SPAC Surge Pumps Up Junk-Bond Market [WSJ]
Not since the dot.com-boom two decades ago has stock-market enthusiasm been hot enough to fuel such activity in debt markets, bond investors and analysts say…. Mutual funds managers that owned WeWork bonds booked paper gains of 25% after the ailing shared-office provider started merger talks in January with a SPAC….
“The biggest lesson for the leveraged finance market from the late 1990s is that no amount of equity can salvage a bad business model,” [Capital Group fund manager David] Daigle said.
Behind Bitcoin’s Recent Slide: Imploding Bets and Forced Liquidations [WSJ]
“We think bitcoin’s broken for the time being….”
U.S. SEC picks first woman of color to lead enforcement [Reuters]
[Alex] Oh, who most recently worked for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Llp in Washington, has extensive trial experience and was previously an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan…. "I am committed to working tirelessly to uncover and prosecute violations of the law, whether by businesses or their leaders, so that we can keep American capital markets the strongest in the world," Oh said in a statement.
'The Supreme Court ruled in favor of scam artists,' FTC chief says after justices gut agency's powers [Politico]
The Federal Trade Commission can’t force companies that engage in wrongdoing to pay back consumers or give up ill-gotten profit, the Supreme Court held Thursday, dealing a huge blow to the agency that could hamper its antitrust and privacy cases…. Congress is already considering legislation to remedy the Supreme Court decision. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing for next week on whether the FTC needs new authority to seek consumer redress.
Deutsche Bank and call centre employees agree on pay deal [Reuters]
The deal envisages the gradual introduction of a 13th month of pay, a one-time payment and wage increases that average out to be around 2.7% per year.
The strike took place over 13 weeks as the bank announced that it was rewarding some staff for a pandemic-related trading boom with a 29% increase in the bonus pool for last year.
The call centre employees are among the lowest-paid at the German bank, with starting wages of around 12 euros ($14.47) an hour, according to union officials.
The hedge fund set to buy Tribune Publishing mismanaged employees’ pensions, federal investigators found [WaPo]
Hedge fund Alden Global Capital probably violated federal pension protections by putting $294 million of its newspaper employees’ pension savings into its own funds, according to a Labor Department investigation.
Alden is the leading bidder for Tribune Publishing’s titles, including the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun….
The agency issued no penalties, it said in the decision, but extracted a series of substantial changes from the hedge fund, including the liquidation of the plans’ investments in its funds as well as $20.7 million in payments to the pension plans to make up for losses and missed opportunities caused by the alleged violations.