Illusion of safety?
Proponents of gun control have filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission today to investigate and regulate the firearms industry, such as tobacco, alleging that gun manufacturers are using fraudulent advertising practices.
The petition, first reported by DealBook, is the latest salvo targeting marketing tactics by an industry that is largely protected from liability for damages from its products due to federal laws. Groups pushing for action from the Federal Trade Commission include Brady, the Giffords Law Center, March for Our Lifes and the FACT coalition.
Weapons marketing promotes the illusion of security, importers say. Americans are “wrongly made to believe that owning a gun is a safe way to protect their home and family,” they said. The CDC reported 45,222 deaths from gun injuries in 2020 (an earlier version of this element incorrectly indicated the year due to an editing error). The Federal Trade Commission “has effectively given a free pass to the arms industry,” the petitioners say.
Defenders have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the arms industry beforestarting in 1996, the Federal Trade Commission may choose to consider or ignore this latest petition, which comes as the Biden administration has voiced support for greater transparency in arms manufacturers’ operations and state-level litigation has begun to break down barriers. industry before litigation.
In February, the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims filed a $ 73 million lawsuit against Remington, alleging that the gunman’s aggressive marketing violated Connecticut law by promoting firearms to troubled men like those responsible for the massacre. The agreement opens the company’s internal documents for review, which would offer a rare look at how arms manufacturers like Remington are developing their marketing messages. President Biden described it as a step towards “holding arms manufacturers accountable for the production of military weapons and irresponsibly placing those firearms on the market”.
Last year, a New Jersey judge ruled in favor of the state’s attorney general in a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson for her advertising practices, requiring the company to publish inside documents. The decision was recently overturned, leaving the case to the state intact, but the issuance of documents is uncertain. Smith & Wesson said in a statement that the lawsuit was intended to “suppress and punish legal speech on gun ownership in order to promote an agenda against the Second Amendment.”
The implementation of the Federal Consumer Protection Act by the Federal Trade Commission can be guided by these state precedents, such as the Connecticut Consumer Act, which allowed the Sandy Hook families to sue. “If a company violates consumer protection laws with fake ads, it’s not a secure business,” said David Puccino of Giffords Law Center. “They are breaking the law.”
HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING
Shell will receive a blow of up to $ 5 billion by withdrawing from Russia. This morning, the British oil giant clarified the amount of write-offs as a result of its exit from joint ventures with Gazprom and other activities in Russia. It’s big, but high energy prices are expected to bolster Shell’s end result this year, with analysts predicting it will make more than $ 30 billion by 2022.
Finance Minister Janet Yellen talks about cryptocurrencies. Today, in her first speech focused on digital asset regulation, she will call for a “coherent and comprehensive policy framework that promotes responsible innovation of digital assets and appropriately assesses and mitigates the risks they may pose”, supporting the recent President Biden’s executive order on crypto.
Central bankers support higher interest rates. This is stated in the minutes of the March meeting of the Fed “a lot” officials would have preferred a larger increase in interest rates than the fourth-point rise, which they declined to give up, but gave up on concerns about the impact of the war in Ukraine. Markets now expect the Fed to increase by half a point in May and probably in June.
Applications for corporate bankruptcy have been at their lowest levels in more than a decade. Only 87 US companies filed for bankruptcy in the first quarter of the year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the lowest total for the first quarter of at least 13 years. Companies have benefited from pandemic stimulus and cheap financing programs, but rising interest rates could put balance sheets under more pressure in the coming quarters.
Fanatics are raising $ 1.5 billion in new funds. The circle, which estimates the fast-growing sporting goods company at $ 27 billion, includes investments from several leagues, such as the NFL and MLB, as well as players ‘and team owners’ associations.
Elon Musk Insurance
Twitter investors seem convinced that Elon Musk can make the social media company better. Shares of the company rose 30 percent after the news that Musk has bought a large stake in Twitter and will join his board. That added about $ 9 billion to the company’s market value. But when Musk becomes a director on Twitter, he may incur some costs.
What will happen to Twitter’s insurance premiums? Most public companies have policies that protect directors and employees from personal liability, known as D&O insurance. Musk’s past legal clashes include an agreement with the SEC on a moving market tweet for Tesla (which Musk is trying to repeal) and a defamation lawsuit by a British cave explorer whom Musk called a “pedo man” in a tweet (which Musk won). When buying his share of Twitter, Musk seems to have made the necessary announcements late and may have initially used the wrong type of form. “I would be very worried if I was the insurance company asked to take it over and provide it,” Peter Tafa, managing partner of D&O Executive Perils insurance broker, told DealBook.
Tesla has faced high premiums in the past because of Musk. After Musk settled with the SEC, Tesla said in a regulatory statement that insurers wanted “disproportionately high premiums” for D&O insurance. Instead, Musk briefly insured the company himself. Tesla paid him $ 3 million for a three-month term before signing a new policy with “third-party carriers.”
Twitter had its problems. Last year, the company reached a $ 800 million agreement with shareholders in a lawsuit alleging that Twitter had increased its user base. “Twitter had its own challenges at D&O even before Musk was added,” said Priya Cherian Huskins, a partner at Woodruff Sawyer. “Adding Musk to the board can be a great thing for investors, but the calculations for insurers are different.
“By the way, Amazon, we’re coming. I’m watching. “
“President Biden, in remarks to.” conference of trade unions. Days earlier, workers at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse voted to form a union, the first in the United States to be an e-commerce giant. (The White House later said the president was simply expressing general support for the unions.) Meanwhile, the success of the independent, multi-union initiative funded by Amazon has traditional unions. rethink their tactics.
Many public companies in the United States are approaching the deadline for submitting their annual proxy statements, which, among other things, describe how much senior executives were paid in the previous year. And while wages are rising for the average worker, many CEOs have received much larger increases.
This week, The Wall Street Journal reported on the companies that have reported so far, and found that the average CEO in the S&P 500 received an 11 percent increase last year, to levels nearly 190 times higher than the average worker. In a year of pandemic turmoil, when many people’s wages are lagging behind inflation, executive pay packages are likely to be scrutinized, especially by those looking to raise taxes on the richest.
Here are some of the CEO’s largest compensation packages for 2021 to date, which include the value of the share-based payment, which may not be realized if the performance targets are not met:
Joseph Bay and Scott Nuttleco-executive directors of KKR
payment: $ 560 million (Bae) and $ 523 million (Nutall)
Remarkable achievement: Poet from the founders of the company
Inventory productivity: Increase by 84 percent
Profits: Increase by 133 percent
David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery
payment: $ 247 million
Remarkable achievement: Conclude a merger deal with WarnerMedia
Share performance: 22 percent decrease
Profits: 17 percent discount
David Bazooka, Chief Executive Officer of Roblox
payment: $ 233 million
Remarkable achievement: Took the public to Roblox
Stock performance: Increase by 130 percent (compared to the reference price for a direct offer in March)
Profit: $ 492 million loss versus $ 253 million loss in previous year
READ THE SPEED
What could a ban on Russian coal mean for Europe? (NYT)
Russia’s two richest men, Vladimir Potanin and Leonid Michelson, and its largest bank, Sberbank, have been the subject of recent rounds of international sanctions. The United States has also accused a Russian oligarch of “systematic” violations of sanctions. (Bloomberg, NYT)
“Face Recognition Goes to War” (NYT)
For the latest developments, check out The Times’ live blog and updated maps.
Berkshire Hathaway bought a stake in HP worth more than $ 4.2 billion, sparking a jump in shares in the technology equipment company. (Reuters)
A bidding war is brewing for the Italian infrastructure company Atlantia, which is controlled by the Benetton family, as Blackstone and Spanish billionaire Florentino Perez are reportedly considering offers. (Bloomberg)
Canada has approved Equinor’s $ 12 billion offshore oil project in the Gulf of New Norse in Newfoundland, angering some environmental groups. (Bloomberg)
The Supreme Court has reinstated Trump-era environmental regulations that limit the role of states in enforcing the Clean Water Act. (NYT)
Can the Fed shrink its balance sheet without causing market chaos? (FT)
The SEC is investigating how Amazon has revealed some details of its business practices. (WSJ)
Oil executives have been confronted with questions from lawmakers about rising prices during a hearing in the House of Representatives. (NYT)
“What you need to know about the French presidential election” (NYT)
The best of the rest
“By the way, how many billionaires are there?” (NYT magazine)
At least 50 fuel-efficient drivers killed in work since 2017 (NYT)
How LinkedIn’s “career break” feature can help with care. (WaPo)
Meta is reportedly working on tokens in the app, which some officials have called “Zuck Bucks.” (FT)
Enter “Underwater Trumpet Teddy Bear” and DALL-E, a Microsoft-supported artificial intelligence tool, will draw it. (NYT)
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