Giuliani Is Broke

Tiger Woods has become the hottest meme template of the year, Rudy Giuliani is down horrendous, Shell extended its job cuts, Harvard stands behind President Gay, container rates hit $10k, Brookfield’s debt was cut to junk by the S&P, and Hyperloop One was shut down.

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Good Morning,

Tiger Woods has become the hottest meme template of the year, Rudy Giuliani is down horrendous, Shell extended its job cuts, Harvard stands behind President Gay, container rates hit $10k, Brookfield’s debt was cut to junk by the S&P, and Hyperloop One was shut down.

Need a last-minute Christmas gift for dad? Get him a copy of Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography, Elon Musk.

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 12/21/2023 market close.


  • US stocks rose after US Q3 GDP growth was revised downward to a 4.9% annualized rate, keeping in line with the narrative that a cooling economy will lead to rate cuts

    • The Nasdaq led indices with a 1.26% gain


  • Nike shares fell 6% after missing Q2 revenue expectations but beating on profit; Nike warned about a softer revenue outlook for the second half of the year and unveiled a plan to cut costs by ~$2B (YF & CNBC

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Big banks are copying from private credit’s playbook (BBG)

  • Rudy Giuliani files for bankruptcy protection, lists more than $100M in debts (CNBC)

  • Shell extends job cuts as CEO seeks to trim costs (BBG)

  • Self-driving vehicles are finding a home in industrial operations (WSJ)

  • Podcast workers look to shake up the status quo after a year of layoffs (BBG)

  • Brookfield property’s debt cut to junk by S&P on real estate concerns (BBG)

  • Harvard stands behind its president after new plagiarism allegations (WSJ)

  • Container rates hit $10k as ocean freight inflation soars in Red Sea crisis (CNBC)

  • IRS offers deal to employers who regret claiming pandemic tax credit (WSJ)

  • Hyperloop One to shut down after failing to reinvent transit (BBG)

  • Former Swiss finance executive pleads guilty to tax evasion scheme that hid $60M (CNBC)

  • Record warm and snowless Christmas on tap for Midwest, East (AX)

  • Buzzfeed, Semafor sued by Ozy Media over alleged trade secret theft (RT)

  • China’s bruised middle class has bad news for global brands (BBG)

  • US weighs tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, other goods (BBG)

  • Citi’s loyal muni client forced to break with favored banker (BBG)

  • Angola to leave OPEC after production quota dispute (WSJ)

A Message From Simon & Schuster

Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson is the defining book on the visionary, controversial innovator, sourced from scores of interviews and 2+ years at Musk’s side. A #1 New York Times bestseller, Financial Times Book Prize finalist, and Amazon’s Best Business & Leadership book of 2023. Available now!

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Abu Dhabi National Oil submitted an increased preliminary takeover bid for Covestro that offers concessions and values the German chemical company at ~$12.4B (BBG

  • UK-listed oil and gas company Harbour Energy agreed buy Wintershall Dea’s oil and gas assets from Germany’s BASF and the investment firm LetterOne in an $11.2B deal (FT

  • Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Cerberus both made bids for United Launch Alliance, the Boeing and Lockheed Martin-backed launch company that competes with SpaceX; Jefferies estimates ULA could be worth $2-3B (WSJ)

  • Buyout firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners is exploring the sale of US restaurant chain Tropical Smoothie Cafe for ~$2B (RT

  • Publicly traded food delivery company Zomato made an offer to acquire closely held Shiprocket that values the Indian e-commerce shipping startup at ~$2B (BBG

  • KKR offered to buy Portuguese energy firm Greenvolt-Energias Renovaveis for $1.3B to expand the firm’s presence in renewable energy (BBG

  • Brazilian pulp and paper company Klabin will acquire some of Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec’s forestry business in a ~$1.2B deal (RT

  • Norwegian software company Visma brought in new investors via a share sale worth over $1.1B at a $21B valuation (RT

  • Billionaire Gautam Adani and his family plan to invest $1B into Adani Green Energy for preferential shares (BBG)  

  • Energy Infrastructure Partners will acquire a 9% stake in Italian oil major Eni’s Plenitude renewables unit for $766M, giving Plenitude an equity valuation of $8.8B (BBG

  • Aviation company AAR will acquire aerospace supplier Triumph Group’s components aftermarket business for $725M (RT

  • UK lender Co-operative Bank entered exclusive talks to merge with Coventry Building Society, UK’s third-largest mutualised lender (FT)


  • Vestwell, a startup providing the infrastructure for employers to power workplace savings programs, raised a $125M ‘preempted’ round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners (TC)

  • Lyndra Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, raised a $101M Series E led by Sarissa Capital (BW)

  • Luna Innovations, a provider of fiber optic-based test products for telecom, raised $50M in funding from White Hat Capital Partners (BW)

  • Podcasting platform Podimo raised a $48.4M round led by the Danish Export and Investment Fund (TC)

  • Axelspace, a satellite data startup, raised a $44M Series D from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Mitsui Fudosan, YAMATO, EPSON, and others (BW)

  •, a provider of unified commerce and logistics solutions, received $30M in growth capital from Trinity Capital (PRN)

  • Medallion, a platform for artists to have a dedicated digital hub for promoting album releases, tour dates, and merch drops, raised a $13.7M Series A led by Dragonfly and Lightspeed Faction (TC)

  • Rabbit, a startup building an AI-enabled operating system, raised a $10M Series A led by Khosla Ventures (BW)

  • South African aerospace startup Cloudline raised a $6M seed round from Schmidt Futures (TC)

  • Standard Biocarbon, a biochar producer, raised $5M in funding from Nexus Development Capital (FN)

  • Visual canvas startup Kosmik raised a $3.7M seed round led by Creandum (TC)

  • German data storage startup UltiHash raised a $2.5M Pre-Seed round led by Inventure (EU)

  • Formless, a startup building decentralized network infrastructure for property rights management and revenue sharing, raised a $2.2M pre-seed round led by Brandon Thorpe, founder and CEO of Formless (FN)

  • Florida-based legal fintech lender LawFi raised a $1.5M pre-seed round led by Capital Q Ventures (FN)


  • Apollo Global will provide a $1B loan to PE firm Warburg Pincus, which will use the loan to pay down bank facilities involving an older fund (BBG

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Hovding, a Swedish producer of the first mass-market bicycle airbag helmet, filed for bankruptcy after regulators stopped the sales of its main product (BBG

  • Crypto miner Core Scientific expects to emerge from bankruptcy in January (RT)


  • Sweden-based life sciences VC Hadean Ventures closed its Hadean Capital II at $159M (FN

Crypto Corner

  • A British Virgin Islands court froze ~$1B worth of assets belonging to the founders of cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (BBG

  • France gave Coinbase virtual asset service provider approval, which allows the exchange to operate digital currency services (RT)

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