The whole point—the raison d’etre and driving force behind the remarkable growth— of the special-purpose acquisition vehicle is that anything goes. Investors literally line up to give you $10 per share to buy whatever you’d like with, and the people selling it get to do so without all of the pesky disclosures of unpleasant facts required by initial public offerings or even bond sales. Of course, you can (allegedly) take things a bit too far, and who could have guessed that one person who (allegedly) might do so is the esteemed former president of the United States of America, doing all he can to ensure that his post-presidency is as dignified and distinguished as his four years in office.
[Patrick] Orlando had been discussing a deal with Mr. Trump since at least March, according to people familiar with the talks and a confidential investor presentation reviewed by The New York Times. That was well before his SPAC, Digital World Acquisition, made its debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange last month. In doing so, Mr. Orlando’s SPAC may have skirted securities laws and stock exchange rules, lawyers said…. SPACs aren’t supposed to have a merger planned at the time of their I.P.O….
Another issue is that Digital World’s securities filings repeatedly stated that the company and its executives had not engaged in any “substantive discussions, directly or indirectly,” with a target company — even though Mr. Orlando had been in discussions with Mr. Trump.
That certainly seems like the kind of thing that might also be interesting to Boaz Weinstein, and also his lawyers. At least everyone’s having a right good laugh about it in Riyadh. After all, if you can shrug off a grisly murder, what’s a little SPAC shenanigans?
In sideline conversations, some U.S. business leaders spoke in stage whispers of the drugging and dismemberment of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 — a killing that an American intelligence report concluded had been approved by the crown prince, known by his initials, MBS. Yet when the crown prince made a brief appearance at the conference on Tuesday, he was welcomed with a standing ovation…. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary under President Donald J. Trump, walked the halls between a fireside chat with the Bahraini finance minister and a series of meetings. The private-equity executive Stephen Schwarzman, a loyal adviser to Mr. Trump until late in his presidency, bemoaned the vilification of fossil fuel companies from the conference dais. The longtime chemical executive Andrew Liveris, who had been an adviser to Mr. Trump on manufacturing, praised Saudi Arabia’s economic expansion plans on the sidelines of the gathering.
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