This is Star Trek, huh? We have a situation with the Romulans that might lead to all out war, we have an unknown threat that is more powerful than either the Federation and the Romulans, but the one thing we can't seem to get unstuck on is 20th century business longevities? Why should we care? It's a pointless story element that doesn't go anywhere and only distracts from the story that should have been the main central point, dealing with the Romulans.
It's fitting that such an interesting idea for Star Trek is completely undermined by it's own writer, and what a fitting way to leave a show than with Shades of Gray.