SpaceX wins U.S. contract for spacecraft to send astronauts to moon -Washington Post

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Who is Elon Musk?

Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. ... britannica.comElon Musk | Biography & Facts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. homebuilding surged to nearly a 15-year high in March, but soaring lumber prices amid supply constraints could limit builders' capacity to boost production and ease a shortage of homes that is threatening to slow housing market momentum. The sharp rebound reported by the Commerce Department on Friday added to robust retail sales in March in suggesting that the economy was roaring after a brief weather-related setback in February. Other data on Friday showed consumer sentiment rose moderately in early April.

(Bloomberg) -- Website-hosting service Squarespace Inc. moved ahead with plans for a direct listing, joining a cadre of technology-oriented companies that didn’t need to raise money in a traditional initial public offering.Squarespace spelled out its plans Friday in a filing in which it also disclosed details of its finances, including 28% growth in revenue last year. The filing confirms an earlier Bloomberg News report that Squarespace would follow a handful of other technology-based companies -- most recently cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. -- in picking a direct listing over an IPO.Squarespace is planning to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, the choice for every major direct listing except Coinbase. While investment banks don’t underwrite offerings as they do in IPOs, they advise the company on the listing. Squarespace is working with with banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to its filing.In a direct listing, a company doesn’t raise fresh capital and existing investors can typically begin selling their shares on the first day of trading without the usual lockup period restrictions in an IPO. It can save on banking fees and the time spent on an investor roadshow.Roblox Corp., Palantir Technologies Inc. and Asana Inc. also have gone public through direct listings in the past year. Earlier listings by Spotify Technology SA and Slack Technologies Inc. helped trail-blaze the alternate route to public equity markets.Squarespace BackersLed by founder and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Casalena, Squarespace competes against publicly traded rivals Wix.com Ltd. and GoDaddy Inc., among others. The New York-based company is is backed by investors including General Atlantic, Index Ventures and Accel.“Squarespace has flourished by providing anyone a way to participate in the immense opportunity that comes from publishing and transacting on the internet,” Casalena said in a letter to investors included in the filing.The company, which is expanding beyond web hosting to e-commerce, was valued at $10 billion in March in a funding round. It said in January that it had confidentially submitted a draft filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Revenue GainsStarted in 2004, Squarespace had 3.7 million unique subscriptions as of Dec. 31, according to its filing.Squarespace had a net income of about $31 million on revenue of $621 million last year, compared with $58 million on revenue of $485 million in 2019, according to its filing.Its e-commerce business had 2020 revenue of $143 million, a 78% increase over the previous year, according to the filing. Its growth plans include expanding it customer base -- especially internationally -- and deepening its commerce offerings.The company acquired restaurant-services provider Tock for more than $400 million in March. Squarespace paid a mix of cash and stock for the Chicago-based company, which provides technology for online reservations, takeout and other services. That followed 2019 deals for Unfold Creative LLC and Acuity Scheduling Inc.Acquisition StrategySquarespace will pursue strategic acquisitions to accelerate key platform, product and marketing initiatives, it said its filing.Casalena will continue to control the company through his 76% ownership of the company’s Class B shares, which carry 10 votes each compared with one each for the Class A shares that will be listed.A date for the Squarespace’s trading debut hasn’t been disclosed. The company plans for its shares to trade under the symbol SQSP.(Updates with CEO’s letter in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

NASA and SpaceX's Crew Dragon is a go for liftoff to the International Space Station next week following the completion of a Flight Readiness Review.

Morgan Stanley beat estimates as investment bankers and traders reaped the rewards amid booming equity-trading and IPO activity.

The proposed merger of Canadian cannabis companies Tilray Inc. and Aphria Inc. moved a step closer to approval on Friday, when Tilray revised its bylaws to reduce its shareholder vote quorum.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has launched support for Clipper, Bay Area's all-in-one reloadable transit card, on the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

The winner of NASA's Human Landing System (HLS) contract award is SpaceX, which bid $2.9 billion for the privilege of developing the means by which NASA astronauts will return to the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo program. SpaceX was in the running alongside Blue Origin and Dynetics, but reportedly undercut both those prospective suppliers considerably with its bid, according to The Washington Post. SpaceX proposed using its Starship spacecraft, currently under development, as the landing vehicle for astronauts once they arrive at their lunar destination.

(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. sold $13 billion of bonds Thursday, the largest deal ever by a bank, taking advantage of some of the cheapest borrowing costs in years to boost its capital after the Federal Reserve let pandemic relief measures lapse.The deal, which followed the bank’s best quarter ever, hit the market as corporate borrowers continue to see heavy demand for debt that provides a decent premium over Treasuries. Order books grew to about $26 billion, allowing JPMorgan to trim the interest on the debt from the relatively high spreads it initially offered, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.The jumbo offering may have been related to recent changes in regulatory relief for banks, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Arnold Kakuda.Treasuries liquidity disappeared in March 2020. In response, the Fed told banks they didn’t have to factor in Treasuries or deposits when calculating their supplementary leverage ratios, which tells them how much capital to set aside to back up their holdings. That exemption went away two weeks ago.Banks were left in the position of needing to sell Treasuries or add capital, and JPMorgan’s sale of unsecured debt will help it meet total loss-absorbing capacity, or TLAC, requirements, and put the ratio back in balance, Kakuda said.The bank signaled Wednesday that it would do something. “We have levers to manage SLR and we will,” Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Piepszak told analysts on a quarterly earnings call. The company declined to comment further on Thursday.Including today’s sale, JPMorgan has raised $22 billion in the U.S. dollar investment-grade bond market this year, more than any other major U.S. bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Banks are always going to be hefty issuers, which lends a certain opportunism to tapping the markets especially when funding is still so cheap,” said Jesse Rosenthal, a senior analyst at CreditSights.The longest portion of the five-part offering, a 31-year security, will yield 107 basis points above Treasuries, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a private transaction. The sale follows strong first-quarter earnings, including a 15% increase in fixed-income, currency and commodity trading revenue and a $5.2 billion release from its credit reserves. Rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also sold bonds Thursday.The previous largest bond sale by a bank also came from JPMorgan, a $10 billion offering in April 2020, the Bloomberg-compiled data show. JPMorgan is the sole bookrunner of the sale, and the proceeds are marked for general corporate purposes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

At least 440 banks and financial services firms are partly relocating from London to European cities.

For all the insouciance with which markets treated Washington's latest sanctions on Russia, its move to target Moscow's main funding avenue - the rouble bond market - has in some ways, crossed the Rubicon, potentially with far-reaching consequences. Drawing on experiences of sanctions imposed previously, including after the 2014 Ukraine crisis and the Mueller report on Russia's alleged U.S. election meddling, money managers haven't rushed to dump Russian assets en masse. The rouble, which fell as much as 2% at one point on Thursday, has clawed back losses and is on its way to recording its best week this year; Russian bond yields, on local as well as international markets, have fallen.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday said Vietnam, Switzerland and Taiwan tripped its thresholds for possible currency manipulation under a 2015 U.S. trade law, but refrained from formally branding them as manipulators. In the first semi-annual foreign exchange report issued by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the Treasury said it will commence "enhanced engagement" with Taiwan and continue such talks with Vietnam and Switzerland after the Trump administration labeled the latter two as currency manipulators in December.

(Bloomberg) -- British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta’s companies seemed to be prospering until his main lender, Greensill Capital, imploded last month. But long before Greensill collapsed, several banks had cut off the commodity trading business of Gupta’s Liberty House Group.Four banks stopped working with Gupta’s commodity trading business, starting in 2016, after they became concerned about what they perceived to be problems in bills of lading – shipping receipts that give the holder the right to take possession of a cargo – or other paperwork provided by Liberty, according to interviews with 18 people directly involved in the trades, as well as internal communications seen by Bloomberg News. The banks include Sberbank PJSC, Macquarie Group Ltd., Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ICBC Standard Bank. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also stopped working with Gupta’s companies around that time.In 2018, Sberbank sent a team to scour the brightly colored containers stacked in the port of Rotterdam, looking for the ones full of nickel that the bank had financed on behalf of Liberty. Yet each time investigators located one of the containers, they found it had already been emptied, according to two people involved in the matter. After checking about 10 of them, they gave up, the people said. Sberbank confronted Gupta at a meeting weeks later. He promised that his company would pay back the roughly $100 million it owed, the people said.“At some point certain discrepancies were spotted within documentation and logistical data, which made Sberbank discontinue all operations with the company,” the bank said in an emailed statement. “The issue was settled in pre-trial format. Thanks to the existing control systems, we incurred no financial losses through these operations and managed to unwind all transactions in the spring of 2019.”GFG Alliance, which is made up of the companies controlled by Gupta and his family, including Liberty, said in an emailed statement sent by a spokesman that it refutes any suggestion of wrongdoing.“An internal investigation was conducted in 2019 by Liberty Commodities Limited (LCL)’s external legal advisors following enquiries regarding alleged rumours of double pledging,” GFG Alliance said in the statement. “The investigation found no evidence to substantiate the rumours, nor was LCL ever subject to further complaints or proceedings.”Double pledging is the practice of improperly raising funds more than once using the same collateral. As several banks dropped Gupta’s commodity trading unit, GFG Alliance came to rely more on Greensill Capital for loans – ultimately racking up debts of nearly $5 billion to Lex Greensill’s trade finance company by March 2021, according to a presentation seen by Bloomberg News. Gupta’s commodity trading business alone has $1.04 billion of debt, of which $846 million is owed to Greensill, according to the presentation. “LCL has ongoing banking relationships with separate financial institutions,” GFG Alliance said in the statement. “Its reliance on Greensill was a natural consequence of the competitive nature of the trade finance market, which has been hugely challenging for all but the very largest commodities traders in recent years.”Now, with Greensill in insolvency and its German subsidiary under a criminal complaint after the regulator said it found irregularities in how the banking unit booked assets tied to GFG Alliance, Gupta is trying to find new financing. But it’s been tough. After Gupta searched for would-be financial backers for weeks, Credit Suisse Group AG – which became a major lender to Gupta’s companies by buying debt packaged by Greensill – moved last month to push Liberty Commodities Ltd. into insolvency. Gupta said in interviews on BBC Radio 4 and Sky News on April 1 that the action made no sense and that he’d litigate it if needed.Lending RisksTraders in the world of commodities have long relied on banks to help finance the flow of goods on their journey from origin to destination. From the banks’ point of view, this type of financing is generally considered low risk. Should the trader run into financial difficulties, the bank can seize its collateral – the cargo – and easily recoup its money. That holds true so long as the shipping paperwork used, such as a bill of lading, is accurate.ICBC Standard Bank stopped financing Liberty’s commodity trading unit by early 2016, after discovering it had presented the bank with what seemed to be duplicate bills of lading, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia pulled the plug on lending to Gupta’s trading business the same year after the bank financed a cargo of metal for Liberty, only to be presented with what appeared to be the same bill of lading a short time later by another trader seeking a loan, according to three people directly involved.Then, in late 2016, Goldman Sachs, which had extended a credit line of about $20 million to Liberty to finance its nickel trade, stopped dealing with Gupta’s trading company after being warned of alleged paperwork problems by a contact in the warehousing industry, according to three people familiar with the matter.Spokespeople for Goldman Sachs, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ICBC Standard Bank all declined to comment.“No financial institution has been left out of pocket as a result of lending money to LCL,” GFG Alliance said in the statement, referring to Liberty Commodities Ltd. “On the contrary, they have received substantial commercial returns.”By 2016, Liberty had already become one of the world’s largest traders of nickel, according to an interview with Gupta in Metal Bulletin. Still, Liberty’s containers of nickel would sometimes take an unusually long time to travel between Europe and Asia – instead of the normal sailing time of about one month, the voyage would take several months, stopping off at ports along the way for weeks at a time, six people said.Metals trader Red Kite Capital Management, which also cut ties with Liberty, did so because it had become “uncomfortable” with some of the trades, said Michael Farmer, the company’s founder who is also a member of the U.K’s House of Lords. “It was difficult to work out the commercial sense of some of the shipments, which resulted in our decision to err on the side of caution and discontinue such trades,” said Farmer, who is one of the world’s best-known metal traders. “We had no proof of any misdoings.”Savior of SteelGupta was born in Punjab, India, the son of a bicycle manufacturer. He moved to the U.K. as a teenager to attend boarding school and set up Liberty House, his commodities trading business, in 1992 while he was still an undergraduate student at Trinity College, Cambridge. He first hit the headlines in Britain in 2013 when he bought a troubled steel mill in Newport, South Wales, and restarted production at a time when many other steel plants were being closed down. He went on to buy a string of other struggling steelworks, earning him the nickname “the savior of steel.”Gupta’s GFG Alliance isn’t a consolidated group, but a loose conglomerate of more than 200 different entities. The common thread running through both sides of his business, according to six former employees, was a chronic shortage of cash and intense pressure to find new ways to generate financing.On the industrial side of the business, that meant buying one asset after another in rapid succession, including unloved aluminum and steel plants in Yorkshire, England, northern France and South Australia, then borrowing against the business’s own inventory, equipment and customer invoices, often from Greensill.On the trading side of the business, that often meant nickel. Used as an alloying element in the production of stainless steel, nickel is among metals deliverable on the London Metal Exchange, which means that its price can easily be hedged and that banks are usually willing to lend against it; and nickel is expensive, meaning a relatively small amount of space in a ship can hold a valuable cache of metal.The commodity trading business grew rapidly. Revenue rose to $8.41 billion in the 15 months to March 2019, from $1.67 billion in 2012, according to the accounts of Liberty Commodities Group Pte, a Singapore holding company for the trading operations.Delayed DeliveryMacquarie became concerned about the paperwork underpinning some of Liberty’s trades some four years ago, according to four people with direct knowledge of the events as well as written communications seen by Bloomberg News.In one instance, the bank realized that nickel that it was supposed to have received in Antwerp, according to the shipping documentation, wasn’t at the port, according to two people. Liberty eventually delivered the nickel to Macquarie, but at a different port and about two weeks later than was listed in the paperwork.It wasn’t the only time Macquarie’s team had discovered discrepancies in Liberty’s paperwork, the people said.At a meeting in Macquarie’s London offices, executives from the bank grilled Gupta and his top lieutenants about the inner workings of the commodity trading business, three of the people said. Macquarie remained unsatisfied with the explanations, and by mid-2017, the bank had made the decision to stop all financing for Liberty, the people said.A spokesman for Macquarie declined to comment on the matter.After that banking relationship ended in acrimony, Gupta’s companies turned to Sberbank. When that link, too, soured, they became even more reliant on Greensill.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

(Bloomberg) -- Administrators to the Australian holding company of Greensill Capital have asked it to clarify a series of payments linked to the brother of founder Lex Greensill, amounting to $174 million.In a report prepared ahead of a creditor meeting scheduled for April 22, Grant Thornton says it’s seeking details on several transactions identified as “payment of proceeds PG Family Trust.”Transactions were recorded between October and December 2019 in a liability account labeled “Repayable Within a Year,” according to the report.“Management have indicated that these transactions in part relate to the sale of shares by Peter Greensill, however at this stage we are not in possession of sufficient documentation to confirm,” the administrators said.“We have made additional inquiries of the directors and management in relation to this account,” they said.A New York-based spokesman for Greensill Capital declined to comment.The report also states administrators couldn’t find record of payment for transferring ownership of the Greensill’s family farming company to Peter Greensill in April last year.The administrators took charge of Greensill Capital Pty Ltd. last month after the lender failed to extend insurance on some of the loans it sourced and packaged. They are now looking to recover cash for creditors, including employees, the Greensill family trust, Credit Suisse Group AG and Softbank Group Corp. They also recommended creditors wind up the company at next week’s meeting.The holding company has $777 million of receivables owed by the U.K. operating unit, and $1.1 billion of external debt, according to the report.The 37 employees of the unit are likely to be paid in full, while any payment to unsecured creditors will depend on the recovery of assets in the U.K. and Germany.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe is considering penalizing domestic banks, telecommunications operators and other businesses over what the government describes as profiteering off the hard currency it makes available at auctions.Lenders could face fines and suspensions, while companies that charge a premium for foreign exchange may be banned from participating in the auctions, central bank Governor John Mangudya said in a phone interview from the capital, Harare.“All the malpractices will be targeted,” he said. “There’s no need to chase foreign currency as if it will run out.”President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday threatened unspecified actions against “sharks in the financial sector,” according to the state-owned Herald newspaper, which said unidentified entities are profiteering at the public’s expense. The president’s comments were made during a wide-ranging interview he gave to state-owned television that will be aired on April 17 on the eve of Independence Day celebrations, the paper said.Exchange ClosedMnangagwa has previously issued warnings to private companies he blames for undermining his efforts to turn around an economy plagued by annual inflation of 241% and foreign-currency shortages.Last year, his government closed the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for five weeks and singled out the largest mobile operator, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd., for undermining the nation’s currency through its mobile-money service. Econet denied the allegations.The impending action is an attempt to prevent manipulation of the foreign-currency auction system, according to the Herald. The system has provided over $800 million to companies since its introduction in June, though high demand for U.S. dollars by importers means that there is only a limited supply.Monetary authorities met with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe on April 12 to discuss “due diligence and know-your-customer requirements” in order to ensure economic stability, Mangudya said.Ralph Watungwa, president of the Banker’s Association of Zimbabwe, didn’t immediately answer two calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.Zimbabwe reintroduced its own currency in 2019 after a 10-year hiatus and has been battling bouts of high inflation and shortages of everything from foreign currency to food. The local unit, which was pegged at parity to the U.S. dollar as recently as February 2019, has plunged to 84 per U.S. dollar.The gap between the official exchange rate and parallel market has widened by 36%, with a U.S. dollar selling for 115 Zimbabwean dollars on the streets of Harare.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

(Bloomberg) -- The Pritzkers built an empire spanning hotels to manufacturing before agreeing two decades ago to split up their fortune among 11 descendants.Karen Pritzker, one of the heirs, has parlayed that wealth into venture capital, backing firms such as Snap Inc. and Spotify Technology. Now she’s joined the wave of investors turning to blank-check firms.The Pritzker Vlock Family Office is the anchor investor for Thimble Point Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company that raised almost $300 million in an initial public offering in February. Executives from the family office, named after Pritzker and her late husband Michael Vlock, are leading the venture, which will focus on software and technology.“It allows us to be able to take companies public and kind of complete the full life cycle,” said Elon Boms, 40, Thimble Point’s chief executive officer and managing director of the family office, which committed $50 million to the SPAC ahead of its IPO.Growing ForceThe SPAC boom has attracted financiers, former politicians, athletes and celebrities willing to use their fame to attract retail and institutional investment. About 600 blank-check companies have raised more than $182 billion since the beginning of 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.But family offices — the discrete, sometimes secretive firms that manage the affairs of the ultra-rich — have been one of the biggest driving forces.While large family offices have long been investors in private equity and real estate, the recent flurry of SPAC bets show how they’re becoming a growing force in public markets. This comes at a time when some critics are pushing for more regulation of the investment firms following the implosion of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management, which has inflicted billions of dollars of losses from banks.Family offices are largely exempt from registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but SPACs have to file with the regulator, providing insight into how billionaires are managing their money.Family offices and firms linked to them have launched — or sponsored — at least a dozen SPACs that have raised about $4.5 billion in the past year with a further $1 billion in pending offerings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Och, SternlichtFormer hedge-fund manager Dan Och has been particularly active through his Willoughby Capital. The New York-based firm has invested in a blank-check company targeting China’s consumer industry and also holds a stake in Thimble Point, according to a person familiar with the deal. A SPAC he’s sponsored, Ajax I, is merging with U.K.-based used-car platform Cazoo in a deal valued at about $7 billion.Barry Sternlicht’s family office is affiliated with the creation of six SPACs. Meanwhile, a blank-check firm set up by a co-founder of Michael Dell’s family office raised almost $600 million in its IPO last month, while Tom Barrack’s Falcon Peak is sponsoring Falcon Acquisition, a blank-check company that’s filed for a $250 million public offering.Most SPACs have been created in the U.S., but the trend has gone global. Black Spade Capital, the Hong Kong-based family office of casino mogul Lawrence Ho, has got in on the action. London-based billionaire Mohamed Mansour’s Man Capital invested in Grab Holdings Inc., Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup, before it announced a $40 billion tie-up on Tuesday.Rich families are even joining forces. NNS Group the family office of Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris, teamed with an investment firm for the Frere and Desmarais clans to launch Avanti Acquisition Corp., which is targeting European businesses after raising $600 million through its U.S. offering.‘Very Active’“Sophisticated family offices have been very active,” said Luigi Pigorini, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Citi Global Wealth. “They have incredible connections, knowledge and investment capabilities — all of these are important characteristics.”The SPAC mania is showing signs of wear and tear with clogged deal pipelines, heightened regulatory scrutiny and concerns over the quality of the deals that have been done.Real estate titan Sternlicht joked that a member of his domestic staff — his “very talented house manager” — probably could pull off a SPAC. He told CNBC last month that “if you can walk, you can do a SPAC,” and pointed out that many of the people behind blank-check firms are failed money managers or executives.“Three days due diligence means you check the letterhead and find out if the company exists,” Sternlicht told CNBC. “It’s a little out of control. No, it’s a lot out of control.”But Sternlicht is convinced he’s got the secret sauce. His Jaws Spitfire Acquisition Corp. is merging with Velo3D, a maker of 3-D metal printers, valuing the company at $1.6 billion. Jaws Acquisition Corp., another SPAC he’s backed, is merging with health-care provider Cano in a deal valued at $4.4 billion.Bolster ReturnsEven if SPACs flounder, it won’t necessarily hurt the family offices that have already launched blank-check companies.SPAC sponsors typically buy shares in firms they create at a fraction of the standard $10 price offered to IPO investors. They usually own about 20% of the blank-check firm’s equity after it goes public and can bolster their returns further through debt or equity financing and stock options.The family office of payments-processing entrepreneur Ed Freedman, for example, is linked to the sponsor of Stable Road Acquisition Corp., which agreed in October to merge with space-transportation company Momentus. The blank-check firm, which has until next month to complete the deal, is seeking shareholder approval to extend the deadline.If they fully vest, a group of shares the sponsor acquired for about $5 million will be worth more than nine times that amount — an 800% gain — even if the company’s stock price remains at $10, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Freedman’s family office has also loaned the SPAC $300,000 and agreed to invest an additional $3 million at a price of $10 per share, filings show. Stable Road closed Thursday at $10.56 a share.A Stable Road spokesperson declined to comment.SPACs typically have as long as two years to find a company to acquire. If they fail to do so, they have to return cash plus interest to investors, while the sponsor forfeits their original investment.Thimble Point’s Boms said he began considering a SPAC about a year ago after trying to take companies public through reverse mergers. He said he’s had more than 100 meetings with prospective acquisitions since the company’s IPO. Of the roughly 600 SPACs that have listed since the start of last year, less than a third have announced deals and about 30 have completed them, according data compiled by Bloomberg.“We have a very, very solid hit list,” Boms said. “We are talking to people right now.”(Updates with details of Tom Barrack family office in 11th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Oil demand is finally bouncing back despite the fact that Covid cases are rising and additional travel restrictions have been put in place

Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia's ride-hailing to delivery giant, is considering a secondary listing in its home market of Singapore after completing a Nasdaq listing via a $40 billion SPAC merger, three sources familiar with the matter said. Listing on Singapore Exchange would enable Grab to have an investor base close to where its regional business is based, the people said, potentially offering its customers, drivers and merchant partners easier access to trade its shares.

The direction of the NZD/USD on Thursday is likely to be determined by trader reaction to the short-term Fibonacci level at .7145.

For crypto fans, Coinbase’s $86 billion IPO is a stamp of validation for bitcoin and the nascent world of digital assets. Coinbase’s bottom line is poised to be a major beneficiary of that optimism. The eight-year-old crypto exchange didn’t raise any money through the direct listing, which is fine for Coinbase because it has more than $1 billion on its balance sheet.

These 4 pieces of tax software are some of the best out there in 2021.

Read full article at Yahoo Finance

In photos: The Expedition 64 mission to the International Space Station

Space.com 16 April, 2021 - 04:17pm

It's been a busy six months at the orbiting lab.

The original three crewmembers — NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and two Russian cosmonauts, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov — arrived at the space station in their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft on Oct. 14, 2020. The trio spent one week working as members of Expedition 63 before the Soyuz MS-16 crew departed and returned to Earth, marking the official start of Expedition 64. Ryzhikov took over command from NASA astronaut and Expedition 63 Cmdr. Chris Cassidy. 

Four additional Expedition 64 crewmembers arrived Nov. 17, 2020, with SpaceX's Crew-1 mission — the first operational flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft with astronauts on board. Arriving in the Crew Dragon "Resilience" were NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. 

Another three crewmembers — NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov — joined Expedition 64 with the arrival of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, on April 9, 2021.

Expedition 64 officially ends April 16, when the Soyuz MS-17 crew spacecraft will return to Earth with Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov. Walker temporarily assumed command of the space station on April 15; she is scheduled to return to Earth along with the rest of the Crew-1 astronauts on April 28, 2021. 

See the Expedition 64 astronauts and cosmonauts in action in these photos from their mission to space.

The seven-member Expedition 64 crew poses for a portrait inside the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory, on Jan. 6, 2021 (before the arrival of the Soyuz MS-18 brought the number of crewmembers up to 10. 

In the bottom row from left are NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud Sverchkov. In the top row are JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi and NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker.

Soyuz MS-18 commander Oleg Novitskiy (at bottom) and flight engineers Mark Vande Hei (center) and Pyotr Dubrov wave from the launch pad prior to boarding their spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 9, 2021. 

The newly-expanded 10-member station crew gathers in the Zvezda service module for a welcoming ceremony with family members and mission officials on Earth, on April 9, 2021.

Related: Soyuz MS-18 crew launches to space station 60 years after first human spaceflight

Soichi Noguchi and Kate Rubins work to configure a radiation shield for temporary sleeping quarters, which NASA calls the Crew Alternate Sleep Accommodation (CASA). 

A typical space station expedition involves six crewmembers living and working in space at a time, but this NASA expects to soon have 11 people at the orbiting lab when SpaceX's Crew-2 mission arrives with another four passengers. 

On April 5, the four-person crew of SpaceX's Crew Dragon "Resilience" hopped into their spacecraft and rode along as it robotically maneuvered from its docking port to another port on the International Space Station to prepare for upcoming Crew Dragon missions. 

Full story: Astronauts move SpaceX capsule to new docking port for 1st time ahead of space station crew arrivals

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins smells plants growing aboard the International Space Station.

JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi is pictured inside the Cupola observatory of the International Space Station, on March 29, 2021.

On Feb. 17, 2021, Russia's Progress 77 supply ship approaches the International Space Station as seen from the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle.

On Feb. 9, 2021, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos uses the tele-robotically operated rendezvous unit (TORU). The TORU maneuvers Russian spacecraft to the docking port.

Working on the hydroponics components for the Plant Water Management study, Michael Hopkins, NASA astronaut and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer, explores sustaining plants in microgravity.

Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins works on the Advanced Combustion in Microgravity Experiments (ACME). Rubins removes research hardware and replaces gear to support fuel efficiency, pollution and fire safety studies in ACME.

Soichi Noguchi, JAXA astronaut, performs maintenance on U.S. spacesuit gear in the Quest airlock, on Feb. 3, 2021.

NASA astronaut Victor Glover as seen during a spacewalk on Jan. 27, 2021. In all, the Expedition 64 astronauts completed a total of six spacewalks to perform maintenance and upgrades at the space station, including new solar arrays

On Feb. 4, 2021, inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module, NASA's Kate Rubins poses with two AstroBee robotic assistants. The AstroBees are being tested to autonomously navigate and maneuver inside the orbiting lab.

On Feb. 4, 20201, Shannon Walker, Flight Engineer for Expedition 64, conducts research for the Capillary Structures technology. The research explores fluid and gas mixtures and could lead to lightweight, more reliable life support systems for future missions.

The astronauts living and working on the International Space Station posed for a festive photo to ring in the new year as 2020 became 2021. NASA astronaut Victor Glover shared the photo on Twitter with the caption "God bless you and this new year! I pray for renewed strength, compassion, and truth and that we can all be surrounded by family and friends..." 

Miles above the South China Sea, The Dongsha Atoll National Park, in the Republic of China glows brightly in this image from the ISS taken on Jan. 26, 2021.

Sunrise on Earth's horizon offers a breathtaking view from the International Space Station on Feb. 3, 2021. The ISS was off the coast of Southern Chile about 271 miles above the Pacific Ocean.

On Feb. 1, 2021, the aurora above the North Atlantic coast near Newfoundland and Labrador offers a stunning green glow, as seen from the International Space Station.

Aboard the ISS on Feb. 1, 2021, Expedition 64 crewmates—Soichi Noguchi, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover—prepare for the next spacewalk with pre-breathing protocols. The exercise is a prevention for the "bends."

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins (out of frame) and Victor Glover prepare for a spacewalk. Glover attaches safety tethers and hardware.

On Jan. 28, 2021, Shannon Walker and Michael Hopkins, NASA astronauts on Expedition 64, examine leaf samples growing inside the European Columbus laboratory and the all important key to future human missions: space agriculture.

From over 250 miles above Atlanta Georgia, the waxing gibbous moon hovers just below the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft is docked to the Harmony module on Jan. 26, 2021.

Inside the Quest airlock a pair of U.S. spacesuits  sit awaiting the next spacewalk. The suits are surrounded by a variety of hardware on Dec. 28, 2020.

As the team prepares for the first spacewalk of 2021, NASA's Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins, in suits and NASA's Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA, pose for a photo.

In preparation for the first spacewalk of 2021, Roscosmos' Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Rhzhikov join NASA's Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins for a photo on Jan. 27, 2021.

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