How are you? (September 4-10)
Trump Media Flails
Former President Donald J. Trump’s social media venture, which has long proclaimed its deal-making skills, faces an uncertain future after a twist in its planned merger with Digital World Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company. purposes, or SPAC. Trump Media & Technology Group would have merged with the company on Thursday. But federal investigations and scrutiny from securities regulators bogged down the merger, and when Thursday came, Digital World rushed to get shareholder votes for a one-year extension of the deadline. When it failed to secure the necessary backing for the extension, the company unexpectedly suspended and postponed the vote, saying it would pay nearly $3 million to buy itself three more months to complete the merger. , leaving Trump Media in limbo. On Friday, Trump Media blamed the Securities and Exchange Commission for the problems and said the agency was needlessly delaying its assessment of the proposed merger.
A significant rate increase in Europe
Compared to other central banks around the world, Europe is slower to use rate hikes as a tool to curb inflation, but it is starting to act more aggressively. Last week, policymakers at the European Central Bank raised the three main interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, the largest increase in more than two decades. This big move was more or less expected as new data released the week before showed that annual inflation for the eurozone soared to a record 9.1 percent in August, from 8.9 percent in July. previous record. (Estonia is the eurozone country with the highest inflation rate: 25.2 percent.) But the central bank also warned that there was likely to be a “significant slowdown” in the economies of countries that use the euro due to rising energy prices and the looming prospect of major cuts and even gas rationing this winter.
One of the ‘Big Four’ plans to split in half
EY, better known as Ernst & Young, one of the country’s four largest accounting firms, announced on Thursday that it would split into two companies, one primarily dedicated to audit work and another to consulting and advisory services. The split isn’t easy: it must first be approved by more than 10,000 EY partners in 140 countries, and the company will likely require regulatory approval from some of those countries. So why bother? The move is intended to help EY avoid the conflicts of interest the company may encounter when conducting both audits and consulting for corporate clients, raising the alarm for Securities and Exchange Commission regulators.
What’s next? (September 11-17)
Will employees return or resist?
Since nearly the start of the pandemic, employers have set dates for return to the office. And postponed them. And set new ones. And that postponed. This time, many of them say, those dates are set in stone. Some employees, especially in small and medium-sized cities, have been working in the office for a long time and say they enjoy seeing their colleagues in person, rejoining office chatter, and having a clear line between work and private life. But others are chafing at their companies’ policies, many of which were poised to take effect after Labor Day. (“Back to school is coming,” the chief people officer at Credit Karma told her company’s executives.) They claim remote working fits into their lives more easily and the office can be distracting.
The latest inflation figures
Both the United States and Britain will release new inflation figures this week that are expected to see the countries on somewhat divergent paths. The most recent report in the United States, the Consumer Price Index, showed that inflation was moderating, leading some analysts to conclude that rising prices had peaked and gave investors a shock of optimism. But with inflation still high, the Federal Reserve is sticking to its plans to raise interest rates. It’s a different story across the pond. Consumer prices in the UK rose 10.1 percent from a year earlier in July, much faster than in the United States and countries such as Germany, Italy and France, the eurozone’s largest economies. August inflation data probably won’t look much better.
Twitter moves Musk deal forward
As an October date in Delaware Chancery Court approaches, Twitter will hold a shareholder vote Tuesday on Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy the company. The vote is taking place as Mr. Musk attempts to withdraw from the agreement and Twitter accuses him of misleading him about the number of spam accounts on his platform — and as the two sides litigate whether Mr. Musk should go ahead with it. The vote is a necessary step to close the deal and would have taken place regardless of the legal battle. Still, it’s another sign that Twitter remains determined to go through with the deal, and the company has long urged shareholders to take the same stance. That same day, Peiter Zatko, the Twitter whistleblower, will testify in Congress. Mr. Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed him and called his name in court hearings.
Several mass strikes in Britain have been paused due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Regal Cinemas’ parent company, Cineworld, has filed for bankruptcy. President Biden will attend the annual Detroit auto show this week to talk the economy ahead in the run-up to the midterm elections.