Monday, April 19, 2021

Want some weird anecdotes about the people involved in the $100 million deli?

CNBC has an article that reads like a detective's crazy wall. Two anecdotes:

Two years before his 2011 plea bargain, [one of the men] learned through a DNA test that his actual father was the famous spiritual leader and Ram Dass, the author of the best-selling book “Be Here Now.”  

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In August 1992, [one of the other men] was arrested in Allentown and charged “with prostitution and other offenses after he allegedly exposed himself to three girls as he drove around Central School,” The Morning Call reported at the time.

The newspaper, citing police, reported that [he] drove up to two sisters, age 14 and 10, and their 15-year-old cousin as they sat on their porch near an elementary school, and “called them over to the car and tried to proposition them.”

[He] soon allegedly drove his BMW back around to the girls, the newspaper said. The 14-year-old told The Morning Call that to stall for time she pointed out her mother, who was down the street, and told him “She’ll take care of you.”

The girl’s mother then approached the car, and tried to pull [him] out, grabbing out a clump of his hair the process, the girl and police told the newspaper.

Temple University dean and two others indicted for giving false information to U.S. News & World Report about the school's MBA program

Inside Higher Ed:

[]the former dean, remains on the Temple faculty. He faces federal charges of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. If convicted he faces up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

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The three of them worked together "to submit false information about the school’s online MBA and part-time MBA programs to U.S. News & World Report in order to inflate Fox’s rankings in the annual U.S. News surveys of top OMBA and PMBA programs" 

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Temple has not admitted wrongdoing by the university in the case. However, in 2019 it agreed to pay $4 million to those who are or were students in the online M.B.A. program and another $1,475,000 to settle claims of students in other M.B.A. programs and several other master's programs and one online bachelor's program in the business school.

Speaking of school scandals, LA Magazine has a feature on one of the most expensive private schools in the city: 

In January, another anonymous letter from a parent complaining about the curriculum landed in trustees’ mailboxes, and word of it quickly spread through the school. “Our children should not be punished or re-educated like Khmer Rough [sic] captives or Uyghur Muslims in China,” it read. “We refuse to allow the mechanical and systematic dismantling of whole sections of education simply to pursue a point that may or may not be universally accepted, and may in fact be no more that a tautological hustle [sic].”

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Under [under the new] leadership, the number of students of color increased to 41 percent. (The school declined to provide a detailed breakdown of that figure. A faculty member claims that it includes Middle Easterners, a group the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as white.)

Excellent podcast interview of Marvel concept artist Andy Park

How he went from being a Southern California kid that liked watching Robotech on TV, to chasing down Rob Liefeld, to spending so much time managing a team he barely has time to draw. 


The first batch of Space Jam toys, including White Mamba is available for preorder

Funko Pops with photos here, and many more toy types including mystery minis (photos) and action figures (no photos yet) here:

Matt Levine wrote about the deli in today's newsletter

One of several topics:

Last Wednesday, when there was a single trade of 200 shares and Hometown closed at $13.90, you might have asked incredulously, “who’s paying $13.90 per share for this deli,” but the answer would have been “exactly one person, for reasons of their own.” But on Friday there were hundreds of trades, and almost half a million dollars’ worth of stock changed hands. And the stock barely budged. People were like “yes, $100 million deli, absolutely, I want to buy that.” Hometown went from a thinly traded pink-sheet deli that nobody had heard of, to a company that everyone had heard of exclusively because it was a poster child for market excess, and … people … bought … it? Like, a whole new class of investors was introduced to Hometown International specifically by a hedge-fund letter saying “small investors who get sucked into these situations are likely to be harmed eventually,” and they looked at it and decided they wanted to be harmed. “Yes, step on my neck, Hometown International.” David Einhorn warned people not to invest in Hometown International, even though it had never occurred to them to invest in Hometown International, but once they were warned not to they absolutely did.

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When David Einhorn wrote about Hometown International on Thursday, it was absolutely not a good example of 2021 meme-stock wildness. It had a comically high price, but on almost no volume; it was weird, but it was not weird in a “why is everyone buying this stock” way. After he wrote about it, sure, now it’s a meme stock.