The Grifters, chapter 1 – Kodak
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How could they Ben , my guess is that several members were the ones buying on Monday.
When the Kodak news hit the tape on Tuesday I took notice. Though it portends no insight to the deal, I noticed bc I was born in upstate NY and graduated from the University of Rochester ('79) which was a huge beneficiary of Kodak’s success. I’ve had a front row seat to the decline that has occurred in upstate NY, as well as to the decline of what was an american corporate giant. Knowing full well what has become of Kodak, my reactions was … “WTF!”, and … “HTF does this happen.” Well, now I know.
Contrast that to Boston, where I schooled as well. Boston is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical hub, where companies start and fail on a continuous basis. On their own for the most part.
Very dispiriting to say the least.
I cut my teeth as a young banker at OPIC doing structured finance in Russia with large multi-nationals - most oil & gas stuff in the 1990s. We learned how to be underwriters, professionals who create financial projects, perfect security and work with local counsel to bring much-need long-term finance to places that didn’t have it. Since then, China’s various development finance arms are now 5x what the World Bank, IMF, IFC do globally. And now this. We are Back In The USSR.
Ben, Thank you for this article. Those of us who do advisory/planning work as an avocation/living often have to pull clients out of the hype muck and reground them into reality about what makes a good investment. Your article put real meat on to the issues that goes beyond Kodak or stock X.
It seems to me that the public has been so overwhelmed with the hype (your bag of oranges) and everyday “real issues” (income, family, health, etc.) that they’ve forgotten how, or lost the ability, to critically think beyond the next hour, day, week or year. Oh, and some never where taught that skill to begin with. Hopefully, we can help those we come in contact with.
Eureka! Disinfection agent Argyrol Anti-Infective was given a monopoly under law by FDA in 1999 and remained WHO Essentials Medicine Listed until @ 2011. Kodak would have been familiar with the chemical which is the drug used in sterile photographic film developing processes. Argyrol is the missing disinfectant for mucous membranes that was mandated by the Surgeon General for the 1918 pandemic. There has been no response from pitching Argyrol into Homeland Security as a Medical Intervention. Now I understand the fetid stench.
Keep outing the criminals, Ben. It makes a huge difference. This side of the story is going viral now because you have written about it.
In an atmosphere of chaos the looters are no longer relegated to taking the valuables out the back door but smash in the storefront and run off with the goods.
Its a “get yours while the getting’s good before the goods are gone” fire sale of our economic future.
In this fight for our economic lives these are the war criminals.
So thankful to be in Elkhart County, IN. The land of RVs. Driving around, I see factories humming at full capacity, with job signs in the yard offering signing bonuses. Semis everywhere. And I can pretend for just a minute that the world isn’t on fire (if ignoring our Covid rates). Maybe the universe is just making up for 2008 that was harder on our community than most. Wish you were all here with masks on!
If you are waiting for an RV, it’s likely one of thousands finished and parked at the transport company. Delivery is the main bottleneck right now. Ask your dealer if you can come get it yourself.
Recessions have always hurt us badly, for reasons that should be obvious to this wise pack. Local leaders ALWAYS respond by announcing plans to diversify our industry. Their continual failure is actually paying off now. Unbelievable. Could never have imagined this scenario.
Now if our companies can avoid playing too many of these games like Kodak, Boeing, etc. I fear that the drastic economic contrast will lead to us becoming a political prop very soon, that could lead to even worse games. I never understood Obama’s attention on Elkhart, but political attention by many will make sense in coming months. I expect many to take credit for all of you buying RVs for the first time.
We bought one. Said I never would. Made a trip to CO far less stressful–having our own bathroom and kitchen available on the drives, and our own living area. Safest way to travel right now.
Option volume was up quite a bit for the five previous trading days before this
scamvery cool, very normal loan was announced. Weird how that always seems to happen, no? Prior to this I had ‘Sketchy Biotech Writer Puts Out Amazing Scoop on Gilead Within Hours of Huge, Otherwise-Irrational Call Volume’ as my winning grift of 2020, but this one beats it by a country mile.
It keeps getting better. DFC has an eligibility checklist for projects, including a page listing every country they do business in. https://www.dfc.gov/what-we-offer/eligibility/where-we-work
America is not on that list. Not sure what loopholes their own policies have, but their own web page seems to pretty plainly exclude US investments. They could have at least updated it.
Anybody remember Cleo the dialup psychic from the 1980s? “Call meh Nao” (call me now in a West Indian accent). That’s where we’ve arrived. Call them up and they’ll tell you the future. For a fee.
And this just in:https://www.pharmamanufacturing.com/industrynews/2020/kodak-ceo-granted-windfall-in-stock-options-ahead-of-trump-deal/
Continenza gets an options grant of 1.75mm shares the day before the contract is announced.
I’ve lost my capacity for getting worked up about this kind of grift, but at least I can still feel outrage over a magazine tagline where ‘industry’ is a verb. Good to know I’m not completely dead inside.
I think maybe you miss the point on TNEPA. Once upon a time I thought Betrayal was their kink. Now, though, I’m pretty sure that Contempt is the only thing that gets them off. And if that’s the case, well, pretending isn’t really going to cut it now, is it?
Honest observation requires a numerator and a denominator. Clearly, events in the numerator like Kodak loans (and associated suspect activities which are just more obvious when so egregious) must be normalized by an accurate denominator. But just like total Covid cases, we don’t or can’t know the denominator (or most likely do not want to know for cases like Kodak, Boeing, IBM, etc and the like). How do you find entities not in the denominator?
But Kodak was a pharmaceutical company!
They bought Sterling Drug back in the 80s as part of their diworsification efforts and later sold it in the 90s due to their inability to manage it competitively. I remember writing a paper during my MBA at Rochester Institute of Technology that it was not a core competency and should be sold.
Second time’s the charm?..
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