Financial Daily Dose 8.3.2021 | Top Story: NLRB Officer Urges Board to Order Amazon Union Re-Vote

August 03, 2021

Big union news on Monday, with a NLRB hearing officer advocating for the Board to set aside the results of an early April union election at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama based on the ‘zon allegedly “illegally interfere[ing] with and intimidate[ing] workers as they sought to exercise their right to form a union” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Videoconferencing giant and pandemic “mainstay” Zoom will pay $85 million to resolve a lawsuit filed in March 2020 accusing the company of sharing “personal data with third-party internet services and allow[ing] hackers to interrupt online meetings through so-called ‘Zoombombing.’” The company also promised to “improve its security practices,” including by notifying users when “others use third-party apps during meetings” - NYTimes and TechCrunch and Law360 and Mashable

Details from the “sprawling” 2700+-page $1 trillion infrastructure bill slowly grinding its way through Congress that “would amount to the most substantial government expenditure on the aging public works system since 2009” - NYTimes and Marketplace

As the long-delayed Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial rapidly nears, the Journal introduces us to the “emerging wild card” of the Theranos saga—the company’s patients. Holmes’ defense team is trying to keep their testimony out, while the DOJ is hoping that their stories of failed promises from blood-testing company could be a powerful factor in putting Holmes behind bars - WSJ

Payment app Square—home of Jack Dorsey’s side CEO gig—has agreed to acquire Australian installment-purchase facilitation company Afterpay “in an all-stock deal that values Afterpay at about $29 billion.” The Aussie service allows “users to stagger the cost of their purchases over interest-free installments” and will be integrated into the Square app and available to U.S. consumers and the “millions of small businesses that process their credit card transactions” there - NYTimes and WSJ and Marketplace

IMF member nations have agreed to provide $650 billion in funding to the organization aimed at helping it assist countries in dealing with “mounting debt and the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.” The creating of these “reserve assets” is the “first since the $250 billion issued just after the global financial crisis in 2009” - Bloomberg

In a potential sign of things to come for the rest of the world, the surging Delta variant is proving a powerful stumbling block to the Asian economic recovery—“as new pandemic restrictions restrain manufacturing in some countries and the exports that have powered the recovery in China show signs of slowing” - WSJ

Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine media business is selling itself for some $900 million to “a firm backed by private-equity giant Blackstone Group Inc.,” part of a plan by former Disney execs to “build an independent entertainment company for Hollywood’s streaming era” - WSJ

Allianz disclosed over the weekend that the DOJ is probing “its hedge funds that caused investors significant losses during the pandemic-related market downturn early last year.” The investigation joins one already opened by the SEC last year, and the news sent the German financial giant’s shares tumbling to start the week - WSJ

Sweet spot material here for me: the Times’ exploration of the top 25 “most significant works of postwar architecture”—from the Farnsworth House and Seagram Building to the Pompidou Centre and the Sydney Opera House. These are some stunners - NYTimes

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,