12.4.2023

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Monday, Dec. 4, and we're covering a Supreme Court case challenging an opioid-related bankruptcy plan, the final four in college football, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Bankruptcy Questions

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today on the legality of a wide-ranging settlement at the center of the country's decadeslong opioid crisis. The latest in the legal saga of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, the case raises two questions—who can challenge bankruptcy plans, and when should bankruptcy be used to settle mass tort suits (those with many plaintiffs).

 

OxyContin, a powerful prescription painkiller, is widely blamed for fueling the opioid epidemic that resulted in nearly 450,000 US deaths between 1999 and 2018. Purdue filed for bankruptcy in 2019 in an attempt to settle thousands of lawsuits alleging it intentionally downplayed the drug's addictive nature. In September 2021, a plan was approved that included members of the Sackler family, which owned Purdue, allocating $6B for victims and other creditors in exchange for being released from personal liability. 

 

The plan was vacated by a district court and then upheld by a federal appeals court. Despite being approved by a significant majority of plaintiffs, a federally appointed trustee and some plaintiffs oppose releasing family members from liability. A decision is expected in the spring. 

 

College Football Playoff

The 2023 College Football Playoff was unveiled yesterday, with No. 1 Michigan (13-0) taking on No. 4 Alabama (12-1) in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day (5 pm ET, ESPN), followed by No. 2 Washington (13-0) facing off against No. 3 Texas (12-1) in the Sugar Bowl. All four teams won their respective conference championships over the weekend. 

 

The selection sparked controversy, with undefeated Florida State (13-0), who beat Louisville Saturday night to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, left out at No. 5. The Seminoles become the first undefeated major conference team to be excluded from the playoff since its 2014 inception. The committee pointed to a season-ending injury to star FSU QB Jordan Travis in week 12, while Alabama defeated two-time defending champion Georgia Saturday afternoon. 

 

Notable nonplayoff matchups include FSU versus Georgia (Orange Bowl), Oregon versus undefeated upstart Liberty, and more. See the full schedule of matchups here.

 

Venezuela Referendum

Venezuelans went to the polls yesterday to decide whether to annex Guyana's oil-rich region of Essequibo yesterday in a nonbinding referendum, the latest move in a nearly two-century territorial dispute. Results were still being tabulated as of late yesterday evening.

 

Great Britain purchased Guyana from the Dutch in the early 1800s and surveyed its western border deep into Venezuela, recently independent from Spain. Venezuela protested the boundary placement for decades, which added roughly 30,000 square miles to British Guyana (see history).

 

In 1899, Venezuela effectively lost an attempt to win back the territory in a European-arbitrated decision, and attempts by the international community to settle the issue since have floundered. ExxonMobil's 2015 discovery of major oil deposits in Essequibo has transformed Guyana into a major offshore oil producer. 

 

The move comes as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro faces reelection next year, having survived a 2019 challenge from a breakaway government led by Juan Guaidó. Learn more here

In partnership with Autonomix

A Potential Quantum Leap In Healthcare

 

Autonomix is pioneering a new frontier in medical treatment. In the electrophysiology space where they operate, acquisitions have topped $900M+ for some companies even before receiving FDA approval. That’s one of the reasons why investing in Autonomix ahead of their planned Nasdaq listing could be an interesting opportunity.

 

The startup also joins an all-star list of names like Elon Musk and Google in studying how a variety of health issues can be traced to the nervous system. Their patented microchip-based technology is being developed to detect neuronal signals to find nerve bundles that cause pain and other ailments. With $100B+ in potential treatment markets worldwide and 100+ patents issued and pending, the company is attempting to take the world by storm.

 

This could be the final opportunity to invest while they’re still private. See how you can become an Autonomix shareholder today.*

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> The 2023 Kennedy Center Honors recognizes comedian Billy Crystal, hip-hop singer and actress Queen Latifah, singer-songwriter Dionne Warwick, Bee Gees member Barry Gibb, and opera singer Renée Fleming with artistic lifetime achievement awards (More)

> Florida State takes on Stanford tonight (6 pm ET, ESPNU) in the NCAA women's soccer national championship (More) | MLB superstar and two-time MVP Shohei Ohtani expected to sign with new team this week (More)

> Beyoncé’s "Renaissance" concert film tops domestic box office with $21M opening weekend (More) | Film about recently expelled congressman George Santos in development at HBO (More)

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Science & Technology

> Gravitational waves from the aftereffects of the most powerful merger of two black holes observed to date detected by researchers; "ringing" effect comes from new black hole assuming a spherical shape (More) | General relativity 101 (More, w/video)

> Google delays launch of Gemini, a large language model expected to compete with OpenAI's ChatGPT-4, until January; reports say the model has trouble with some non-English prompts (More)

> Ancient redwood trees can recover from severe fire damage by tapping long-buried buds, which have laid dormant under their bark for centuries (More)

 

Business & Markets

> All three major markets close up Friday (S&P 500 +0.6%, Dow +0.8%, Nasdaq 0.5%), with S&P 500 reaching its highest close since March 2022; marks the fifth consecutive week all three averages have ended up (More)

> Walmart reveals it halted advertising on X (formerly Twitter); officials cite poor performance on the platform, timing suggests recent controversial posts by owner Elon Musk were not a factor (More)

> Amazon to use rival SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets to deploy the first batch of its space-based internet satellites; SpaceX operates competitor Starlink, which already provides near-global coverage (More) | Alaska Airlines to reportedly purchase Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9B (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

>  US warship shoots down three Houthi-launched drones in Red Sea Sunday amid broader attacks against several commercial ships (More) | Israeli forces push south into Gaza amid US pressure to protect civilians; Palestinian death toll surpasses 15,000, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry (More)  

> Four people killed in bomb attack during Catholic mass in southern Phillippines Sunday; Islamic State claims responsibility (More) | German-Filipino man stabbed and killed, two injured in apparent terrorist attack near Eiffel Tower in Paris (More)

> Atmospheric river expected to drop month-worth of rain in Pacific Northwest over next few days; flood watches issued for portions of Washington state (More)

In partnership with Autonomix

Invest Before This Planned Nasdaq Listing

 

Autonomix, the company developing first-in-class electrophysiology technology, is planning a Nasdaq listing (ticker symbol: ATX)—and they’re inviting you to become a shareholder.

 

The company already has 100+ patents (issued and pending across 15 patent families) and an estimated $100B market opportunity ahead of them. And, their management team has approximately $600M in previous exits. Consider joining the excitement and invest in Autonomix today.*

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Etcetera
 

The best places to visit in 2024.

 

Inside Paris' new "antihotel" of discrete luxury.

 

Capturing the beauty of the Northern Lights.

 

Fifty-two learnings from 2023.

 

Visualizing Earth's increasingly limited agricultural space.

 

Leaning Italian tower could fall after nine centuries.

 

How to do 26 burpee pull-ups in a minute

 

Photobombing bird nabs best wedding photo of the year.

 

Clickbait: Patient's migraines caused by chopsticks in his brain.

 

Historybook: English philosopher Thomas Hobbes dies (1679); President Woodrow Wilson travels to Versailles for WWI peace talks, is first US president to travel to Europe while in office (1918); Jay-Z born (1969); Tyra Banks born (1973); American journalist Terry Anderson released after more than six years as hostage in Lebanon (1991).

"We change people through conversation, not through censorship."

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*This is a paid advertisement for Autonomix’s Regulation A+ Offering. Please read the offering circular at invest.autonomix.com/.

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