NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” So exclaimed Captain Renault in “Casablanca” as he was handed his winnings. Some of America’s wealthiest people seem to be having the same reaction to proposals from President Joe Biden that would increase taxes on capital gains. Much of the purported shock looks as stagey as Renault’s.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - European bank ING is a leader when it comes to holding borrowers to climate-change commitments. In an interview hosted by the European-American Chamber of Commerce New York, ING Americas CEO Gerald Walker talks to Breakingviews’ Richard Beales about the future of green finance.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Finance is like poker: If you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s you. That’s especially true of special-purpose acquisition companies, the Wall Street craze that only seems to gather pace.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk is never shy of creating a bit more disruption. The entrepreneur’s $808 billion electric-car company, Tesla, said on Monday that it has put $1.5 billion into bitcoin and may soon accept the cryptocurrency from buyers of its vehicles. It’s right up Musk’s street as a wink to virtual-investment, anti-establishment fervor. But it’s also a serious challenge to something mainstream: in this case, accounting rules.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Even the Robin Hood of legend had to steal from the rich to give to the poor. Upstart online broker Robinhood Markets and its users may have allowed themselves to think that a mission to “democratize finance” made trading completely free. They were wrong.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hedge fund investors may have loved their chosen managers’ performance in 2020. Or they may have hated it. Equity-heavy funds did well overall, with their exposure to buoyant stock markets. But the top 20 fund firms made around half the gains in the entire roughly 8,000-strong industry.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Fuggedaboutit. That’s what London and New York would love to do with Covid-19. It won’t be easy in the new year. But the two financial capitals should start to see urban buzz return.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Sponsors of blank-check companies, who already collect up to 20% of a vehicle’s shares in return for very little investment, may have found a way to put in even less effort. A new special-purpose acquisition company is giving itself the option to spin off some of the cash raised into another SPAC. Along with a newly approved way for companies to raise capital alongside a direct listing, the menu of options for going public is getting longer.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - For some government departments and big companies, 2020 just got even worse. Widely used network-management software produced by Austin, Texas-based SolarWinds was hacked, allowing monitoring, perhaps by Russia. With the U.S. military and the Treasury Department potential targets, it’s one more significant headache for President-elect Joe Biden.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Sometimes a transaction looks so hairy that it’s hard to tell if there’s a sensible idea at its core. Dyal Capital Partners and Owl Rock Capital Partners are considering merging and going public through a third entity, a blank-check vehicle called Altimar Acquisition, the firms said on Wednesday. It’s a complex triangle even without circular wrinkles.