warren buffett
Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett’s great-nephew is poised to take his “blank-check” company public on Thursday.Alex Buffett Rozek, the grandson of Warren’s late sister Doris Buffett, is the co-CEO and co-chairman of Boston Omaha Corporation.Boston Omaha formed Yellowstone Acquisition Company, a “SPAC” or investment vehicle that raises money on public markets to finance a future acquisition, and hopes to raise $150 million from its market debut.Rozek and his business partner will use the funds to target a company in the homebuilding, homebuilding-related manufacturing, financial services, or commercial real estate industries.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett’s great-nephew is set to take his “blank-check” company public on Thursday, joining the likes of billionaire investors Bill Ackman and Chamath Palihapitiya in raising money to make a future, as-yet-unknown acquisition.

Alex Buffett Rozek, the grandson of Warren’s late sister Doris Buffett, is the co-chairman and co-CEO of Boston Omaha Corporation. Boston Omaha is a holding company with some similarities to Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, as it has business interests across the advertising, insurance, and broadband-internet industries.

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Boston Omaha formed Yellowstone Acquisition Company — a special-purpose acquisition company or “SPAC” — and filed to take it public in early September. It initially hoped to raise $200 million, but ultimately cut its target to $150 million. Yellowstone’s shares are expected to begin trading on Thursday.

Rozek and his co-chairman and co-CEO, Adam Peterson, plan to use the listing proceeds to acquire a business in the homebuilding, homebuilding-related manufacturing, financial services, or commercial real estate industries.

The pair may be seeking to emulate Rozek’s great-uncle, who has made scores of lucrative deals during his career. Some of the Berkshire chief’s most famous ones include his bailouts of Goldman Sachs, General Electric, and Bank of America, and his $37 billion takeover of Precision Castparts.

Read More: MORGAN STANLEY: Buy these 61 stocks that will offer major earnings-driven upside following an imminent 10% market sell-off

Doris, Rozek’s grandmother, is best known for dealing with the stream of letters seeking aid from her billionaire brother. She gifted more than $180 million over the course of 25 years.

Rozek helped his grandmother with her philanthropy, and continues to chair the boards of two foundations linked to her: Learning by Giving and the Letters Foundation.

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Traders gather at the post that trades Pfizer's stock on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 29, 2015.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Global stocks rose on Monday as investors held onto hopes for a prompt deal on a new round of US fiscal stimulus, boosted by the White House’s change in position over the weekend.US stock futures rose as much as 1%, even after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the Trump administration’s latest proposal on Sunday.In Asia, China stocks rose to a two-year peak, driven by a new central bank policy that makes it easier to sell the yuan.The FTSE 100 edged slightly lower ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s expected announcements on stricter COVID-19 restrictions across the country.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Global stocks rose on Monday as investors largely pinned hopes on a new US fiscal stimulus deal to get across the line. 

US stock futures rose as much as 1% even after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the Trump administration’s latest proposal, or a stripped-down version of the coronavirus relief bill, calling it “grossly inadequate” over the weekend. The dollar index, meanwhile, fell 0.5%.

President Donald Trump’s team proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus package, which includes a $400 boost in weekly unemployment insurance, $1,200 stimulus checks for US adults, and $1,000 checks for every child. 

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 15 stocks set to deliver the strongest possible profit growth and subsequent returns through year-end

The MSCI World Index rose 0.7% as global markets rotate into a risk-seeking position and investor hopes persist that a fiscal stimulus package is on the horizon. But House Democrats appear to be sticking to their original $2.2 trillion plan

“Even if the White House capitulates, getting that number through the Senate will be challenging,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA. “With markets now totally ignoring the possibility of a fiscal stimulus package not happening and piling into the ‘buy everything’ trade, the correction if negotiations fall apart could be something to behold.”

Nonetheless, the more positive mood carried over to the European region, where the Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue-chip shares rose 0.3% and Germany’s DAX rose 0.2%.

London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2%, ahead of a slew of new  COVID-19 restrictions across the country from Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson following an explosion in new cases. Britain already has the highest death rate in Europe.

In Asia, China’s benchmark index jumped to a two-year peak, after the People’s Bank of China unveiled a new policy that makes it easier to short the yuan, which was down almost 1% against the dollar.

The central bank no longer requires lenders to hold reserves when buying foreign currency forward contracts. The yuan’s appreciation is likely to resume after these measures run their course, OANDA’S Halley said.

China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 2.6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.2%, while a stronger yen knocked 0.3% off Japan’s Nikkei.

Gold rose 0.2% to $1,929 an ounce, lifted by a weaker dollar. Gold’s firmness points to “positive technical developments that should signal further gains in the week ahead,” Halley said.

Read more: SPACs have generated a $39 billion frenzy in the US this year. The executive behind their first ETF explains how retail investors can use them to level the playing field with Wall Street titans like Warren Buffett.

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Better Capitalism

FILE PHOTO: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) 2019 legislative conference in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
FILE PHOTO: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) 2019 legislative conference in Washington

JPMorgan Chase is committing $30 billion to promote wealth building and access to financial services among Black and Latinx Americans.
The money will help them access mortgages, lower their mortgage payments through refinancing, expand lending to small businesses, and open low-cost bank accounts.
The firm is also committing to boosting supplier diversity and helping its employees access financial counseling.
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JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday it is investing $30 billion over the next five years to promote racial and ethnic equity in the US. 

The money is going toward multiple initiatives that will help Black and Latinx Americans access mortgages, lower their mortgage payments through refinancing, expand lending to small businesses, and open low-cost bank accounts. The word Latinx is defined as of or relating to Latin American heritage and is used a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina, per Merriam Webster. 

The move comes as other financial institutions make similar efforts. Citi recently committed $1 billion to helping close the racial wealth gap and Mastercard recently committed $500 million to do the same. 

“This is not a one and done, not even close. But we believe the depth and breadth of what we’re doing here meets the moment in our country. It is a big and important step in the right direction to address the racial wealth divide and break down racial inequities that have stood for too long,” Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility and chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region for JP Morgan told Business Insider. 

Here’s a breakdown of the commitment and the issues its tackling. 

Increasing access to mortgages and mortgage refinancing 

The financial institution is committing $8 billion to help 40,000 Black and Latinx households access mortgages. The firm is also going to help an additional 20,000 achieve lower mortgage payments by providing up to $4 billion in refinancing loans over the next five years. 

Black and Hispanic households are far less likely than white households to own their own homes, according to a report by Pew Research. The roots of this trace back to the New Deal Era, when Black Americans were not allowed to access federally subsidized mortgages, the mortgages that created suburbs nationwide. Not only that, houses had deeds that explicitly prohibited the sale of the home to non-white Americans. 

Today, Black and Hispanic Americans are denied mortgages at least twice as often as white and Asian applicants, per a Pew analysis

If they are approved for a mortgage, Black and Hispanic people pay higher rates. Recent research from the Sloan School at MIT shows that Black Americans specifically end up paying a total of about $67,320 more than other races to own a home.

Boosting the number of banked Black and Latinx people 

JPMorgan Chase is also aiming to bring 1 million people into the banking system by opening new branches in underserved neighborhoods and increasing targeted marketing in those communities. 

A 2014 report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) showed that some 68 million Americans are not in the banking system and rely on predatory lending services like payday lenders or check cashing companies. These people are much more likely to be Black or Hispanic than they are to be white, the data showed. 

It’s a trend the St. Louis Federal Reserve and McKinsey and Company have also reported on. 

In addition to being more likely to live in bank deserts — areas without a bank — cultural norms are also at play for underserved people. 

As Darius Rafieyan of NPR’s Planet Money explains: “In the African American community, they don’t see the big banks as being for them because, you know, you go back over the years, grandparents didn’t have banking relationships. Parents, in many instances, didn’t have banking relationships,” he said.

Expanding affordable housing 

Over the next five years, JPMorgan Chase is going to finance 100,000 affordable rental units by providing $14 billion in new loans and equity investments, among other efforts. 

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Black, Hispanic, and Native American households are more likely than white households to be low-income renters, meaning there is a severe lack of affordable homes available to them. 

Boosting small business

In addition, the financial institution will provide 15,000 loans to small businesses in Black and Latinx communities by giving $2 billion in loans.

Black and Latinx businesses have been hardest hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, data shows

“The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated long-standing inequities for Black and Latinx people around the world. We are using this catalytic moment to create change and economic opportunities that enhance racial equity for Black and Latinx communities,” Brian Lamb, JPMorgan’s head of diversity and inclusion said in a press release. 

Increase diversity and inclusion within the firm 

The firm will be offering financial coaching and upskilling opportunities to its employees. It will also work to increase diversity within its supply chain, per the press release. 

In December of 2019, The New York Times published an article that featured a JPMorgan employee and a customer alleging racism within the financial institution. In response, the bank said it would make diversity training mandatory for all employees. 

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steven mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The Treasury has upped its offer on federal coronavirus spending by some $100 billion as it continues negotiations with Democrats, Roll Call reported.
The politics news site reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a $1.62 trillion package when talking to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday.
They didn’t reach a deal Wednesday but committed to keep trying, Roll Call said. But even if they do strike a deal, it could still struggle to make it through Congress.
The two parties have been in a standoff as Democrats seek to secure much more spending than Republicans.
One source of agreement is that both Mnuchin and Pelosi want another round of $1,200 checks to be sent to Americans.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Treasury is increasing the amount of money it would support for a new coronavirus spending bill as it continues to negotiate with Democrats, Roll Call reported Wednesday night.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a $1.62 trillion package in his Wednesday talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the report said.

The increased offer is said to include more money for education and state and local governments than before.

Pelosi and Mnuchin met for 90 minutes without striking a deal. But after, both seemed hopeful of continuing negotiations and reaching some kind of agreement.

One issue that is not in question: Both sides have said they support another round of $1,200 direct payments to Americans.

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

This week has been the first major negotiation on more federal spending to address the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic since talks most recently collapsed in August.

The parties have been trying to find common ground, with Democrats seeking a more expansive package: They have proposed spending $2.2 trillion. Republicans have argued for a far smaller amount.

After meeting Pelosi, Mnuchin told Fox Business that he would aim for somewhere between $2.2 trillion and an earlier offer of about $1 trillion.

“We’re not going to do a $2.2 trillion deal,” he said.

Mnuchin said President Donald Trump “instructed us to come up significantly, so we have come up from the trillion-dollar deal that we were working on earlier.”

He said the White House proposal was in the “neighborhood” of $1.5 trillion.

The politics site Roll Call said the following measures were in the latest version of the Treasury offer. The details have not been confirmed publicly or by other news outlets.

Direct payments of $1,200 for adults and $500 for dependents, which Democrats had signaled support for.$250 billion for state and local governments ($186 billion less than Democrats proposed but $100 billion more than in the White House’s previous offer).$150 billion for education (Democrats want $225 billion).$400 a week in additional unemployment insurance ($200 less than Democrats proposed but $100 more than Senate Republicans proposed).$75 billion for COVID-19 testing and tracing (this meets Democrats’ demand, while Republicans had offered $16 billion).$175 billion for healthcare (Democrats had proposed $249 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services).$10 billion for the US Postal Service (Democrats had proposed $25 billion and then dropped it to $15 billion).$160 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.Nearly $120 billion for businesses like restaurants and entertainment venues.$20 billion for farmers and ranchers.Negotiations are underway

It is not clear whether Senate Republicans would support such a proposal.

The White House and Senate Republicans had proposed a $1 trillion plan in the summer, and in September they floated a “skinny” plan, worth $500 billion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently called $2.2 trillion an “outlandish” request. He also dismissed the idea of getting a deal through Congress before the November 3 election when talking to reporters after Pelosi and Mnuchin’s meeting on Wednesday, The Hill reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The source who outlined Mnuchin’s proposal to Roll Call suggested that McConnell might consider the latest proposal viable, but a spokesman for McConnell denied this.

Democrats have not yet voted on their $2.2 trillion plan, delaying it until at least Thursday to see what the outcome of talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin are.

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FILE PHOTO: American International Group Inc. (AIG) headquarters seen on the day of the companyÕs 2017 annual shareholder meeting at 175 Water Street, New York, U.S.,  June 28, 2017.  REUTERS/Suzanne Barlyn
FILE PHOTO: American International Group Inc. (AIG) headquarters seen in New York

American International Group has lost four Black executives in recent weeks, including Vievette Henry, who was head of global inclusion, Bloomberg reported.
Walter Hurdle, who ran diversity efforts and was in charge of early-career recruiting, told Bloomberg he was “informed that my role was eliminated, and that’s all I have to say.”
The departures come months after AIG pledged to improve diversity in the company following the killing of George Floyd.
Only 1.5% of AIG’s senior leaders were Black in 2018, and more than 85% were white.
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Four Black executives have reportedly left the insurance giant American International Group (AIG) in recent weeks, including two that were responsible for improving diversity within the firm.

Global inclusion head Vievette Henry is leaving the insurer along with Walter Hurdle, who ran diversity efforts and was in charge of early-career recruiting, people familiar with the departures told Bloomberg.

Christina Lucas, AIG’s senior vice president, and former marketing and communications chief Ed Dandridge both left AIG in early September, the report said. Dandridge became chief communications officer at Boeing, while Lucas confirmed her departure in a LinkedIn post, but did not mention where she would work next.

AIG didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a phone call with Bloomberg, Hurdle said he was “informed that my role was eliminated, and that’s all I have to say.” The three other former executives declined to comment or didn’t respond to Bloomberg when contacted.

The departures come months after AIG promised to improve the diversity of its leadership teams following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. CEO Brian Duperreault said in a letter to AIG employees in June that the insurance company has “made strides at AIG to build a diverse and inclusive global team of professionals, but we know there is still much work to be done.”

A 2018 report showed that only 1.5% of AIG’s senior officials and executives were Black, while more than 85% were white.

Bloomberg reported that when top executive positions in AIG opened, Dandridge and Henry were not able to land the roles. Henry is being replaced by Ronald Reeves, who has worked at AIG for over 20 years and is also Black, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg.

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