Fed Chairman Powell Navigates the Inflation Debate [WSJ]
If Mr. Powell gets Fed policy right—reversing its easy-money policies at just the right pace—inflation should recede over time, the economy will continue growing and the labor market can fully heal. If he gets it wrong, pulling back too slowly or too quickly, Americans could struggle for years with higher inflation or a sharp economic downturn…. Most economists agree with Mr. Powell that the recent inflation surge is mostly due to temporary factors, such as shortages of supplies like microchips and rental cars, and of workers. But many of them, including at the Fed, failed to anticipate two things that have amplified price pressures and could continue fueling them for longer, officials said in interviews and public remarks.
Branson’s Virgin Orbit to go public through a SPAC at $3.7 billion valuation [CNBC]
“I certainly wouldn’t have invested a billion dollars if I wasn’t extremely confident, and we’ve had a great experience with SPACs and I’m hoping that we’ll have the same experience with Virgin Orbit,” Branson told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
The SPAC — co-led by George Mattson, who previously co-led Goldman Sachs’ global industrials group, and former PerkinElmer chairman and CEO Gregory Summe — values Virgin Orbit at $3.7 billion in equity.
SEC gives Chinese companies new requirements for U.S. IPO disclosures [Reuters via CNBC]
Some Chinese companies have now started to receive detailed instructions from the SEC about greater disclosure of their use of offshore vehicles known as variable interest entities (VIEs) for IPOs; implications for investors and the risk that Chinese authorities will interfere with company operations…. The SEC has also asked Chinese companies for a disclosure that “investors may never directly hold equity interests in the Chinese operating company,” according to the letter. Many Chinese VIEs are incorporated in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. Gensler has said there are too many questions about how money flows through these entities.
China’s Antigraft Watchdog Probes Party Leaders in Alibaba, Ant’s Backyard [WSJ]
On Monday, China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection republished a report by its Hangzhou branch describing problems related to cozy government-business relationships and saying it had ordered the city’s Communist Party members to resolve conflicts of interests involving themselves or family members within three months. Close to 25,000 party cadres had undergone self-examination, the statement added.
The announcement came two days after the disciplinary commission’s national-level body announced a probe into Zhou Jiangyong, Hangzhou’s top Communist Party official, citing suspected serious violations of discipline and law. While the antigraft agency didn’t provide further details, the language used implied a corruption case.
Pfizer to Acquire Cancer Drugmaker Trillium for $2.3 Billion [Bloomberg]
Pfizer invested $25 million in Trillium in September as part of its Breakthrough Growth Initiative, when Jeff Settleman, senior vice president of Pfizer’s oncology research and development group, was named to Trillium’s scientific advisory board.
Trillium’s two lead molecules, TTI-622 and TTI-621, block signaling proteins involved in blood cancers, and are both in human trials across several types of disease.
Elon Musk Pans Pilot Version of Tesla’s Driver-Assistance Feature [WSJ]
“FSD Beta 9.2 is actually not great,” Mr. Musk said via Twitter, adding the company “is rallying to improve as fast as possible….”
“Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI. Didn’t expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect,” Mr. Musk said on Twitter last month.