Financial Daily Dose 9.28.2021 | Top Story: Fed Officials Mired in Trading Scandal to Step Down

September 28, 2021

Major Fed news to start the week, as we’ve learned that Dallas Fed President Robert S. Kaplan and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren are stepping down (both earlier than planned) in the wake of a dust-up over each “trading securities that could have benefited from the central bank’s 2020 intervention in financial markets” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Marketplace

So far, we have largely taken a “Beetlejuice” approach to the looming debt-limit and government funding crisis—that is, they won’t appear without us summoning them by saying their names out loud three times in a row—but we might be past the Tim Burton stage of things, so here’s the latest - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Marketplace

Merck is reportedly nearing a deal to acquire Acceleron Pharma Inc., a “move that would bolster the pharmaceutical giant’s rate-disease business.” Acceleron is currently valued around $11 billion, making the deal, should it go through, one of Merck’s biggest ever - WSJ

Ford announced on Monday that it will drop nearly $11.5 billion on three battery factories and an electric truck plant in the U.S. over the next four years. The investment—the “single largest in its 118-year history”—is expected to create 11,000 jobs and enable the company to “produce more than one million electric vehicles a year in the second half of this decade” - NYTimes and TechCrunch and WSJ

Speaking of e-cars, the Volvo and Geely-owned electric vehicle company Polestar reached a deal over the weekend with a Gores Group and Guggenheim Capital-backed SPAC that will value the company at more than $20 billion and will help take it public in coming months – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Which made Monday’s testimony from SEC Chair Gary Gensler about the dangers of going public via SPACs to “young businesses and their investors” just about perfect, timing wise – Law360

In a rare win for basic humanity, Facebook is shelving (for now) plans for a version of its Instagram product “tailored to children, a concession after lawmakers and others voiced concerns about the photo-sharing platform’s effects on young people’s mental health” - WSJ and Marketplace and Mashable and Law360

We’ve talked pandemic. We’ve talked jammed ports. We’ve talked chip shortages. So why not power outages in China as the latest messy knot in the already challenged jumble of global supply chains  - NYTimes and Bloomberg

Video-game giant Activision Blizzard will pay $18 million to resolve EEOC allegations that it “discriminat[ed] against pregnant employees, pa[id] female employees less than their male counterparts because of their gender and retaliate[ed] against employees who complained about unfair treatment” - NYTimes and WSJ and Law360

Granny chic? Yeah, it’s a thing and all the rage with “grandmillennials.” Because everything old is new again.  ALWAYS. Consider yourself warned - WSJ

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,