Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories.
On the agenda today:
- Ultrarich New Yorkers are suing this small farm town.
- A legendary Silicon Valley VC revolutionized how companies go public.
- Leaked doc shows how Amazon managers evaluate employees.
- An economist explains why the US may be hurtling toward a recession.
Before we get into this week's stories: Insider's Kali Hays, a senior tech reporter, is giving us an update on the battle between Elon Musk and Twitter.
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Your guide to the Musk-Twitter case
Compared with the previous three months, the story of Twitter and Elon Musk is at a lull, writes Insider's Kali Hays.
The company and the billionaire are in full-on litigation mode, with Twitter winning the first legal spat when a judge on Tuesday agreed that its effort to force Musk to buy it should go to trial in October (Musk's side wanted it in late February).
There are sure to be more arguments cropping up between the two sides, likely around discovery, but the Delaware Court of Chancery is not messing around. This case could be entirely resolved by the end of the year.
So what's next?
A pretrial settlement is not out of the question but not expected, at least not yet. A person with knowledge of the case said the two sides were hardly speaking outside court filings. That could change if something particularly juicy came up in the discovery period, which is just getting underway.
Inside Twitter, employees and executives say they feel they are in a strong legal position to win the case. Should Musk lose, he will either face a hefty damages bill or be ordered to complete his acquisition of the company, perhaps at a lower price.
Lawyers have speculated that he may win or simply ignore any order against him. But given the court's enforcement powers, from taking hold of his Tesla stock to fining him essentially any amount, he will likely have to comply.
Now onto this week's stories.
A-list residents sue small farm town
Amenia, New York, a small farm town about 100 miles north of Manhattan, is home to the Silo Ridge Field Club — Michael Meldman's luxury development full of Wall Street titans, tech executives, and pro-sports moguls. And many of them are suing the town.
The affluent residents are seeking to slash their property-tax assessments, pitting them against locals who feel shut out. And the clash may not be the last, as boldfaced names seek country solace in the work-from-home era.
A clash between the ultrarich and a small town.
Inside the IPO revolution
By June 2019, Bill Gurley had lost his faith in the traditional IPO process — so he embarked on a crusade to reshape the industry, which put him at odds with some of Wall Street's most powerful players.
Insider's chief finance correspondent, Dakin Campbell, shines a light on how Gurley took on Goldman Sachs on his quest — and how, along with Spotify and others, he helped uncork the greatest wave of innovation to strike the IPO market in decades.
Amazon's controversial evaluation system
A leaked document has shed more light on how Amazon managers evaluate their employees, according to an Insider review. Its latest talent guide shows that performance scores are determined by what an employee delivered and how they delivered it.
Amazon staff have already criticized certain performance-review practices, like the company's "unregretted attrition rate." Has Amazon's latest performance and pay review become any less opaque?
Here's how pay is decided at Amazon.
For more on Amazon, check out:
- Amazon just hit fast-forward on its vision to transform how you see the doctor
- 'The party is over' for Amazon aggregators. Insiders share what's next — from fire sales to dramatic pivots — as funding evaporates.
'We are still going to end up in a recession'
For a long time, Neil Dutta, an economist, was an optimist who argued against doom-and-gloom predictions. Now he's starting to change his outlook.
In recent years, low inflation and weak economic growth meant low interest rates and economic stimulation. But today, Dutta writes, an increasingly hawkish Federal Reserve has launched an aggressive campaign to cool red-hot inflation — even if it means pushing the economy into a recession.
Here's why he's sounding the alarm.
This week's quote:
"Last year was basically a fintech party. There was an explosion of fintech companies. But now we're, like, in a fintech hangover."
- Mark Fiorentino, a partner at Index Ventures. Fiorentino is one of 26 rising-star VCs who are still bullish on fintechs.
More of this week's top reads:
- Here's a guide to managing your career in an uncertain economy.
- A new crop of startups is putting carbon credits on the blockchain.
- Relocation experts share how to successfully become a digital nomad.
- Dismal earnings and Goldman's plans to resurrect its annual performance reviews confirm bankers' fears about looming layoffs.
- Leaked emails show Coinbase is "temporarily shutting down" its US affiliate-marketing program.
- The price of paper has doubled this year. Publishers are worried their magazines and newspapers are in jeopardy.
Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your weekdays by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.
Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Sarah Belle Lin, and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.