Good Monday morning. (Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.)
Pinterest’s modest I.P.O. valuation should worry other unicorns
The digital pin board company disclosed today that its I.P.O. would value it at less than its last private fund-raising round. That’s a big warning sign for other tech companies that are poised to go public this year.
The high range of Pinterest’s I.P.O. would value it at $11.3 billion, below the $12 billion attained from private investors two years ago. In Silicon Valley speak, that’s a “down round” — something companies generally hope to avoid because it undermines confidence.
Coupled with early volatility in Lyft’s first days of trading, the Pinterest offering suggests that public market investors are wary of maintaining high valuations for tech start-ups, especially given that many won’t turn a profit for years.
It comes as a slew of unicorns are preparing to go public, including Uber (whose I.P.O. was expected to give a valuation as high as $120 billion), the workplace messaging platform Slack and the software company PagerDuty.
But there’s some reason not to panic yet. After initially falling below their I.P.O. price, Lyft shares bounced back. Other companies have gone on to do well after down rounds: For instance, the file-sharing company Box is trading well above its debut price two years after its I.P.O. And Pinterest could end up pricing its offering higher if investor demand proves robust during its road show.
More I.P.O. news: Though many investors are betting against Lyft’s newly public stock, the high-profile short seller Andrew Left isn’t among them.
Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York, and Michael J. de la Merced and Jamie Condliffe in London.
How Ray Dalio would fix capitalism
Declare the wealth and opportunity gaps a national emergency. “I have a principle that you will not effect change unless you affect the people who have their hands on the levers of power so that they move them to change things the way you want them to change,” he writes.
Devise clear metrics for success. “I’d bring that sort of accountability down to the individual level to encourage an accountability culture in which individuals are aware of whether they are net contributors or net detractors to the society, and the individuals and the society make attempts to make them net contributors.”
Redistribute resources to eliminate disparities. Mr. Dalio’s personal recommendations include:
• Creating private-public partnerships that would vet and invest in projects that produce both social and economic returns.
• Raise taxes on pollution and other causes of bad health.
• Impose targeted tax increases on the wealthiest to pay for social welfare programs to bolster economic productivity.
Better coordinate monetary and fiscal policies, so that more money ends up in the hands of people who will spend it (the lower and middle classes) as opposed to saving it (the wealthy).
Britain’s plan to police the internet
The British government has proposed sweeping new powers to regulate harmful content and false information, recommending one of the world’s most aggressive actions to police the internet, Adam Satariano of the NYT reports.
• A regulator would be given the power to “issue fines, block access to websites if necessary and make individual executives legally liable for harmful content spread on their platforms.”
• Terrorism, inciting violence, encouraging suicide, spreading disinformation and cyberbullying are among the topics that companies would be required to address. The rules would apply to social media platforms, discussion forums, messaging services and search engines.
• Facebook and Twitter will work with the government, representatives from the companies said.
“Actions in Britain and elsewhere signal a new era for the internet. Western democracies have largely avoided regulating online communication,” Mr. Satariano writes. But governments have become more willing to intervene “as evidence mounts that online actions are having harmful real-life consequences by contributing to violence, compromising elections and spreading hateful ideologies.”
“In the United States, where free speech is more of a core value than in other nations, there’s been less momentum to regulate internet content,” Mr. Satariano adds. But even in America, there is increasing support for new rules.
Why you don’t want a partisan Fed
President Trump is ready to nominate Herman Cain and Stephen Moore — two vocal supporters of his policies — to the Federal Reserve board. Many analysts say such a move would politicize the central bank. Neil Irwin of the Upshot takes a look at what that would mean.
Historically, Fed appointees have generally been economic experts who kept their political views out of policy discussions.
Mr. Moore and Mr. Cain wouldn’t change much at first. They’d hold two of 12 votes on the Fed’s Open Market Committee, so their ability to swing other governors would depend on their politicking abilities.
But over time, the Fed could lose credibility. “The United States’ role as the global reserve currency — which results in persistently low interest rates and little fear of capital flight — is built in significant part on the credibility the Fed has accumulated over decades,” Mr. Irwin writes.
The financial world is watching closely. “I think it’s a very big benefit to the U.S. economy and the financial markets that we have a strong and independent Fed, and I hope that continues,” Ed Keon, the chief investment strategist at QMA, told CNBC.
Carlos Ghosn is ousted from Nissan’s board
Nissan shareholders voted today to remove their former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, from the board altogether, the WSJ reports.
• “Much of the meeting was devoted to questions from angry shareholders, with many demanding Nissan executives step down for failing to find alleged wrongdoing.”
• “In response to a shareholder who accused Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa of failing to take responsibility for any of the alleged wrongdoing, Mr. Saikawa said: ‘I never said we didn’t have responsibility. The problem built up over 20 years, and we cannot correct it overnight.’ ”
Mr. Ghosn will be replaced by Renault’s chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard. Greg Kelly, who is accused of abetting inaccurate disclosure of Mr. Ghosn’s compensation, was also voted off the board.
More: Mr. Ghosn’s wife has appealed to the French government to help her husband.
Time is running out of time for a Brexit compromise
Prime Minister Theresa May sought to rekindle cross-party talks about her Brexit deal yesterday, just days before Britain is due to leave the E.U. without a deal, Benjamin Mueller of the NYT reports:
• Mrs. May is seeking a way to persuade members of the opposition Labour Party to back her deal.
• But Labour leaders maintained on Sunday “that Mrs. May had not yet bent to any of their demands on the withdrawal.”
• “And whatever overtures she makes to Labour, analysts said, she will struggle to guarantee that her successor as prime minister or a future Parliament will not rip up any compromise deal — a major sticking point in the cross-party talks.”
Mrs. May will try to get another extension from Brussels this week. What such a delay would look like is undecided: Mrs. May wants a simple extension, while the European Council’s president, Donald Tusk, wants something more flexible. Either way, it will require the support of all 27 E.U. leaders at a summit meeting on Wednesday.
If she doesn’t get an extension, Britain may crash out of the E.U. without a deal — or remain in the political bloc.
Warren Buffett urged Wells Fargo, in which he owns a nearly 10 percent stake, to avoid picking a Wall Street veteran as its next C.E.O.
Amazon has reportedly hired Rajeev Badyal, SpaceX’s former vice president of satellites, to lead its new satellite internet program.
The Wing, the women-focused co-working company, has hired Rachel Racusen from Snap as its vice president of communications.
Kathe Sackler and Mortimer D.A. Sackler, members of the family that controls the OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, are said to have stepped down from the board of the New York Academy of Sciences.
The speed read
• Saudi Aramco has reportedly drawn $30 billion worth of demand for its forthcoming bond offering, which had been expected to raise $10 billion. (FT)
• The N.Y.S.E. and Nasdaq are fighting to secure I.P.O. listings by offering goodies like champagne receptions and scoreboard commercials at minor league baseball games. (WSJ)
• Deutsche Bank told employees that it remained committed to its U.S. investment banking operations amid its merger talks with Commerzbank. (Bloomberg)
• Grab, the Southeast Asia ride-hailing company, plans to raise $2 billion in funding. (Reuters)
• Starboard Value called off its proxy fight at Dollar Tree after the company said it would consider new prices for the products it sells. (Bloomberg)
Politics and policy
• Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said yesterday that Democratic lawmakers will “never” see President Trump’s tax returns. (Hill)
• Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, reportedly told Republican senators that Mr. Trump is focused on appointing federal judges who will roll back the power of government agencies. (Axios)
• 70 percent of Wall Street executives surveyed about the 2020 elections think that Mr. Trump will be re-elected in 2020. (CNBC)
• Attorney General William Barr ordered investigations into whether the F.B.I. and other parts of the Justice Department discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. (NYT)
• Republicans fear that Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be holding up President Trump’s Nafta replacement in an attempt to kill it. (Axios)
• Boeing is cutting production of its 737 Max jet after two fatal crashes. (NYT)
• There’s one screen that tech companies are still fighting to control: the one in your car. (WSJ)
• Two college students in Oregon are accused of tricking Apple into replacing nearly 1,500 counterfeit iPhones with genuine ones that they later sold. (NYT)
• Facebook hosted at least 74 cyber criminal groups where crooks traded stolen data, according to researchers. (Bloomberg)
• And the company reportedly has an infrastructure plan for cutting internet costs in Africa. (WSJ)
• Tesla’s board reportedly investigated an allegation that Elon Musk pushed a former employee, but found no evidence that the incident happened. (Bloomberg)
Best of the rest
• The lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is facing extortion charges, released 41 pages of documents that he claims show Nike bribed college basketball players. (CNBC)
• Oil companies are investing in carbon-removal technologies. (NYT)
• Wall Street is cutting forecasts for U.S. government bond yields. (WSJ)
• Southeast Asia might not be the next “factory of the world,” according to Bain and Company. (CNBC)
• Modern monetary theory is gaining traction at some of America’s biggest banks. (NYT)
• Picking through the trash of Silicon Valley billionaires can be highly lucrative. (NYT)
Thanks for reading! We’ll see you tomorrow.
You can find live updates throughout the day at nytimes.com/dealbook.
We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to email@example.com.