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Lawmakers unveil sweeping $1.7 trillion government funding bill to avert shutdown [CNN]
The massive spending bill, known on Capitol Hill as an omnibus, would fund critical government operations across federal agencies for fiscal year 2023…. Provisions in the bill, according to Senate sources, include an overhaul of the 1887 Electoral Count Act…. The bill also includes a measure to ban TikTok from federal devices….
Legislation to allow cannabis companies to bank their cash reserves – known as the Safe Banking Act – was not included in the final bill, nor were scores of corporate and individual tax breaks, such as an extension of the expanded child tax credit, the sources said.

Big Changes to 401(k) Retirement Plans Move Ahead in Congress [WSJ]
The bill nearing approval raises the age people are required to start withdrawing money from tax-deferred retirement accounts to 75 from 72. It increases retirement savings contribution limits for older workers and provides an increased incentive to people with low and moderate incomes to save in retirement accounts. It also paves the way for more employers to offer emergency savings accounts inside 401(k) plans…. The legislation also seeks to expand retirement plan participation by requiring many newly created 401(k) or 403(b) plans to automatically enroll workers starting in 2025 at between 3% and 10% of pay, something the legislators say will boost participation rates for minorities. It also raises the savings rate by 1 percentage point a year until it hits 10% to 15%.

Elon Musk actively searching for a new Twitter CEO, sources say [CNBC]
Musk, who acquired the company for $44 billion in October, has previously said his position as CEO would be temporary…. However, on Sunday, he wrote in a tweet that “there is no successor….”
The billionaire posted an informal poll Sunday asking Twitter users if he should step down as head of the company, and a majority of the 17 million respondents voted for Musk to leave his post. He said Sunday he would abide by the results of the poll.

Amid ESG backlash, BlackRock says it will not change its proxy voting [P&I]
"Given the increased understanding of material sustainability-related risks and opportunities and the need for better information to assess them, BlackRock advocates for continued improvement in companies' reporting, where necessary, and will express any concerns through our voting where a company's actions or disclosures are inadequate," the stewardship report said…. So far, the rebuffing by some investors does not appear to be materially impacting BlackRock's business. While some state treasury funds are divesting hundreds of millions of dollars from BlackRock, other big institutional investors are embracing ESG and demanding that asset managers conform to higher ESG standards.

Palantir’s SPAC Bets Backfire, Hitting Company’s Growth [WSJ]
Palantir’s 20 startup investments, which include a flying-taxi company and numerous electric-vehicle startups, are down more than 80% on average. One has gone bankrupt and one has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. More than half are warning they may go bust…. “The market has turned and it is now clear that these investments were unsuccessful,” a Palantir spokeswoman said in a statement. “It was a bet on a group of early stage companies that, with the benefit of hindsight, we wish we did not make.”

Whistleblower in Healthcare Bribery Case Won the Largest SEC Award This Year [WSJ]
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded more than $37 million to an individual for reporting information about a bribery scheme at a large European healthcare company…. The award comes as the SEC recently announced it had received a record-breaking number of tips in fiscal year 2022, totaling more than 12,300 in the year ending Sept. 30, according to its annual report to Congress published last month.



Opening Bell: 8.8.22

Congress did something; buyback bonanza; Berkshire bruised; Elon Musk throws down the gauntlet; and more!


Opening Bell: 1.19.23

Republicans, Elon Musk playing default chicken; bigger is better for once; who wants to buy the leading crypto newsroom? And more!


Opening Bell: 10.5.21

Default chicken; all night long; Gary Gensler wants to cut your pay; and more!


Opening Bell: 1.25.17

Peter Thiel sets his sights on Down Under; Cuomo sets his sights on Wall Street; Deadspin tells Ted Cruz to eat shit; and more.

lake mead

Opening Bell: 9.23.20

September stutter; SPAC strikes; water woes; Elon equivocates; and more!

Larry Kudlow Returns

Opening Bell: 7.27.20

COVID checks; SPACs splash out; Manhattan still deserted; the Maureen Dowd-Elon Musk interview no one needed or asked for; and more!

grand tetons

Opening Bell: 8.24.21

Jackson Hole calling (virtually); another space SPAC; China troubles; Elon Musk thinks Elon Musk’s self-driving software sucks; and more!


Opening Bell: 2.18.21

Barclays basks; Kim Jong-un coins; SPAC rap; and more!