US unemployment claims fall to lowest level since pandemic [AP]
Unemployment claims dropped 36,000 to 293,000 last week, the second straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the smallest number of people to apply for benefits since the week of March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified, and the first time claims have dipped below 300,000…. The number of people continuing to receive unemployment aid has also fallen sharply, mostly as two emergency jobless aid programs have ended. In the week ending Sept. 25, the latest data available, 3.6 million people received some sort of jobless aid, down sharply from 4.2 million in the previous week. A year ago, nearly 25 million people were receiving benefits.
Jamie Dimon says worst of pandemic may soon be over [CNN]
He bluntly said "that's life" and added that the fact that we're even talking about inflation is a good thing because it's a sign that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite Delta variant fears, may soon be over.
"We should all thank our lucky stars," Dimon told reporters about his expectation that the US may soon be turning a corner with regards to Covid-19 cases….
"There's a very good chance that a year from now that we won't be talking about supply chains at all," Dimon said…. Dimon also shrugged off concerns about the rising number of people quitting their jobs, noting that wages are going up for workers -- a positive for the economy.
Blackstone will mandate vaccination for some London workers, a rare step in Britain. [NYT]
In Britain, data protection and employment discrimination laws have prevented companies from mandating their own “no jab, no job” policies and have made it harder to physically separate unvaccinated workers…. Starting Monday, only fully vaccinated employees will be allowed to work at Blackstone’s London office, according to a memo seen by The New York Times. The company is asking employees to voluntarily upload proof of vaccination to an internal system…. In the United States, Blackstone asked vaccinated deal makers to return to the office three months ago.
U.S. SPAC Frenzy Inspires a Reboot in Asia [WSJ]
[Singapore and Hong Kong] have been pushing forward with competing plans to enable listings of special-purpose acquisition companies…. The Asian exchanges intend more scrutiny of companies planning to raise money and the businesses they merge with.
“I call this SPAC 2.0,” said Sung June Hwang, founder and chief executive officer of Atlas Growth Acquisition Ltd., a SPAC that is expected to raise $110 million on Nasdaq. “Both Hong Kong and Singapore have had the hindsight of observing the SPAC development in the U.S., which is very, very valuable,” he said.
Kyle Bass’s Disastrous Hong Kong Short Got Bannon-Linked Cash [Bloomberg]
The startup -- GTV Media Group, with ties to self-professed billionaire Guo Wengui and ex-Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon -- raised $339 million through an unregistered share sale last year, according to the SEC.
In June 2020, GTV’s parent company -- Saraca Media Group -- transferred $100 million of the proceeds to an unnamed hedge fund that takes positions in the Hong Kong dollar and other Asian currencies, the regulator said. The fund went on to lose more than 95% of the $30 million it invested, according to the SEC. That hedge fund is managed by Bass’s Hayman Capital Management, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter…. Bass wasn’t a GTV board member between April and June 2020, didn’t authorize the use of his name in any marketing materials and had no knowledge of GTV’s fundraising methods, [Bass lawyer Jeff] Tillotson said.
Crypto could cause 2008-level meltdown, Bank of England official warns [CNBC]
“When something in the financial system is growing very fast, and growing in largely unregulated space, financial stability authorities have to sit up and take notice,” [Deputy Gov. Jon Cunliffe] said…. He contended that although financial stability risks remain limited for now, the current applications of cryptoassets pose a financial stability concern since the majority “have no intrinsic value and are vulnerable to major price corrections….”
“The crypto world is beginning to connect to the traditional financial system and we are seeing the emergence of leveraged players. And, crucially, this is happening in largely unregulated space,” Cunliffe said.