The Leyendecker View: Here Comes the SPAC Attack«Back


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The Leyendecker View: March 19, 2021


I’m very optimistic about economic prospects for the next year or two.
Beyond that, however, we’re going to need another big policy initiative to keep the good times rolling.

Paul Krugman in a March 8 NYT piece

 
THE ECONOMIC VIEW

Fed expects 6.5% GDP growth this year
Gonna be interesting to see how this plays out.
 
Housing starts and building permits fall
Winter weather or peaked-out market?
 
Where infrastructure investment is needed
According to American Society of Civil Engineers.
 
Household net worth at historical high
While debt to GDP keeps rising.
 
THE LABOR VIEW
 
Goldman Sachs surveys IB analysts
Slaves to the big money?
 
When CEOs think workers will return to the office
Light at the end of the tunnel, but…
 
From remote work to hybrid work
The tech needed to link your home and office.
 
MEANWHILE IN EUROPE
 
Sputnik V may take off in Europe
Maybe Western Europe needs to replace AstraZeneca.
Which is on again, off again, on again
 
UK exports to EU drop 40%
The first jolt from Brexit.
 
Italy locking down again
In response to its third COVID wave.
While Germany also declares a third wave
 
THE GLOBE
 
Pandemic pushes down global middle class
And pushes up poverty.
 
India wants lower oil prices
Threatens to cut Saudi imports.
 
The world’s largest military aircraft fleets
And the winner is?
 
UAE to invest in/with Israel
Establishes $10B fund.
 
THE FINANCE WORLD
 
The PE portfolio company CFO
Essentials for success.
 
Investment manias are everywhere
You holding any of these “assets”?
 
Here comes the SPAC attack
Short sellers are betting against the bubble.
 
As the SPAC juggernaut explodes
Tulips anyone?
 
CORONANEWS
 
Mental health crisis—the next pandemic
A side effect of coronavirus.
 
Biden following Trump lead
In America First vaccine stance.
But many want America to share more
 
Spring break could mess us up
Fauci cautions us not to follow Europe’s path.
 
WHO Chief Scientist issues a warning
Now’s not time to get complacent.
 
TECHNOLOGY
 
Facebook making big bet on VR and AR
‘Cause we’re tired of real reality.
 
Four causes of Zoom fatigue
And simple fixes.
 
More EU tech rules coming
Desire for easier repairs and longer-lasting products.
 
Data protection ruling in German
Could unleash tidal wave of lawsuits.
 
THE WAR ON CARBON
 
Global gasoline demand has peaked…forever
So suggests International Energy Agency.
Here’s their forecast to 2026
 
VW throws down the gauntlet
Plans to be top EV automaker by 2025.
 
Six utilities companies team up
To create massive EV charging network.
 
THE CHINA SYNDROME
 
US backs Australia
Vows not to improve China position until…
 
EU to sanction China
First time in three decades.
 
US-China talks in Alaska
Chilly talks in a chilly state
And it all begins with traded insults.
 
Biden administration also recruiting India
To help tame the China tiger.
 
THE NEXT NORMAL
 
Biden cancels $1B in student debt
Which the stimulus bill makes tax free
 
Migrants at border explode
Coming for all those free goodies.
 
Manhattan return to office survey results
A peek at what to expect around the country.
 
Biden unwraps tax increase plan
Here comes the tax man
NY State ready to raise taxes, too
Probably just the beginning of a new tax trend.
 
MAKING A BETTER YOU
 
What is the definition of true wealth?
Bet you can’t guess.
 
Avoiding bad decisions
A big key to success.
 
Sprinkle a little ancient philosophy
Into your daily routines.
 
HOW ABOUT A BREAK
 
AI-generated words
Not real today, but maybe tomorrow.
 
$69MM crypto art
It’s only on a computer, not a wall. I think.
 
NFL nearly doubles TV revenue contract
Yet viewership last year was down 7%.
 
MINDCATION VIDEOS OF THE WEEK
 
Stunning single-shot drone video
That’s wowing the Hollywood crowd.

The “Mank” trailer
Netflix picks up most Oscar noms with Gary Oldham flick.
 
Drone show extraordinaire
Chinese create magic in the air.
 
FROM THE HEADHUNTER’S KITCHEN
               
The 20 best sandwich recipes
When foie gras and Kobe beef aren’t around.
 
Best bagels in America
Pass the lox and cream cheese!
 
The best bagels are in California
Sorry, New York.
 
THOUGHTS FROM DOUG
 
The Paul Krugman quote from last week, which I’ve included at the start of this newsletter, suggests that our economic growth has become almost entirely dependent on Washington throwing more money into it.
 
So long as supply chains are out of whack, inflation prospects look strong. Less supply will likely drive prices higher than a stimulus-induced spike in demand.
 
The stock market seems priced to the economic perfection Wall Street is selling. What could go wrong?
 
ESG stands for environment, social and governance. How do companies check the environment box when they manufacture their products in high-carbon-emission China? How do companies check the social box when they replace US jobs with cheaper foreign labor? How do companies check the social box when they replace labor with machines? How do companies check the social box when they turn a blind eye on poor working conditions and human rights in places like China?
 
How long will it take to vaccinate the entire world? Will vaccine-resistant variants surface before we’ve reached global herd immunity? Maybe we need to be a bit more cautious about any quick return to an economic “normal.” 
 
As people leave certain cities and states, the natural effect is a reduction in tax collections, which reduces the ability to create and maintain infrastructure, increasing the burden on those who stay, which increases their incentive to leave.
 
Both economic expansions and contractions have a tendency to feed off themselves. If this tsunami stimulus doesn’t really start a longer-term expansion, then what?
 
One hundred years ago, many 14 year olds acted like adults; while today, many of our 18 year old’s still seem to have diaper rash.
 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
 
The Leyendecker View: Google Takes on Colleges
March 12, 2021
 
The Leyendecker View: Private Equity Faces a New Challenge
March 5, 2021
 
 


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