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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 14th, 2024

It’s 630AM as I putt the wraps on this week’s edition.  Weather is looking good after a threat of rain, and I’m headed out to play golf with a couple of people in the M&A world.  Time to talk about due diligence during a merger or even during an exit. And not that I’m superstitious or anything, but the best round I played last summer was after I’d split firewood for 20 minutes.  So, while I’m out of wood to split, I need to go out and swing the maul on the chopping block and get warmed up!


Anyway, as I read this article about a kite surfer stranded on a beach, I couldn’t help but think about an old Far Side cartoon showing a similar scenario. Hopefully, my golf balls spelling “help” in the sand trap will have gotten me rescued by the time you read this!

Something about ...

Cleveland City Hall

If you live here in Cleveland, you’ve probably heard that city hall has been shut down all week due to a “cyber incident”.  No specifics as yet as to what happened (and EMS/emergency/police have not been effected by it), but the city reminds us that they “take cyber threats extremely seriously”.  Let’s wait and see what caused this before we determine how “seriously” they take their security.  

The city says “We take cyberthreats extremely seriously”, so we’ll see if that’s true as more info comes out on this one.

Apple AI

Apple claims their new AI tool “Apple Intelligence” is very focused on privacy.  Yet they will be tracking everything that users do through apps like Calendar and Maps (tracking where you go, when you do it, and with whom). As Tim Cook stated at the rollout, “It has to understand you and be grounded in your personal context, like your routine, your relationships, your communications and more…”  Because yes, I want my phone and Tim Cook to know EVERYTHING I do, so that my phone can better recommend how I live my life.  

Real Estate

My wife grew up in Bratenahl (immediately east of Cleveland on the shore of Lake Erie, for you non-Clevelanders) so any time there’s a real estate listing, I’m curious. This one appeared in Crain’s on Monday, but the realtor’s website has a better version.  Currently on the market for $6.99M, and last sold in 2019 for $1.95M.  Interesting to see the before and after shots.  

Cyber Insurance

Our friends at Oswald Insurance are teaming up to host a webinar on cyberliability insurance, on Tuesday June 25th at 11AM.  Per the marketing materials I received, “Businesses are at greater risk than ever as cybercriminals increasingly try to gain access to proprietary and personal data. As a result, regulators have placed greater scrutiny on the response to these breaches. An experienced panel will discuss the latest cyber trends and steps to better prepare your organization.”

Topics to be discussed include: 

  • The State of the Cyber Insurance Market 
  • Cyber Business Interruption Claims (and Change Healthcare)
  • The “War” Exclusion and the Merck Litigation
  • Privacy Regulatory Risks
  • The SEC New Cyber Disclosure Rules

You can register here.

Finance Apps

The Wall Street Journal posted an article earlier this week about security for all of your phone based personal finance apps.  Nothing earth-shattering, but good reminders about password, who to trust, and multifactor authentication.   

Hippie Sandals

Back in our days at the College of Wooster (five of us at Ashton went to school there, four at the same time), the co-ed “fraternity” was known for tie dyed shirts, patchouli, and Birkenstocks.  Now, it seems those sandals are everywhere.  And while I don’t own any (I prefer flip flops), even Ashton’s Jim Millican has a pair (and Nancy has multiples).  Found this article about the German family who owns the company and how they’ve grown it into a billion dollar outfit over the years, and figured Nancy and Jim M. would enjoy. 


Nancy's Nuggets

If I’m being honest, I didn’t really read much of this article Nancy sent me on an AI beauty pageant.  Yes- people judging who can create the best looking woman who has the most interesting backstory.  The link to photos of the 10 semifinalists is in the second paragraph, but if you don’t feel like reading that far, here it is.  


And while Nancy didn’t send me this article, I figured she’d appreciate it.  I do most of the cooking at home, and some time back as she was chopping an onion, I gave what I thought was a helpful suggestion.  It went over like a lead balloon, and I still hear about it on occasion.  This NYT piece about proper onion-prep methodologies using computer modeling and standard deviations should put to rest any questions about proper dicing and slicing. 


I had a nice email from one of our clients/readers over the weekend (Scott D.), telling me that my newsletter had gone to his junk file.  If you’re having the same problem, you can right click (in MS365) on my email, scroll down to “junk” and choose “never block sender”. That should ensure that you continue to receive my newsletters and won’t need to dig through all the other junk.  


In the meantime, it turns out that Scott lives and works in Bahrain. As far as I know, he wins the prize for being the most distant reader!  For that he gets some Ashton swag.  If you’re more distant that Bahrain, let me know.


Finally, it’s looking like my team (Edmonton) is on their last legs, being down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final.  I missed the Stanley Pup last weekend, as we were out of town, but here’s your dose of hockey dogs for the day.

Have a great weekend.


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