Airbnb Tops $100 Billion on First Day of Trading, Reviving Talk of a Bubble [NYT]
The company’s shares skyrocketed on their first day of trading, rising 113 percent above the initial public offering price of $68 to close at $144.71…. Airbnb’s offering raised $3.5 billion, making it the biggest I.P.O. this year….
The hair-bending offerings this week have raised talk of a new stock market bubble in the midst of a pandemic-induced downturn, as more than 947,000 workers filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week. With interest rates low and fiscal stimulus goosing parts of the economy, investors have chased ever-riskier bets, driving valuations of unprofitable start-ups to levels that seem divorced from reality.

Hedge fund Citadel's commodity investments up more than $1 billion this year – sources [Reuters]
Citadel’s flagship Wellington fund, which practices a multi-strategy array of investments on stocks, bonds, commodities and other securities using teams of traders, is up by 21.2% this year through November, putting it on track to have its best year since 2012…. All five of the fund’s core investment strategies have positive returns for the year, the person added.

GOP Leaders See Bipartisan Group’s Covid-Aid Effort Falling Short [WSJ]
“My sense is that they’re not going to get there on the liability language,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R., S.D.) told reporters Thursday. “Even though they spent a lot of time trying to come up with sort of creative, innovative solutions to it, they’re just not going to be able to thread the needle.”

Johnson and EU Warn of No Deal as Deadline Nears [Bloomberg]
Johnson said on Friday that a no-deal Brexit at the end of the year now looks “very, very likely….” Both sides have said they will continue discussions until Sunday, but officials concede that, without fresh political direction, the negotiating teams will have little to talk about.

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair to resign early next year [Reuters]
[Heath] Tarbert, a Republican, said he wants to return to the private sector. While he will resign as chair, he expects to stay on as a commissioner after Biden takes office on Jan. 20 while he finalizes his plans.
“It’s important to have a smooth handover and a smooth transition,” said Tarbert. “It’s obviously been a tremendous adventure and - I think - successful time in government ... but I would like to return to the private sector in some relevant leadership role,” he said.

Bernard Madoff victims receiving more money, 12 years after his arrest [Reuters]
The U.S. Department of Justice said that on Thursday it began paying out approximately $488 million to help individuals, schools, charities, pension plans and other recoup their losses.
On Wednesday, Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating the former Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, said he will seek court approval next month distribute an additional $190.8 million to more than 800 former Madoff customers.
Following the payouts, the government will have sent close to $3.2 billion to nearly 37,000 victims from a $4.05 billion fund set up in 2013, while Picard will have sent $14.1 billion to Madoff customers he has estimated lost $17.5 billion.

Zoom Classes. No Chance Meetings. Is Virtual Business School Worth the Cost? [NYT]
“Is it worth $200,000, plus what I could have been making?” asked Terence Mullin, who worked in investment banking and private equity in Chicago before enrolling at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where all the classes are online and the only approved interaction is via Zoom. “No.”

Mastercard and Visa stop allowing their cards to be used on Pornhub. [NYT]
Mastercard said in a statement on Thursday that the investigation “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” which prompted the company to terminate the acceptance of its cards on the site.
In a separate statement, Visa said, “We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network,” pending the completion of its investigation.

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