When Raising Profit Destroys Value

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When Raising Profit Destroys Value
 It only took a $77 billion decrease in pharmaceutical Valeant’s value for its soon-to-be-ex CEO and its primary booster to acknowledge they might have gotten a few things wrong (Bloomberg). At a Senate Committee on Aging hearing, deposed chief Mike Pearson said, “We have made mistakes. Valeant was too aggressive.” Board member Bill Ackman, one of the company’s top investors, chimed in, “While raising the prices of these drugs increased the profits of Valeant, it destroyed enormous shareholder value.” They performed the ritual mea culpas expected from people in their positions, but, as Ackman said, “Actions speak louder than words.” None of the coverage of the hearing (there wasn’t much, and the hearing room appears to have been half-empty) suggests that the mea culprits talked at all about why they made their original “aggressive” pricing decision: They were confident they could get away with it.

You Know Off The Grid For Its Food Happenings …
 … but did you know that the company books 2,000 local bands each year? Learn more in NewCo’s latest Video Spotlight.

Chobani Makes A Tasty Offering for Its Employees
 Another data point in the move toward employee ownership: yogurt maker Chobani made partial owners of all 2,000 employees (NPR). “We built something,” said founder (and still majority owner) Hamdi Ulukaya. “Now we’re sharing it.”

In Praise of (Some) Billionaires
 It shouldn’t come as a shock that The Economist finds value in the whims of billionaires. What is a bit of surprise is that the publication’s Schumpeter columnist has a point. Yes, these people are ego-driven and some of their ideas are frankly nuts, but “the madness does far more good than harm.” In particular, the best of the .001-percenters bring the best of their private-sector skills to the world’s most pressing problems: “The most talented billionaires have a genius for combining grand ideas with intense pragmatism; the Gates Foundation is pursuing its aim of abolishing polio and malaria with a business-like attention to detail.”

Can Cities Stay at the Center of Everything?
 Everyone knows that cities are where many of our biggest problems surface and get solved. Can they continue to do so if they’re only for the rich? (Quartz). A Trulia study reports that the poor and middle class are fleeing America’s booming cities. One particular buzzkill for conventional wisdom: the study found that Millennials, the generation supposedly behind the return to cities, are moving out from expensive rental markets “faster than any other age group.” The solution, according to Carl Mason, a demographer and economist at UC California Berkeley: “At some point, you’re just going to have pay people more for what are currently low-paying jobs.”

Not Quite the Four-Hour Work Week Tim Ferriss Imagined
 Due to energy shortages caused by economic mismanagement, much of Venezuela’s workforce is down to a two-day work week (Washington Post).

Photo: CNBC

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