Financial Daily Dose 9.21.2020 | Top Story: White House Signs Off on Deal for Oracle & Walmart to Take Stake in TikTok

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The White House has given its crucial imprimatur to a deal for Oracle (and Walmart) to take a stake in Chinese video app TikTok, “an agreement that will delay the U.S. government’s threat to block the popular app in the United States over national security concerns.” If formally approved, the agreement would create a “new U.S.-based company, TikTok Global, in which Oracle, an American software maker, and Walmart would own 20 percent, placing more equity in the service into the hands of American companies and investors.” Notably, the structure “falls short of an all-out sale of TikTok,” as originally demanded by the U.S. – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360 and Mashable

Based on the potential stakes for Oracle and Walmart, ByteDance is looking for a$60 billion valuation for its controversial short-video app – Bloomberg

Meanwhile, N.D. Cal. Federal judge Lauren Beeler issued a Sunday order temporarily banning the White House’s executive order banning WeChat from operating the U.S. “because the plaintiffs . . . raised serious questions about whether the order would harm First Amendment rights.” The DOJ is left with a potential 9th Circuit appeal to overturn the stay – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360 and HuffPost and Mashable

Here’s how the companies (and their millions of users) are faring during all of this drama  – NYTimes

Nikola’s founder and Chair, Trevor Milton, is out after a rough couple of weeks for the electric-vehicle startup kicked off by a short-seller’s fraud allegations against the company – Bloomberg and NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch

Interesting take from the Upshot and the various ways—from just about all to basically nothing—that U.S. companies are helping working parents navigate the tricky balance of full-time work, parenting, and educating during the pandemic – NYTimes

A combination of “[s]urging deposits and declining lending” has led many U.S. commercial banks to “dramatically increase their holdings of U.S. Treasurys, offering significant support to the bond market at a time of massive government borrowing” – WSJ

Checking in with some of America’s biggest companies, as their leaders are “shifting their sights from surviving the coronavirus pandemic to charting new courses through it,”—a distinct change from just a few months ago, when many companies were “hunkering down, slashing costs, hoarding cash, and pulling their financial forecasts” – WSJ

As for the economy? Well, MarketWatch tells us that the “easy part” is over in the pandemic bounce-back. Expect the next stretch to some semblance of normal to be an uphill battle – MarketWatch

Last Friday we talked about EU AML concerns. Today, we’ve got the U.S. banking system in the crosshairs, after a new probe from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reports that JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, and others “kept moving illicit funds” totaling more than $2 trillion even after warnings from U.S. officials and from internal compliance officers over potential money laundering and criminal activity – Bloomberg and NYTimes and MarketWatch

A fascinating look at the intersection of tech, race, and finance, here—can digital mortgage websites and apps “represent a potential improvement” for the Black and Hispanic Americans who are disproportionately denied mortgages as  compared to white Americans, or is bias built in to the very algorithms meant to address the problem – NYTimes

New reporting from Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper suggests that ING Bank’s Polish unit played a role in laundering “[h]undreds of millions of dollars of Russian and Ukranian money” – Bloomberg

Remembering a diminutive legal giant through pictures – NYTimes

Stay safe,

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