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Bankruptcy Blues and Bougie Boating
Thursday, May 18th, 2023
1. When Hashtags Attack: The Truth Behind Bank Runs Caused by Trolls on Twitter
Former bank big shots were shocked to discover that social media has the power to spark total chaos in the financial world! In a recent hearing, ex-CEOs from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank testified on how social media played a major role in fueling their bank runs, raising the alarm about the impact of tweets and posts on the U.S. banking system and stressed the urgent need for protection. You may remember that a few months ago, SVB took the crown for the fastest bank run ever, as $42 billion disappeared from their coffers in a mere 10 hours, thanks to only some rumors circulating online. Signature Bank and First Republic Bank chimed in with similar tales of social media-induced panic that had depositors scrambling to relocate their money. Is a financial apocalypse really just a retweet away?
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2. Opa! My Big Fat Greek... Uber Boat?
Uber announced at its annual Go-GET product event in New York City that it will soon offer boat travel in Greece - specifically Mykonos. The service will allow users to book a private charter boat for up to eight people through the Uber app and, unlike Uber Boat in London which is a partnership with Thames Clippers, the boats in Mykonos will be directly owned by Uber. Let's be honest, some product managers at Uber wanted to spend their summer bopping between Nammos and Scorpios beach clubs so they ideated this feature and made an expensable work trip out of it. Uber reported better-than-expected earnings in Q1 and aims to achieve operating income profitability this year while maintaining a stable workforce. We're not totally sold on achieving profitability by catering to this very niche socioeconomic class and region that only operates during the summer season, but hey, definitely count us in for the luxurious ride to Paradise Beach.
3. Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Loses Appeal, Forced to Trade Black Turtleneck for Orange Prison Jumpsuit
Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, has lost her bid to remain free while she appeals her conviction of defrauding investors while running the infamous blood-testing startup Theranos. An appeals court rejected her request, and U.S. District Judge Edward Davila ordered Holmes to turn herself in to the Bureau of Prisons by May 30 to begin serving her 11-year sentence. Oh, but that's not all! Holmes also got punched in the face with $452 million in restitution that she must pay to the victims she conned. She is jointly liable with her former partner, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, who is already in prison after being convicted on related charges. This comes after Holmes tried a last-minute legal maneuver to delay her sentence, but her efforts were unsuccessful - much like her go at building Theranos. It has been recommended that she serve her sentence at a women's prison in Texas. Yeehaw, Liz!
4. Love at First Acquisition, $43 Billion to Seal the Deal
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is planning to acquire cancer drug maker Seagen in a $43 billion deal. To finance this acquisition, Pfizer intends to raise $31 billion through a debt offering, which involves charming investors with bonds and getting them to cough up the cash. This marks Pfizer's largest acquisition since the prehistoric days of 2009. The acquisition of Seagen will enhance Pfizer's cancer drug portfolio and generate substantial revenue, offsetting the declining sales of their COVID vaccine and antiviral pill as the pandemic wanes. Margins saved! Crisis averted!
5. Virgin Orbit's Junkyard Sales
Virgin Orbit, a bankrupt rocket company, has received a bid from aerospace venture Stratolaunch for its modified 747 carrier jet and other aircraft assets. I mean, who wouldn't want to get their hands on a discounted, slightly used 747 carrier jet? It's like buying a beat-up old jalopy with a ‘For Sale’ sign that reads, “Please, someone take it off our hands!” And get this, they received a laughable offer, a mere $17 million for what's typically worth a mid-nine figure sum. It's like selling leftover scraps at a garage sale and praying for a miracle. Cheers to becoming a parts shop, my friends!