Think of Yahoo as a traditional enterprise (with all the assets just mentioned) stuck on top of a small safe deposit box. Inside that box: a huge pile of cash, plus stock certificates of two Asian tech companies. Yahoo owns about 15 percent of Internet giant Alibaba, a stake that would trade on the open market for roughly $29 billion. It also has a 36 percent holding (worth about $9 billion) in Yahoo! Japan, a publicly traded company based in Tokyo that long ago abandoned Yahoo’s search technology for Google’s. If you add up the cash and the stocks, you’ll notice that the value of the contents of the box totals $43 billion.
McClendon was smart, shrewd, visionary, and dogged—and he had trouble following rules. On occasion, when a gamble on a new gas field worked out, that helped him. But just as often, it hurt. His contrarian push into shale drilling revolutionized the global energy business and made him a billionaire. His disdain for convention attracted regulatory scrutiny, angered shareholders, and cost him his job running the company he built.
Charlie Hales, the mayor of Portland, Ore., was running a zoning hearing last December when he missed a call on his cell from David Plouffe, the campaign mastermind behind Barack Obama’s ascent. Although Hales had never met him, Plouffe left a voice mail that had an air of charming familiarity, reminiscing about the 2008 rally when 75,000 Obama supporters thronged Portland’s waterfront. “Sure love your city,” Plouffe gushed. “I’m now working for Uber and would love to talk.”
They took a little Dom Pérignon, some cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley estate Screaming Eagle, and 63 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, one of the most coveted–and expensive–French pinot noirs being made today. DRC, as collectors like to call it, runs as much as $25,000 a bottle.
Aboard the Italian-themed cruise ship Costa Atlantica, two days’ sail from the coast of China, at a special dinner for high-paying passengers, head chef Daniel Martinez began by explaining the concept of bread. “The bread, for us,” he said, “is like for Asian people, the rice.”
Julissa Arce went from selling funnel cakes in Texas to derivatives at Wall Street’s most profitable securities firm. Sitting at her desk at Goldman Sachs, Julissa Arce is doing her best to keep it together. It’s September 2007.
Last July, a group called the Coalition for Competition in Media wrote a letter to two key House subcommittee chairs on Capitol Hill, pleading for help in stopping the then-pending $30 billion megamerger of Comcast and NBC Universal.
Sherry Hunt never expected to be a senior manager at a Wall Street bank. She was a country girl, raised in rural Michigan by a dad who taught her to fish and a mom who showed her how to find wild mushrooms.
Lying in a Beijing military hospital in 1990, General Wang Zhen told a visitor he felt betrayed. Decades after he risked his life fighting for an egalitarian utopia, the ideals he held as one of Communist China’s founding fathers were being undermined by the capitalist ways of his children -- business leaders in finance, aviation and computers.
He’s on County Road 1680 moving like a black-tailed jackrabbit under the big-bowl Oklahoma sky, a tiny dot in his Ford Ranger out on the edge of the world when the flying red stinger ants show up.