How Stock Buybacks Made US CEOs Rich ; Inside America's First Cannabis Cafe ; and More Picks 10/31

Former Juul Exec Claims Company Shipped Tainted Pods (Reader Steve)

From the Mercury News: “A Juul Labs executive who was fired earlier this year is alleging that the vaping company knowingly shipped 1 million tainted nicotine pods to customers. The allegation comes in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by lawyers representing Siddharth Breja, a one-time finance executive at the e-cigarette maker. The suit claims that Breja was terminated after opposing company practices, including shipping the contaminated flavored pods and not listing expiration dates on Juul products.”

The Market for Voting Machines Is Broken. This Company Has Thrived in It. (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Half the country votes on machines made by ES&S. Many experts and election officials say the manufacturer remains dominant because there’s little government regulation and almost no oversight.”

VIDEO: How Did American CEOs Get So Rich? (Mili)

The author writes, “On October 24, 1929, the American stock market crashed. Fortunes disappeared overnight, and the value of American companies tanked. But the people in charge of those companies had an idea: They started buying shares of their own stock from investors, which meant there were fewer stocks out there for other people to buy. And when there’s less of something, the price goes up. Corporations had figured out a kind of magic trick. They could jack up their stock price without actually doing anything. This was the beginning of the stock buyback.”

How Wiping Out $1.5 Trillion in Student Debt Would Boost the Economy (Chris)

From MarketWatch: “Researchers have found that canceling some or all of the nation’s outstanding student debt has the potential to boost gross domestic product, narrow the widening racial wealth gap and liberate millions of Americans from a financial albatross that previous generations never had to contend with.”

Inside the US’s First Cannabis Cafe (Chris)

The author writes, “The bar looks like it should be serving craft cocktails but instead serves up food and non-alcoholic beverages. There’s an indoor/outdoor ledge with stools that connects the spaces and keep it airy. The patio has an earthy aesthetic with the wooden booths, vines running along the walls and powerful air vents that look like heat lamps. Trees provide some shade and oxygen along with succulents and desert flowers…”