Ads, GameStop raise Reddit price tag to $6 billion in latest fundraising [Reuters]
The company, which now has more than 50 million daily active users, announced a $250 million fundraising round on Monday led by venture capital firm Vy Capital and added that it would use the new funds to expand further.
Reddit was valued at $3 billion in its last round in February 2019, and the surge in its value follows a 90% jump in advertising revenue from a year ago.

How a ‘Surefire’ Bet on Ant Group Has Trapped Global Investors [WSJ]
In 2018, an exclusive group of global private-equity firms and mutual-fund managers including Silver Lake, Warburg Pincus LLC, Carlyle Group Inc. and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. took part in a coveted fundraising by Ant that raised $14 billion and minted the financial-technology giant as the world’s most valuable startup…. The global investors agreed to terms that were highly favorable to Ant, and which limited their ability to cash out if the company didn’t end up going public…. The foreign investors didn’t receive any voting rights in Ant…. None was given a seat on Ant’s board…. The 2018 Ant agreement also had no anti-dilution provisions, the people added, meaning investors could incur losses if the value of Ant’s business declines….
“Practically it means every investor has to patiently wait,” said [King & Wood Mallesons partner Rocky] Lee…. “There’s really nothing they can do….”

SoftBank's Record Vision Fund Profit Undercut by Trading Loss [Bloomberg]
SoftBank Group Corp. reported a record profit in its Vision Fund, but founder Masayoshi Son wiped out a significant chunk of those gains with his controversial trading in derivatives.

The Clash of Liberal Wonks That Could Shape the Economy, Explained [NYT]
The Biden approach represents a rejection of the technocratic bent within the Democratic Party that many on the left believe has been deeply damaging to the country…. The policymakers in this tradition view themselves as rigorous, careful and pragmatic. Many liberals view them as excessively moderate, too deferential to Wall Street and clueless about the political dynamics that could make for durable policies to help the working class.

Ousted Parler CEO says he feels "betrayed" by Rebekah Mercer [Axios]
Early cracks in the partnership began to form last summer, according to Matze, when there was internal disagreement over how Parler should define "violence" in its terms of service. He claims that he wanted a broader definition than what was ultimately adopted…. He says he wanted more automated moderation than did Mercer's reps and allies, adding that Parler had added a remedial AI solution just before being kicked off of Amazon's cloud hosting services….
Matze claims he continued advocating for moderation, as a way to get Parler back online, but was met with resistance….
"I thought I knew her. She invited my family on trips with them and everything. I thought that she was, generally speaking, I thought she was being real. And then she just abruptly has her people fire me and doesn't even talk to me about it."
"I feel like it was a stab in the back by somebody that I thought I knew. And so for me, you know, I would never do business with her again."

Robinhood sued by family of 20-year-old trader who killed himself after believing he racked up huge losses [CNBC]
“This case centers on Robinhood’s aggressive tactics and strategy to lure inexperienced and unsophisticated investors, including Alex, to take big risks with the lure of tantalizing profits,” said the complaint filed by his parents Dan and Dorothy Kearns, and his sister Sydney Kearns in a California state court in Santa Clara…. Alex Kearns, a then-sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, committed suicide in June after thinking he had a negative $730,165 cash balance on Robinhood….
The suit says that Kearns made three attempts to contact Robinhood customer service regarding the massive underwater balance.
However, his messages were met with automated replies, according to the complaint.

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Opening Bell: 9.8.20

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Opening Bell: 2.8.21

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Opening Bell: 11.18.20

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Opening Bell: 12.10.20

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Reopening Bell: 1.4.21

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Opening Bell: 10.23.18

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Opening Bell: 09.19.12

Goldman Names New Finance Chief (WSJ) Mr. Viniar has told colleagues he wants to spend more time at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he often returns on the weekends. His thrice-weekly basketball game has been on hold since he underwent knee-replacement surgery this year. Goldman's New CFO Harvey Schwartz to Receive $1.85 Million in Annual Salary (Reuters) Schwartz's predecessor is among the best-paid executives on Wall Street. He earned $15.8 million last year and held 1.8 million shares of Goldman as of March 26, according to a proxy filing. In 2007, he made $58.5 million. Mary Schapiro May Be Heading For Exit (NYP) Sources say that Schapiro is chafing under the political gridlock in Washington that she feels has stymied a number of her initiatives. “Part of the problem for [Schapiro] is that the tone in Washington has been so partisan,” said Christopher Whalen, of Tangent Capital Partners. The chairwoman’s recent handling of talks surrounding new rules governing money-market funds, some detractors say, has also created bad blood within the SEC. “She’s just frustrated,” Whalen noted. However, Schapiro’s critics say she hasn’t cracked the whip hard enough on Wall Street bad guys. One former Washington insider said that Schapiro is liked by President Obama and would stay on until a replacement is named, should he win re-election. One possible early front-runner to replace Schapiro may be FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum, sources speculate. For Superfast Stock Traders, A Way To Jump Ahead In Line (WSJ) Haim Bodek was a Wall Street insider at Goldman Sachs and UBS before launching his own trading firm. Now he is taking on the financial establishment that spawned him. Mr. Bodek approached the Securities and Exchange Commission last year alleging that stock exchanges, in a race for more revenue, had worked with rapid-fire trading firms to give them an unfair edge over everyday investors. He became convinced exchanges were providing such an edge after he says he was offered one himself when he ran a high-speed trading firm—a way to place orders that can be filled ahead of others placed earlier. The key: a kind of order called "Hide Not Slide." The encounter set off an odyssey for Mr. Bodek that has fueled a sweeping SEC inquiry into the activities of sophisticated trading firms and stock-exchange operators—including Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., NYSE Euronext, Direct Edge Holdings LLC and BATS Global Markets—according to exchange and other officials, and lawyers with knowledge of the inquiry. Vulture Funds Seek Fresh Meat (WSJ) “There hasn’t been a big bankruptcy in the last six to nine months,” said a hedge fund investor. “More stuff is coming out of distress than is going in.” US corporate bankruptcy filings peaked in the second quarter of 2009, at around 16,000, and have been trending downward ever since. In the first quarter of 2011, they hit about 11,000, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. Silver Point co-founder Edward Mulé is optimistic the feast will continue. The $6.7 billion firm has had one of the best performances of distressed funds. It gained 10.36 percent this year through August and is up 98.6 percent since January 2009. “The tail of the 2008/2009 distressed credit cycle, coupled with weak global growth and de-leveraging, will continue to generate a steady stream of interesting opportunities,” said Mulé in a recent investor letter. Inside The Dark World Of Online Sugar Daddies (BuzzFeed Shift) Shortly after my profile's approval, emails started flooding my new fake account. One was from "International Finance Don Juan." He wrote: "You look hot. Let's meet." He claimed he was exotic and athletic, over six feet and an independent stockbroker on his profile. After some small talk, he asked to meet me at the W — a "cool" luxury chain where seemingly all these guys wanted to meet or get a hotel room. “Don Juan” had sent a face shot of himself. It was cropped and a little blurry, but I had a general idea of what he looked like. When he walked in to the lobby bar, though, instead of "athletic," he looked as if he could have checked off "more to love." I guess all that matters is that these guys have the cash they say they have...He asked what I'd like to drink. I said I liked pinot noir or champagne. "Oh, Prosecco is basically the same thing," he said, and ordered me one. I had made up a story that I was a graduate student in literature at Sarah Lawrence so I was only in the city once or twice a week to see friends. He wasn't trying to feign interest, but was looking my body over in a conspicuous way. "You've got an amazing ass," he said. "I looked when we were walking in. I hope you don't mind." He attempted to wink, but it seemed more like a tic. I said thanks in the most convincing way I could to a sweaty, slobbering guy with the most repugnant perpetual hard-on visible through his khakis. "You like me?" he asked. "You seem very nice. I'm just, I'm just suddenly not feeling well," I blurted out. "You feel sick, or you're not into me?" he asked. "You know, if you want, I live close. You could come and lie down and I can give you a massage. Since it's our first time meeting, once you're better, you could just give me a blow job. How about $550? Probably the quickest $550 you'll ever make, huh?" Soros Fund Invests in Mozambique Ethanol Project (WSJ) The Soros Economic Development Fund on Wednesday said its investment will give it a 19% stake in the $20 million project, started by food-and-energy company CleanStar Mozambique. Executives say the investment is in line with the fund's aim of backing businesses that provide a return on capital and spur broader economic development. US Fiscal Cliff Trumps EU Crisis as Top Worry (CNBC) A looming fiscal problem in the U.S. is now identified as the top tail risk for investors, marking the first time in 17 months that Europe’s debt crisis was not seen as the biggest concern for fund managers, a monthly survey by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch shows. The U.S. “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts set to come into force in January 2013, was identified by 35 percent of respondents as the largest risk going forward, up from 26 percent in August. In contrast, 33 percent of the respondents rated the euro zone debt crisis as their biggest concern, down from 48 percent in August. The survey of 186 fund managers, who oversee a combined $524 billion, was conducted from Sept. 7 to 13. BOE Looks Set For More Stimulus (WSJ) Rate-setters think the annual rate of inflation will take longer to fall to its 2% target than they thought last month because of rising commodity prices and an increase in companies' labor costs, according to the minutes of the September meeting of the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee, published Wednesday. Annual inflation was 2.5% in August. Lindsay Lohan arrested in New York after striking pedestrian outside nightclub (NYDN) Lohan was arrested early Wednesday in New York after hitting a pedestrian with a Porsche, police said. The troubled actress was maneuvering around a crowd of people in an alley between the Dream Downtown, a hotel and nightclub in the Meatpacking District, and the Maritime restaurant. "She's driving in this freight area, going very slow," a police source said. "She's hitting her horn because there's a lot of people in the area. The crowd moves but she kind of brushes against this one guy. Lohan was driving a 2010 black Porsche Carrera, not hers, when the incident occured around 12:30 a.m. Lohan and friends went inside the club, and the man — who hasn't been named but is 34 — called police. Lohan was later arrested about 2:30 a.m. and booked for leaving the scene of an accident with an injury. She was issued a desk appearance ticket. Her lawyer took the car after the arrest.

By DonkeyHotey (Mitch McConnell - Caricature) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 11.5.20

Wall Street decides it’s OK with what it said would be a nightmare; TikTok still ticking; of Ant and Alibaba; and more!