Financial Daily Dose 7.27.2021 | Top Story: Insurance Giants Aon and Willis Towers Watson Call Off Planned Merger After DOJ Pushback

July 27, 2021

U.S. insurance giants Aon and Willis Towers Watson have shelved their plans for a massive tie-up over an inability to resolve concerns raised by the DOJ’s antitrust division and a desire to avoid the lengthy timeline associated with smoothing out those issues - NYTimes and WSJ and Law360

Good start to the week for Musk & friends. Bitcoin’s booming, and Tesla reported profits of $1.1 billion on $12 billion in sales. The company sold more than twice as many cars in Q2 as it did a year earlier - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and TechCrunch

Chinese tech companies took it on the nose on Monday, with a “new onslaught of regulatory actions” by government authorities prompting selloff of homegrown big tech stocks. The latest tightening “made clear that Beijing is willing to inflict substantial market pain to meet its social and regulatory goals” and has kicked off a broader Chinese stock-market meltdown - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

This week’s thoughts on inflation and the official government response to it, which remains remarkably patient so far based on its belief that the price increases are transitory rather than stubborn - NYTimes and Marketplace

Almost-astronaut status now in place, space cowboy Jeff Bezos is hoping that a new offer to “waive $2 billion in fees over the next two years” will be enticing enough for NASA to “dual source its Artemis” moon-lander program to Bezos’ Blue Origin as well as Elon Musk’s SpaceX. NASA had originally proposed such a joint contract before awarding SpaceX the sole deal “due to budget constraints” - NYTimes

Troubled e-truck maker Lordstown Motors is breathing perhaps a bit easier this morning after striking a deal with Yorkville Advisors to “raise $400 million over three years,” providing “badly needed cash to a company that this summer said it could out of business without raising more money” - NYTimes

The DOJ got its wish and will have the requested three additional weeks in which to refile its antitrust action against Facebook following last month’s dismissal in D.C. federal district court - WSJ

I remember that 8th-grade me didn’t quite know what to make of “Clifford” when I saw it in theaters, but man, 2021 me is all in for this Vulture oral history of the epic Martin Short/Charles Grodin cult classic - Vulture

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,