The $35B unicorn you’ve never heard of and other top articles from last week (August 22)


A $35 Billion Stock, an SEC Halt and Suspicions of Manipulation

Read it on Bloomberg

An example of how to design an investor page
  • This is seriously crazy - I can’t believe this still happens today! Some group of people messing around in the OTC market was able to market this stock to a $35B market cap (Tesla’s market cap is $33B, and Kroger is $31B, by the way)
  • For a taste of the craziness from the Neuromama investor page: “When 1,000,000 people with an average age of 30 years will use this search engine, NeuroMama will have a wisdom of 30,000,000 years….. today its 2014. Google is only as smart as how many people have worked on designing Google search engine. Maybe 5 or 25 or 250 people?”
  • If you want a more in-depth look at how these schemes work, check out this fantastic column from Matt Levine of Bloomberg

BOOMIN! A day in the life of 16-year-old rare-sneaker dealer Benjamin Kickz

Read it on NYMag

  • Benjamin “Kicks” Kapelushnik is a 16 year old sneaker mogul, who got his start at age 13 buying and selling a pair of LeBron X MVPs to an 18 year old friend for $4,000
  • Apparently, the sneaker resale market is a $1.2B market, and Benjamin is doing $1M+ in annual sales through his website The Sneaker Don
  • Now, he’s a regular on DJ Khaled’s Snapchat channel, and even Hillary Clinton has been using his signature phrase — “Boomin!” in interviews to try to appeal to millennials

Uber’s First Self-Driving Fleet Arrives in Pittsburgh This Month

Read it on Bloomberg

  • Later, this month, you are going to be able to hail an autonomous Uber in Pittsburgh. One of these Volvo SUVs decked out in sensors will pull up (automagically), and you will be driven around by a computer. Awesome
  • For this first deployment, there will be a backup driver in the driver’s seat and someone else taking notes in the passenger seat, but this is an incredible demonstration of not if, but when autonomous vehicles will hit the streets

Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds

Read it on the Guardian

Yummy!
  • Ramen is delicious, and now we have a good way to quantify how good it is. The going exchange rate for cigarettes to ramen in prison is 5 cigarettes for 1 pack of ramen
  • This article also talks about the sad state of prisons where inmates are only fed 2 meals per day on the weekends, and boxes of chicken are labeled “Not for Human Consumption”

Whose Lives Should Be Saved? Researchers Ask the Public

Read it in the New York Times

“After Hurricane Katrina, doctors made ad hoc decisions about which groups of patients to evacuate from hospitals when floodwaters rose, the power failed and heat climbed. At one medical center, many of the sickest, chosen to go last, died”
  • During drug shortages, disasters, organ transplants, and other times of crisis, doctors and nurses often need to make very tough choices on rationing healthcare — choosing who to treat and who not to treat
  • Dr. Daugherty Biddison, a vice chairwoman in the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins, has been drawing up a plan to ration health care in times of need by reaching out to communities in Maryland to learn about their values and preferences
  • For some states… “these guidelines are nuanced and flexible to context. But others call for doctors to categorically refuse hospital admittance to older adults and those with certain existing medical conditions, such as kidney failure or advanced cancer, in a severe pandemic.”
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