perry solo on piano, and one with Pink covering the tune while Perry strums, which is nothing short of fabulous. The Knife ought to be experienced, and Ladyton is proof that synth-heavy stuff isn’t all bad.
Linda Perry, “In Flight;”The Knife, "Live At Terminal 5;" Ladytron, "Time's Arrow."
And that, Comrades, is all there is
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Be well, take care.