Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Technology investment: Tech giant SoftBank executive Rajeev Misra has created a $100 billion fund to invest in futuristic technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and other Jetsons-like inventions, according to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The so-called Vision Fund will also invest in smaller venture capital forays in financial technology and robotics.
In addition to its Deutsche Bank ties, SoftBank has Goldman Sachs connections, and there are reports Goldman will be the lead financial adviser to the investment fund.
Ex-Deutsche Bank executive Misra, who is a top lieutenant to SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son, will lead the fund, which is expected to launch in coming weeks with money from SoftBank, several Middle East sovereign-wealth funds, and Silicon Valley luminaries including Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. as well as Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison.
Misra, who built Deutsche's huge credit-derivatives business in the last decade, is leading a crew of ex-bond traders and Wall Street salespeople helping Son raise and manage the fund. Others include a trio of Deutsche and Goldman Sachs alums well-connected among Middle Eastern royals. Their knack for financial structuring and ties to ultrarich investors are key as the 59-year-old Son reinvents SoftBank as an incubator of next-generation technologies, according to the Journal.
Wall Street Journal
Discount or surcharge? The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case where some merchants in New York challenged an Empire State law restricting credit card surcharges. The court will rule whether a cash discount is different than a credit card surcharge. A decision is expected by July.
Flying high: Have bank stocks climbed too far, too fast? Financial stocks have risen 17% since the presidential election making them the top-performing sector in the S&P 500 in that span. "Heard on the Street" writes that while financial stocks have rallied hard since Donald Trump's victory, not all financiers will benefit equally. Investors who have bid up shares of boutique investment banks could be disappointed.
New next crisis?: In an editorial, the FT opines the next financial crisis may not be about banking. "The global financial system is far more than a network of banks. The trigger for a crisis could be a cyber attack on the payments network, a collapse of the exchange-traded fund market or something completely different."
New York Times
Supremes won't stop suits: The U.S. Supreme Court declined a request by some of the nation's largest banks to halt several financial crisis-era lawsuits that could cost banks tens of billions of dollars in legal costs.
"Now hold on. You're saying that the American people are too dumb to understand that if you say $10 plus a 20-cent surcharge, they can't figure out that that's $10.20?" – U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts asks a Justice Department lawyer in a case on credit card surcharges.
Coindesk: The publication reviews how the blockchain technology could be used by the residential mortgage business. You may notice the article is written by George Yacik, who usually compiles Morning Scan.