Financial Daily Dose 8.6.2020 | Top Story: Facebook Launches Instagram Reels to Compete with TikTok

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

Never one to let a competitor’s misfortune pass by without looking for an opportunity, Facebook’s Instagram is hoping to capitalize on TikTok’s questionable U.S. status by launching Reels, a new feature that allows users to create easily sharable 15-second videos while syncing up their recordings “with clips of music or audio files that they record themselves, while adding other effects, like augmented reality filters.” Sound familiar? [It’s supposed to] – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Meanwhile, let’s consider whether—for all of its buzz—TikTok’s a smart investment for Microsoft. The answer’s likely tied to exactly what the buyer’s getting in the deal – NYTimes

CALPERS’ chief investment officer, Ben Meng, has abruptly resigned from the nation’s largest pension fund after just a year and a half on the job. Meng had been working on a “reform agenda” for the fund – WSJ and Bloomberg

In a letter to Zuck on Wednesday, a group of 19 state attorneys general called on Facebook to “better prevent messages of hate, bias and disinformation from spreading” and calling for the company to “provide more help to users facing online abuse” – NYTimes and WSJ

Early thoughts on what’s expected to be another million+ in job losses reported in the unemployment numbers today – NYTimes and WSJ

Today’s Kodak drama includes congressional committees seeking records from the “onetime photography giant” and recipient of a $765 government loan as they investigate both the plan to transform the company into a domestic drug manufacturer and the less-than-secret rollout that led to a huge jump in Kodak’s stock – WSJ and Bloomberg

German lender Commerzbank’s not exactly negotiating from a position of strength these days. But it took a stand anyway against American PE firm Cerberus Capital in the firm’s push for “drastic cost cuts and other painful changes,” including the ouster of two top execs, at German’s second-largest bank – NYTimes

No shocker here but still worth noting: the lapse in supplemental unemployment benefits while Congress negotiates a new relief bill is likely to “lead to a sharp drop-off in household spending and a setback for the U.S. economy’s near-term recover, even if the lapse turns out to be temporary” – WSJ

Also impacted by that delay are the number of loans with payments in deferral—the current volume of which tops $151 billion at the four largest banks in America thanks to pandemic-induced economic volatility – Bloomberg

Quicken Loans expects to raise well short of its once-estimated $3.e billion through its planned IPO spinoff of its Rocket Companies Inc. Though to be fair, $1.8B’s nothing to sneeze at – WSJ and Bloomberg

Speaking of a couple bill, Jeffy’s got some new pocket money IRL after selling a million shares for a tidy $3.1 billion profit. Oh yeah, and he’s still got 54 million shares for a rainy day – Bloomberg

Wild story from the Times about the online life and death of @Sciencing_Bi, the allegedly “anonymous anthropology professor” from ASU who “remained outspoken about fairness in academia even as she suffered for months with the coronavirus” and who, also by the way, was entirely fictional – NYTimes

Stay safe.

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Robins Kaplan LLP

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