Financial Daily Dose 5.20.2021 | Top Story: Cryptos Whipsaw and Close Down, Dragging Markets With Them

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

A weekslong slide for Bitcoin and other cryptos turned into a “frenzied selloff” on Wednesday, crashing the digital currencies back to earth after what had been a pandemic year of impressive gains. The plunge [and whipsaw almost-rally] once again raised questions about cryptos’ viability as “a significant asset class in their own right,” and coincided with another drop across the board in markets “as investors broadly retreated from riskier assets” - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

All of which means that website hosting provider Squarespace picked a dickens of a day to make its public debut on the markets. Squarespace went public via direct listing and closed the day more than 10% below its reference price of $50 – Law360 and WSJ and Bloomberg

The Fed’s April meeting minutes, which dropped yesterday, show that the central bank is beginning “to tiptoe toward a conversation about dialing back support for the economy, as government support and business reopenings fueled consumer spending and paved the way for a rebound.” True to form, though, the Fed policymakers again confirmed they need to see “substantial” additional progress toward their dual mandate goals of full employment and 2% inflation before they’ll change course - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Meanwhile, in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, the Fed’s Vice Chair for supervision and regulation, Randal Quarles, highlighted that any immediate reaction to the recent rise in inflation risks “constrain[ing]” the nascent economy recovery and pleaded [again] for patience to see how prices shake out - NYTimes

The Journal brings us the exclusive word from Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount on why his company decided to pay hacker group DarkSide a $4.4 million ransom to release its captive information - WSJ

Apollo Global co-founder Josh Harris is stepping down from his “day-to-day role” at the firm once the asset manager completes its merger with Athene Holding Ltd in 2022.  The announcement comes after Harris was passed over for Apollo’s top job following the Epstein-linked resignation of co-founder Leon Black - Bloomberg and NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch

ByteDance founder and visionary Zhang Yiming is stepping down as CEO at the end of the year “to focus on long-term strategy.” Co-founder and current HR chief Liang Rubo will take over for Zhang next year - NYTimes and WSJ

Ford is hoping that its electric F-150 Lighting pickup—now officially Biden tested and approved—can “open a major new front in the battle to dominate the fast-growing electric vehicle market.” Indeed, its coming launch has already “invited comparisons to Ford’s Model T, the car that made automobiles affordable to the masses” - NYTimes and WSJ

The Federal Trade Commission and a handful of states are suing Frontier Communications over allegations that the internet-service provider “misled consumers by providing slower internet speeds than promised” - WSJ

The busy Commission also has PharmaBro Martin Shkreli for allegedly deleting texts from “a contraband prison phone that show he directed associates to continue blocking generic versions of the pricey anti-parasite drug that made him infamous” – Law360

Hedge funds have a new favored investment target: private companies - WSJ

Though generally posting strong revenue and earnings throughout the pandemic, McDonald’s execs “are likely to face tough questions” at today’s annual shareholder meeting over their perceived mishandling of the “dismissal of the former chief executive Steve Easterbrook” - NYTimes

Looking for a place to get away right in the city? New York’s hottest park is Little Island. This place has everything: an amphitheater, dramatic views, Barry Diller, that thing of where the entire landscape floats “atop a bouquet of tulip-shaped columns” - NYTimes and Bloomberg

Stay safe and get vaxxed.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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