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Zorro

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,632

Journal Archives

Sears sues former CEO Edward Lampert, claiming he stripped $2B in assets as it headed to bankruptcy

Source: Chicago Tribune

Sears Holdings Corp. has filed a lawsuit against its former chairman and CEO, Edward Lampert, and his hedge fund, claiming they wrongly siphoned $2 billion in assets from the company as it headed for bankruptcy.

“Had defendants not taken these illegal and improper actions, Sears would have had billions of dollars more to pay its third-party creditors today and would not have endured the amount of disruption, expense, and job losses resulting from its recent bankruptcy filing,” lawyers for company wrote in a court filing.

The lawsuit was filed by the team winding down what remains of Sears’ business after Lampert purchased the majority of its remaining assets in a bankruptcy auction earlier this year. The complaint, filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York Wednesday, seeks to recover the property that was allegedly fraudulently transferred.

The lawsuit also names former Sears directors and ESL executives and directors including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former investor and executive at ESL, and Kunal Kamlani, president of ESL and a former Sears director, as defendants, as well as Sears shareholder Fairholme Capital Management and its founder Bruce Berkowitz.

Read more: https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-sears-sues-lampert-esl-bankruptcy-20190418-story.html

Tesla gets the nod from VW for 'proving electric cars are here to stay'

Volkswagen is arguably the legacy automaker most committed to electric vehicles and this week, it gave a rare nod to a competitor, Tesla, for “‘proving electric cars are here to stay.”

Scott Keogh, the chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG in the US, made the comment at the National Automobile Dealers Association, a crowd that hasn’t been extremely supportive of electric vehicles or Tesla specifically.

Studies have shown that electric car adoption has been slowed down by ‘dismissive and deceptive’ car dealer practices and dealer lobbying groups have often attempted to block Tesla from selling its vehicles directly to customers.

But Keogh has been hammering this electric vehicle message to dealers for quite some times now.

https://electrek.co/2019/04/18/tesla-nod-vw-electric-cars/

I'm seeing both Audi and Volvo commercials featuring cars that can be plugged in.

Trump Stirs Alarm That He May Be Giving China a New Trade Weapon

High on the list of President Donald Trump’s priorities as he tries to close a trade deal with counterpart Xi Jinping is making sure China faces consequences if it doesn’t live up to its promises. Yet in pursuing that goal Trump may also be giving China a new cudgel to use on American companies and striking another blow to the international rule of law.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the U.S. has made its own commitments to China and agreed that both sides will be subject to an enforcement mechanism. “This will be a two-way agreement in enforcement,’’ Mnuchin said Monday, after saying over the weekend that the U.S. would be open to “certain repercussions.”

Details of the U.S. commitments and how the enforcement mechanism will operate remain scant. But Mnuchin’s comments have caused plenty of raised eyebrows from legal scholars to the business community and Congress.

If the U.S. allows China reciprocal enforcement powers, it would make China “judge, jury and executioner as to whether we have honored our obligations,’’ said Daniel Price, who served as a senior economic adviser to President George W. Bush and is now at Rock Creek Global Advisors in Washington. “I don’t think the U.S. business community is sufficiently alert to the risk of constantly being exposed to unilateral enforcement action by China.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-16/concerns-grow-trump-is-about-to-give-china-a-new-trade-weapon

NRA Sues Its Longtime Advertising Firm, Revealing Major Internal Dispute

NRATV has allegedly told the National Rifle Association that it can take key financial information about the groups’ relationship from its cold dead hands, according to a lawsuit the NRA filed on Friday.

The complaint — filed by the NRA in Virginia’s Alexandria circuit court — demands that Oklahoma-based advertising firm and NRATV operator Ackerman McQueen hand over reams of documents that it has allegedly been withholding for months, saying that “its patience has run out.”

The NRA appears to be seeking the information in connection with an investigation into whether Ackerman and a related company called Mercury — referred to as AMc in the case — were over billing the gun lobby. The gun lobby also appears to be probing whether a separate deal that AMc signed with NRA president Oliver North allowed the advertising firm to lay North’s fees on the gun lobby that he runs.

The filing itself reads at times as if it were written by a lovelorn Wayne LaPierre, recounting the NRA’s 40-year relationship with the firm and how allegations of self-dealing that appear to revolve around Oliver North may have led it to ruin.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/nra-sues-nratv-oliver-north-grift-lawsuit

Maybe they'll do the honorable Second Amendment thing and settle this lawsuit with a shootout.

Stonehenge: DNA reveals origin of builders

The ancestors of the people who built Stonehenge travelled west across the Mediterranean before reaching Britain, a study has shown.

Researchers compared DNA extracted from Neolithic human remains found across Britain with that of people alive at the same time in Europe.

The Neolithic inhabitants appear to have travelled from Anatolia (modern Turkey) to Iberia before winding their way north.

They reached Britain in about 4,000BC.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47938188

Trump threatens all religions but his own

So another norm of public decency falls, like a historical building demolished to make way for one of Donald Trump’s tasteless towers.

When the president of the United States goes after an American Muslim — in this case Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, who came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee — using images of the 9/11 attacks, it is cruel, frightening and dangerous in new ways.

It is cruel because Trump essentially delivered his political rant while standing on desecrated graves. The images he employed not only included burning buildings but burning human beings, drafted into a sad and sordid political ploy. Is nothing sacred to Trump? When said aloud, the question sounds like an absurdity. Trump has never given the slightest indication of propriety, respect or reverence. His narcissism leaves no room to honor other people or to honor other gods. Both the living and the dead matter only as servants to the cause of Trump himself.

This cruelty extends to those who have fled war in Syria. Barack Obama did little to serve their interests. Now, the victims of violence are treated as villains in Trump’s fictional version of global threats. Syrian refugees, according to Trump, are “trying to take over our children and convince them how wonderful ISIS is, and how wonderful Islam is.” On the strength of such calumnies, Trump has essentially destroyed America’s asylum system.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/story/2019-04-16/michael-gerson-trump-threatens-all-religions-but-his-own-utak

Electric cars are finally starting to take off. Congress should keep them affordable.

They cost less to drive, accelerate quickly and pollute far less than their traditional counterparts. Electric vehicles are starting to make inroads into the U.S. market, with more than 1 million silently and efficiently zipping around our streets.

But just as we’re seeing more electric models, better batteries and more charging options, there’s a potential roadblock ahead. The federal tax incentives that have made these cars more affordable are beginning to expire. Two manufacturers have reached the 200,000-vehicles-sold point, where the tax credits start to phase out — and it is clear that this number doesn’t allow the economies of scale that will be needed for the electric-vehicle sector to flourish on its own. If Congress doesn’t keep these credits alive, the United States will hit the brakes on the growth of electric vehicles just as they are starting to take off in China.

Last week, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers offered a solution: They introduced the Driving America Forward Act to continue incentives until the growing U.S. market for electric cars is large enough to bring prices down.

Here’s why it will work. As most of us understand, products are most expensive when they’re first introduced, and electric cars are no exception. A decade ago, Congress recognized the opportunity in these vehicles and stepped up to make them accessible by providing buyers a tax credit of up to $7,500. It didn’t matter whether the car was domestic or imported, large or small — it just had to be electric. It was a sensible move to help a promising new technology get on the road.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/electric-cars-are-finally-starting-to-take-off-congress-should-keep-them-affordable/2019/04/15/eed30692-5d39-11e9-a00e-050dc7b82693_story.html

Apple and Qualcomm settle patent fee feud just after trial starts

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Qualcomm and Apple have settled their bitter patent royalty lawsuit by signing a six-year license agreement, with the deal being reached just as lawyers for the companies wrapped up opening statements in the trial in San Diego Federal Court.

The move brings to an end a bitter, two-year legal battle over the way Qualcomm charges smartphone makers for use of their intellectual property. Few details were available, but it includes signing a six-year license agreement between the two companies effective April 1, with a two-year option to extend the deal.

The settlement also includes a multi-year agreement for Qualcomm to supply chips for use in iPhones.

In a statement, Qualcomm said the deal contributes to increased stability in its patent licensing business and “reflects the value and strength” of Qualcomm’s patent portfolio. Both companies declined to elaborate on details of the settlement.

Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/technology/story/2019-04-16/qualcomm-and-apple-agree-to-drop-all-litigation

Baby boomers may have no one to care for them in old age

Baby boomers may have no one to care for them in their old age.

Shifting demographics mean that aging boomers will have fewer friends and family members to take care of them as they get into their 80s, according to a new study by AARP.

In other words, even though you may be supporting your own elderly parents, the chances of someone being there for you are numerically diminished.

The ratio of potential caregivers to boomers needing care will sink from 7.2 to 1 in 2010 to 2.9 to 1 by 2050, according to the study. “In just 13 years, as the baby boomers age into their 80s, the decline in the caregiver support ratio will shift from a slow decline to a free-fall,” according to the study.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/caregiver/news-for-caregivers/story/2019-04-12/baby-boomers-may-have-no-one-to-care-for-them-in-old-age

Cross-posted from the Editorials forum.

Baby boomers may have no one to care for them in old age

Baby boomers may have no one to care for them in their old age.

Shifting demographics mean that aging boomers will have fewer friends and family members to take care of them as they get into their 80s, according to a new study by AARP.

In other words, even though you may be supporting your own elderly parents, the chances of someone being there for you are numerically diminished.

The ratio of potential caregivers to boomers needing care will sink from 7.2 to 1 in 2010 to 2.9 to 1 by 2050, according to the study. “In just 13 years, as the baby boomers age into their 80s, the decline in the caregiver support ratio will shift from a slow decline to a free-fall,” according to the study.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/caregiver/news-for-caregivers/story/2019-04-12/baby-boomers-may-have-no-one-to-care-for-them-in-old-age

This is an impending national socioeconomic problem.
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