Amazon to buy MGM Studios for $8.45 billion [CNBC]
“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling….”
MGM, which is a private company, has been seeking a buyer for several years. Its owners include Anchorage Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Davidson, Kempner Capital Management, Solus Alternative Asset Management and Owl Creek Investments — funds that took control of the studio when it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010.
Gamestop, AMC short sellers lost $754 mln after Tuesday's rally – Ortex [Reuters]
Shares in GameStop, which was at the heart of the so-called "stonks" retail trading mania earlier this year, rose 8% to nearly $225 in U.S. premarket trading on Wednesday, a day after rising 18%. Shares in cinema operator AMC soared 39%.... Short interest in AMC is currently estimated to be 21% of freefloat and in GME it is estimated at 17% of freefloat, according to Refinitiv data.
Wall Street CEOs to Testify in Congress on Pandemic Response [WSJ]
In two days of hearings starting Wednesday, CEOs including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s James Dimon, Citigroup Inc.’s Jane Fraser and Wells Fargo & Co.’s Charles Scharf plan to paint a favorable picture of an industry they say has helped the economy recover from a pandemic-induced recession, according to their prepared remarks…. The hearings mark the first time in about two years that the chief executives of major banks have appeared together before U.S. lawmakers….
“We expect these hearings to be disjointed and nebulous, but they will be must-watch television, nonetheless,” said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at Compass Point Research & Trading, which serves large institutional investors.
Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage head steps down [FT]
The move comes after the division triggered a $911m hit to Morgan Stanley’s profits as a result of trades with the collapsed family office Archegos Capital Management, although the bank said it was not connected and Keller would return to a new role after dealing with a health issue…. Penny Novick and Kim Shaw will take over from Keller as global co-heads of prime brokerage.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Celebrates 125 Years as Wall Street’s Bellwether [WSJ]
The index of 12 smokestack companies closed that first trading day, May 26, 1896, at 40.94. It included General Electric Co. as well as long-forgotten names like American Cotton Oil and Distilling & Cattle Feeding….
No stock has been in the Dow for the entire 125 years…. Procter & Gamble Co. , which was added in 1932, is the current component with the longest continuous tenure.
Ban Cryptocurrency to Fight Ransomware [WSJ]
The solutions floated after the Colonial hack—improved cybersecurity in the private sector and public-private collaboration to protect critical infrastructure—are pro forma and inadequate. There is a simpler and more effective way to stop the ransomware pandemic: Ban cryptocurrency….
Ransomware can’t succeed without cryptocurrency. The pseudonymity that crypto provides has made it the exclusive method of payment for hackers. It makes their job relatively safe and easy. There is even a new business model in which developers sell or lease ransomware, empowering malicious actors who aren’t tech-savvy themselves to receive payment quickly and securely…. It is no coincidence that ransomware attacks exploded with the emergence of cryptocurrency.