Financial Daily Dose 5.3.2021 | Top Story: U.S. Economy Flourishes in Q1 on Pent-up Demand and Stimulus Spending
May 03, 2021
Apple and Fortnite-maker Epic Games kick off their “high-stakes” trial over App Store fees, Apple’s payment system, and breach of contract. At the core of the dispute is Apple’s incredibly lucrative App Store, which charges up to 30% commissions on app developers and forces in-app purchases to flow through Apple. Here’s more on the battle coming to a head this week - Bloomberg and NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch
Mr. Buffet and his Berkshire Hathaway crew were back in the black in Q1 with $11.7 billion in net earnings, “swinging to a profit from a $49.7 billion loss a year ago as the paper value of its investment gains soared.” Buffet and his long-time lieutenant Charles Munger took questions for 3-hours this weekend at the annual shareholder meeting, weighing in on the “red hot” economy, rising inflation, SPACs, and the conglomerate’s moves during the pandemic year - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg
Taking the temp of the commercial office space brokers who are hoping to help coax management and their minions back into offices in New York and across the U.S. - NYTimes
Here’s how Google’s tackling the challenge, complete with an “Ikea meets Lego” vibe - NYTimes
Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin, has “ordered Deutsche Bank to take further steps to safeguard against money laundering, suggesting it still has found shortcomings at a bank repeatedly reprimanded for lacking proper controls” - WSJ
Not the smoothest welcome for new Credit Suisse Board chair Antonio Horta-Osorio, who took on the role on Friday in the midst of a bank reeling from massive Greensill- and Archegos-related losses and the subsequent regulator investigations, angry shareholders, and beleaguered employees - NYTimes and WSJ
Bloomberg considers the uneven return of jobs in the U.S., with companies hiring and unemployment falling at the same time that the pandemic “has pushed out older employees and is deepening inequality as lower income workers feel the brunt of the crisis” - Bloomberg
The Leon Black-tainted Apollo Global is hoping to make headlines for a different reason this week by closing a deal to buy Verizon’s media brands in a transaction we previewed here in recent weeks - Bloomberg and NYTimes
A Florida jury has knocked 3M with a $7.1 million verdict,” most of it in punitive damages, in the first bellwether trial in a massive multidistrict litigation involving military members’ claims that their hearing was irreparably harmed because the company’s combat earplugs didn’t work” – Law360
Making science fiction a reality, you say? You betcha. It’s all about metamaterials, folks, which make bending and controlling light with ease a real and increasingly affordable possibility - NYTimes
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