Allianz Unit Pleads Guilty, Fined $6B Over Securities Fraud

Financial Daily Dose 5.18.2022

May 18, 2022

An American subsidiary of German insurance firm Allianz has pleaded guilty to securities fraud “for failing to stop [a] scheme” that led to “the implosion of a group of hedge funds two years ago that stuck public pensions, religious organizations, foundations and other investors with heavy losses.” As part of the deal, the firm will pay a fine of more than $6 billion and “will no longer be permitted to advise certain kinds of funds in the United States” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

Wall Street found some rare solid footing on Tuesday, jumping 2% and helping pull the S&P 500 away from bear market territory “as investors weighed a number of reports that suggested consumer spending remained healthy” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

More on that strong consumer spending showing in April, this despite rising prices - NYTimes and WSJ

Speaking of, in comments during a WSJ-hosted livestream this week, Fed Chair Powell noted that the central bank is watching the economy carefully for “clear and convincing evidence that inflation pressures are abating and inflation is coming down” and is committed to moving “more aggressively” to combat rising prices if it doesn’t see the easing it expects - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

In one of the first tangible signs of action following a dismal subscriber report last month, Netflix announced Tuesday that it was “laying off some 150 people across the company, primarily in the United States, representing 2 percent of its total work force.” The move aligns with Netflix’s intention of “pull[ing] back some of its spending” in the next two years, and company insiders said additional layoffs are likely in the offing later this year - NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch and TechCrunch

The resurgence of Covid in the U.S. has prompted Apple to suspend return-to-office plans that had just kicked off under an “Apple Together” moniker. The move means that Apple’s two-year-old $5 billion Cupertino HQ building will remain “largely . . . unused,” as it has since completion - NYTimes and Bloomberg and WSJ

Showing a fighting spirit largely absent in recent years, the IRS is reportedly gearing up to take on “some of the largest U.S.-based multinational companies” over claimed deductions for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) - WSJ

As Elon tries to knock down the purchase price of Twitter through bombastic tweets, the social media platform is “pressing ahead” with prep for the acquisition, urging “shareholders to vote in favor of the deal” and providing “a play-by-play look into how the board reached an agreement last month with Mr. Musk” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

In other megalomaniac news, meet Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs who “trumpeted the world changing potential” of the Luna cryptocurrency he created in 2018. Kwon raised hundreds of millions for his crypto ventures from investment firms, and last week he presided over the “spectacular collapse” of both Luna and TerraUSD, kicking off a crypto-wide “meltdown[]” that “tank[ed] the price of Bitcoin and accelerat[ed] the loss of $300 billion in value across the crypto economy” - NYTimes

JPMorgan shareholders rejected a pay proposal that would have graced CEO Jamie Dimon with “lucrative incentives”—a “significant blow for the billionaire dean of Wall Street who was granted alongside his lieutenant Daniel Pinto special bonuses last year to ensure they stick around” - Bloomberg and WSJ

Nalgene? Too crunchy. Hydro Flask? Played out. It’s Stanley Adventure Quencher time, as most millennial and Gen Zers already know very well - NYTimes

Stay safe,

MDR

 

The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.