Goldman Is Tired of WFH

UPS workers approved a massive labor deal, Goldman wants everyone in the office five days per week, the BNB token price is tumbling, Iran is aiming to boost its oil output, Airbnb hosts are scrambling with NYC’s new regulations, and two regional Fed boards sought to hold rates steady in July.

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Good Morning,

UPS workers approved a massive labor deal, Goldman wants everyone in the office five days per week, the BNB token price is tumbling, Iran is aiming to boost its oil output, Airbnb hosts are scrambling with NYC’s new regulations, and two regional Fed boards sought to hold rates steady in July.

Work shouldn’t be the only hard thing in your life. If something else hasn’t been, today’s sponsor, Hims, might be able to help.

Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 8/22/2023 market close


  • US stocks slipped slightly lower after the S&P downgraded bank stocks and investors await Jerome Powell’s speech later this week

    • Nasdaq is on track for its worst month of 2023

  • Asian stocks rallied, led by tech stocks after Baidu’s earnings, snapping an 8-day losing streak

  • European markets matched Asian stocks, edging higher on the day


  • Baidu beat earnings and revenue expectations thanks to strength in its advertising business while it transitions to AI to drive long-term growth (RT)

  • BHP Group reported its lowest annual profit in 3 years; its future is heavily dependent on China’s property sector and possible steel production cuts (FT)

  • Macy’s stock dropped 14% despite beating adjusted earnings and revenue expectations due to the retailer maintaining its conservative full-year guidance (CNBC)

  • Lowe’s stock rose 4% after beating earnings expectations while slightly missing on revenue due to weakening home improvement demand; it maintained its full-year guidance (CNBC)

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods stock cratered ~25% after missing Q2 earnings and cutting its annual profit outlook due to ‘inventory shrink’ from employee theft and shoplifting (BRRN)

  • What we're watching this week:

    • Today: Nvidia, Snowflake, Peloton, Kohl’s, Foot Locker

    • Thursday: Dollar Tree, TD Bank Group, Intuit, Workday, Affirm

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • US existing-home sales slide on higher rates, lean inventory (BBG)

  • Goldman is cracking down on employees that aren’t in office five days per week (BBG)

  • UPS workers approve massive labor deal with big raises (CNBC)

  • Nike stock suffers record rout on China concern, inventory woes (BBG)

  • Iran aims to boost oil output, complicating OPEC+ and US efforts (BBG)

  • VC investments in Europe dropped 61% YoY in H1 (WSJ)

  • Two regional Fed boards sought to hold discount rate in July (BBG)

  • Activist investor Starboard Value disclosed a 9.9% stake in Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ (CNBC)

  • Malaysia may sue Goldman Sachs over 1MDB scandal (RT)

  • Retail CEOs’ concerns grow over shoplifting/theft (BBG)

  • Airbnb hosts and guests scramble as New York begins crackdown (BBG)

  • Chinese soybean appetite is falling, meat producer says (BBG)

  • Macy’s to open four more smaller stores as strip mall experiment shows early signs of success (CNBC)

  • BRICS divisions re-emerge ahead of critical expansion debate (RT)

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s flash warning signs on US consumer spending (WSJ)

  • In Japan, people choose where to pay taxes based on thank-you gifts (WSJ)

  • Job posts see uptick in DEI language (BBG)

  • Altria Group sues Juul over e-vapor patent infringement (CNBC)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Australia’s competition regulator approved gold miner Newmont Corp’s $16.8B acquisition of Newcrest Mining (RT)

  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a sovereign wealth fund will join PE firms TDR Capital and Sycamore Partners in a last ditch effort to challenge Roark Capital Group’s $9.6B bid to acquire Subway (BBG)

  • German chemicals company BASF is considering a sale of its $3.3B combustion engine catalyst business (BBG)

  • Thoma Bravo will close its $2.3B acquisition of software company ForgeRock this week after the DOJ declined to challenge the deal (BBG)

  • Gas infrastructure operator APA Group will acquire Alinta Energy’s power networks in Australia’s mining heartlands for $1.1B, including debt (BBG)

  • Thailand's second-biggest bank Kasikornbank is in talks to buy consumer finance provider Home Credit Vietnam in a deal worth up to $1B (RT)

  • Semiconductor product manufacturer MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings will acquire Wolfspeed’s radio frequency business for $125M in a cash-and-stock deal (BW)

  • Unmanned aerial vehicles manufacturer AeroVironment will acquire AI-enabled robotic control systems leader Tomahawk Robotics for $120M in a cash-and-stock deal (BW)

  • PE firm Francisco Partners will buy IBM’s weather business for an undisclosed sum (RT)


  • Swedish EV battery maker Northvolt raised a $1.2B round led by BlackRock (TC)

  • Fintech startup Ramp raised a $300M round at a $5.8B valuation led by Thrive Capital and Sands Capital (TC)

  • Nurse staffing platform Nursa raised an $80M Series B led by Drive Capital (BW)

  • Value-based cancer care partner Thyme Care raised a $60M Series B led by Town Hall Ventures and Foresite Capital (FN)

  • Grip Security, a startup helping businesses manage SaaS identity risk, raised a $41M Series B led by Third Point Ventures (TC)

  • Bushel, a digital platform connecting farmers and agribusinesses, raised a $26M round led by The Banc Funds Company (BW)

  • Cerby, a startup managing access to nonstandard enterprise apps, raised a $17M Series A led by Two Sigma Ventures (TC)

  • Clockworks Analytics, a startup providing building analytics solutions, raised a $16.1M round led by Carom Growth Partners (FN)

  • Delphinus Medical Technologies, a company developing a dense breast ultrasound tomography system, raised $12M in funding from Trinity Capital (BW)

  • Massdriver, an extensible cloud operations platform, raised $8M in funding led by Builders VC (BW)

  • B2B payments startup Koverly raised a $7.6M seed round from Accomplice VC, Vinyl Capital, and One Way Ventures (FN)

  • Sizzle AI, a startup creating direct-to-learner AI products, raised a $7.5M seed round led by Owl Ventures (FN)

  • Anghami, an Abu Dhabi-based music and entertainment streaming platform, received a $5M investment from SRMG Ventures (FN)

  • ScribeUp, a subscription management company, raised a $3M seed round from Mucker Capital (BW)

  • Cascade Biocatalysts, a biomanufacturing startup focused on green chemistry, raised a $2.6M pre-seed round led by Ten VC (BW)

  • Synthpop, a startup using AI assistants to automate healthcare workflow, raised a $2.6M seed round from Zelda Ventures, OVO Fund, Page One Ventures, and more (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Waystar is planning an IPO that could value the PE-owned hospital finance software vendor at up to $8B, including debt (RT)

  • $3B Nigerian fintech Flutterwave, Africa’s largest startup, is pressing ahead with plans for an IPO (BBG)

  • Indian stationery maker Doms Industries filed for an IPO worth up to $145M (RT)


  • Financial services firm Charles Schwab raised $2.4B through a two-part sale of unsecured notes (BBG)

  • South Africa paid $852M to Eskom in a debt relief package that will wipe out half of the heavily indebted state utility’s liabilities (RT)

Bankruptcy / Restructuring / Distressed

  • Bankrupt utility Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is nearing a deal to restructure ~$9B worth of debt with BlackRock Financial Management and Taconic Capital Advisors as soon as Friday (BBG)


  • Merit Energy, an energy asset operator and investment fund manager, amassed $1B for its Merit Energy Partners L vehicle to buy mature oil fields (WSJ)

Crypto Corner

  • Binance, the biggest player in crypto, is facing legal risk over Russia (WSJ)

  • BNB token stumbles to 1-year low amid mounting scrutiny over Binance (CD)

  • Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to latest indictment (CD)

  • Binance.US is partnering with crypto startup MoonPay to allow its users to make transactions in crypto after US banks cut ties (BBG)

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