Finance Knuggets

May 01, 2024

I recently came across an exclusive interview with a leader in the Philippines transparency war against China in the South China Sea. The interview covered the current state and future trajectory of the campaign and its implications for the wider region in areas like intra-ASEAN and ASEAN diplomacy, foreign partnerships, and defense policy. The interviewee, Philippine Coast Guard Commodore Dr. Jay Tristan Tarriela, discussed the effectiveness of the transparency campaign in patrolling the West Philippine Sea and its impact on Chinese responses. Additionally, there was news about the challenges faced by pro-Palestinian student protesters at Columbia University in their demand for financial divestment and WeWork reaching a $450 million restructuring deal to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with the company’s co-founder and former CEO not being part of the deal.

I also heard that several companies have raised significant amounts of funding recently. For example, Beehiiv, a newsletter platform, raised $33 million in Series B funding from NEA, Lightspeed, and Sapphire Sport. Inhabitr, a commercial real estate furnishing platform, raised $27 million in Series B funding led by Hamilton Ventures. Adaptilens, a maker of an intraocular lens to correct vision, raised $17.5 million in Series A funding led by Perceptive Advisors. Backflip, a platform for acquiring and renovating single-family homes, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by FirstMark Capital. Carbonfact, a French carbon management platform for fashion, raised $15 million led by Alven, Headline, and YC. Pure Lithium, a developer of lithium extraction tech, raised $15 million in Series A extension funding from Ivanhoe Capital and Wilson Sonsini. Trovo Health, an AI workflow tool for health care practitioners, raised $15 million led by Oak HC/FT. Urban Jungle, a London home insurance startup, raised £11.2 million from various investors. Shinkei Systems, a developer of fish-processing tech, raised $6 million in seed funding led by Cantos and joined by several other investors.

The news discusses various financial matters, including the trial testimony of the FCI suite of funds between 2010 and at least 2019, focusing on longevity mortality risk assets. Apollo allegedly bought life insurance policies in bulk without necessarily knowing which were valid or fake. The investors are suing Apollo after a court awarded money to the estate of a deceased policyholder, who was alleged to have set up a fraudulent scheme. The article also delves into the concept of a delta one desk, where traders buy and sell equivalent things to minimize market risk. It also mentions the case of a crypto mogul facing prison time and McKinsey attempting to boost partner morale with rock and rap music.

The article also touches on various other financial news, such as cocoa prices plunging, HSBC’s CEO unexpected departure, and the risk of office-loan defaults. It also mentions the potential muddying of the end of the Fed’s balance-sheet tightening, actions taken by the BOJ to support the yen, and Walmart’s new premium brand to compete with Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Lastly, it includes unusual stories such as a 97-year-old Mets celeb, a man eating a tub of cheese balls, and a billionaire facing prison time for violating anti-money laundering laws.

Stay Well!