Financial Daily Dose 4.15.2021 | Top Story: Big Banks Deliver Huge Q1 Profits, Economic Optimism Despite Ongoing Challenges

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

Big bank earnings season kicked off this week, and impressive Q1 results from JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo has Wall Street feeling especially bullish. This, despite “sobering signs,” including climbing infections and hospitalizations in some areas of the country, vaccine hesitation, and a persistently uneven recovery - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Coinbase’s first day as a public company was, appropriately (for an outfit tied to tightly to the roller-coastery crypto world), volatile. The company debuted at $381/share and swung as high as $429 and as low as $310 before closing trading at nearly $330/share—well above its $250 reference price. That figure values the exchange at $85.7 billion, “more than 10 times its last valuation as a private company” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

A scorecard of the companies taking stands (and staying on the sidelines) against the spate of state legislation aimed at restricting voting rights that’s popped up around the country in recent months - NYTimes and WSJ and Marketplace

The Journal on how Bezos & Co. use their “power across multiple businesses” to squeeze its partners—tactics that some say “go beyond typical product bundling and tough negotiating in part because the company threatens punitive action on vital services it offers, such as its retail platform” - WSJ

The Federal Bureau of Prisons released the news on Wednesday that $65B Ponzi-scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff died in custody at age 82. Madoff served 11 years of a 150-year sentence before succumbing to a kidney disease - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

Fed Chair Powell told a gathering of the Economic Club of D.C. on Wednesday that the central bank would “begin to slow the pace of its bond purchases ‘well before’ raising interest rates,” giving Fed watchers  yet more reassurance that he and the Fed governors mean what they say when it comes to keeping rates near zero - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

ABC News has named veteran CBS News exec Kimberly Godwin as its next President. Godwin will become the “first Black woman to lead a major broadcast network’s news division” - NYTimes and USAToday

The Senate has confirmed former CFTC chair and Goldman exec Gary Gensler as the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission - WSJ and Law360

Fascinating stuff from the Times on Jo van Gogh-Bonger, the sister-in-law of the Dutch painter who, despite having “no background in art or business and [facing] an art world that was a thoroughly male preserve” played the biggest role (beyond the work itself) in making Vincent “one of the most beloved figures in the history of art” - NYTimes

Stay safe.

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Robins Kaplan LLP

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