CEOs Follow the Leader Play

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The biggest question companies face as they approach persuasion and incentive limits is whether they will make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for workers. This legally allowed, but many companies are still worried about the political ramifications, employee push-backs, and other issues.

It’s also worrying what competitors are doing, so CEOs are rushing behind the scenes to figure out their colleagues’ plans, assessing whether it’s time to change their vaccine policies without standing out from the crowd.

The Business Roundtable surveys its members about their plans. DealBook hears. The influential lobby group led by Walmart’s Doug McMillon declined to make the results public, but the results show that, as we understand it, more companies are considering vaccine requirements than a few months ago.

The White House wants CEOs to help persuade others. President Biden met with managers companies with mandatory vaccinations, including Scott Kirby of United Airlines, to discuss how they can encourage other business leaders to do the same. United has held a series of town hall meetings to discuss this since it mandated (a largely vaccinated workforce). Frontier and Hawaiian Airlines issue their respective mandates after United and Alaska Airlines told the employees was thinking of doing the same.

Is it enough? Most companies have been reluctant to announce entitlements. covering all employees. But the first trickle of authority a more stable stream of announcements. Many believe the FDA has full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. expected within weeks, it can turn it into a flood.

“A few weeks from now, this is going to be common across the country because it’s really just a fundamental security issue,” said United’s Kirby. told CNN After the White House meeting.

The Democrats’ plan to advance the infrastructure bill and the budget plan together is at stake. Progressives had threatened to vote against the infrastructure bill without assurance that a major spending package on social issues would also move forward. But a group of nine moderate Democrats Speaker Nancy told Pelosi They said they would not vote on a budget resolution until spending on roads and bridges was approved today, saying the infrastructure bill should be a priority.

The largest teachers’ union supports a coronavirus vaccine mission. The three million-member National Education Association endorsement follows a similar statement from the American Federation of Teachers. The move comes as more companies delay office turnaround dates; Facebook pushed back Return from October to January.

The census showed that the United States has grown significantly more diverse over the past decade. General population growth slowed down, a decade-long survey recorded the first decline in the white population. This can partly be attributed to the fact that people who formerly identified as white now choose more than one race.

Credit…by The New York Times | Source: US Census Bureau

A large high-frequency trading firm is getting into the meme-stock business. Jump Securities starting A unit to process orders from Robinhood and other retail brokerages is a sign that small investors are a bigger force in the market. Meanwhile, Cineworld, owner of the Regal cinema chain, says it could happen. list your shares In the US, it’s a way of attracting retail merchants, making rival movie chain AMC a meme-stock winner.

Expect more shipping delays as the Delta variant rolls out. China’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to Covid cases, in part third busiest shipping port in the world. Analysts anticipate supply chain disruptions related to the pandemic, unloading racks and raise prices, to extend into the holiday season (and possibly beyond).

Senator Rand Paul admitted this week unable to disclose his wife’s purchase of stock in Gilead Sciences, the maker of the coronavirus treatment, in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. The trade in February 2020 was small and unprofitable. And there is no evidence that it was done by the Republican based on insider information gathered from Kentucky.

But the announcement, delayed 16 months after the deadline, which Paul’s spokesperson said was negligent, again raises questions about whether the stock trading was properly overseen by lawmakers and their families.

The Congressional Stop Trading on Information or STOCK Act, passed in 2012, requires lawmakers to disclose trades within 45 days. This was supposed to dispel the appearance of using their influence and reach for profit. Nearly a decade later, Paul’s commercial disclosure is the latest example of how the law has fallen short.

At least a dozen lawmakers recently announced that they missed their disclosure deadlines.Representative included Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat and Senator Tommy Tuberville, Alabama Republican. “There’s definitely a tendency for more people to file late,” said Kedric Payne, a senior ethics director at the Campaign Legal Center.

Annotation rules are rarely applied. The STOCK Act disclosures sparked some high-profile investigations, but experts told DealBook they couldn’t think of a single case the Justice Department brought under the law’s disclosure rules. “If the Department of Justice pursues more of these cases, I’m sure lawmakers will follow suit more carefully,” said Virginia Canter, an attorney for Responsible Citizens and Ethics in Washington.

Penalties under the law are insignificant. The STOCK Act gives the Department of Justice the ability to file criminal charges, but the bar is high. And the law limits civil fines to $50,000. In practice, violations are usually resolved with a fine, typically as low as $200 for a first-time offense.

Read more: Andrew’s column from January He discussed how the SEC could change a rule for broker-dealers that would have lawmakers end their dubious stock trading, without the need for new legislation.


— What billionaire entrepreneur Ryan Cohen, who took over as president of meme stock darling GameStop, often tells his friends, According to a profile in The Wall Street Journal.


Disney reported last three months earnings yesterday. Brooks Barnes of the Times, who has followed the company since 2007, writes about a major shift in focus for DealBook.

I’ve seen Disney go through tremendous change — big purchases, great leadership shakeups, major changes in consumer habits. But one change was quite jarring. For years, each quarter, the only Disney business that really mattered was the division that managed the company’s vast collection of cable and broadcast TV assets. But now, that hardly seems to get any attention.

Traditional TV networks remain Disney’s most profitable business by far, but they had an extremely difficult quarter, with ad revenues and subscription fees only partially offsetting higher programming costs. (Disney’s chief financial officer told analysts to expect the same in the future.) The division’s quarterly operating income fell 33 percent from a year ago to $2.2 billion.

There was a time when a mere 3 percent drop in earnings for the media network division would send Disney’s stock into a tailspin. No one blinked on Thursday.

Investors cared that Disney+ registered 12.6 million new subscribers to its streaming service, beating Wall Street’s expectations, bringing its global total to 116 million. Disney+ is far from profitable, but Disney’s shares are up 5 percent in after-hours trading on the news.

antitrust activity it’s heating up This summer, with new bipartisan legislation targeting Big Tech Newly introduced in the Senate federal agencies that take a skeptical stance on deal making. “I believe antitrust agencies should consider more often directly opposing problematic deals,” said Lina Khan, head of the FTC. wrote in a letter Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was released yesterday.

Hard-spoken advances the Biden administration’s position, an expressed comprehensive executive order last monthBreaking consolidation protects consumers, markets and employees. But some antitrust lawyers, including former regulators, tell DealBook that they fear this stance could hinder legitimate deals and give enforcers the impression that approving any merger is politically charged.

Mergers are increasing at “surprising” numbers, NS The FTC said last week. A “tidal wave” strained resources and the agency set up the pre-merger review process, says that because deals can then be deemed illegal, companies close at their own risk after the usual 30-day review deadline. The agency can retroactively appeal agreements already made, but the initial review framework aims to minimize that distrust, Republican FTC commissioner Christine Wilson said. wrote this week. He said the FTC’s changing process could be driven by politics as much as the increase in merger activity.

“FTC is a law enforcement agency, not a rubber stamp” Lindsay Kryzak, the commission’s director of public relations, told DealBook via email. “Market participants should be aware that there are consequences for offering potentially illegal deals.”

“My concern is that the government is making threats” Said Noah Joshua Phillips, the other of the FTC’s two Republican commissioners. He doubts that antitrust policy can deliver the kind of social change the Biden administration seeks, and argues that it is forces like globalization and international trade, rather than institutional consolidation, that are driving the economy and the labor market.

Opportunities

  • Adidas sold Reebok for $2.5 billion to Brooks Brothers and others’ takeover parent, Authentic Brands. The German sportswear giant paid nearly double to buy Reebok 16 years ago. (NYT)

  • Nubank, a Brazilian fintech firm backed by Berkshire Hathaway, is planning a $2 billion IPO on the Nasdaq. (Bloomberg)

  • Aspiration, a green-minded financial institution that has accepted Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr. as investors, is in talks to go public through SPAC. (Bloomberg)

Policy

  • The UK’s antitrust regulator has expressed concerns over Facebook’s acquisition of image search engine Giphy, which, if approved, could break the deal. (CNBC)

  • Bill Gates promised $1.5 billion in matching funds for climate change projects in his infrastructure bill, if it passes. (WSJ)

  • Dozens of federal board members at institutions like the National Holocaust Museum and Kennedy Center helped spread misinformation about the 2020 election. (insider)

Crypto

  • Hackers who stole $600 million worth of crypto tokens from a decentralized network have returned almost all of them. (coin telegram)

  • French football club Paris Saint-Germain has included some cryptocurrency in the login package paid to Lionel Messi, who joined from Barcelona. (ESPN)

  • “I Joined The Penguin NFT Club Because It Looks Like This Is What We Do Now” (NYT)

best of the rest

  • Britney Spears’ father will resign as her guardian, promising a “orderly transition” to a new appointee, in a turnaround from her initial objections. (NYT)

  • A new section for newsletters in The Times. (NYT)

  • Suppressed demand for weddings creates an economic jolt. (NYT)

  • “What We Think We Know About Metabolism May Be Wrong” (NYT)

We want your feedback! Please email your thoughts and suggestions. dealbook@nytimes.com.

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