Financial Daily Dose 1.13.2021 | Top Story: Visa Jettisons Plaid Takeover After DOJ Antitrust Challenge

January 13, 2021

Visa is “abandoning its $5.3 billion planned acquisition of Plaid Inc.,” a fintech startup that the DOJ had called an upstart “but important competitive threat to Visa” in its antitrust lawsuit challenging the deal - WSJ and Law360 and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and TechCrunch and CNBC

Canadian Circle K convenience store owner Alimentation Couche-Tard is mulling a $20 billion deal to take over French grocer Carrefour SA, a merger that, if completed, “would create a trans-Atlantic retail giant” - Bloomberg

Even as inauguration day nears (7 days and counting) the White House is rushing to finalize a series of “last-minute actions to extend and seal [its] agenda” on a range of issues from China to gig workers to Big Tech. The Times helps us sort it all out - NYTimes

Pandemic lockdown winner Netflix is not about to just cede its status as streaming superpower to any one of its scores of video rivals any time soon, and the ‘flix’s film slate for the year—“some 70 movies featuring Academy Award winners, box office stars and a reminder of its power in a Hollywood that has been irrevocably changed during the pandemic”—aims to do some heavy lifting in that effort - NYTimes

The incoming Biden administration appears poised to tap “former financial regulator and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. exec” Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gensler “spearheaded the overhaul of derivatives markets mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and the prosecution of big investment banks for manipulating the London interbank offered rate” - WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360 and NYTimes

And speaking of that particular devil, Libor is dead. Long live Libor?  - Bloomberg

The Journal reports that Wall Street’s love of SPACs is proving—so far—to pay off (for early investors, at least). The quick and dirty explanation of how they work: “Hedge funds give the SPAC money for up to two years while it looks for a merger target. In return, they get a unique right to withdraw their investment before a deal goes through that minimizes any loss on the trade. At the same time, the potential return for early investors is huge if the SPAC shares rise because they also initially receive shares and warrants giving them the right to buy more shares at a specified price in the future” - WSJ

A mix of stimulus payments, state-tax rules governing remote work, and unemployment insurance benefits is likely to make the coming tax season “a nightmare” for many across the country - WSJ

Boom times for Amazon means a surge in cargo space at airports for the online retail giant, which is working on a 3-million square foot cargo hub at Cincinnati’s airport, the first portion of which will open as early as this fall - NYTimes

Because we’re not already in it enough, Bloomberg has sought out “three of the wisest and most visionary people” in the financial sector to peer 5-10 years into the future and consider the “next big risk.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you - Bloomberg

We’re 13 days in, and it’s already been A YEAR. Seems like the perfect time for a ringing endorsement of chips. Just bags of them - NYTimes

Stay safe,