Daily Bread for 5.5.22: What It Means When Even the World’s Richest Man Has to Look for Financing

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 59.  Sunrise is 5:43 AM and sunset 7:59 PM for 14h 15m 53s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 12% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets at 6 PM, the Police and Fire Commission at 6:30 PM, and the Whitewater Fire Department, Inc. Board at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1862, troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halt a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico.

About two weeks ago, a post here at FREE WHITEWATER highlighted Matt Levine’s insightful assessment of Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter. See Levine Elon Checks His Pockets and FREE WHITEWATER Levine About Musk About Twitter.

Levine’s key point:

“One problem with Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter Inc. for about $40 billion is that he does not have $40 billion. Of course he is very rich — the richest person in the world, worth $260 billion by Bloomberg’s estimate — but most of that money is tied up in the stock of Tesla Inc., SpaceX, the Boring Co., etc., and it is not obvious that he would want to sell enough of those things to buy a new thing. “

There’s more news this morning about the Musk bid. Lauren Hirsch reports Elon Musk has brought in new investors to fund his Twitter deal, a filing shows:

Elon Musk has brought in more than a dozen new investors to help fund his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, including the billionaire Larry Ellison and the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, according to securities documents filed Thursday morning.

The investors together will contribute $7 billion to help fund Twitter’s purchase, with the rest coming from Mr. Musk’s own pocket or through loans.

Mr. Musk had said that he would fund the deal in part with a $12.5 billion loan against his shares in Tesla, the electric vehicle company he runs. As a result of the new equity commitments, Mr. Musk said he was reducing the size of that loan against Tesla shares to $6.25 billion from $12.5 billion.

He has also said that he has secured $13 billion in other loans from seven banks and committed $21 billion of his own cash. Mr. Musk has not yet outlined the sources of that cash.

What would Musk’s large deal have to do with a small town like Whitewater?

Well, there are lessons from large events that, properly refined, apply to small events, too. That was, after all, the point of the earlier post here at FW:

And if the world’s richest man’s business plans haven’t always panned out, then it’s prudent to be cautious (if not skeptical) about the plans of government and businesses. 

Dare, one might say, for the plans of local government and local businesses, too. 

Even Musk is not so wealthy that he cannot manage a deal like this on his own. In a small town, where the community has less than Musk has individually, there is an even smaller margin for adjustments or errors. (Musk, after all, will never go hungry.)

In a town like Whitewater, there is a limit to what government can afford to spend, and so it must spend every dollar only after careful planning. It should be needless to say Whitewater that doesn’t have the margin for error and adjustment of Elon Musk (or the federal government). See The Limits of Local Politics: ‘posts at FREE WHITEWATER have addressed the limits of local politics in the community: local public (or powerful private) institutions have a limited power of action (with harmful actions likely to be more immediate than helpful ones).’

While some local officials live as though this were not true, it is true nonetheless.

A better underlying policy for what must be spent in an economically troubled place: Local Public Policy as if Charitable Assistance (‘When policymakers look at the city – if they are to be of value to Whitewater’s residents – they need to think of all their actions as if those actions were service to those in need (because in many cases that will be, regrettably, true). In this way, An Oasis Strategy that looks away from government – or in this case reshapes government’s attitude and perspective – is needed even more than it was in 2016′).

Jumping robot leaps to record heights:

Roboticists have designed all sorts of jumping robots over the years, and many of them have been inspired by biology. But, as diverse as the natural world is, evolution hasn’t cracked every option. Now a team of researchers has investigated the differences between biological and mechanical jumpers – and have managed to design a device capable of leaping over 30 meters into the air. This is 3 times the current record for a jumping robot, and they did it with a technique unavailable to the biological world – work multiplication.


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