Elon Musk Backs Down – The New York Times

A week ago, we learned that Elon Musk had bought a large stake in Twitter. Soon, the billionaire head of Tesla – and a powerful Twitter user – was invited to join the social media company’s board of directors.

Late last night, Twitter announced that Musk would not be joining the board of directors after all, another unexpected development in an increasingly complex saga. Twitter shares fell in pre-market trading, although they remained higher than they were before Musk’s stake was first revealed.

what is going on?

“I think this is the best,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in a short statement on the bend. But when offering him a seat, he said the Twitter board decided that having Musk on the board, where his fiduciary duties as a director require him to “act in the interests of the company and all of our shareholders,” is the “best path forward.” “We will remain open to his input,” Agrawal said of Musk.

In the morning he was supposed to join the board of directors, Musk told Twitter he wouldn’tAgrawal said. It was Saturday, and no specific reason was given – Agrawal indicated that Musk’s appointment was conditional on a background check and formal acceptance of the offer. (Musk also needed to fill out a questionnaire given to all managers, according to one document.) Musk tweeted intermittently throughout the weekend, asking his 81 million followers “Is Twitter dying?And he’s drawing a string of criticism in the now-deleted tweets, suggesting (with unclear degrees of seriousness) that Twitter should consider removing ads, changing its name, and turning its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.

What now? This may not be the end of the drama. If Musk was not a member of Twitter’s board of directors, he would not be bound by a “stalemate” agreement under which he pledged to purchase no more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s stock. Remember, Musk initially disclosed his stake in a file that indicated he was a passive investor in Twitter, but was later reformulated in the form used by active investors. The famous mercurial musk now has no limits on the amount of Twitter shares he can buy, leading some to Scenario mode It takes a more active role in trying to influence the platform.

Agrawal noted that “there will be distractions in the future” and asked Twitter staff to “control the noise.”

Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen for the presidency of France. After the first round of voting on Sunday, the April 24 run-off will pit incumbent Macron against Le Pen, the far-right leader whose late increase reflected French voters’ anger and concern over price hikes, security and immigration.

Companies are set to report solid earnings in the first quarter. Earnings season begins this week, and FactSet expects S&P 500 earnings to rise on average 10 percent from a year ago. The data service also indicated that analysts had the most “buy” recommendations in a decade.

JetBlue and Alaska Air are cutting flights. Ahead of what is likely to be a busy summer travel season, the airline industry is hoping to avoid the skinny staffing problems and long delays that plagued travelers last summer.

The cryptocurrency industry is writing its own legislation. In the absence of strong federal regulations, crypto executives and lobbyists help craft state bills, then push state lawmakers to adopt them.

A former Goldman Sachs banker has been convicted of bribery and money laundering. Roger Ng has been accused of taking illegal bribes from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund. He could face up to 30 years in prison.

Weeks after the United States eased its pandemic protocols, there has been a slight rise in infections, including among some prominent figures. Dozens have tested positive after attending the annual dinner for Washington’s elite at the Gridiron Club, including administration officials and members of Congress. Yesterday, New York Mayor Eric Adams, a leading proponent of reopening the city, said he has Covid, too.

“We’re going to pivot and shift because Covid is spinning and turning,” Adams said last week. So, he is Time to pivot?

In numbers: There are more than 31,000 new cases of the virus a day in the United States, on average, a 3 percent increase from the past two weeks. Case numbers remain well below their peak during the winter wave, even in places where they are rising rapidly.

Some say this wave may be less turbulent than in the past, Because it is more likely to affect people Who were the most careful. Meanwhile, Democrats fear a renewed shutdown could alienate voters as the midterms approach. How to deal with this latest wave will be one of the first tests that the new Covid czar of the Biden administration, Ashish Jha, faces.

“This is not unexpected,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said of the recent increase in the number of cases. He told ABC yesterday that if hospitalizations begin to rise, “we may need to go back to being more careful and make more use of masks indoors.” Dr Fauci said it was up to individuals to decide what “individual risks they would take”. It seems that many in Washington are eager to celebrate.


A fund led by the Saudi crown prince has agreed to invest $1 billion in a fund set up by former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — but invested twice that amount and on more generous terms in a new private equity firm started by Jared Kushner, a former White House adviser and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump.

These are some of the many new details in an investigation by David Kirkpatrick and Kate Kelly of The Times into efforts by the two former Trump administration officials to raise money from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. As they mention:

  • The documents showed that the committee that monitors the Saudi fund’s investments objected to Kushner’s deal, concluding that his company’s fees were too high and that its operations were “unsatisfactory in all respects.” The entire board of directors, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who had benefited from Kushner’s support when he was in the White House, vetoed the committee.

  • Kushner’s project, Affinity Partners, is primarily dependent on Saudi money, documents and files indicate. He planned to raise up to $7 billion, but it appears he has scored some other major investors.

  • The Saudis’ internal debate over Kushner’s investment was in stark contrast to their easy approval of the proposal by Mnuchin, who, unlike Kushner, had a track record in private equity before entering the government.


Charitable activist Mackenzie Scott has donated more than $12 billion in less than three years, to more than 1,200 groups. But her style of giving — quick, big and often shrouded in secrecy — is causing concern in the nonprofit world, Nicholas Collish and Rebecca Ruiz of The Times report in a must-read profile of Ms. Scott, who has vowed to give away every bit of her substantial fortune.

Scott does not waive an organization that has to file tax returns. Instead, she uses a donor-advised fund, which allows her to make large, tax-deductible donations without disclosing their source. Scott tends to reveal her donations in batches, revealing dozens at once, often in a blog post. This approach contrasts with an earlier charitable effort, Bystander Revolution, which began in 2014, when Scott was still married to Jeff Bezos of Amazon (they separated in 2019). After a grueling release, the anti-bullying organization seemed to wear off, and it seemed like Scott didn’t want to be her face.

Little is known about Scott’s approach to giving. She is advised by influential nonprofit consulting firm Bridgespan and directs her gifts through a Delaware-registered dummy company called Lost Horse. Not much is known about its operation, down to the number of employees.

“Her preferences are shaping the face of American civil society,” said Rob Reich of Stanford. “This force deserves civilian scrutiny and attention.”


The war in Ukraine put the spotlight on the Russian oligarchy, as countries punished wealthy business magnates linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Well-connected billionaires in the United States deserve more scrutiny, too, says Abigail Disney of National Millionaires, a nonprofit that pushes for higher taxes on the rich.

Mrs. Disney, granddaughter of Walt Disney co-founder Roy Disney, is well aware of the perks and risks of wealth. (An earlier version of this newsletter incorrectly referred to her as Walt Disney’s granddaughter.) “We have our own oligarchs who play with the economy and governance,” she told DealBook. “We need to be very serious about that.” Last week, patriotic millionaires gathered in Washington to discuss the local oligarchy, and Disney said it felt a “remarkable” receptiveness to their message.

We spend a lot of time arguing about parties. Disney said. She believes that a few wealthy Americans are using their vast wealth to fund divisive campaigns on marginal issues. She said voters actually agree on a lot when it comes to class and economic justice, noting the popularity of minimum wage increases.

“The energy is now new and different,” Disney said. “In the past people would wave the flag of class war, but I think most Americans are averse to economic injustice.” She said wealthy progressives are not only more active than before, but conservatives are also increasingly open to the idea of ​​a fairer tax law.

“It took me a long time to see,” Disney said of her gradual transformation from a conservative family heiress to a progressive activist. One example surfaced more than 20 years ago: She woke up alone in a queen-size bed in her father’s private 737, and wondered if a little could be more. “If everyone expects more to end up, we’re in trouble,” she said, and others in her increasingly privileged position agree. “People are starting to understand that you can say ‘no’ to more money.”

Russia and Ukraine war

  • Standard & Poor’s put the Russian government in “selective default” because it paid off debt in rubles rather than dollars. (right Now)

  • Ericsson has suspended its business in Russia indefinitely, and Société Générale announced a multi-billion-euro hit from the sale of its stake in Rosbank. (Bloomberg, New York Times)

  • The Austrian chancellor is in Moscow and will be the first European leader to meet with President Vladimir Putin since the Russian invasion. (The New York Times)

deals

  • Private equity group Thoma Bravo is said to be preparing to acquire cybersecurity firm SailPoint Technologies for $6.9 billion. (Foot)

  • The number of startups supported by start-up projects by acquiring artificial intelligence developers is increasing. (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Mindbody, owner of exercise subscription service ClassPass, plans to return to the public markets. (Foot)

Policy

  • Economists are betting on lower inflation, but volatile auto prices are a wild card in their forecasts. (The New York Times)

  • “China’s Echoes of Russia’s Alternative Reality Are Intensifying Around the World” (The New York Times)

The best of the rest

  • Rising prices could wipe out thousands of fish and chip shops in Britain. (The New York Times)

  • Greenwood wants to become the Bank of Black America. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

  • “What new TV shows about startups you haven’t got yet” (Politico)

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