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Tim Cook, Mary Barra, Matthew McConaughey and more at the DealBook Online Summit – The New York Times

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The DealBook Online Summit is coming up on Nov. 9 and 10. The two-day event, celebrating the 20th anniversary of DealBook, will bring together some of the most influential people in business and policy. It’s free to watch from anywhere in the world if you register here.
Here’s a sneak peek at the lineup, with more surprise guests to be announced in coming days:
Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple
Antony Blinken, the secretary of state
Albert Bourla, the chief executive of Pfizer
Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors
Matthew McConaughey, the actor who is considering running for governor of Texas
Ken Griffin, the founder and chief executive of Citadel
Maria Ressa, one of the journalists who won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for exposing abuses of power
Ken Chenault and Ken Frazier, who organized corporate America to speak out on voting rights
Darren Woods, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil
Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, the creators and hosts of the chart-topping podcast “Armchair Expert”
We hope you can join us for the summit, where we’ll take stock of a world in the middle of rapid reinvention, grappling with the pandemic and rewriting the rules in real time.
A big day for Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is nearing a new high after yesterday’s launch in New York of a Bitcoin futures E.T.F., which drew nearly $1 billion in trading volume, one of the biggest fund debuts in history. Grayscale applied to convert its $40 billion Bitcoin trust into an E.T.F., and other fund managers have pending applications.
Federal officials may strip three states of their abilities to regulate workplace safety. OSHA said that Arizona, South Carolina and Utah hadn’t done enough to protect workers from Covid. Meanwhile, G.E. will require its 56,000 workers in the U.S. to be vaccinated by Dec. 8, the latest big company to announce a workforce-wide mandate.
Jack Ma’s trip gives Alibaba a boost. Reports that the billionaire recently traveled to Spain — confirmed by the Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post — pushed shares in the Chinese tech giant up as much as 9 percent. It’s a sign that Beijing’s clampdown on Alibaba and its co-founder may be easing. That said, the long-delayed I.P.O. of the Alibaba affiliate Ant Group doesn’t appear to be launching anytime soon.
Private equity races to reach the 13-digit club. Apollo Global Management said yesterday that it was aiming to manage $1 trillion in assets by 2026, a goal already set by Blackstone. (Apollo currently oversees $472 billion; Blackstone manages $684 billion.) The financial giants’ shares have soared amid successful fund-raising, with Apollo forecasting that much of its growth will come from its credit business.
United’s profits regain altitude. The airline earned $473 million in the third quarter, compared with a $1.8 billion loss a year ago, thanks to a steady recovery in air travel. But United isn’t celebrating yet: It’s worried about higher fuel prices eating into profits.
It’s been a busy 24 hours at the social media giant. A roundup of the latest:
In legal news … Facebook agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle a federal lawsuit that accused the company of discrimination. The Justice Department sued the company in December, arguing that it declined to “recruit, consider or hire” qualified American workers, instead giving jobs to foreign workers on temporary visas. Today, the attorney general for the District of Columbia plans to add Mark Zuckerberg to a consumer protection lawsuit, The Times’s Cecilia Kang reports. It’s one of the first efforts by a regulator to expose the Facebook founder personally to potential financial and other penalties.
In crypto news … Facebook launched a pilot program of Novi, its digital wallet, to some users in Guatemala and the U.S., partnering with the crypto exchange Coinbase. The move drew the ire of a group of Democratic senators, who said Facebook could not be trusted to handle customer data and called for it to scrap the pilot and its stablecoin project.
In branding news … Facebook may change the name of its parent company, The Verge reports. A rebrand would be intended to highlight that the company is more than its flagship product, like Google did in 2015 by reorganizing under a holding company called Alphabet.
Yesterday, Netflix reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter, and said that the current quarter would be even better. Sales and profits came in ahead of forecasts, and the streaming giant added 4.4 million subscribers last quarter, beating its own projections. Netflix said it expected to add another 8.5 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, one of the biggest quarterly forecasts in the company’s history.
How much is “Squid Game” worth? The South Korean dystopian thriller was launched in mid-September, so its “mind-boggling” success — 142 million accounts watched at least the first few minutes of the show in its first month, the company said — wasn’t a major factor in Netflix’s third-quarter results. Regardless, one of the biggest mysteries of Netflix’s business model is how it values its content because there are no ratings, ads or ticket sales to measure success in the traditional way. This week, Bloomberg reported that according to an internal document, Netflix thinks “Squid Game” is worth nearly $900 million.
It’s all about attracting and retaining subscribers. Netflix currently has 222 million subscribers, and a market cap of $282 billion, meaning, at least according to investors, each subscriber is worth roughly $1,270. By Netflix’s reported estimate of the value of “Squid Game,” the show has added or retained the equivalent of about 700,000 accounts, or 16 percent of the company’s sign-ups in the past three months. Meeting the company’s aggressive growth goals via “Squid Game”-style mega hits, in this sense, looks tough.
But “if we get another 10 ‘Squid Games,’ it’s not going to matter that much,” Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush, told DealBook. “Some portion of Netflix’s market cap is its brand, and some portion is its content,” removing some pressure to produce hit after hit.
It’s not all good news for Netflix, with another high-profile show testing the company’s internal culture. Dave Chappelle’s comedy special “The Closer,” released this month, drew rebukes for being hostile to the transgender community. Netflix employees have planned a walkout today to protest the company’s support of the show. Last night, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-C.E.O., told The Wall Street Journal that he “screwed up” in the way he defended the Chappelle special to staff.
—Rachel Eager, 25, is looking for work, but said she was in no rush to land a new job. The slow return to employment has frustrated policymakers and blindsided economists.
Highsnobiety, the online magazine focused on high-end streetwear, has hired the investment bank LionTree to weigh a sale after interest from potential suitors, DealBook hears. Highsnobiety expects to bring in about $60 million in revenue this year and could see interest from media brands or online retailers enticed by the increasing convergence of retail and media.
Streetwear has attained luxury status, as brands like Supreme, Yeezy and Off-White amassed passionate followings, while traditional luxury purveyors like Celine have designed collections honoring the street. Highsnobiety, which describes itself as “at the forefront of youth culture,” keeps tabs on the latest sneaker drops and comments on the fashion of the day. As the lines distinguishing retail, media and entertainment blur, it, like Goop, Glossier and others, serves as a curated, shoppable online magazine. Highsnobiety has also ventured beyond digital media, launching its own in-house collection and pop-up shops in Paris and Zurich.
Online luxury has become a hotbed of deal activity, with sites that can replicate a premium shopping experience fetching big money. Yoox merged with Net-a-Porter in 2015, a deal inspired in part by Net-a-Porter’s editorial abilities. Ssense, an online retailer of emerging and streetwear brands, raised funds from Sequoia Capital this year at a valuation of more than $4 billion.
Aggressive lobbying by the banking industry, and resistance from Republicans, has forced Democrats to scale back plans to crack down on tax cheating. Yesterday, Democratic senators announced a revised proposal that narrows the scope of information banks would have to give to the I.R.S. about their customers, limiting it to accounts with total annual deposits or withdrawals worth more than $10,000, rather than the $600 threshold initially proposed.
The program is focused on collecting unpaid taxes from the rich, the Biden administration said, bolstering the I.R.S. to shrink the $7 trillion so-called tax gap. Opponents have incorrectly suggested that the I.R.S. would be tracking information about individual transactions. But the administration has said that the I.R.S. would use account information to spot discrepancies between what individuals report on their tax returns and what their bank accounts show.
“How is the honor system working right now?” Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, asked the deputy Treasury secretary, Wally Adeyemo, at a Senate hearing yesterday. “It’s not working well, senator,” Adeyemo replied, adding, “The top 1 percent of earners in America underpay their taxes by more than $150 billion dollars each year.”
Third-party reporting battles are becoming a thing. Democrats looking to pay for ambitious spending plans also faced resistance over a proposed crypto broker tax-reporting provision, with the industry and its political allies mounting a lobbying effort to get the proposal changed before it becomes law.
Deals
The troubled Chinese property developer Evergrande put off plans to sell a majority stake in its property services unit, which was expected to raise $2.6 billion. (Reuters)
GlobalFoundries and its top shareholder, Mubadala, hope to raise up to $2.6 billion from the chip maker’s I.P.O. (Bloomberg)
Instacart will buy Caper AI, a maker of self-checkout shopping carts, for $350 million. (Bloomberg)
A Canadian deep-sea mining group got a lot less cash than expected from its SPAC merger, and others may face the same fate. (FT)
Policy
Jens Weidmann, an outspoken inflation hawk, will step down at the end of the year as governor of Germany’s central bank. (CNBC)
Novavax is suffering from manufacturing problems, threatening global coronavirus vaccination efforts. (Politico)
Credit Suisse will pay $475 million in fines in three countries to settle investigations into its role in Mozambique’s “tuna bonds” scandal. (FT)
“Boris Johnson Claims a Positive in Britain’s Shortages. Economists Disagree.” (NYT)
Best of the rest
Silicon Valley’s hottest new industry: advising tech whistle-blowers. (FT)
An animal rights group sued YouTube for not enforcing its ban on animal abuse videos. (NYT)
David Finn, who co-founded the corporate P.R. giant Ruder Finn and counted Philip Morris and Coke as clients, died on Monday. He was 100. (NYT)
Tesla has trademarked “Giga Beer,” for some reason. (Teslarati)
The latest casualty of supply-chain problems is fine wine. (Insider)
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