Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16th Links

  • But, as is often the case in small, family-run businesses, those making the compensation decisions and those receiving the compensation are one and the same. That dynamic can be problematic. It is made even more so when the self-interested decisions are made without proper documentation (in the form of board minutes or otherwise) and without objective evidence supporting them. [...] The contemporaneous evidence of the board’s "process" with respect to the stock option grants is, in a word, thin. Consequently, the Court was left to view the process through a retrospective lens ground in the after-the-fact testimony of the conflicted fiduciaries who made the decisions. As conflicted fiduciaries, Defendants were obliged to prove that the stock options they granted themselves were entirely fair; that is, their burden was to prove that the grant was the product of a fair process that yielded a fair result. They failed to carry that burden. Consequently, I find that Defendants breached their fiduciary duty of loyalty with respect to the option grants. [Delaware Chancery]
  • Palantir's serial failure to convene annual stockholder meetings is problematic. Palantir admits that it has not held stockholder meetings, but states that there is no wrongdoing because stockholders have elected to act, instead, by written consent. Even so, the questions remain whether and to what extent KT4 and other stockholders have been (or have not been) provided an opportunity to participate in decision making by written consent and whether all stockholders have been provided with the kind of basic information they could expect to receive from Palantir at an annual stockholder meeting. Accordingly, I find that KT4 has met its low burden of demonstrating a credible basis to suspect wrongdoing as to Palantir's failure to hold annual stockholder meetings. [Delaware Chancery]
  • Palo Alto attorney Abramowitz and his firm invested an initial $100,000 in Palantir in 2003. Together with subsequent investments, their stake is now worth about $60 million, according to the judge's opinion. [link]
  • Dr. Mark Connolly, a cardiovascular surgeon, has always lived in apartments in and around New York. He has focused his collection on Italian red wine. But using a storage service has created its own problem: an overabundance of wine. Because Dr. Connolly, 63, never had to worry about managing his inventory, he just kept collecting. He has 7,000 bottles, and he knows he will never finish them in his lifetime. "I always tell my kids, 'You can't sell it,'" Dr. Connolly said. "'You have to drink it or give it to your friends.'" [NY Times]
  • I think we need a poll. Which pic is more effective at evoking a dystopian future run by Silicon Valley overlords? Bezos & robot dog or Zuck w/the VR Bugmen? [Twiter]
  • For those who stay the course to become Cravath partners, it is a lifetime career that comes with a guaranteed annual salary of several million dollars. Underscoring the "lifetime" part are traditions such as the Cravath Walk: every partner is entitled to a procession of past and present partners at their funeral, after which the assembled lawyers chant: "The partner is dead, the firm lives." [FT]
  • We have incurred net losses in each year since inception, including net losses of $38.7 million in 2015, $44.6 million in 2016 and $55.8 million in 2017. As of December 31, 2017, we had an accumulated deficit of $279.9 million. While we have experienced significant revenue growth in recent periods, we are not certain whether or when we will obtain a high enough volume of sales of our products to sustain or increase our growth or achieve or maintain profitability in the future. [EDGAR]
  • I have known for many years that statins are likely to cause damage to nerve cells. Probably through a direct effect on inhibiting cholesterol synthesis. Synapses are made, primarily, of cholesterol. Cholesterol is required to maintain the health of the myelin sheath, that surrounds and protects neurons. Glial cells in the brain, sustain the myelin sheath by synthesizing their own cholesterol and transferring it across to neurons, and suchlike. [link]
  • High reporting odds ratios for ALS and ALS-related conditions span many statins, in a setting in which 'negative' randomized and population-based studies cannot exclude causal occurrence (due to expectation of bidirectional effects on relevant mechanisms). Given the seriousness of this condition, the apparent excess reporting of ALS on statins warrants attention. When patients develop an ALS-like condition on a statin, a possible connection should be considered. This study does not address the impact of statin withdrawal. However, until better evidence is available, prompt statin withdrawal should be considered, given (1) the observational relations between higher cholesterol levels and both longer survival and slower progression in patients with ALS; (2) known mechanisms by which this may be causal; (3) reports (though rare) of arrest and even reversal of ALS-like conditions with statin withdrawal; and finally (4) the important context that estimated median expected life extension with statins is minimal. [link]
  • As profit margins have declined, more of the value in each dealership is in the land it sits on. In the past, owners often chose to hold on to their real estate and rent it to the person who bought their dealership. But commercial real-estate values in the U.S. have risen more than 25% above pre-recession highs, according to the real estate research firm Green Street Advisors, and this has owners increasingly wanting to sell everything. [WSJ]
  • In 1969, long-simmering Sino-Soviet tensions were at the boiling point when, by some accounts, Brezhnev was preparing a preemptive strike to nip the nascent Chinese nuclear threat in the bud. According to Chinese historian Liu Chenshan, "Soviet diplomats warned Washington of Moscow's plans 'to wipe out the Chinese threat and get rid of this modern adventurer,' with a nuclear strike, asking the U.S. to remain neutral." The plan was discouraged, however, when the Nixon administration, preferring to maintain China as a counterbalance to Soviet power, threatened a nuclear strike against Russia if Brezhnev proceeded. [link]
  • In 1958, LG Electronics was founded as GoldStar (Hangul:금성). It was established in the aftermath of the Korean War to provide the rebuilding nation with domestically-produced consumer electronics and home appliances. LG Electronics produced South Korea's first radios, TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. GoldStar was one of the LG groups with a brethren company, Lak-Hui (pronounced "Lucky") Chemical Industrial Corp. which is now LG Chem and LG Households. GoldStar merged with Lucky Chemical and LG Cable on February 28, 1995, changing the corporate name to Lucky-Goldstar, and then finally to LG Electronics. [Wiki]
  • A group that is suing Harvard University is demanding that it publicly release admissions data on hundreds of thousands of applicants, saying the records show a pattern of discrimination against Asian-Americans going back decades. The group was able to view the documents through its lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 and challenges Harvard’s admissions policies. The plaintiffs said in a letter to the court last week that the documents were so compelling that there was no need for a trial, and that they would ask the judge to rule summarily in their favor based on the documents alone. [NY Times]
  • Rust Belt metros of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit fall victim to what Romem calls "negative income sorting"; that is, the median household that moves in earns less than the median household moving out. Overall, the chart shows the polarized economic sorting going on across America's metro areas. [link]
  • MacArthur accomplished a great deal with little resources in the southwest Pacific theater during the Second World War. He was able to bypass the Japanese Empire's fortified island bases (like Rabaul), leaving them to wither on the vine, and strike at the enemy's more vulnerable points. This strategy stood in stark contrast to what the US Navy and Marine Corps were doing at the time, which was to make costly frontal assaults on islands that in some cases were of dubious value. [link]
  • Even the most die-hard crypto enthusiasts prefer in practice to rely on trust rather than their own crypto-medieval systems. 93% of bitcoins are mined by managed consortiums, yet none of the consortiums use smart contracts to manage payouts. Instead, they promise things like a "long history of stable and accurate payouts." Sounds like a trustworthy middleman! [link]
  • Long-term use of antidepressants is surging in the United States, according to a new analysis of federal data by The New York Times. Some 15.5 million Americans have been taking the medications for at least five years. The rate has almost doubled since 2010, and more than tripled since 2000. Nearly 25 million adults, like Ms. Toline, have been on antidepressants for at least two years, a 60 percent increase since 2010.[NY Times]
  • To eat out in New York is to drown in choices. Which neighborhood? Which cuisine? Updated or traditional? Speedy or stately? Loud or just moderately loud? [NY Times]
  • The Fortress financing, which closed on December 11, 2017, provided Theranos with up to $100 million of liquidity, subject to product and operational milestones. The first funding tranche of $65 million gross was released at closing. The release of a second tranche of $10 million gross was contingent upon FDA approval or CE marking of the Zika assay for use on the miniLab. Achieving that milestone within the first half of 2018 was crucial to our business plan. Development of the Zika assay has taken longer than anticipated. [link]
  • The reverberations of the region’s 1920s housing boom are still felt today. During this decade, the City of L.A. permitted somewhere between 210,722 and 232,000 new homes. (City figures show 210,000 between 1921 and 1930, another study by the Guarantee Building and Loan Association counted 232,000 from 1920-1929). These buildings are still a major source of the housing that we rely on to this day. [link]
  • Fifty years ago, if you had a strong analytical mind and were good at generating ideas, the best way to get paid for that was to call your clients and get the trade. The fee structure was very rich then. Today, things are different. Good execution is a very material concern for our clients, with the best liquidity, and also with the best costs. Trading is about technology, scale, and liquidity. It requires capital. Research is about none of these. Research is only about intellectual capital. At New Street Research, what we want to do is to be 100%-focused on research. Every dollar our clients pay is directly financing research. [Barron's]

No comments: