A SPAC Counterattack – The New York Times

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When 49 major national law firms got together late last week condemning lawsuits targeting special purpose purchasing companies, the deal-making world drew attention. It’s impressive to “get firms that regularly sue each other to agree on something,” Stanford Law professor and former SEC commissioner Joseph Grundfest told DealBook.

SPACs have recently come under attack in high-profile shareholder lawsuits that have challenged their fundamental structure, starting with a lawsuit against the $4 billion blank check company led by billionaire investor Bill Ackman, which forced it. rethink your approach.

A quick summary: When looking for a merger target, SPACs park their funds in short-term investments such as Treasury bills. The lawsuits say these financial instruments are mutual funds, not operating companies, so the 1940 Investment Act (which is free-spinning SPAC market). Behind the lawsuits were two prominent securities law professors, John Morley of Yale and former SEC commissioner Robert Jackson, now of Columbia. After Ackman, professors sued two more SAKs, but a source close to the matter said no new legal action is planned, contrary to some reports.

Law firms marched to defend SPACs. Kirkland & Ellis, one of the SPACs’ top legal counsel, helped persuade other firms to issue the statement saying the cases “lack of factual or legal basis.” Some of the signatories, such as Simpson and Thatcher, have relatively little interest in SPACs. Organizers said they were protesting in principle. “The market has already begun some reform,” said Christian Nagler of Kirkland & Ellis. Otherwise, it should be done by proposing rules and laws, not by lawsuits,” he said.

Companies also wanted to take a step back. media attention It was created by the reputation of Morley and Jackson. “We needed something really powerful to dispel this PR narrative,” said Joel Rubinstein of White & Case. Of course, law firms that advocate SPACs save millions of dollars in legal fees as well as principles. As for Morley and Jackson’s motivations for bringing these cases? The professors declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

Where does the SEC stand? The law firms’ letter states that the SEC has reviewed more than 1,000 SPAC IPOs over two decades and has never requested that vehicles be registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Grundfest said SPACs “should not be hanged for crimes they did not commit”.

William Birdthistle, an investment law expert at the Chicago-Kent School of Law, said SPACs have been “a sleepy backwater for 18 years and a boom city for the past 18 months.” Just because the SEC has done things before doesn’t mean it will continue to do so, especially Hard-spoken leadership by Gary Gensler. The SEC may choose to brief the cases, but that will only fuel more rumors about what’s driving the case. The SEC did not respond to a request for comment.

EU prepares to reimpose travel restrictions on visitors from the US NS limitationsIt can range from a mandatory quarantine to a non-essential travel ban, mostly lifted in June. (Recommendations from the Council of Europe are not mandatory, so each country can decide whether to implement them.) The move is a response to the increasing number of cases in the US, whose average is currently above average. 100,000 Covid-19 hospitalizations one day for the last week.

AstraZeneca makes vaccinations mandatory for US employees, DealBook found out. This applies to all employees and visitors to the company’s offices, with mandatory testing for those with medical or religious exemptions. owned by The Times compiled a list Vaccination orders and return-to-duty dates at dozens of major companies.

Departure of American troops from Afghanistan is approaching. United States carried out a drone attack He was in Kabul yesterday against what authorities called an imminent threat until Tuesday for the remaining military personnel to leave the country. (The American-led coalition told Afghans hoping to leave the country that the airlift was already over for them.) The United States was among them. 98 countries He said they will continue to receive Afghan refugees.

Jay Powell’s Jackson Hole speech received mixed reviews. Stocks rise after Fed chief virtual talk On Friday, he said the central bank would not begin reducing its stimulus until later this year. (Futures today show stocks will keep gains open.) Critics said Powell. not doing enough preparing markets for higher inflation as the economy reopens.

Rivian plans to go public with a strong valuation. Backed by Amazon and Ford, the electric truck manufacturer is targeting an IPO valuation. roughly $70 billion. That would make the Rivian, which is expected to deliver its first truck next month, worth more than Ford and less than Tesla.

Hurricane Ida made landfall yesterday It’s been 16 years since Hurricane Katrina, another powerful storm, devastated New Orleans this morning in Louisiana. Ida arrived as a Category 4 storm this morning before morphing into a tropical storm. Layers of rain, high winds, and storm surges cut electricity in New Orleans and left more than a million people without power in Louisiana. One death has been reported.

The region’s energy infrastructure is taking a hit. Almost the entire Gulf of Mexico oil rigs it is closed, fuel deliveries stopped and many of Louisiana’s refineries Be prepared for possible flooding. About 25 percent of U.S. oil refining capacity is in the path of the storm, Platts Analytics said.

The economic impact is not yet clear Some predict that the interruption in the energy supply will cause gas prices to rise. Gasoline and oil futures bounced at first, but are now towering high. seemed to have survived significant damage. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told the AP He said he expects any price increase to take several weeks.

Read more:


Tesla CEO Elon Musk to tweet the bewilderment of investors at how much it drove the stock price up.


Elizabeth Holmes on trial: Holmes, Founder of Theranosintroduced what it claims is a simple blood test that will revolutionize healthcare, attract leading investors, and form a partnership with Walgreens. In fact, the tests had major problems. Holmes has denied allegations that he has defrauded investors and patients. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

OPEC+ covers: The oil cartel and its allies are expected to meet in July, after the group agreed to increase production by 400,000 barrels a day each month starting in August. Economists are waiting for the coalition to approve this program.

Latest job numbers released: Last month, the report showed biggest gain in business in about a yearand the lowest unemployment rate since the pandemic began. Economists and investors will look for signs of how the resurgence of coronavirus cases is affecting businesses.

From The TimesMachine: On September 4, 1882, Thomas Edison’s first commercial power station in the United States, Pearl Street Station, began generating electricity in Lower Manhattan. Electricity also illuminated The Times’ building. Describing the arrival of electric lamps in their offices, The Times wrote: “It was a light that a man could sit under and write for hours”, proving to be “satisfying in every way.”


your facebook virtual reality service Announced last week, Horizon Workrooms will allow users to wear a VR headset, create an avatar, and sit among colleagues in computer-generated corporate environments. This isn’t the only company betting on corporate VR. You can host virtual fireside chats (using room key); navigate a gamified office space (open To collect); or an entire virtual fair event (open argument).

ARtillery Intelligence research company waits In 2023, the industry will be worth around $4 billion. However, all expertsmetadata store” will catch up quickly. Here are three reasons:

Content is king, even in virtual reality. Florian Couret, head of the comprehensive lab at real estate broker BNP Paribas Real Estate, used VR headsets to hold some meetings with colleagues in five European countries last year. But the experiment is over. “You can have the world’s best tools for dating in virtual reality, but nobody cares if the content isn’t interesting,” he said.

Running resistance will be a big hurdlesaid Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Players can already living in the metaverse, but workers are creatures of habit, he said. West said virtual reality may be too “far from our regular forms of interaction” to enter the workplace anytime soon.

Better broadband infrastructure is needed. “Connectivity is actually still a big challenge,” West said. If companies want realistic virtual office spaces, they and tech companies will have to invest much more money in infrastructure, he added.

Despite the hurdles, some industries are already embracing the technology. Alexandros Cigarettes, a research professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, said mixed reality headsets were piloted in intensive care units during the pandemic to bring additional expertise to the room without the risk of exposure to the virus. He regularly hosts meetings in VR and believes the technology has potential in any workplace.

Opportunities

  • Chinese AI company SenseTime has filed for an IPO in Hong Kong, easing concerns over China’s crackdown on tech companies. (CNBC)

  • Amazon has struck a deal with Affirm, a “buy now, pay later” provider, to add a new option at checkout for purchases of $50 or more. (NYT)

Policy

  • Some say low interest rates cause inequality, but what if it’s the other way around? (NYT)

  • A new rule to make new buildings greener in California could raise prices in an already expensive situation. (NYT)

  • US officials have begun blocking solar panels from China, which they believe may be the product of forced labor. (WaPo)

best of the rest

  • BCG will end wine flights and eat potential hires to help reduce its carbon footprint (FT)

  • Just like the office, the future of gyms is hybrid. (WSJ)

  • Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, on his moral and environmental priorities. (NYT)

  • Meet the Covid commenters: A group of scientists who went from relative obscurity to household names. (Vanity Fair)

  • “The World Is Still Not Enough of Everything. To get used to.” (NYT)

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