Financial Daily Dose 3.3.2021 | Top Story: Rare Merck-J&J Partnership to Boost U.S. Vaccine Production

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In a move we hinted at here recently, drug giant Merck is partnering with rival Johnson & Johnson to help produce production of J&J’s single-shot coronavirus vaccine. This unprecedented “Coke & Pepsi of the pharma world” collab will help the feds provide “enough shots for all U.S. adults by the end of May, rather than the end of July” - Bloomberg and Law360 and ThePost and NYTimes and WSJ

A big-picture recap of the Gensler and Chopra SEC & CFPB (respectively) hearings on Tuesday, in which both nominees “stressed twin goals of transparency and oversight of powerful interests” and faced largely expected lines of inquiry on “issues including climate change, stock market volatility, student loans and cryptocurrencies” - NYTimes and WSJ and Law360

After facing criticism that it wasn’t attuned enough to bond markets, the Federal Reserve—via Governor Lael Brainard’s remarks during a Council on Foreign Relations webcast—assured Wall Street that it was, in fact, paying close attention to bond yields that briefly jumped past 1.6% last week - NYTimes and Bloomberg

The wave of Goldman Sachs departures continues, with general counsel Karen Seymour the latest top exec to head out the door in recent days - Bloomberg

Checking in on the union battle brewing between Amazon and workers at its Bessemer, Alabama warehouse that’s attracting considerable national attention and could ripple far beyond the state’s borders - NYTimes

Swedish hedge fund manager Thomas Sandell will pay $105 million to resolve accusations by the NY AG that he attempted to “evade state and city taxes.” The agreement “amounts to the state’s largest-ever recovery under the False Claims Act, which makes it illegal to provide false information related to payments to government entities” - WSJ

W.D. Texas jury members have hit Intel with a staggering $2.175 billion penalty a day after closing arguments in plaintiff VLSI Technology’s case against the chip maker over its alleged patent infringement – Law360

Bankrupt rental-car company Hertz—the “original meme stock” that months ago briefly saw its shares skyrocket almost 900%—is turning out to be a bum deal for shareholders, who “will get nothing” under the reorganization plan that will take the company out of Chapter 11 protection - Bloomberg

Grocery delivery company Instacart revealed Tuesday that it raised $265 million in a recent funding round that values the company at $39 billion—“more than doubling its valuation for the second time in a year” - NYTimes

The Senate has confirmed Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo as the nation’s next Commerce Secretary by an 84-15 vote – Law360

Meanwhile, OMB nominee Neera Tanden is officially out “after she faced opposition from key Democratic and Republican senators over her past controversial tweets.” Yes, the controversial tweets sank her. Really - TheGuardian and Bloomberg and NYTimes and WSJ

Target’s Mini Brands! and a Supermarket Sweep reboot (or some binges of the original, now streaming on Netflix) as the perfect form of normcore nostalgia during the time of Covid? We’ll buy it - NYTimes

Stay safe.

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