Jim Dey | Shocking start for the fleet of electric vehicle manufacturers | Columns


It’s time again to dive into another series of quick shots of the events we talked about over the past week:

Bounce

Rivian, the electronic vehicle maker whose production plant is located in Normal, staged one of the most successful IPOs in stock market history last week.

Its initial price of $ 80 per share skyrocketed from the start, reaching $ 160 per share. But what goes up can go down, especially when the purchase is driven by optimistic expectations rather than profits.

The incredible display of optimism drew a skeptical response from the Wall Street Journal, which wrote that “the electric truck maker is worth $ 120.5 billion” but had “sold only 156 vehicles.”

“Rivian, 12, is being hailed as the next Tesla. Yet when Tesla went public in 2010, it reported sales of $ 93 million and was valued at $ 1.7 billion, ”an op-ed for the Journal said.

The newspaper attributed the company’s incredible market value to “euphoric investors” who made Rivian “the fifth largest automaker in the world in terms of market value.”

“Think about it,” the Journal advised, suggesting that federal government support for electric vehicles underlies a “new industry before our eyes, directing capital to electric vehicle manufacturers no matter what.”

Investors hope to take advantage of the situation. But with profits to come, Rivian’s share price is determined by speculation that has already produced some individuals ahead of what they paid and others late.

The Fed’s drag continues

The wheels are turning behind the scenes, but all is calm on the public front in the Commonwealth Edison Corruption and Conspiracy Investigation.

But when it comes to corruption, Chicago, Cook County and Illinois are a rich target environment.

However, it is important to note that the federal government was successful in two other separate public corruption cases.

One concerns the bribery of late State Senator Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, who succumbed to the coronavirus, but not before pleading guilty and identifying his cohorts in the crime.

The other case concerns the bribery of city officials to gain approval to install revenue-generating red light cameras in Cook County municipalities outside of Chicago.

Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta resigned this week after pleading guilty to taking $ 5,000 from a red light camera company.

He was mentioned in this space a few weeks ago after he struck a shady deal to stay on the city’s payroll after his forced resignation as mayor. Public outrage forced municipal authorities to rescind their agreement with the mayor.

Red light cameras are automatic ticket machines for municipalities and the businesses that sell them. They perfectly illustrate the concept that government can be the enemy – as well as the friend – of ordinary citizens.

According to new accounts, Presta, a not-so-selfless public servant, bragged to a representative for the camera company that their joint venture would be lucrative because “you have a new sheriff in town.”

The new sheriff did not intend to attract the attention of the FBI, however. Presta, who faces a sentencing hearing on February 23, pleaded guilty to various charges, including bribery and filing false income tax returns.

Safe Speed, the red light camera company, has denied all suggestions of wrongdoing. But his representative, former company partner Amar Maani, has reached a deferred prosecution agreement and is working with the FBI as the investigation continues.

In the Sandoval case, suburban businessman Vahooman Mirkhaef pleaded guilty to paying Sandoval “at least $ 15,000” to help secure the purchase of nearby state property from his business to McCook.

Because he was chairman of the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee, Sandoval was able to influence the Illinois Department of Transportation’s decision on the sale.

Other politicians have been implicated in the misconduct related to Sandoval. A notorious figure, Sandoval was considered by his colleagues in the Senate as the most likely to be nominated one day.

That’s why it was big news in September 2019 when FBI agents raided Sandoval’s home and Senate offices. He quickly came to an agreement to tell the federal government everything in exchange for a reduced sentence. But after months of cooperation, he contracted the coronavirus and died.

Mirkhaef faces a sentence of more than two years in prison. But no sentencing date has been set because he is assisting investigators in the hope of obtaining a reduced sentence.

Inside to win it

State Representative Dan Brady R-Bloomington made it official this week, announcing he is seeking his party’s nomination as Secretary of State.

So far, he is the only GOP candidate in the race. At the same time, a handful of Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination to succeed retired Secretary of State Jesse White.

A former funeral director and coroner in McLean County, Brady had an unusual entry into politics, working as an intern at the funeral company owned by the late State Senator Stan Weaver,

R-Urbana.

Brady joked to his colleagues that he won Weaver’s support in his political future by mowing, among other things, the lawn at Weaver’s funeral home.


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