10/13/20

Kik Gets Poured Out v SEC

Two weeks ago, Judge Alvin Hellerstein, Federal District Judge of the Southern District of New York, ruled that Kik’s $100,000,000 token distribution event was an illegal issuance of a security — an unregistered securities offering — based upon his analysis of the Howey Test.

It is important to note that Judge Hellerstein’s ruling was on the SEC’s Motion for Summary Judgment, a preliminary action prior to the case being heard. A Motion for Summary Judgment requires there to be little or no disagreement on the facts and thus becomes a matter of the application of only the law.

It would be fair to say that the Judge saw the facts as being agreed by the warring parties and thus was able to opine solely on the law. This rarely happens as there is usually some fact that is in dispute.

This case was a much-watched case and was touted as an important bellwether crypto case.

It is, in reality, a disappointment in its lack of fanfare and grandeur, a yawningly predictable Howey Test case as many — myself included — said from the beginning. Yawn. Sorry.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission made the noted charge whilst Kik denied that their issuance of “Kin” was an unregistered securities offering.

The parties now have until 20 October 2020 to thrash out some form of an agreement. Stay tuned, amigos.

Understandably, the SEC has the upper hand in this matter whilst Kik is in the unenviable position of negotiating whilst at a huge disadvantage.

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10/11/20

CO2 And Fracking A Bit Of Truth

Comes now the conundrum as to whether former Vice President Joe Biden, Democrat candidate for President, is supportive of or opposed to fracking.

Allow me to kill that suspense for you — he opposes fracking, but is prepared to say whatever is necessary to obtain the most votes, which is a typical politician’s response and Mr. Biden is a politician.

Beneath the knee jerk on-again, off-again, political flip flopping is the notion that fracking is related to CO2 emissions. That turns out to be true.

“Joe, do we have any idea what the Hell is going on with fracking?” “Sorry, Kam, babe, we don’t have a clue. Just smile. Oh, today we are supportive of fracking. Can’t tell about next week. Just keep bobbing and weaving. Wow, do you smell good.”

But what is really happening out there as it relates to CO2 emissions and fracking?

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10/8/20

Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago?

Comes before us now the ultimate test question for the efficacy of an incumbent President.

Are you better off today than you were four years ago?

It is a fair question, though many incumbents do not want to troll such a definitive report card before the electorate.

Gallup, the polling pros, routinely ask this question of registered voters. The results?

July 1984 — 44% say they are better off — Ronald Reagan (re-elected)

October 1992 — 38% say they are better off — George HW Bush (defeated)

October 1994 — 47% say they are better off — Bill Clinton (re-elected)

December 2012 — 45% say they are better off — Barack Obama (re-elected)

September 2020 — 56% say they are better off — Donald Trump

Surprised?

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10/8/20

Is It Essential To Be Nuts To Be An Entrepreneur?

I was reflecting on the nature of entrepreneurs on the heels of three discussions I recently had with prospective clients. I was also thinking about my two Perfect Granddaughters — Peaceful Eadie (4 months) and Tempe the Bold (almost “fwee”).

In the discussion with the founders, we wandered into the area of what hurdles must an entrepreneur overcome and caught our heel on the notion that an entrepreneur had to develop a pretty damn thick skin, be able to hear the word “NO” in several different languages, and the benefit of the programming of an entrepreneur’s life prior to sticking their stake in the ground.

This last point was why I was thinking of Peaceful Eadie and Tempe the Bold. Their mother is an entrepreneur who co-founded a company called Weezie Towels which is savaging the luxury towel vertical.

When Momma works at the kitchen table, Tempe the Bold works alongside her with her own plastic phone and keyboard. You have never seen anything as cute as T the B fielding imaginary calls that often sound identical to her Momma’s. The probability that Tempe the Bold will become an entrepreneur like her Momma? I will let you evaluate that.

As an entrepreneur — or as a prospective entrepreneur — you are held captive to the jockey, horse, course evaluation wherein the “jockey” plays trump to the other aspects. You, of course, are the jockey.

The horse is the business engine, and the course is the market.

What does that jockey have to embrace mentally in order to become an entrepreneur and is it easier if you are nuts?

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10/3/20

CEO Shoptalk — Hard Conversations — How?

If you are a CEO, you will have hard conversations with your people, board, investors, shareholders sooner or later. [Love a good cliche in the morning, no?]

The nature of the conversation isn’t really important. What is important is how you prepare for it.

Pro tip: The preparation for a hard conversation will have more impact on the outcome than the actual conversation because it will set the nature of the conversation.

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09/30/20

The Beclowning of Presidential Debates

If you were unfortunate enough to have watched the Presidential Debate Road Show that blew into Cleveland last night, then you will not be surprised when I opine it was a bloody 3-ring circus.

The debate starring POTUS Trump (a man who must swear off caffeinated coffee at night) featured a spirited chat with Chris Wallace (the supposed ringmaster who never got the assignment clear in his head). From time-to-time, former Vice President Joe Biden participated.

Chris Wallace managed to undue two generations of his own family’s involvement with both journalism and debate moderation in less than a minute. Though the debate was a 9-round 90 minute format, Chris lost control within ten seconds.

Chris is likely lying stunned in a thumb-sucking, fetal position trying to sort out the question for the ages: WTF just happened?

Here is how the Russian Judge scored the fight cards. The opinion of the Russian Judge is very important because, of course, the Russians are scheduled to spend another $70,000 in social media ads amongst the malestrom of $6B in election spending to influence the 2020 election.

The Russian Judge watching and evaluating the Circus in Cleveland last night.

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