Presented Without Comment

7+

Former Purdue CEO Mark Timney (L) and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (R)

Every day we run the Narrative Machine on the past 24 hours of financial media to generate a list of the most linguistically-connected and narrative-central individual stories. We call this The Zeitgeist and we use it for inspiration or insight into short-form notes that we publish a couple of times a week to the website. To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

Below are two of the most narrative-central articles in financial media today. I’m going to leave this here, as the kids would say, without comment, because I’ve been railing on this topic for quite a bit lately (Yeah, It’s Still Water, When Was I Radicalized?, The Rake, OK Boomer).

But I’ll just say this:

Regardless of your personal views pro or con, if you don’t see that a powerful narrative backlash is forming against corporate management enrichment, you’re just not paying attention.


CEO Named in Opioid Lawsuits to Reap $68 Million for Year’s Work  [Bloomberg]

“Mark Timney faces the kind of allegations that can end careers. The former Purdue Pharma LP chief executive officer is accused of playing a key role in fueling the opioid crisis, according to scores of lawsuits by state attorneys general and others. They allege that he directed staff to mislead doctors about the addictiveness of painkillers, which devastated communities across the U.S.”

“Last December, about 18 months after leaving Purdue, Timney became CEO of Medicines Co., a Parsippany, New Jersey-based biotech firm with an experimental cholesterol-lowering treatment for cardiovascular disease. Last week, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG agreed to buy it in a $9.7 billion deal that’s expected to be completed early next year. Timney’s stock options and small stake in Medicines are valued at $87.6 million at the offer price of $85 a share. After excluding the cost of exercising the options and the money he paid to acquire the shares, his take will total $68 million.“


Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick cashes in another $93 million in stock as he separates himself further from the rideshare giant [Business Insider]

“Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick continued his ongoing share sell-off into December, cashing in more than $93 million after selling the company’s stock over a three-day period.”

“Kalanick’s combined sales now ring in at more than $1.8 billion since Uber’s post-IPO lockup period expired on November 6.”


7+

To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You'll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever. It's our effort to spread the word about what we're doing, and allow you to read more Epsilon Theory!

1
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Flat Arthur
Member
Flat Arthur

I can certainly see the anger & frustration building. These two examples are especially interesting because under the surface neither of these seems to be a clear-cut example of egregious corporate management enrichment. In both cases it seems that the subject’s past behavior and poor public image are the critical ingredient that makes the story pop. Timney absolutely deserves to pay the consequences for his behavior at Perdue, maybe that means that he should be in jail or barred from the pharma industry? But, a CEO taking taking risk in a speculative business and then having a deca-million payday after successfully selling a business doesn’t offend my sensibilities. Presumably other employees received significant equity compensation and also did very well. (no subscription to BB Law, so I haven’t read the details) In Kalanick’s case, he founded a business that became huge & IPO’d at the peak of a ridiculous bubble in money-losing, sharing-economy, tech businesses. He may be an insufferable jerk, but if he asked me I would suggest that he cash out now too. Anyone who had a problem with his equity stake could have walked away earlier and possibly even at a significantly higher valuation. In any case, his good fortune was at least associated with taking real world investment risk. But of course, strong & growing narratives tend to trample nuance and details. I have a big problem with management in established businesses lining their pockets by means of equity compensation and then stacking the deck in… Read more »

The Daily Zeitgeist

Pleased to Meet You, Hope You Guess My Name

By Ben Hunt | January 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

It’s the one thing that Donald Trump and Rachel Maddow can agree on … “who the hell cares about the budget?”

If you don’t see that every government in the developed world is about to embark on a massive deficit spending spree, with modern-day ziggurats constructed in every burg and hamlet … you’re just not paying attention.

Read more

The Church of the Long Now

By Ben Hunt | January 17, 2020 | 2 Comments

I know, I know … it’s me being mean to Neel Kashkari again.

Sorry, not sorry. Belittlement and scorn is the only weapon we have against the creeping ensorcellment of the Long Now.

Read more

Shot, Chaser

By Ben Hunt | January 13, 2020 | 9 Comments

So I downloaded and compiled every SEC Form 4 filing that former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has ever made, to answer one simple question:

How much money did Dennis Muilenburg suck out of Boeing over the last ten years?

Read more

Alpha/Beta Amnesiacs

By Rusty Guinn | January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

We are emerging from the year end, so the language shared across financial media articles is performance language. How did stocks, markets, benchmarks, funds and strategies perform in 2019?

Frequent readers will recognize Gell-Mann Amnesia as a favorite topic here at Epsilon Theory.

Read more

Normalize This

By Ben Hunt | January 3, 2020 | 13 Comments

I feel like the Billy Crystal character in Analyze This all the time. There’s always some mob boss politician or central banker or CEO or asset manager pinching my cheek and telling me that it’s all gonna be okay, that I’ve just gotta understand how things are.

My god, I am so tired of having my cheek pinched. I am so tired of being nudged in such an artless, heavy-handed way. I am so tired of being told that 2 + 2 = 5.

Read more

A Perfect Meme

By Rusty Guinn | December 31, 2019 | 11 Comments

14+ Every day we run the Narrative Machine on the past 24 hours of financial media to generate a list of the most linguistically-connected and narrative-central individual stories. We call this The Zeitgeist and we use it for inspiration or insight into short-form notes that we publish a couple of times a week to the website. To …

Read moreA Perfect Meme

DISCLOSURES

This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.