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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

It's not quite the GameStop trade, but the value of a company that owns a single asset — a deli in New Jersey — is catching the eye of famed hedge fund manager (and Jersey-born) David Einhorn.

Catch up quick: In a letter to his clients on Thursday, Greenlight Capital’s Einhorn wrote about Hometown International as an example of a company that regulators should be paying attention to but appear to be ignoring.

  • The market cap of Hometown, whose shares trades over the counter, reached $113 million in February, Einhorn noted, despite the fact that the deli it owns rang up sales of less than $14,000 last year and less than $22,000 in 2019. 
  • The largest shareholder, who is the CEO, CFO, Treasurer and a Director, is also the wrestling coach of the high school half a mile away.
  • “The pastrami must be amazing,” Einhorn wrote. 

Why it matters: The deli investing anecdote is reminiscent of this year’s meme stock frenzy — and offers yet another warning from institutional investors that retail investors will get hurt in the long run.

What he's saying: “Small investors who get sucked into these situations are likely to be harmed eventually, yet the regulators — who are supposed to be protecting investors — appear to be neither present nor curious,” Einhorn wrote, referring to Hometown International.

  • “Quasi-anarchy appears to rule in markets … there is no cop on the beat. [C]ompanies and managements that are embolden enough to engage in malfeasance have little to fear,” he wrote, after criticizing the SEC for doing too little to stop Tesla CEO Elon Musk from “manipulating stocks” in 2018.
  • "If Congress wants to understand why GME did what it did, or more recently how the Arch-Egos fund cornered the market in a handful of stocks, it would be better to call to account the absentee regulators and their philosophical backers.”

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - World

Mapping repression in China's Xinjiang region

Data: © Mapbox, © OpenStreetMap; Map: Will Chase/Axios

A sweeping new report released today by an Australian research organization reveals new details about how the Chinese Communist Party — and specifically who within the party — is carrying out its campaign of repression in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: Uncovering the actual offices and individuals implementing the Chinese government's genocide and forced labor policies in Xinjiang can bring accountability and help international companies delink supply chains in compliance with U.S. and EU forced labor laws.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 26 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

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