“This is for the best”
A week ago, we learned that Elon Musk had bought a large stake in Twitter. Shortly afterwards, the billionaire, the boss of Tesla – and a powerful Twitter user – was invited to join the board of the social media company.
Late last night, Twitter announced that Musk would not join the board, another unexpected turn in an increasingly complicated saga. Shares of Twitter fell in pre-market trading, although they remained higher than before the first disclosure of Musk’s share.
“I believe this is for the best” Twitter’s chief executive, Parag Agraval, said in a short statement on the reverse turn. But offering him a seat, he said the Twitter board had decided that Musk’s presence on the board, where fiduciary duties as director would require him to “act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders,” was “the most the best way. forward. ” However, “we will remain open to his contribution,” Agraval told Musk.
In the morning, when he had to join the board, Musk said on Twitter that he would not do so.said Agraval. It was Saturday and no specific reason was given – Agraval noted that Musk’s appointment depends on a background check and formal acceptance of the offer. (Musk also had to fill out a questionnaire given to all directors, according to the documentation.) Musk tweeted chaotically over the weekend, asking his 81 million followers “Is Twitter dying?“And repels a stream of criticism in already deleted tweets, suggesting (with a vague degree of seriousness) that Twitter should consider removing ads, changing its name and turning its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.
Now what? This may not be the end of the drama. If he’s not on Twitter, Musk is not bound by the stagnation deal, in which he promised to buy no more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s stock. Recall that Musk initially revealed his stake in a document that suggested he was a passive investor on Twitter, but was later filled out again with a form used by activist investors. The famous mercury Musk no longer has limits on how many of the shares of Twitter he can buy, which leads some to present scenarios in which he takes an even more active role, trying to influence the platform.
In particular, Agraval said “there will be distractions” and told Twitter staff to “turn off the noise”.
HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING
Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen as President of France. Following the first round of voting on Sunday, the April 24 run-off will pit Macron, the incumbent president, against Le Pen, a far-right leader whose late jump reflects French voters’ anger and concern over rising prices, security and immigration.
The companies are ready to report strong profits for the first quarter. The winnings season starts this week and FactSet predicts that profits for the S&P 500 will increase by an average of 10 percent over the previous year. The data office also noted that analysts had the highest number of “buy” recommendations in a decade.
JetBlue and Alaska Air reduce flights. Ahead of what will probably be a busy summer travel season, the airline hopes to avoid the problems of understaffing and long delays that plagued passengers last summer.
Mackenzie Scott’s personal life
The novelist is one of the most important philanthropists in the world.
The crypto industry is writing its own legislation. In the absence of strong federal regulation, cryptocurrencies and lobbyists are helping to draft bills at the state level, forcing state lawmakers to pass them.
A former Goldman banker has been convicted of bribery and money laundering. Roger Ng has been accused of receiving illegal concessions from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund. He could face up to 30 years in prison.
“This is not unexpected”
Weeks after the United States loosened its pandemic protocols, there was a small increase in infections, including among some high-ranking figures. Dozens tested positive after attending the annual dinner for Washington’s elite at the Gridiron Club, including administration officials and members of Congress. Yesterday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a staunch supporter of reopening the city, said he also has Covid.
“We will rotate and change as Covid rotates and shifts,” Adams said last week. So, is is it time to spin?
By numbers: There are more than 31,000 new cases of viruses a day in the United States, an average of 3 percent more than two weeks ago. The number of cases remains far below the peaks during the winter jump, even in places where it rises rapidly.
Some say this wave may be less destructive than in the past, because it is more likely to affect people who were the most cautious. At the same time, Democrats fear that renewed blockades could repel voters as snap elections approach. How to deal with this latest wave will be one of the first tests facing the new King Kovid of the Biden administration, Ashish Ja.
“This is not unexpected,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said of the recent rise in cases. He told the ABC yesterday that if hospitalizations began to increase, “we may need to go back to being more careful and using more masks indoors.” Dr Fauci said people needed to decide “the individual risks they will take”. Many in Washington seem eager to party.
For Jared Kushner, Stephen Mnuchin and Saudi money
A fund run by the Saudi heir to the throne has agreed to invest $ 1 billion in a fund set up by former Finance Minister Stephen Mnuchin, but is investing twice as much and on more generous terms in a new private investment company founded by Jared Kushner, a former adviser. of the White House and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump.
These are some of the many new details in an investigation by David Kirkpatrick and Kate Kelly of The Times into the efforts of two former Trump administration officials to raise money from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. They also report:
A panel reviewing investments in the Saudi fund has objected to the Kushner deal, according to documents, concluding that his company’s fees were too high and its operations “unsatisfactory in all respects.” The full board, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who benefited from Kushner’s support when he worked at the White House, overturned the commission.
Kushner’s company, Affinity Partners, depends primarily on Saudi money, the documents show. It plans to raise up to $ 7 billion, but appears to have attracted several other major investors.
The Saudis’ internal debate over Kushner’s investment contrasted sharply with their easy approval of the proposal by Mnuchin, who, unlike Kushner, had experience in private capital before joining the government.
Examining Mackenzie Scott’s methods
Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott has donated more than $ 12 billion in less than three years to more than 1,200 groups. But her method of giving – fast, big and often shrouded in secrecy – raises concerns in the world of non-profit organizations, according to The Times’ Nicholas Kulish and Rebecca Ruiz in the mandatory profile of Ms. Scott, who vowed to share her condition.
Scott does not give through a foundation that is supposed to file tax returns. Instead, she uses a donor-advised fund that allows her to make large tax-free donations without revealing their source. Scott tends to reveal his donations in batches, revealing dozens at once, often in a blog post. This approach contrasts with an earlier philanthropic effort, the Bystander Revolution, that began in 2014, when Scott was still married to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (they divorced in 2019). After a tumultuous start, the anti-bullying organization seemed to fall apart, and Scott didn’t seem to want to serve as its face.
Little is known about Scott’s giving methodology. She is advised by the influential non-profit consulting firm Bridgespan and directs her gifts through a Delaware-registered counterfeit company called Lost Horse. Little is known about its activities, up to the number of employees.
“Her preferences shape the face of American civil society.” said Rob Reich of Stanford. “This government deserves civilian control and attention.”
Abigail Disney for the American oligarchs
The war in Ukraine has put the spotlight on Russian oligarchs as countries have sanctioned wealthy business leaders with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Billionaires with good connections in the United States also deserve more attention, says Abigail Disney of Patriotic Millionaires, a non-profit organization that is pushing for higher taxes on the rich.
Mrs. Disney, the granddaughter of The Walt Disney Company co-founder Roy Disney, is familiar with the benefits – and dangers – of wealth. (A previous version of this newsletter incorrectly called her Walt Disney’s granddaughter.) “We have our own oligarchs manipulating the economy and government,” she told DealBook. “We have to take this very seriously.” Patriotic millionaires gathered in Washington last week to discuss the internal oligarchy, and Disney said it felt a “remarkable” receptivity to their message.
“We spend too much time arguing on the edge.” said Disney. She believes several wealthy Americans are using their vast fortunes to fund campaigns that fuel division on peripheral issues. Voters actually agree on many things when it comes to class and economic justice, she said, noting the popularity of the minimum wage increase.
“Energy is now new and different” said Disney. “In the past, people waved the flag of class war, but I think most Americans are disgusted with economic injustice. Not only are wealthy progressives more vigorous than before, she said, but conservatives are increasingly open to a fairer tax code.
“It took me an eternity to see” Disney spoke of her gradual transformation from a conservative family heiress to a progressive activist. An example from more than 20 years ago stands out: she woke up alone in a queen-size bed on her father’s private plane 737 and wondered if less could be more. “If everyone expects to end up with more, we are in trouble,” she said, and others in her privileged position increasingly agree. “People are starting to realize that you can say no to more money.”
READ THE SPEED
S&P has put the Russian government in “selective default” by paying off the debt in rubles instead of dollars. (NOW)
Ericsson has suspended its business in Russia indefinitely, and Société Générale has announced that it will have many billions of euros from the sale of its stake in Rosbank. (Bloomberg, NYT)
The Austrian chancellor is in Moscow and will be the first European leader to meet with President Vladimir Putin since the Russian invasion. (NYT)
Private investment group Thoma Bravo is reported to acquire cybersecurity specialist SailPoint Technologies for $ 6.9 billion. (FT)
An increasing number of risk-supported start-ups are increasing through the acquisition of AI developers. (WSJ)
Mindbody, owner of the ClassPass exercise subscription service, plans to return to public markets. (FT)
Economists are betting on falling inflation, but the volatile price of cars is a wild card in their forecasts. (NYT)
“China’s Echo of Russia’s Alternative Reality Is Growing Around the World” (NYT)
The best of the rest
Rising prices could destroy thousands of British fish and chips shops. (NYT)
Greenwood wants to become the best bank in Black America. (Bloomberg Business Week)
“What new startup TV shows still don’t get” (Politico)
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