Welcome back! Dan DeFrancesco checking in from NYC. Here’s hoping you had a great weekend.
Today, we’re covering an investment bank trimming headcount, the number of billionaires pledging to give away most of their wealth falling to a record low, and why key promises from the legalization of weed have gone up in smoke.
But first, it’s the end of an era.
1. The end of the line for Elon and Twitter
What a long strange trip it’s been.
That might be the best way to sum up the Elon Musk-Twitter saga that has played out over the past six-plus months. Today marks 193 days since Musk first offered to buy Twitter on April 14.
It finally appears an end is in sight*, or at least the closing of a transaction. Earlier this month a judge ruled that the deal must be closed by October 28, which is this Friday, or a trial will be held.
Still, things are far from buttoned up. The main issue remains how Musk will come up with the $44 billion needed to actually buy Twitter. This isn’t one of those buy-now-pay-later situations.
Musk already has $12.5 billion in debt financing lined up from his buddies at the big banks (more on that later), but that leaves about $32 billion to be accounted for.
And while plenty of folks were willing to get in on the action when the economy was humming, there isn’t much appetite these days.
On Friday, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives highlighted what many have speculated for a while: Musk will need to sell anywhere in the range of $5 billion to $10 billion of his Tesla stock to finance the deal.
“It’s pretty simple, the more investors that bail on this deal is the more money that Musk needs to contribute and therefore sell more Tesla stock,” Ives wrote in a note.
Now, if this were a Musk biopic, this would make for a cool montage scene. They’d play “Money” by Pink Floyd and show Musk taking a bunch of meetings to secure enough cash just in time to run into a big boardroom and present all the suits with one of those comically large checks.
But that probably won’t happen. Or maybe it will? Who knows! The one thing I know is that anyone who claims to know how things will pan out is either stupid, a liar, or both.
*PS- The government is reportedly considering a national security review of the deal, because of course it is.
In other news:
2. What crypto winter? Fidelity Investments is adding 100 workers to its digital assets team, which will bring the group’s total headcount to 500, Bloomberg reports.
3. The banker cuts are coming. A canary in the coal mine, perhaps? Deutsche Bank reportedly laid off more than 20 junior bankers in addition to some senior folks, according to the New York Post.
4. Speaking of Elon and Twitter, the banks helping to finance the deal have decided to hold on to that debt for the time being, The Wall Street Journal reports. The banks, which include Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, have opted to keep the loans on their balance sheets instead of selling them at a loss.
5. The legalization of weed in the US isn’t living up to the hype, according to one economist in the space. Robin Goldstein explained why changes still need to be made or else there is a risk of customers continuing to buy from their neighborhood dealer.
6. If you’ve ever thought about starting an OnlyFans, this article is for you. Four creators share their tips for how they made their first $1 million.
7. The James-Corden-is-mean-to-waitstaff food fight has a new chapter. This one might actually rival the Musk-Twitter debacle. The late-night host seemed to blow off the controversy in a recent interview, which infuriated Keith McNally, the famous chef who initially called out Corden.
8. JPMorgan pledged $30 billion to fix systemic racism in 2020, but where did it go? The New York Times’ Emily Flitter offers some insight on what the bank has done in this adaptation of her book “The White Wall: How Big Finance Bankrupts Black America.”
9. The number of billionaires pledging to give away most of their wealth has fallen to a record low. Only five billionaires — including the founders of Zynga, FTX and 23andme — have signed up to The Giving Pledge this year, down from 14 last year. Jeff Bezos is noticeably missing from the list, but his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott is on it.
10. If you’d like to stay relevant with the young people in your life, read this ranking of Taylor Swift’s entire discography. Just please don’t suggest any Jake Gyllenhaal movies to Swifties.
Correction: In Wednesday’s newsletter we cited a figure from an Insider story that misstated the amount of warehouse space that Blackstone owns in the US. It is 480 million square feet, not 370 million.