Financial Daily Dose 4.26.2021 | Top Story: Bitcoin Bounces Back Over 50k

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

Bitcoin’s back (and no, it never really left), thanks to a rally this morning that pushed its value up as much as 10% at one point in early trading today. Elon Musk’s weekend tweeting and news that presumptive top NFL draft choice Trevor Lawrence has signed an endorsement deal with crypto exchange FTX and will take his first payment strictly in the cryptocurrency certainly didn’t hurt the surge - Bloomberg and NYTimes and MarketWatch

We know that the pandemic year meant extremes in the business world—both big winners and big losers. Tech soared while travel-related industries shriveled up and nearly died. Yet for one very special group of workers—that would be CEOs—it hardly seems to have mattered whether the company won or lost. Indeed, “at many of the companies hit hardest by the pandemic, the executives in charge were showered with riches” - NYTimes

Panasonic is buying Blue Yonder, a supply-chain software provider, for $7.1 billion from Blackstone Group. Panasonic—best known for its electronics hardware—is reportedly looking to beef up its growing software business - WSJ

As Apple pivots to privacy today with the launch of more ad-tracking control for its app users, the Times looks back on how Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg—who strongly opposes the move—found themselves becoming Big Tech enemies - NYTimes

Last week we looked at Jack Ma’s calculated transition to wallflower as a strategy for dealing with heat from Beijing. Today we see the other side of that equation through the experience of Sun Dawu, the “outspoken rural businessman” and “vocal critic” of Xi Jinping and his “crackdown on civil society,” who finds himself under formal arrest “months after being taken into detention.” More on Sun and his alleged transgressions here - NYTimes

And on the recent unwanted attention Chinese regulators have lavished on food-delivery giant Meituan - Bloomberg and NYTimes

Feeling some shame for its role in the short-lived Super League debacle, JPMorgan issued a public apology on Friday, admitting that it “had ‘misjudged’ how the project would be viewed by fans” - NYTimes

The Journal helps us put Credit Suisse’s current Archegos-driven losses in perspective, and it suggests the $5.5 billion hole means the bank’s “in the big league of banking mishaps.” Ouch - WSJ and Bloomberg

Debt underwriters are sitting on roughly $30 billion in fresh bonds and are ready to deal as companies “emerge from earnings-blackout periods.” High-grade debt, in particular, “continues to recover from the pandemic crisis” - Bloomberg

On Friday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave its  nod to a national banking license for Paxos, the “first cryptocurrency company to receive a New York banking license.” That sets up the company to “make history again as the first in the digital asset space to have dual federal and state banks” – Law360

Heading down the rabbit hole with the Times as it shines a spotlight on the online slander industry, including the uncomfortable fact that “the people facilitating slander and the self-proclaimed good guys who help remove it [think “reputation management” companies] are often one and the same” - NYTimes

After a surprise offer last week, Kansas City Southern has begun negotiations with Canadian National Railway, “potentially escalating a bidding war in one of the industry’s biggest potential deals in decades” - Bloomberg

Getting to know Tim Sweeney, the billionaire behind the Fortnite empire, and his Project Liberty—the high-stakes battle plan to take on Apple’s App Store dominance - WSJ

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get this work week started off right with some absolute FIRE from Scott Seiss (aka the Ikea Guy) - ScottSeiss

Stay safe.

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Robins Kaplan LLP

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