SVB Financial Officially Files For Bankruptcy, Yellen, Powell & Dimon Behind First Republic Bank's $30B Lifeline, Playboy's $5M Loss On Ethereum: Today's Top Stories


The Inevitable End - SVB Financial Officially Files For Bankruptcy In New York

  • SVB Financial Group SIVB has filed a voluntary petition for a court-supervised reorganization under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to preserve value.
  • SVB Securities, SVB Capital's funds, and general partner entities are not included in the Chapter 11 filing. These businesses will continue to operate normally as SVB Financial Group proceeds with its previously announced exploration of strategic alternatives announced on Monday but did not disclose bankruptcy as one of the potential options.

First Republic Bank's $30B Lifeline Reportedly Put Together By Yellen, Powell, Dimon

  • The $30 billion deal to shore up First Republic Bank FRC was reportedly discussed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, and JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM CEO Jamie Dimon this week.
  • Citigroup Inc's C Jane Fraser also contacted large banks to rope them into the rescue of First Republic, reported Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Rodgin Cohen, a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell, reportedly played a central role in the deal.

Playboy Incurs Loss Of $4.9M On Its Ethereum Holdings From NFT Collection

  • PLBY Group PLBY, the parent company of Hugh Hefner's Playboy, reported an impairment loss of $4.9 million on its Ethereum (ETH/USD) holdings.
  • The company accepted Ethereum as payment for the "Rabbitars" non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, launched in 2021.  
  • The assets associated with these NFTs are now worth $327,000, per its last annual filing on Thursday. 

Elon Musk Reacts As Bill Ackman Flags First Republic's Risk Spreading To Largest Banks: '...Astounding'

  • First Republic Bank FRC announced that it would receive $30 billion in uninsured deposits from a slew of bigger banks and suspend its dividend. Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman weighed in on the development in a lengthy tweet.
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen likely pushed systemic important banks, or SIBs, to recycle some of the deposits they received from First Republic back to the bank for 120 days, Ackman said.
  • "The result is that FRB default risk is now being spread to our largest banks," he said, adding that the spreading of risk of financial contagion to achieve a "false sense of confidence" in FRB is "bad policy."

Tesla's Giga Berlin Reportedly Seeks To Double Yearly EV Output To 1M Cars

  • Elon Musk-led Tesla Inc TSLA has reportedly submitted applications to expand production at Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg to one million vehicles annually.
  • Tesla has submitted an application for expanding production on the factory premises to the responsible State Office for the Environment.
  • The report added that Tesla has applied for an increase in production from 500,000 to a million vehicles per year. Production has not touched half a million yet at the Gigafactory.

Microsoft Just Debuted An AI-Powered Copilot That Feels Like 'Clippy' On Steroids

  • Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT announced a new artificial intelligence-powered assistant for its 365 applications. 
  • The Redmond, Washington-based company said it is testing the "power of next-generation AI" with Microsoft 365 Copilot with "select commercial customers."
  • Microsoft said that Copilot is embedded in apps that people use every day, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams.

Three Is Company - Sanofi Follows Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Slashes Insulin Product Price

  • Sanofi SA SNY jumped the bandwagon with the other two insulin U.S. giants to lower the price of its best-selling insulin product, Lantus (insulin glargine), by 78%.
  • Sanofi said it would cap a Lantus patient's monthly out-of-pocket cost at $35 for all patients with commercial insurance. 
  • The price shifts will begin in January 2024.
  • A Sanofi spokesman said the financial impact of the price cuts would depend on negotiations with the companies that pay for medicines, among other factors.

Pfizer Working To Develop New Packaging For Migraine Drug Over Child Safety, Poisoning Concerns

  • Pfizer Inc PFE recalled prescription migraine drugs Nurtec ODT 75 mg orally disintegrating tablets sold in cartons containing one blister card of 8 tablets. 
  • The tablets are in a non-child-resistant blister card packaged in a carton containing the product's name, dosage strength, NDC number, and expiration date. 
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said the packaging of the products is not child resistant, posing a risk of poisoning if young children swallow the contents.

Norway's Loke Buys Lockheed Martin's Deep-Sea Mining Business For Undisclosed Sum

  • Norwegian company Loke Marine Minerals has acquired deep sea mineral business UK Seabed Resources (UKSR) from Lockheed Martin Corp LMT. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • UKSR holds a 100% interest in two deep-sea mineral licenses located in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean. It also has a 19.9% interest in the Ocean Mineral Singapore ISA licence in the CCZ.
  • Before this transaction, USKR was a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin UK.
  • "Loke aims to start mining by 2030 and plans to invest around $100 million in surveys, environmental mapping, and technology development", stated CEO Walter Sognnes.

Baidu Gets Permit To Roll Out Fully Driverless Robotaxi Service In Beijing

  • Chinese artificial intelligence company Inc BIDU has received a permit to provide fully driverless robotaxi services in Beijing.
  • With the permit, Baidu has become the first provider of fully driverless robotaxi services in the capital city of any country worldwide, the company said in a statement.
  • Baidu now provides fully driverless autonomous ride-hailing services in Beijing, Wuhan, and Chongqing. There are no human drivers or safety operators in these cars.

Astra Space Intends To Avoid Nasdaq Delisting, Seeks 180-Day Extended Compliance Period

  • Spacecraft engine manufacturer Astra Space Inc ASTR outlined measures to regain compliance with the Nasdaq Listing Rules and maintain its Class A common stock listing.
  • On Oct. 6, 2022, Astra received a letter from Nasdaq stating that Astra was no longer in compliance with the Nasdaq Listing Rules as the closing bid price of Astra shares was below $1.00 for 30 consecutive business days. 
  • On Mar. 13, 2023, Astra submitted an application to Nasdaq for an additional 180-day period to comply with the minimum bid price requirement.
  • Based on the discussions with representatives of Nasdaq, Astra expects to hear back from Nasdaq regarding the application status on or around Apr. 5, 2023.



PE Firm Motive Partners Weighs Potential Takeover Of ACI Worldwide

  • Private equity firm Motive Partners is in talks to snap payments software provider ACI Worldwide, Inc ACIW.
  • Motive has recently sought financing for a potential deal for ACI.
  • Reportedly, ACI, which has long been a takeover target, is working with a financial adviser to field takeover interest.

Baidu's ChatGPT Counterpart Ernie Bot Impresses Analysts

  • Baidu shares saw redemption after brokerages, including Citigroup, granted their preliminary approval to its ChatGPT counterpart.
  • The share gains helped reverse loss on Thursday after founder Robin Li marked its ChatGPT rival Ernie Bot's debut via recorded video instead of a real-time demo.
  • Baidu's Ernie Bot is helping gauge how China's AI offerings stack up against those from Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL and ChatGPT maker OpenAI Inc.

Meta Ousts 1.5K HR Employees Under Its Second Downsizing Round

  • Meta Platforms Inc META initiated job cuts as planned, starting with 1,500 recruiting and human resources employees.
  • During an internal meeting with employees, CEO Mark Zuckerberg informed employees that the economic climate of layoffs and restructuring could last "many years."
  • Meta explained the first wave of cuts to the executives Thursday morning.
  • However, Meta is yet to inform all of the people who are affected. For instance, layoffs in engineering are likely in April.

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