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A federal judge has denied billionaire Elon Musk’s request to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging he defrauded Twitter investors before buying the company last year.
In a decision released Monday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter said Musk must face a lawsuit from shareholders who sold Twitter securities while Musk allegedly concealed his ownership stake in the company. The complaint concerns Musk’s failure to disclose a 5% ownership stake in Twitter for 11 days past a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission deadline.
The judge did however dismiss an insider trading claim made against Musk, who rebranded Twitter to X after purchasing the company in a $44 billion acquisition.
Attorneys for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shareholders led by an Oklahoma firefighters pension fund said Musk saved more than $200 million by adding to his Twitter stake and quietly talking with its executives about his plans before finally disclosing a 9.2% stake in April 2022.
The shareholders also claimed they sold Twitter shares at artificially lower prices because Musk concealed what he was doing.
Musk’s attorneys have argued that, as CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and founder of The Boring Company and Neuralink, Musk was “one of the busiest people on the planet” and that his failure to abide by the SEC’s rules was “inadvertent.”
But Judge Carter said he could not infer that Musk was “too busy” to comply with SEC disclosure rules if he could buy millions of shares of stock in Twitter, tweet about the state of Twitter as a social media platform and meet with several Twitter executives and insiders.”
The judge also found evidence Musk understood the 5% disclosure requirement, including that he had testified about it under oath and had followed the rules for his other companies including Tesla.
An attorney for the plaintiffs declined to comment.
The SEC requires that investors disclose when they have acquired 5% of a company within 10 days of doing so.
Twitter shares rose 27% April 4, 2022, to $49.97 from $39.31 after Musk revealed his 9.2% stake. Musk’s takeover valued Twitter at $54.20 per share.
The plaintiffs had alleged Musk was a temporary insider at the time he bought Twitter stock because he had meetings and communications with Twitter executives. However, Carter threw out the claim, finding there was not enough evidence to suggest Musk had entered into a confidentiality agreement or that he made material decisions for Twitter which would categorize him as an insider.
Reuters contributed to this report.
As bond yields soar and stock prices plunge, Joe Biden talks about something called the “last gasp” of MAGA Republicans. Wow. He might want to take a look in the mirror at the latest batch of polling data from the highly respected IBD/TIPP poll, just out yesterday.
Overall, President Biden’s approval dropped 5 points from September’s 41% to October’s 36%. That’s 36% approval, not much. Meanwhile, on the economy, 56% disapprove of Biden economic policies, a.k.a. Bidenomics, and only 24% approve. The IBD/TIPP financial stress index went up 2.4 to 70.5, and meanwhile, only 16% say wages are keeping up with inflation. Sixty-one percent say they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and a new study shows that while both home prices and mortgage rates continue to rise, the typical monthly cost of maintaining a home reached $2,053 in the third quarter, the first time ever that figure has gone above $2,000.
The typical monthly payment now consumes 35% of the average national wage $71,214. Common lending standards call for a 28% debt-to-income ratio. So 35% puts home buying out-of-reach of middle-class working folks. There’s an affordability crisis out there as prices rise faster than wages, financial anxieties grow, the American Dream of owning your own home seems out-of-reach, real wages after prices rise are falling, and Joe Biden’s radical Green New Deal would end gas-powered cars and probably up to a million folks would lose their jobs in the auto sector alone.
So, I would suggest to Mr. Biden that this is the “last gasp” of Bidenomics, and that brings me to my pal Mark Levin and his great new book, “The Democrat Party Hates America.” Democrats are the party of the state, Mr. Levin argues, and I would heartily agree. At every turn, they want to undermine the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
They are opposed to free enterprise capitalism, are anti-business and absolutely detest the workings of free markets. Mark Levin talks about how Democrats want to transform America, which is another way of saying they don’t like America.
They are in favor of the all-powerful central government, a command-and-control economy. They see the “unbound possibilities” of action, and unhesitatingly employ the Justice Department, the FBI, or the IRS to destroy their opponents.
The permanent bureaucracy in Washington is a left-wing bureaucracy, an administrative state, and Mr. Levin writes of a devil’s bargain between Joe Biden and socialist Bernie Sanders on climate change, criminal justice, education, the economy, health care and immigration.
As a follow-up to his magnificent book “American Marxism,” “The Democrat Party Hates America” is a truth-telling book of the first order. Right now, in courtrooms across America, Joe Biden is employing every statist weapon possible to destroy Donald Trump and his presidential prospects. Trump is the archenemy to Democratic Party socialism, be it economic or cultural.
At this moment, a left-wing judge and state attorney general are trying to strip Trump of all his business assets and his home, relying on fraudulent methodologies. Trump is Biden’s worst enemy. So, Biden wants to throw him in jail for 750 years. Well, we’ll see about that.
Meanwhile, as a free enterpriser who believes in individual rights, I am reminded of the late William F. Buckley, Jr., who had a much better idea regarding Joe Biden and his Bidenomical socialist friends.
As he said in the National Review mission statement: Let us “stand athwart history, yelling ‘Stop,’ at a time when no one is inclined to do so.” That’s my riff.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the October 3, 2023, edition of “Kudlow.”
Coffee giant Starbucks is shrinking its footprint in downtown San Francisco following the announcement that it plans to close seven stores in the city’s center even as it opens, reopens or renovates other locations in the city.
Starbucks’ regional vice president for Northern California, Jessica Borton, informed employees at the stores slated for closure in a letter sent Monday that was first reported by the San Francisco Business Times.
“There are several factors Starbucks considers when tasked with the tough decision of closing a store, but it is all part of ensuring a healthy store portfolio,” Borton wrote, per the outlet. “We will continue to listen to the needs of our partners to ensure they can focus on crafting beverages and creating connections in a welcoming environment.”
Starbucks will close seven stores in the San Francisco neighborhoods of Financial District, Cathedral Hill, South of Market (SoMa) and Union Square. Among the stores set to close include locations at the intersections of Mission and Main; Geary and Taylor (designed as a pickup-only location); 4th and Market; and Bush and Van Ness.
Borton wrote in her letter that the closures won’t result in job losses because employees at stores marked for shuttering have been offered the opportunity to transfer to nearby locations, the San Francisco Business Times reported.
Despite the closures, Starbucks is investing $2.5 million for renovations at four stores including two in Union Square, one in Noe Valley and another in Outer Sunset.
Starbucks recently opened three new stores in San Francisco, including a location in Union Square along with a delivery-only location and converted a store on Market Street into a pickup-only location, The San Francisco Standard reported.
FOX Business reached out to Starbucks regarding the announcement, although a response wasn’t received prior to publication.
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