Financial Daily Dose 1.12.2021 | Top Story: New PPP Round Kicks Off with Focus on Community Lenders

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Version 3.0 of the PPP kicked off yesterday, with community lenders leading the way by focusing on “underserved borrowers—including women-led businesses and those run by Black, Latino and Asian owners and other minorities” in an effort to address complaints about the lack of equitable distribution during the first two PPP rollouts - NYTimes and WSJ

The latest outlook for U.S. businesses: if you can somehow survive the next couple of months, 2021 could be a very good year. But that’s an awfully big “if” - NYTimes and Bloomberg

In the wake of last week’s seditious siege of the Capitol, a growing number of big American businesses are suspending (or ending altogether) their political contributions—especially to those politicians who voted against certifying the results of November’s presidential election - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Marketplace

Stocks closed down to start the week as fears over further unrest (combined with Friday’s dismal jobs report and concerns about Congressional efforts to regulate Big Tech) took hold - WSJ

We’re not taking full credit [or blame] over here, but you gotta love the timing. Mere hours after we noted Bitcoin’s parabolic jump to $40k, the cryptocurrency completed its 2-day 26% slide. You’re welcome - Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Gene therapies biotech pioneer Bluebird Bio revealed plans on Monday to spin off its cancer-drug unit “into a new, publicly traded company” so the remaining entity “can focus on rare diseases” - WSJ

Pilgrim’s Pride—one of the country’s largest chicken producers—has “reached a $75 million deal with a group of poultry buyers to settle price-fixing claims” in what would be “the biggest [settlement] so far in a four-year legal battle over alleged collusion among the companies that dominate the $65 billion chicken industry” - WSJ

Walmart is partnering with Ribbit Capital—a Robinhood investor—to launch a fintech startup aimed at Walmart’s customers as the Arkansas-based retailer “continues to expand beyond its core market” - Bloomberg and MarketWatch and WSJ

British bootmaker (and 90s alt-kid staple) Dr. Martens has filed paperwork necessary to explore an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, “touting its potential for growth in big markets like the U.S. and China” - WSJ

The Supremes have taken a pass on another challenge to the constitutionality of SEC administrative law judges. The move “leaves in place a 2019 Eleventh Circuit decision holding that federal courts don’t have jurisdiction to hear constitutional challenges to SEC in-house proceedings until litigants go through the agency’s entire administrative process” – Law360

Would-be Tesla rival Lucid Motors is exploring a route to going public through a merger with one of Michael Klein’s SPACs in a transaction that “could be valued at up to $15 billion” - Bloomberg

Quite the series of photos and reflections from Stephen Hiltner, who spent much of the fall documenting America at the start of its Covid winter - NYTimes

Stay safe.

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