Financial Daily Dose 8.27.2020 | Top Story: TikTok CEO Resigns After Just 4 Months on Job

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

Still-new TIkTok CEO Kevin Mayer has stepped down, “just months after taking the helm of the viral short video app.” ByteDance had appointed Mayer in May in an effort “to make the case that TikTok operates as a separate entity from its Beijing-based parent to assuage concerns about national security,” but the White House was unmoved, and Mayer decided to move on from whatever the company is forced to become – Bloomberg and NYTimes and WSJ and HuffPost and Mashable

While we’re at it, the Times’ tech columnist, Brian Chen, on one of the major takeaways from the ongoing intrigue between the U.S. and TikTok: “it’s all about our data.” And whether TikTok’s mining and use of that data really is a “national security threat” turns out to be something up for debate, even among tech experts – NYTimes

Banner Q2—in which the company reported a near-30% increase in revenue to $5.15 billion and delivered a rosy forecast for the rest of the year—aside, Salesforce announced plans on Wednesday to cut roughly 1,000 jobs, including in sales and customer support, in an apparent effort to “streamline its business” – Bloomberg and WSJ

Zuck’s up in arms over privacy changes Apple’s made in a forthcoming iOS update [released in beta form to developers in June] that Facebook says “will cripple the social-media giant’s ability to serve targeted ads to iPhone users while they use outside apps – WSJ

The United States sanctioned 24 Chinese companies on Wednesday over their “role in helping the Chinese military construct artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.” The group “will no longer be able to buy technology and other products shipped form the United States, ‘whether a toothbrush or a semiconductor,’ without first obtaining special permission to do so” – NYTimes

Broadway Federal and City First are joining forces to create the “nation’s largest Black-controlled bank and the first with assets of more than $1 billion” – NYTimes and Bloomberg

In non-covid times, the Fed would be hosting its annual Jackson Hole, WY conference of elite economists right now. These are not those times, so we Fed watchers will enjoy a bit of rare access when Fed Chair Powell gives an update on the “central bank’s soon-to-conclude framework review, in which it has revisited its policy tools for good and bad times,” during a speech later today held remotely and streamed on the K.C. Fed’s YouTube page – NYTimes

Here’s what we expect to hear from Chair Powell – Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Ford Motor Company is the latest corporate giant to rethink how it uses physical office space in the post-pandemic era “in which employees will have more options to do their jobs remotely”—a huge shift for a company in which some workers have occupied the same physical space for decades – WSJ

More on Palantir—specifically, what the heck it is and does—as Peter Thiel’s baby prepares to go public via direct listing – NYTimes

Fidelity’s “launching its first Bitcoin fund, adding its establishment name and star power to the fledgling and often controversial asset class.” The money manager will offer the fund only to “qualified purchasers through family offices, registered investment advisers and other institutions” who pony up a minimum of $100k – Bloomberg

Meanwhile, a “divided” SEC “expanded the definition of an accredited investor, which determines who can invest in unregistered securities, to factor a person’s sophistication in addition to existing income and wealth requirements”—a move “hotly debated by market participants for years” that will potentially let more investors in on private offerings – Law360

New orders for durable goods—those products “designed to last at least three years”—rose 11.2% in July compared to the month before, the third month in a row seeing an increase and a sign of at least some growing optimism among businesses about the shape of the U.S. economic recovery – WSJ

For you Mouseheads out there, an interesting take on how Disney’s mishmash of largely “forgettable 2000s movies” helped shape the company’s “modern successes.” Yes, even “Meet the Robinsons” – Mashable

Stay safe.

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Robins Kaplan LLP

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