9-12 minutes - Source: NYT
Inside Michael Milken’s pardonA reprieve for the “junk bond king”: Mr. Milken was among the “who’s who of white-collar criminals” pardoned by President Trump yesterday. In a statement, the White House called him “one of America’s greatest financiers” whose “innovative work greatly expanded access to capital for emerging companies.”
A long lobbying effort on behalf of Mr. Milken finally overturned his 1990 securities fraud conviction, for which he served 22 months in prison.
The NYT’s Jim Stewart wrote the book on Mr. Milken: His 1992 “Den of Thieves” chronicled the financier’s exploits at Drexel Burnham Lambert during the height of the “greed is good” 1980s. “It’s not hard to fathom why Mr. Milken’s saga would resonate with Mr. Trump,” Jim wrote yesterday in his analysis of the pardon. An excerpt:
Seen as an underdog, even a very wealthy and well-connected one, Mr. Milken has long inspired aWhat next? Mr. Milken’s conviction came with a lifetime ban from the securities industry, although he paid $47 million in 1998 to settle a complaint from the S.E.C.
counternarrativethat he was a victim of a media and Wall Street establishmentjealous of his wealth and success. However unfounded in fact, that version of reality has now gotten a presidential stamp of approval.
Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York and Michael J.
Bloomberg would sell Bloomberg if he won. But to whom?Mike Bloomberg caught the attention of many on Wall Street yesterday when he proposed policies to rein in the financial industry. Then he made more waves when his campaign said he would sell his financial empire if he became president.
Who would want Bloomberg L.P.?
• Data-hungry exchanges like the Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the N.Y.S.E. The London Stock Exchange bought Refinitiv, a Bloomberg competitor, last year.
• Banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, which have invested in Symphony, a rival to Bloomberg’s chat service.
• A cash-rich tech giant like Google or Microsoft.
Our colleague Ed Lee has thoughts on a potential sale:
generates$10 billion in sales a year, with around $4 billion coming in profit before taxes (and other items). Put it another way: Mr. Bloomberg is used to seeing several billion dollars of cash roll into his personal bank account every year, and even if an all-cash payout incurred a huge capital gains tax, he’s used to it.
Of course, there are good strategic buyers that could offer cash and stock. Microsoft, Google and Amazon — businesses that, like Bloomberg, deal
indata and messaging — make sense. But Mr. Bloomberg will be calculating the following trade: giving up a very rich, regular cash dividend for stock in a company he doesn’t control that could go down in price.
Some have suggested
a lonebuyer could emerge, someone like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates who might appreciate the beauty of the business beyond the balance sheet. But that would create a set of optics no one would want: a billionaire helping out another billionaire so he can become president.
SoftBank is raising more cash, againThe Japanese tech conglomerate said this morning that it planned to raise about $4.5 billion. This
We’d expect nothing less from a company whose $100 billion Vision Fund relies on a complicated, debt-heavy structure. In its latest maneuver, SoftBank will borrow against some of the holdings in its publicly traded Japanese telecom affiliate rather than just selling new bonds.
SoftBank needs quite a bit of money. It’s under pressure from Elliott Management, the activist hedge fund, to buy back about $20 billion worth of its shares to bolster its stock price. And it
We’ve heard that before, but there are some positive signs.
“It’s too early to tell if this reported decline will continue,” said
the World Health Organization’s director general. “Every scenario is
still on the table.”
coronavirus spread in China appears to be slowing
Using bonds to fight the epidemic: At the urging of Beijing, Chinese companies have raised more than $3 billion in “virus control” bonds, reports the FT. The
A different way to fight sexual harassmentThe usual ways of addressing sexual harassment in corporate America aren’t working, Gretchen Carlson and Roxanne Petraeus write in Fortune. They suggest another approach: rethinking the use of nondisclosure agreements.
When founders are building out their hiring practices, even at the early stages of their companies, they should understand what N.D.A.s are in their employment contracts, and consider the impacts on their colleagues, should those N.D.A.s be applied to sexual harassment cases. Investors should also be asking these questions to their portfolio companies.
Similarly, leaders of more mature companies have a real platform: They can publicly denounce the use of N.D.A.s in sexual harassment cases to set new standards when it comes to what is considered common practice in dealing with sexual harassment.
• Franklin Resources agreed to buy a fellow asset management firm, Legg Mason, for $4.5 billion.
• The Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has bid $5.3 billion to take over a rival, UBI Banca.
Politics and policy
• Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly considered quitting over President Trump’s tweets about Justice Department investigations.
• A middle-class U.S.
• Britain outlined its plans to restrict immigration
• Diseases like Covid-19 are deadlier in non-democracies.
• A federal judge rejected Huawei’s challenge to U.S.
• Employees of Kickstarter voted to unionize.
• Alphabet is shutting down a moonshot project to harvest wind energy using kites.
• The I.R.S.
Best of the rest
• JPMorgan Chase reshuffled the leadership of its investment bank, including creating a new committee of dedicated senior deal makers.