🍑 Has bitcoin bottomed?

Keep 'em IPOs coming | Okay, boomers |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for June 29th in 3:08 minutes.

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Today's big stories

  1. Initial public offerings have raised a record amount of cash in the first half of the year
  2. Our analyst looks into whether you should buy bitcoin's dip – Read Now
  3. A new survey suggests 70% of millennials in the US are struggling to get by

Penthouse Suite

Penthouse Suite

What’s Going On Here?

Global companies are going up in the world: data out this week showed that the amount of cash raised by initial public offerings (IPOs) hit a new high in the first half of the year.

What Does This Mean?

According to Bloomberg, IPOs raised a record $350 billion in the first half of this year, beating the previous six-month record of $282 billion in the second half of 2020. This year’s IPOs have been a very different breed too: think more renewable energy companies and online retailers than tech stocks and special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

The boom is being fueled by the flood of cash central banks are pumping into the global economy, as well as by the rise of individual investors who are increasingly keen to buy into their favorite companies. And the party’s likely to keep going as long as the stock market keeps on rising – so much so that this year’s total proceeds are expected to top 2007’s full-year record of $420 billion.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: US banks are back in action.
The IPO boom is panning out well for investment banks, which generate dealmaking and advisory fees from every IPO they work on. Good news for their investors too: banks can use that windfall to reward shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks. And that finally includes US banks, which were restricted from doing just that during the pandemic. They passed the US Federal Reserve’s stress test last week, proving they can easily withstand a severe recession and give loyal shareholders the boost they deserve.

The bigger picture: Here today, gone tomorrow.
SPACs accounted for almost half the IPO proceeds raised in the first quarter, but their share has shrunk to just 13% this quarter (tweet this). Investor appetite is probably fading because of the increasing regulatory scrutiny on the space, not to mention their poor performance: a popular index tracking SPAC listings has dropped by almost a quarter from its February high.

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2. Analyst Take

Has Bitcoin Bottomed?

What’s Going On Here?

It’s no secret that bitcoin’s had a hard time of it lately.

But when one door closes, another door opens – and you’d be forgiven for wondering if now’s the time to get in just before bitcoin restarts its upward trajectory.

And there is cause for optimism: data suggests investor sentiment is changing in favor of the OG cryptocurrency, and there are more and more efforts to win institutional investors back.

Then again, there are short-term problems too – the kinds with the potential to keep sending bitcoin’s price down even further.

Between this push-pull, the question is whether bitcoin’s fall from grace has finally come to a halt.

That’s today’s Insight: if bitcoin’s bottomed, and how to take advantage if it hasn’t.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Friends Without Benefits

Friends Without Benefits

What’s Going On Here?

So no one told US millennials life was going to be this way – clap clap clap clap – but research out this week showed 70% of young people are living paycheck to paycheck.

What Does This Mean?

According to analysis from LendingClub, a surprisingly high proportion of Americans aged between 25 and 40 are struggling to get by. The coronavirus-induced recession – the second for many millennials after the 2008 financial crisis – has dented their ability to build wealth, keeping earnings low even as the costs of education, housing, and healthcare keep rising. Even millennials who have great salaries aren’t immune: 60% of those making over $100,000 a year are reportedly struggling to balance their lifestyles with their pay packets. That stretched-thin feeling could herald a major economic headache further down the line too: if millennials avoid having kids because of the costs involved, it could hit the US population growth rate and, by extension, its economic output.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Millennials eat danger for breakfast.
The extent of millennials’ financial problems might explain why trading volumes among retail investors hit a record high last year: the stock market crash provided an ideal entry point for those looking to make some much-needed cash. Still, this move into risky day trading is completely at odds with the passive investing and exchange-traded funds that have been booming since they came of age, and it could easily end up backfiring.

Zooming out: Binancial misconduct.
The promise of once-in-a-generation returns has likewise attracted millennials to arguably the riskiest market of all: crypto. Financial authorities around the world, then, have been scrambling to protect overoptimistic investors, which might be why the world’s busiest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been under the microscope. And following recent warnings from the US, Canada, and Japan, the UK finally showed its hand: it banned Binance from conducting any regulated activity in the country on Monday.

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🙋 Ask a question

💬 Quote of the day

“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”

– Howard H. Aiken (an American physicist and a pioneer in computing)
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🍔 How To Make Money Going Meat Free: 6pm UK time, June 29th
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📈 How To Protect Yourself From Rising Prices: 6pm UK time, July 26th

🎯 On our radar

  1. Sorry, folks, you’re not cooked yet. This is why it’s so hot.
  2. The internet does good. How Verzuz is bridging the generation gap.
  3. David and… Amazon. How workers pushed the company to act on climate change.
  4. Welcome to the paywalled future. Where everything has a price tag, including you.
  5. Everybody’s thrilled that travel’s back on. Just spare a thought for the bookers.
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