Financial Daily Dose 8.5.2021 | Top Story: Robinhood Stock Surges a Week After Its Dismal Debut

August 05, 2021

Robinhood, the trading app that helped facilitate the pandemic-era rise of meme stock craziness, has gone meme-level itself this week, with its shares rising more than 65% at one point on Wednesday before Nasdaq briefly paused trading due to the surge. The opening of options trading of the stock was a big driver of the jump - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

A Chicagoland federal jury has founded two former Bank of America traders guilty of “rigging precious-metals prices by using an aggressive tactic know as spoofing, the latest win for prosecutors in a yearslong effort to crack down on the practice” - WSJ and Law360

Gig economy giants are hoping to make Massachusetts the next battleground via ballot initiative to create a new class of workers. The vote, if successful, could address the state AG’s lawsuit against ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft over alleged misclassification of drivers as independent contractors - NYTimes

Speaking of Uber, the company saw ridership “rebound strongly” in Q2, though an ongoing driver shortage and Delta-variant uncertainty remain significant headwinds for the rest of the year - WSJ and Bloomberg and TechCrunch and NYTimes

The Biden Administration appears set to name another industry-challenging leader to a key regulatory role. The White House is reportedly vetting Cornell Law professor Saule Omarova to head up the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. While less controversial than the original two names bandied about for the position, Omarova’s writings have highlighted “the growing risks to banks of wading into the cryptocurrency business” - NYTimes

This week’s NLRB officer ruling recommending a re-vote for a union at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse is but one in a growing series of labor challenges facing Bezos & Co., as the Teamsters and other labor organizers find new tactics to push for unions - NYTimes

Big pretrial DOJ win in the Elizabeth Holmes criminal fraud trial, as Judge Edward Davila decided this week that former patients of the blood-testing startup can testify at the coming trial - WSJ

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida is now the highest-raking central banking official on record setting some market expectations for the possibility of a 2023 rate hike—a full year earlier than initially forecast—based on the strength of the U.S. economy - NYTimes

Terrifying bit of true-life mystery here in this look at the handful of unsolved disappearances of campers in the “remote high country of southern Australia.” Escaped convict? Button Man? Natural causes? Plenty of questions without many good answers - NYTimes

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,

MDR