Financial Daily Dose 1.29.2021 | Top Story: GM Commits to Zero-Emissions Fleet by 2035

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

General Motors announced on Thursday its ambitious plans to “phase out petroleum-powered cars and trucks and sell only vehicles that have zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, a seismic shift by one of the world’s largest automakers that makes billions of dollars today from gas-guzzling pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.” Industry experts suspect the move could pressure other large automakers to “make similar commitments” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

United States GDP slowed considerably but still eked out a 1% gain in Q4, though “looking at the quarter as a whole obscures the full extent of the slip: Many analysts believe economic output declined outright in November and December.” A slowdown in consumer spending helped drive the “late-year slump,” and though GDP is rebounding much faster than it did after the Great Recession, the figure was down 3.5% on the year as compared to 2019 - NYTimes and WSJ and Marketplace

Across the pond, the ECB is warning Eurozone banks that they are “underestimating” risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic, including “losses they  may suffer from a surge in problem loans” in coming months - NYTimes

The Times’ “Shift” column on what this week’s GameStop insanity means in the bigger picture of Wall Street and America writ large, suggesting that the run was part of a broader “authority crisis,” and that while “institutional power has a way of reasserting itself after sudden shocks,” “Wall Street will never be the same” - NYTimes

Meanwhile, the stonk at the heart of it all—GME—was down considerably in late trading on Thursday after trading app Robinhood “placed more restrictions” on trades of GameStop and AMC “limiting users to only selling shares they owned and buying shares they had shorted” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

And for that, Robinhood has the dubious distinction of making truly strange bedfellows in opposition to its heavy hand - NYTimes and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360 and Mashable

Musk as markets mover? We’ve seen it before. Now bitcoin’s benefiting thanks to a not-so-stray hashtag - Bloomberg and Mashable

Oh, and Dogecoin, too. Sure. The meteoric rise of a “digital coin originally created as a joke” is SPOT ON for the current moment - Bloomberg

The Times explores the “covert online push to sway telecommunications policy” in favor of embattled Chinese tech company Huawei—a “new twist in social mediation manipulation” that uses tactics once reserved “mainly for government objections . . . to achieve corporate goals” - NYTimes

Troubled shared office-space company WeWork—a year removed from its ill-fated IPO effort that led to the resignation of CEO Adam Neumann—is in talks to combine with a SPAC to go public in a deal “that could value WeWork at some $10 billion” - WSJ and TechCrunch

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group—once the driving force behind landmark property acquisitions in the U.S. and around the globe—disclosed that “some of its creditors have filed a court petition for its bankruptcy and reorganization after it failed to repay its debts on time” - WSJ and Bloomberg

Covid continues to take a massive bite out of the travel industry, with Southwest and American Airlines both posting record losses for 2020 - WSJ and Bloomberg

Fascinating argument here that the “most revolutionary new artistic medium of the 20th century” wasn’t film or even color photography but rather collage—the grade-school-friendly effort popularized by the Cubists Picasso, Braque, and Gris - NYTimes

Stay safe, and have a great weekend.

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Robins Kaplan LLP

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