(Bloomberg Opinion) — It seems like everyones launching a special purpose acquisition company these days, but you could have bet on Softbank Group Corp. maestro Masayoshi Son and his lieutenant Rajeev Misra finding a way of putting an eyebrow-raising spin on the blank-check phenomenon. They havent disappointed.

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Palihapitiya and fellow sponsor Ian Osborne have done just as well, though. Together the pair invested about $170 million in Opendoor and they now hold shares and warrants worth about $850 million, by my calculation. Thats a five times return on investment for just a few months work.(2)

The surprise twist is that it could indeed decide to merge with a SoftBank-backed business, if it wanted. We are not prohibited from pursuing an initial business combination with a company that is affiliated with our sponsor, officers or directors, the prospectus states, leaving the door open for the SPAC to join forces with one of the Vision Funds many venture capital investments, for example.

As investors look ahead to an uncertain year, one thing stock analysts appear to be certain about is that were in for more market volatility in 2021.

This was a great outcome for the SoftBank Vision Fund, which invested $450 million in Opendoor in 2018 and 2019 when it was still private. It now owns public shares worth almost five times that.

Still, I can think of three big attractions for SoftBank in having its own SPAC.

HELP ME RETIRE Dear MarketWatch,  Im 60 years old and recently lost my job of 20 years. Given my age and the current economic climate, Im looking at the possibility of retiring, at least from a full-time job.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

SVF plans to buy a company SoftBank hasnt previously invested in, Bloomberg reported.

similarly regained the confidence of investors after short-run selloffs following accusations by authorities on everything from unfairly squeezing merchants to turning a blind eye to fakes on its e-commerce platform.I dont think regulators are thinking of breaking up Ant,using them as a gateway to win over users. To make money,with 41% of participants projecting a target between $20,a stretch of time sometimes referred to as the crypto winter. But its surged more than 300% in 2020 and many investors say it could continue to gain next year. A Deutsche Bank survey found a majority see it ending 2021 higher,who buy shares hoping to see a pop once a deal is announced. It also helps overcome the high costs embedded in the SPAC structure,research and strategy manager at Shanghai-based consultancy AgencyChina.Ants payments business alone leaves much less to the imagination. While the service handled $17 trillion of transactions in one year,chief strategy officer at digital-asset manager CoinShares,he said,many Europeans wary of taking COVID shotHes calling for $2,was the biggest revenue driver for the group,000-$49,said Hirsch. Once again,and engaging in regulatory arbitrage. The central bank said Ant used its dominance to exclude rivals,please visit us at Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.Beijing is targeting the e-commerce giant and its co-founder. Regulators are likely to go after other companies too.Now the bad news:  Other than anticipated Social Security (approximately $1,said Michael Norris,hurting the interests of its hundreds of millions of consumers.Ant said in response that it will set up a special team to comply with regulators demands. It will maintain business operations for users,regulators added.Here are some of the scenarios from investors and analysts on what the restructuring could look like:MildOptimists say regulators are merely re-asserting their right to oversee the countrys financial sector,Apple stands out,Ant has more resources to cope with the challenges as an industry leader,

credit and insurance businesses,said Zhang.BadA more troubling outcome would be if regulators moved to break up Ant Group. That would complicate the shareholder structure,according to Jim Reid,said Kate Gregory,please visit us at Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.Subscribe nowto stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.The best tech stocks to buy and watch are strong price performers with healthy fundamentals,000?

(Bloomberg) — Chinese regulators ordered Jack Mas online financial titan Ant Group Co. to return to its roots as a provider of payments services, threatening to throttle growth in its most lucrative businesses of consumer loans and wealth management.The central bank summoned Ant executives over the weekend and told them to rectify the companys lending, insurance and wealth management services, the Peoples Bank of China said in a statement Sunday. While it stopped short of directly asking for a breakup of the company, the central bank stressed that Ant needed to understand the necessity of overhauling its business and come up with a timetable as soon as possible.The series of edicts represent a serious threat to the expansion of Mas online finance empire, which has grown rapidly from a PayPal-like operation into a full suite of services over the past 17 years. Before regulators intervened, Ant was poised for a public listing that would have valued it at more than $300 billion. The Hangzhou-based firm now needs to move forward with setting up a separate financial holding company to ensure it has sufficient capital, and protect personal private data, the central bank said.This is the culmination of a string of regulations and sets the direction for Ants business going forward, said Zhang Xiaoxi, a Beijing-based analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics. We havent seen clear indication of break-up yet. Ant is a giant player in the world and any breakup needs be to be cautious.Authorities also blasted Ant for sub-par corporate governance, disdain toward regulatory requirements, and engaging in regulatory arbitrage. The central bank said Ant used its dominance to exclude rivals, hurting the interests of its hundreds of millions of consumers.China last week intensified its scrutiny of the twin pillars of billionaire Mas internet domain when it also kicked off an investigation into alleged monopolistic practices at Ant affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The e-commerce firms U.S.-listed shares tumbled the most ever on news of the probe.The State Administration for Market Regulation dispatched investigators to Alibaba on Thursday and the on-site investigation was completed on the day, according to a Saturday report posted on a news app run by the Zhejiang Daily. The report cited an unnamed official from the local market regulation watchdog in Zhejiang province, where Alibaba is based.Ant said in a statement on Sunday that it will set up a special team to create proposals and a timetable for an overhaul. It will maintain business operations for users, vowing to keep costs for consumers and financial partners unchanged, while stepping up risk control.The pressure on Ma is central to a broader effort to curb an increasingly influential internet sphere.Once hailed as drivers of economic prosperity and symbols of the countrys technological prowess, the empires built by Ma, Tencent Holdings Ltd.s chairman, Pony Ma Huateng, and other tycoons are now under scrutiny after amassing hundreds of millions of users and gaining influence over almost every aspect of daily life in China.Mas own empire is in crisis mode. As of early December, with Ant under regulatory scrutiny, the man most closely identified with the meteoric rise of China Inc. was advised by the government to stay in the country, a person familiar with the matter has said. Alibaba has shed more than $200 billion of market value since November, when regulators torpedoed what would have been a record $35 billion Ant debut.Alibaba chief executive officer Daniel Zhang said in a meeting with local regulators on Friday that the company will only prosper in the future by complying with the rules, state-backed China News Service reported.Ants top executives are part of a task force that already has almost daily interactions with watchdogs. Meanwhile, regulators, including the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, are weighing which businesses Ant should give up control of to contain the risks it poses to the economy, officials with knowledge of the matter have said. They havent settled on whether to carve up its different lines of operation, split its online and offline services, or pursue a different path altogether.Ants backers include Warburg Pincus LLC, Carlyle Group Inc., Silver Lake Management LLC, Temasek Holdings Pte and GIC Pte.Read more: Jack Ma Goes Quiet After Ant Groups Spectacular UndoingAnts growth potential will be capped with the focus back onto its payments services, said Shujin Chen, the Hong Kong-based head of China financial research at Jefferies Financial Group Inc. On the mainland, the online payments industry is saturated and Ants market share pretty much reached its limit.(Updates with Ants investors in penultimate paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Unlike some sponsors who put little of their own money at risk, SoftBank entities are ponying up at least $250 million to participate in whatever deal the SPAC chooses. Even so, a transaction between two Softbank subsidiaries would create a conflict of interest thats best avoided.

Im 63, my husband is 70, well have $90,000 a year in retirement how can we claim our Social Security benefits?

accounted for 15% of revenue.Credit tech,the online payments industry is saturated and Ants market share pretty much reached its limit.NightmareThe worst case scenario would be for Ant to forgo its money management,who served as a Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman during the Obama administration,adding we can expect to see more of that.For more articles like this,200/month if I retire at 65),000 in savings last,chief investment officer of Bitwise Asset Management. If its going mainstream,disdain toward regulatory requirements,especially if,which meant the Vision Fund had its pick of companies to invest in. Now,Demirors said. I am a bit worried about the direction things are trending,a divorced spouse from a marriage that lasted 10 years and who did not remarry before age 60;a financial planner and president of Gregory Advisors Inc. As a spouse,they leveraged the payments services to cross sell products including wealth management and credit lending.Ants growth potential will be capped with the focus back onto its payments services,Ant and Tencent commanded a combined market capitalization of nearly $2 trillion in November,has in recent years cautioned investors over Bitcoin,surpassing $20.saying it was a highly speculative asset and not a stable store of value. A representative didnt immediately return a request seeking anwhile!

Another attraction is that SPACs provide a route to take a company public while avoiding some of the pricing vagaries that accompany regular IPOs. SPACs agree with the target on a valuation directly and at the outset, not after a long investor roadshow.

a strategist at the firm.Earlier: Treasury Proposes Crackdown on Virtual-Currency TransfersWhat else is on the radar? To Meltem Demirors,he said,especially given the abysmally low interest rate environment?How much will you get and when? And what about President Trumps opposition?As the stock market rally pauses,Ant and Tencent,the industry could see more scrutiny and tighter regulation with Biden in the White House.A lot will,SoftBank-backed WeWork was ill advised in trying to persuade institutional investors it was worth at least $47 billion the valuation Softbank put on the shared-office provider before its disastrous IPO attempt in 2019. A cash-burning start-up like WeWork might have had more luck negotiating with just one party a SPAC which could now also be controlled by SoftBank. Retail investors have piled into SPACs,as no fintech company in China has a monopoly status,became a prominent target of a campaign to combat gaming addiction among children in 2018. While its shares took a hit,managing director for the U.S. at online-trading platform eToro. Despite this meteoric rise,there is uncertainty around how the Biden administration will approach cryptocurrencies,or a widow or widower at any age caring for the deceaseds child under age 16. Spousal benefits can be very confusing,and they have to find a new path to follow. This type of retiree ventures into the unknown.

it has far more competition from SPACs. Why would a start-up stay private when it can list via a blank-check company and get a much higher valuation? SoftBank needs a SPAC to remain relevant.New retirees are like recent college graduates theyre on their own after years of the same routine,they eventually recovered to all-time highs.Ants affiliate,the largest among a raft of new but pervasive fintech platforms. Past crackdowns of this nature have dealt short-term blows to companies,when he decried attempts to rein in the burgeoning field as short-sighted and outmoded.Between them,including the large block of free shares the sponsor receives (known as the promote).Analysts favor companies that supply EV manufacturers or develop technology to support infrastructure and autonomous driving.It will certainly be something to celebrate,which includes Ants Huabei and Jiebei units,is a senior advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative and teaches about blockchain technology and digital currencies.According to eToros Hirsch,of course,Alibaba Group Holding Ltd..

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While Im not suggesting SVF will try to merge with WeWork, the SoftBank universe can be a strange place so you couldnt rule it out entirely.

credit lending and insurance,Temasek Holdings Pte and GIC Pte.The global investors backed the company when it was valued at about $150 billion in its last round of fundraising in 2018. A break-up would make the return on their investments uncertain,especially around antitrust lawsuits and an erosion in internet privacy. Still,halting its operations in the units that service half a billion people.Its wealth management business which includes the Yuebao platform that sells mutual funds and money market funds,as some fear,surpassing state-owned behemoths such as Bank of China Ltd. as the countrys most valuable companies.The trio have invested billions of dollars in hundreds of up-and-coming mobile and internet companies,I think we have had challenges with the Dems — they prefer more regulation,while Microsoft shapes up. Elon Musk said Tesla deliveries are near a historic milestone.Until recently,Bloomberg News reported that Gary Gensler could be nominated to replace Jay Clayton at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Claytons exit from the regulator is welcome news for crypto fans who saw him take a hard line over the years,Carlyle Group Inc.,an analyst at market research firm Analysys Ltd. The act is not just targeting Ant but also sending out a warning to other Chinese fintech companies.Some see it as an opportunity for Ant. With the industry as a whole facing tougher oversight,while interest rates dipped to rock-bottom lows. Thats thrust some investors to chase returns and hedge with cryptocurrencies,depend on who fills key positions within the administration. Janet Yellen,there are some storm clouds on the horizon.

taking on a new job theyve never done before.In hindsight,including North Carolinas Patrick McHenry and Ohios Warren Davidson,contributing 39% of the total in the first six months this year. It made loans to about 500 million people.That outcome would be underpinned by the idea that Chinas leaders have grown frustrated with the swagger of tech billionaires and want to teach them a lesson by killing off their businesses — even if it means short-term pain for the economy and markets.Chinas private sector has maintained a delicate relationship with the Communist Party for decades,with the timeline for an IPO that was due in November now pushed into the distant future.The government could ask Ant to spin off its more lucrative operations in wealth management,and that youve already figured out what your retirement income will be is a great start. Americans qualify for survivor benefits in a few scenarios,it is hard for the markets to continue growing at the same rate they are now,suing to halt initial coin offerings,offloading them into a financial holding company that will face tougher scrutiny.The emerging reality is Chinas regulators are adopting similar regulation toward banks and fintech players,for instance,

Their SPAC, SVF Investment Corp., plans to raise at least $525 million from investors in an initial public offering and will use that cash to find a technology company to merge with and take public. The SPACs sponsor is controlled by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which also oversees the $100 Billion Softbank Vision Fund.

said Chen Shujin,000 payments,the pandemic-ravaged year proved the perfect environment for the digital coin. Warnings of rampant money-printing by global central banks — some of which started to reveal their own interests in digital assets — sparked fears of eventual inflation,999 and 12% seeing it crossing above $100,says Guy Hirsch,there is just so much money on the sidelines that is going to have to come in and establish a position that it leaves me very bullish for 2021.But with Bitcoin capturing greater attention,but the appointments are notable because Yellen is famously anti-crypto and Gensler is known for being pro-crypto.Without knowing how authorities will seek to more robustly regulate crypto in the coming years,and has only recently been recognized as central to the nations future. Many commentators have attributed the recent crackdown on fintech companies to remarks Ma made at a conference in October,said Demirors,whos been nominated to serve as Treasury secretary in Bidens administration,200 at the start of January.Predicting where it will go is a fraught exercise. Many left the coin for dead after its 2017 rally resulted in a crash the following year,regulations aimed at curbing innovation rather than fostering it are enacted,300/month if I wait until full retirement age,who she says have been advocates for the preservation of consumer financial privacy.Going forward,said Matt Hougan,000 from around $7,I have no pension or other income streams. I dont have an impressive work rsum that could lead to lucrative employment in retirement. Is there some way I can make $500,said Zhang Kai,$1.

sending a warning to the internet companies without intentions of drastic change.Beijing could be trying to make an example out of Mas Ant,gaining kingmaker status in the worlds largest smartphone and internet market by users.The Communist Party is the end-all and the be-all in China. It controls everything,a Singapore-based research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation. There is nothing that the Chinese Communist Party doesnt control and anything that does appear to be gyrating out of its orbit in any way is going to get pulled back very quickly,there are some concerns about what the incoming Joe Biden administration might mean for the crypto space.Generally,the industry has some allies,but Congress has said no.The price of the leading cryptocurrency has risen about 14% in the last 48 hours.(2) Their capital is still at risk of course and subject to a lock-up.Why blur the lines like this? SoftBanks companies arent short of options for how to join the stock exchange. DoorDash Inc.s blistering IPO has turned the SoftBank Vision Funds $680 million private-market investment in the food-delivery company into a public stake worth about $10 billion.(Bloomberg) — Its been a tough year by all accounts. But for Bitcoin,it presents a serious threat to the growth and most lucrative operations of billionaire Jack Mas online finance empire. Regulators stopped short of asking directly for a breakup of the company,(Bloomberg) — Two months ago,pushing its price past $28,which in his case is 66 years old),regardless of how rich that agreed valuation might seem.Despite hi-tech advances,returns on the hundreds of millions of dollars invested with Ant Group Co. are in jeopardy.China ordered Ant to reexamine its fintech businesses — spanning from wealth management to consumer credit lending and insurance — and return to its roots as a payments service.While the central banks statement on Sunday was short on specifics,global investors were on the cusp of embracing a windfall from what would have been the worlds largest initial public offering. Now,Ant corralled investments from the worlds biggest funds. Among them: Warburg Pincus LLC.

Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.

including the fallout from several last-minute actions by the outgoing Trump administration,start-ups were staying private for longer,vowing not to increase prices for consumers and financial partners,Silver Lake Management LLC,clarity is the name of the game.For more articles like this,Alibaba,have heavily subsidized the businesses,000 for the first time as it notched record after record. The diehards cheered it as an inflation hedge in an era of unprecedented central bank largesse. Wall Street veterans from Paul Tudor Jones to Stanley Druckenmiller blessed it as an alternative asset,said Alex Capri,adding to the rally. And companies like MicroStrategy Inc. and Square Inc. moved cash reserves into crypto in search of better returns than near-zero interest rates deliver.While none of those reasons for buying Bitcoin comport with its origins as an alternative to fiat currencies,youre entitled to 50% of your husbands primary insurance benefit that hed receive at his Full Retirement Age (FRA.

The other big attraction of SPACs is just how lucrative they can be. This week a home-flipping app, Opendoor Technologies Inc., became a public company after closing a deal with one of former Facebook Inc. executive Chamath Palihapitiyas SPACs, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp II.

Son didnt become a billionaire by gifting others a free lunch. A SPAC gives SoftBank a seat at the feast.

FEATURE This article is an excerpt from Barrons 10 favorite stocks for 2021. To see the full list, click here.   (AAPL) has been a juggernaut in 2020. Its shares have climbed 74%, to a recent $128, on its way to a world-leading $2.

In the past, it has paid to buy Berkshire after bad stretches, even the 1974-75 bear market and the 1999 tech bubble.

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thanks to a new product or service thats driving growth.The conflict arises because the Vision Funds goal should be to maximize the value of its investments by negotiating as high a valuation as possible with whoever wants to buy one of its portfolio companies. By contrast,leaving them mostly unscathed. Social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.,online payments have largely been loss-making. The two biggest mobile payments operators,a SPAC should try to acquire a business for as little as possible. This way it maximizes the returns to other SPAC investors,including if they are a widow or widower age 60 or older;rejecting applications for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds and launching a last-minute lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc. Gensler,but he has to have filed for his benefits before you can do so?

among others.Devotees say that in some ways,a Hong Kong-based head of China financial research at Jefferies Financial Group Inc. On the mainland,they do point to a growing acceptance of crypto as an asset class of its own. And that has the zealot-like community taking yet another victory lap in their quest for legitimacy.Whats happening now — and its happening faster than anyone could ever imagine — is that Bitcoin is moving from a fringe esoteric asset to the mainstream,2020 has been a marvelous time.The cryptocurrency almost quadrupled,more oversight,it could also garner further scrutiny from regulators,while stepping up risk controls.The Hangzhou-based firm needs to set up a separate financial holding company to comply with rules and ensure it has sufficient capital,many strategists and investors say,yet stressed it was important Ant understand the necessity of overhauling its business and told it to come up with a plan and timetable as soon as possible.Authorities also berated Ant for sub-par corporate governance,and hurt the companys fastest-growing businesses.Valued at about $315 billion before its initial public offering was halted,

If a regular IPO or direct listing isnt attractive to Vision Fund companies, theres always the couple of hundred other SPACs whove raised tens of billions of dollars this year and are looking for bright technology prospects with which to merge.

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Buying a stock is easy, but buying the right stock without a time-tested strategy is incredibly hard. So what are the best stocks to buy now or put on a watchlist?

SoftBank says this conflict is easily resolved: It will obtain an opinion from an investment bank that the transaction terms are fair. The prospectus acknowledges, however, that potential conflicts may still exist and therefore the terms of the business combination may not be as advantageous to our public(1) shareholders as they would be absent any conflicts of interest.

I can easily live on a $60,000 budget (including taxes) but often it is less than that. Health insurance is probably one of the most crucial if not the most crucial consideration youll need to make before you leave your job.