Tesla Stock Crosses $1 Trillion in Market Value

The electric-car maker’s latest surge came after a deal to supply vehicles to Hertz. Its stock has risen more than tenfold since March 2020.,

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ImageThe bottom line of the electric-car maker Tesla has steadily strengthened since late 2019.
The bottom line of the electric-car maker Tesla has steadily strengthened since late 2019.Credit…Kelsey McClellan for The New York Times

Tesla shares vaulted to new heights on Monday, giving the electric-car maker a market capitalization of $1 trillion for the first time.

The latest gain — of nearly 13 percent in the day’s trading — came after Hertz announced that it would buy 100,000 Tesla cars by the end of next year. Electric vehicles would then make up more than 20 percent of its global fleet.

Tesla’s share price has risen more than tenfold since mid-March of last year, in the early days of the pandemic, when it fell below $100. The stock closed Monday at $1,024.86, its first close above $1,000.

The trillion-dollar valuation is the latest sign of how Tesla has disrupted the auto industry. The company is now more valuable than General Motors, Toyota Motor, Ford Motor, Volkswagen, BMW, Honda Motor and several other automakers combined.

Tesla crossed the $1 trillion mark more than three years after Apple became the first publicly traded company in the United States to do so — in August 2018 — making Elon Musk’s electric-vehicle maker the latest member of an elite club of highly valued tech companies that dominate the American markets.

Today Apple is worth roughly $2.5 trillion, while Microsoft is valued around $2.3 trillion. Amazon and Alphabet — the parent of the search giant Google — each carry market capitalizations of more than $1.5 trillion. Facebook, a relative runt, weighs in around $930 billion.

The almost unthinkable value investors have ascribed to these companies underscores both their remarkable profitability and the fact that they face few serious competitive threats. But their huge valuations are also part of a broad transformation of the American economy over the last 30 years.

For decades, the country’s largest companies have been capturing an ever-larger share of business profits. The disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic have only supercharged those dynamics, as more activity shifted to the online economy.

The $1 trillion valuation is also a prominent milestone for Tesla, which struggled to make money for nearly two decades.

When Tesla was founded in 2003, and for many years after, the chances that sales of electric cars would take off seemed slim. Other automakers viewed electric cars primarily as gas savers, but Tesla envisioned using electric power to make fast, exciting and futuristic luxury vehicles. The company also designed its cars to be controlled almost completely by software that it could update and modify the way smartphones can. The concept built a zealous following of customers and investors.

But just four years ago, Tesla was mired in production difficulties at its plant in Fremont, Calif., that Mr. Musk, its chief executive, described as “manufacturing hell.”

Even after straightening out its production difficulties, Tesla remained on shaky financial footing, and it had to raise capital on several occasions. Mr. Musk has said that in the spring of 2018, as it was trying to produce its Model 3 compact sedan, Tesla was just weeks away from financial collapse.

But the Model 3 proved a hit, and when Tesla opened a new factory in China in late 2019, the company’s bottom line steadily strengthened. It is building additional factories in Austin, Texas, and near Berlin in Germany.

How much higher Tesla stock can go is open to question. The company’s sales continue to rise, and it is on track to sell close to one million cars this year. But it still faces many challenges, one of which is increased scrutiny of its Autopilot and so-called Full Self-Driving systems.

Autopilot, which uses cameras to steer and brake a car with little help from a driver, sometimes fails to see other vehicles, a flaw that has led to a series of crashes, including some that were fatal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating why Autopilot sometimes fails to see stopped emergency vehicles. It is looking at 12 instances in which Teslas in Autopilot mode crashed into police cruisers or fire trucks with their lights flashing.

On Monday, the National Transportation Safety Board, in a letter to Tesla, chided the company for failing to carry out safety improvements for Autopilot that the agency outlined four years ago.

Tesla has also faced criticism for allowing a small group of customers to test on public roads a more advanced system called Full Self-Driving. The safety board has criticized the name, because the system is not capable of driving a car without a driver’s help, as well as the practice of letting untrained drivers use unfinished safety software.

Over the weekend, Tesla sent new Full Self-Driving software to its test customers but only hours later turned it off remotely after customers found that their cars were braking unexpectedly and making other maneuvers some considered unsafe.

The Tesla order would give Hertz one of the world’s largest fleets of rental electric vehicles.Credit…Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Hertz, the car rental agency, said on Monday that it had ordered 100,000 Teslas, a bold move for a company just emerging from bankruptcy and a sign of growing momentum in the shift to electric vehicles.

By the end of next year, when the Tesla order is completed, electric vehicles will make up more than 20 percent of Hertz’s global vehicle fleet, the company said.

“Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest,” Mark Fields, Hertz’s interim chief executive, who previously led Ford Motor, said in a news release. “The new Hertz is going to lead the way as a mobility company, starting with the largest E.V. rental fleet in North America and a commitment to grow our E.V. fleet and provide the best rental and recharging experience for leisure and business customers around the world.”

The company declined to comment on the value of the deal. Bloomberg, which reported the news before the announcement, said the order would generate about $4.2 billion of revenue for Tesla, suggesting that Hertz was paying close to face value for the vehicles. Car rental firms typically demand deep discounts for large vehicle orders.

Hertz customers will be able to rent a Tesla Model 3 in some major markets in the United States and Europe starting in early November. The company said that it planned to install thousands of chargers at its locations and that it was teaming up with football quarterback Tom Brady to promote its E.V. offerings in a marketing campaign.

Share prices for Tesla and Hertz were up about 10 percent by early afternoon.

The deal could benefit both companies, said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Cox Automotive.

“This is unique, and it’s really allowing Hertz to differentiate itself from other rental car companies,” she said. “For Tesla, it’s a great deal because it exposes Tesla’s E.V.s to a much wider array of consumers.”

A large order from Hertz could also help Tesla balance production and manage a shift in demand for its more affordable vehicles. In recent quarters, sales of the Model 3 compact sedan have declined and have been outstripped by those of the Model Y hatchback.

In the months ahead, the company plans to start making the Model Y at plants under construction in Austin, Tex., and in Germany near Berlin. Ramping up those plants could leave less production for its plant in Fremont, Calif.

Sales to rental fleets can have some drawbacks, however. Rental sales are normally a low-margin business, and the cars usually come back into the market as low-mileage used cars. Hertz and its peers typically keep cars for six to 12 months and then send them to auction houses that supply dealers with used vehicles. Over time, this steady stream of former rental cars can cause demand and prices for new cars to fall and can lower the value consumers get for cars they want to trade in. Most luxury auto brands avoid selling cars to rental companies.

It is unclear how Tesla and Hertz have structured their sales agreement. Sometimes rental companies buy cars outright at a discounted price. They can also lease the vehicles, and sometimes automakers agree to buy them back at a set price. This substantially lowers the initial cost for the rental company and enables it to offer attractive daily rental prices.

But it leaves the automaker with considerable risk, because those used cars will eventually sit on dealer lots with low mileage and at prices below those of brand-new models. If auto sales slow, the automaker may end up buying back cars for more than the rental companies paid.

Overreliance on rental sales was one of several ills that helped push General Motors, Ford and Chrysler into trouble during the financial crisis in 2008-9.

For now, Tesla does not appear to face too much risk because the global shortage of computer chips is limiting how many cars automakers can produce and has pushed up demand for and prices of used cars significantly. At Carvana, a large used-car dealer, a 2018 Model 3 with about 30,000 miles sells for about $43,000, about the same as a new one from Tesla.

Hertz filed for bankruptcy in May 2020, falling victim to mounting debt and a devastating blow to its business caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But the quick economic and travel recovery provided a lifeline, setting off a bidding war for the company. Hertz emerged from bankruptcy in June, just as travel started to surge in the United States because of widespread availability of coronavirus vaccines. The bankruptcy allowed the company to shed much of its debt, freeing it to invest in modernizing its fleet.

The travel rebound has also been good for car rental firms, which sold off vehicles to survive the early stages of the pandemic. While they have struggled to rebuild their fleets because of the chip shortage that has held back auto making, that constraint on supply combined with the increase in travel has pushed up rental car prices and use. In August, Avis Budget Group and Hertz reported strong results for the second quarter of the year.

After months of its stock trading in the less-restricted over-the-counter market, Hertz this month also announced plans to list its shares on Nasdaq.

Organizers have spent six months focused on a massive Staten Island warehouse known as JFK8 and three smaller facilities in the same industrial park.Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times

A fledgling union of employees at four Amazon warehouses in Staten Island officially requested an election to form a union on Monday, the National Labor Relations Board said.

For months, the organizers behind the union push have been collecting signatures on cards that must be submitted to the labor agency to request a vote. Christian Smalls, a former Amazon employee leading the effort, said late last week that he anticipated submitting more than 2,000 employee signatures.

If the labor board determines that the submission represents 30 percent of the proposed bargaining unit, the effort could bring the second unionization vote at an Amazon warehouse in less than a year.

Kayla Blado, the press secretary for the National Labor Relations Board, said the agency was still counting its cards.

Derrick Palmer, an Amazon worker who has helped lead the effort, said he was excited for the submission after many months of organizing.

“I believe we have enough votes to move forward to our election,” he said in an interview as he waited outside the labor agency’s office in Brooklyn where the cards were being counted.

Amazon declined to comment.

The effort in Staten Island is being organized by current and former Amazon workers aiming to form a new independent union, called the Amazon Labor Union, focused solely on the nation’s second-largest employer.

An election at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama earlier this year, supported by a national retail workers union, was unsuccessful. But the labor agency is considering throwing out the results of that election because of Amazon’s anti-union measures. Amazon has said it would appeal if the vote is invalidated.

Monday’s submission is the result of six months of organizing focused on a massive Staten Island warehouse, known as JFK8, that serves as Amazon’s key pipeline to New York City and employs more than 5,000 people. Over time, the organizers extended their push to include three smaller Amazon facilities in the same industrial park.

Workers at JFK8 have accused Amazon of illegally interfering with their organizing rights. Staff lawyers at the labor board have found some merit to further pursue three of their cases and is still investigating six additional cases, the agency said.

Facebook said on Monday that revenue rose 35 percent to $29 billion in the three months ending in September compared with the same period last year, while profits rose 17 percent to $9.2 billion, a sign of the social network’s financial strength as it faces a public relations crisis over troubling disclosures made a former employee.

Advertising revenue, which is responsible for the vast majority of Facebook’s income, rose 33 percent to $28.3 billion. “Other” revenue, which consists largely of sales of Facebook’s virtual-reality Oculus hardware, rose 195 percent to $734 million.

Some 3.6 billion people now use one of Facebook’s apps every month, up 12 percent from a year earlier.

“We made good progress this quarter and our community continues to grow,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive. “I’m excited about our road map, especially around creators, commerce and helping to build the metaverse” — a vision of the future espoused by technologists in which disparate parts of the digital world will merge with portions of the offline world. Mr. Zuckerberg has said he hopes for Facebook to be known as a “metaverse company” in the years ahead.

The results were a continuation of the company’s strong financial performance during the coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed people indoors toward their computers and other devices.

In recent weeks, though, Facebook has faced intensifying political pressure. Frances Haugen, a former employee who became a whistle-blower, has shared thousands of pages of internal documents and has said that the company chose “profits over people.” The disclosures by Ms. Haugen, first publicized in The Wall Street Journal, ignited a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers, regulators and the public. Lawmakers have focused largely on reports showing how Facebook knew Instagram was worsening body image issues among teenagers, among other issues.

On Monday, more than a dozen news organizations, including The New York Times, published articles based on the Facebook Papers, a cache of documents Ms. Haugen took before she left the company. A few hours later, she testified before British lawmakers, saying that the company was unwilling to stop the harmful aspects of its products because doing so could jeopardize profits and growth.

Facebook appears to be setting itself up for long-term, expensive growth plans. The company said it would break out its Facebook Reality Labs segment into a different reporting unit on its quarterly earnings statements. That segment will be separate from rest of the company’s so-called “Family of Apps” — Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook proper.

Facebook Reality Labs, or F.R.L., is heavily investing in technologies like virtual and augmented reality. Mr. Zuckerberg’s long-term goal is that the department helps Facebook become a significant player and creator of the so-called metaverse. But right now, the unit spends more than it makes — and will for some time.

“We are committed to bringing this long-term vision to life and we expect to increase our investments for the next several years,” the company said in its earnings statement. Facebook expects F.R.L. to bring down its overall 2021 profits by close to $10 billion.

Shares of Facebook jumped 2.6 percent to $337.25 in after-hours trading.

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Facebook ‘Unquestionably’ Makes Hate Worse, Whistle-Blower Says

During testimony before the British Parliament, Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistle-blower, said that the tech company was aware of its harmful effects on society but was unwilling to act.

“Mark Zuckerberg put out a white paper in 2018 saying engagement-based ranking is dangerous unless the AI can take out the bad things. And as you saw, they’re getting 3 to 5 percent of things like hate speech, they’re getting 0.8 percent of violence-inciting content. Engagement-based ranking prioritizes that kind of extreme content. I flagged repeatedly when I worked on civic integrity that I felt the critical teams were understaffed, and I was told at Facebook we accomplish unimaginable things with far– far fewer resources than anyone would think possible. There is a culture that lionizes kind of a start-up ethic that is, in my opinion, irresponsible, right? The idea that, you know, the person who can figure out how to move the metric by cutting the most corners is good. And the reality is, it doesn’t matter if Facebook is spending $14 billion in safety a year. If they should be spending $25 billion or $35 billion, that’s the real question. The people who have been promoted were the people who could focus on the goals they were given, and not necessarily the ones that asked questions around public safety. And I think there is a real thing that people are exposed to data and then they say, ‘Look at all the good we’re doing. Like, yes, that’s true, but like, we didn’t invent hate. We didn’t invent ethnic violence.’ And that’s not the question. The question is what is Facebook doing to amplify or expand hate? What is it doing to amplify or expand ethnic violence?” “You’re right. I mean, Facebook didn’t invent hate, but do you think it’s making hate worse?” “Unquestionably, it’s making hate worse.”

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During testimony before the British Parliament, Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistle-blower, said that the tech company was aware of its harmful effects on society but was unwilling to act.CreditCredit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

LONDON — Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistle-blower, appeared before British lawmakers on Monday, painting a portrait of a company vividly aware of its harmful effects on society but unwilling to act because doing so could jeopardize profits and growth.

Ms. Haugen’s more than two hours of testimony before the British Parliament was the latest step in her tightly choreographed campaign to build a case for stiffer oversight of the social media giant. Hours before she began speaking in London, more than a dozen news organizations published articles based on the Facebook Papers, a cache of documents she took before resigning from the company.

In the coming weeks, Ms. Haugen is scheduled to meet with officials in France, Germany and the European Union about new laws that she says are necessary to force Facebook to recalibrate how it measures success more toward the public good.

“We need regulation,” Ms. Haugen said on Tuesday. “Until the incentives change, Facebook will not change,” she added later.

Even for Facebook, a company that has lurched from controversy to controversy since Mark Zuckerberg started it as a Harvard undergrad in 2004, Ms. Haugen’s disclosures have created a backlash that stands apart.

The revelations have generated increased political support for new regulation in the United States and Europe, including some calls for Mr. Zuckerberg to step aside as Facebook’s chief executive, putting Facebook on the defensive. The growing rancor could lead to new government investigations and force the company to disclose more details about how its software works.

“Facebook is failing to prevent harm to children, it’s failing to stop the spread of disinformation, it is failing to stop the spread of hate speech,” John Nicolson, a lawmaker from Scotland, said during the hearing. “It does have the power to deal with these issues, it’s just choosing not to.”

Ms. Haugen left Facebook with scores of internal research, slide decks, discussion threads, presentations and memos that she has shared with lawmakers, regulators and journalists. The information provides an unvarnished view of how some within the company tried to raise alarms about its harmful effects, but often struggled to get Facebook leaders to act.

Facebook defended its practices and said it had spent $13 billion and hired 40,000 people to work on safety issues.

“Contrary to what was discussed at the hearing, we’ve always had the commercial incentive to remove harmful content from our sites,” said Mitch Henderson, a company spokesman. “People don’t want to see it when they use our apps and advertisers don’t want their ads next to it.”

After leaking internal company documents to The Wall Street Journal that resulted in a series of articles that began in September, she revealed her identify this month for an episode on “60 Minutes” and testified before a Senate committee. She also shared the documents the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Since then, she has shared the Facebook materials with other news organizations, including The New York Times, resulting in additional stories about Facebook’s harmful effects, including its role in spreading election misinformation in the United States and stoking divisions in countries such as India.

Ms. Haugen’s visit to Europe is a reflection of the region’s aggressive approach to tech regulation and a belief that its policymakers are expected to act faster than the United States to pass new laws aiming at Facebook and other tech giants.

“For all the problems Frances Haugen is trying to solve, Europe is the place to be,” said Mathias Vermeulen, the public policy director at AWO, a law firm and policy firm that is among the groups working with Ms. Haugen in the United States and Europe.

In London, Ms. Haugen told policymakers that regulation could offset Facebook’s corporate culture that rewards ideas that get people to spend more time scrolling their social media feeds, but views safety issues as a less important “cost center.”

Facebook’s influence is particularly bad in areas of Africa, Asia and the Middle East where its services are widely popular but the company does not have language or cultural expertise, Ms. Haugen said. Without government intervention, she told lawmakers, events in countries such as Ethiopia and Myanmar, where Facebook has been accused of contributing to ethnic violence, are the “opening chapters of a novel that is going to be horrific to read.”

She suggested policies that would require Facebook to perform annual risk assessments to identify areas where its product were causing harm — such as the spread of coronavirus misinformation, or harms to teenagers’ mental health. She said Facebook could be required to outline specific solutions and share the findings with outside researchers and auditors to be sure they are sufficient.

Without government-mandated transparency, Facebook can present a false picture of its efforts to address hate speech and other extreme content, she said. The company says artificial intelligence software catches more than 90 percent of hate speech, but Ms. Haugen said the number was less than 5 percent.

“They are very good at dancing with data,” she said.

British policymakers are drafting a law to create a new internet regulator that could impose billions of dollars worth of fines if more isn’t done to stop the spread of hate speech, misinformation, racist abuse and harmful content targeting children.

The policy ideas gained additional momentum after the murder this month of David Amess, a member of Parliament, leading to calls for the law to force social media companies to crack down on extremism.

In Brussels, Ms. Haugen is scheduled to meet on Nov. 8 with European Union officials drafting laws that would force Facebook and other large internet platforms to disclose more about how their recommendation algorithms choose to promote certain material over others, and impose tougher antitrust rules to prevent the companies from using their dominant positions to box out smaller rivals. European policymakers are also debating a ban on targeted advertising based on a person’s data profile, which would pose a grave threat to Facebook’s multibillion-dollar advertising business.

Despite growing political support for new regulation, many questions remain about how such policies would work in practice. Any new laws in Britain and the European Union are not expected to be passed until next year at the earliest. In the United States, lawmakers are focusing on the harmful effect of Facebook and other social media platforms have on children.

Regulating Facebook is particularly complex because many of its biggest problems center on content posted by users all over the world, raising difficult questions about the regulation of speech and free expression. In Britain, the new online safety law has been criticized by some civil society groups as being overly restrictive and a threat to free speech online.

Another challenge is how to enforce the new rules, particularly at a time when many government agencies are under pressure to tighten spending.

By The New York Times

For weeks, Facebook has been shaken by revelations that have ignited a firestorm of criticism from lawmakers, regulators and the public.

Reports by The Wall Street Journal from research documents provided by a whistle-blower put Facebook under a microscope. Those reports showed how Facebook knew Instagram was worsening body image issues among teenagers, among other issues.

The whistle-blower, Frances Haugen, went public during an interview on “60 Minutes” in early October. On Oct. 5, Ms. Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee for more than three hours. She said Facebook had purposely hidden disturbing research about how teenagers felt worse about themselves after using its products and how it was willing to use hateful content on its site to keep users coming back. In her testimony, she encouraged lawmakers to demand more documents and internal research, suggesting the documents she had provided were just the tip of the iceberg.

After Ms. Haugen testified, executives publicly questioned her credibility and called her accusations untrue. But internally, they tried to position their stances to hang on to the good will of more than 63,000 employees and assuage their concerns.

Reporters have since covered more internal documents from the company, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp in addition to the core Facebook social network. Documents about Instagram, for instance, reveal a company that is struggling with retaining, engaging and attracting young users.

Other documents raise questions about Facebook’s role in election misinformation and the pro-Trump attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. Company documents show the degree to which Facebook knew of extremist movements and groups on its site that were trying to polarize American voters before the election. Employees believed Facebook could have done more, according to the documents.

In India, Facebook’s biggest market, the problems are bigger, too. Internal documents show a struggle with misinformation, hate speech and celebrations of violence. Dozens of studies and memos written by Facebook employees provide stark evidence of one of the most serious criticisms levied by human rights activists and politicians against the world-spanning company: It moves into a country without fully understanding its potential impact on local culture and politics, and fails to deploy the resources to act on issues once they occur.

The latest revelations, published on Monday morning, show internal research that undercuts the heart of social networking — “likes” and sharing — that Facebook revolutionized. According to the documents, researchers determined over and over that people misused key features or that those features amplified toxic content, among other effects. In an August 2019 internal memo, several researchers said it was Facebook’s “core product mechanics” — meaning the basics of how the product functioned — that had let misinformation and hate speech flourish on the site.

Without government-mandated transparency, Facebook can present a false picture of its efforts to address hate speech and other extreme content,Ms. Haugen told Britain’s Parliament. The company says artificial intelligence software catches more than 90 percent of hate speech, but Ms. Haugen said the number was less than 5 percent.

“They are very good at dancing with data,” she said.

Pinterest says it has over 450 million users. Some analysts had questioned the logic of a PayPal-Pinterest deal.Credit…Dado Ruvic/Reuters

PayPal, the digital payments giant, said late on Sunday that it was not interested in buying the social media network Pinterest, ending efforts to draft a potential $45 billion deal that would have been one of the biggest consumer internet takeovers in a decade.

In a brief statement, PayPal said it was “not pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest at this time.”

A transaction would have been among the biggest ever by PayPal since being spun off from eBay in 2015 and would have bolstered its presence in e-commerce. Pinterest is best known for allowing its 454 million users to pin images and links to their online pinboards and letting them buy goods directly through so-called “buyable pins.” Pinterest largely makes money through advertising instead of online shopping.

PayPal had offered $70 for each share of Pinterest, according to people with knowledge of the discussions, a 25 percent premium to where the digital pinboard’s stock had been trading before news of the talks emerged last week.

Investor reaction to a potential deal was mixed. Shares in Pinterest jumped on the news, while those in PayPal tumbled sharply.

Pinterest has performed well over the last year, with its revenue rising nearly 50 percent in 2020 because of a pandemic-fueled jump in online shopping. But some analysts questioned the logic of a deal and suggested the talks underscored PayPal’s difficulties with tougher competition in its core digital payments business.

FaZe Clan is an influencer marketing agency, e-commerce company and e-sports team all in one. Credit…Adam Amengual for The New York Times

FaZe Clan, the e-sports conglomerate, announced on Monday that it planned to join the public markets in a deal that involves merging with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which would value it at about $1 billion.

Founded in 2010, FaZe Clan is an influencer marketing agency, e-commerce company and e-sports team all in one. (The company’s chief executive, Lee Trink, once described it as “Dallas Cowboys meets Supreme meets MTV.”) It will be one of the first prominent e-sports companies to go public — and it’s likely to draw attention from the retail traders who helped fuel the SPAC frenzy.

Mr. Trink is a former Hollywood entertainment manager who worked with Kid Rock. The company’s 85 influencers, who live together in its California gamer compound, produce viral social media clips, compete in professional gaming leagues for money and accolades and foster a devoted fan base. FaZe has built on that following by starting an online store and branded merchandise and signing advertising deals with the likes of Burger King.

SPACs are blank-check companies that go public first with the goal of finding a private company to merge with. These can be a way for smaller companies to go public by allowing them to bypass the traditional regulatory scrutiny that comes with initial public offerings.

“We didn’t spend that much time really ideating on a traditional I.P.O. strategy,” Mr. Trink said in an interview, noting that a SPAC deal allows FaZe Clan to talk about future opportunities as it prepares to go public, while a traditional I.P.O. would not.

FaZe, which isn’t profitable, brought in about $38 million in revenue last year and expects to report more than $50 million this year. Mr. Trink said FaZe would use the SPAC to “double down” on content.

“This is the beginning of gaming’s further ascent into the cultural zeitgeist,” he added.

The $176 billion video game industry exploded during the pandemic, although some worry sales may slow as the pandemic eases. E-sports is expected to become a billion-dollar business this year; already, the e-sports team Evil Geniuses received an investment from China’s Fosun Sports Group that valued it at more than $250 million.

  • Stocks on Wall Street rose on Monday ahead of the release of a string of Big Tech earnings reports this week. The S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent, reaching a record, while the Nasdaq composite jumped 0.9 percent.

  • Tesla led the gains in the S&P 500, rallying more than 12 percent after Hertz, the car rental agency, said on Monday that it had placed an order for 100,000 Teslas. The gains left Tesla with a market value above $1 trillion for the first time — a milestone only reached by a handful of other publicly traded companies.

  • Facebook rose 1.3 percent ahead of its earnings report, which was due after the close of trading on Monday. The release comes the same day as Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee who has leaked internal Facebook research, testified before Britain’s Parliament as part of her campaign to attract political support for new regulation in the United States and Europe.

  • Microsoft, Twitter and Alphabet will release their quarterly reports on Tuesday. Amazon and Apple will release their financial performance reports on Thursday.

  • PayPal rose 2.7 percent after the digital payments giant said on Sunday that it was not interested in buying the social media network Pinterest. Shares of Pinterest fell 12.7 percent. Last week, shares of PayPal dropped after reports that it offered to buy Pinterest in a deal that valued the site at $45 billion.

  • Economists are also watching the development of President Biden’s infrastructure and social spending plans. To pay for the package, billionaires could be taxed on unrealized capital gains on their liquid assets, including stocks and real estate, Democratic officials said on Sunday. The move comes amid a dispute to raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent.

The image on the left loads normally, but the same image on the right takes eight times longer to load, simulating what a Twitter user in Russia would experience with the government’s technology in use.

Russia is putting in place perhaps the world’s most ambitious digital censorship effort outside China. It is using the censorship technology to gain more leverage over Western internet companies in addition to other strong-arm tactics and legal intimidation.

The world got its first glimpse of Russia’s new tools in action when Twitter was slowed to a crawl in the country this spring. It was the first time the filtering system had been put to work, researchers and activists said. Other sites have since been blocked, including several linked to the jailed opposition leader Alexei A. Navalny. READ THE ARTICLE ->

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistle-blower, will testify in Britain. She appeared before senators on Oct. 5.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
  • Facebook earnings: The company is set to publish its financial performance report for the three months that ended in September. Investors are looking for any signs that recent privacy changes in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, preventing tracking by some advertisers, hurt Facebook’s ad business.

  • Facebook whistle-blower: Frances Haugen, who once worked at Facebook, is expected to testify before the British Parliament. The testimony opens her European tour to meet with policymakers pushing for tougher regulation of Silicon Valley giants. Ms. Haugen is scheduled to visit Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

  • Twitter earnings: Investors will look for any clues about whether Twitter will miss revenue expectations because of Apple’s privacy changes. Twitter’s shares slumped after Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, reported lower-than-expected revenue on Thursday.

  • Google earnings: Alphabet, Google’s parent company, will report its financials for its third quarter. In July, the company reported a profit of $18.5 billion for the second quarter, more than it made in all of 2015.

  • Boeing earnings: Investors will be looking for an update on how quickly Boeing can resolve production issues with the 787 Dreamliner and start delivering the wide-body jet. The company announced in July that it would temporarily slow production of the model after identifying new work that needed to be done.

  • Auto earnings: Ford Motor and General Motors will report their financials for the most recent quarter. Investors will be looking at how a global chip shortage affected both companies’ profits. Ford has already reported that sales of new vehicles in the United States fell about 27 percent in the three months that ended in September.

  • G.D.P.: The Commerce Department will publish data on gross domestic product in the United States. Economists will look for evidence that supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages are constraining the recovery and prompting inflation.

  • Amazon earnings: Investors will be looking for whether Amazon’s sales continued to decelerate as businesses opened in the three months that ended in September.

  • Apple earnings: The company will report its financial performance for its fourth quarter, and investors will be watching for the effects that supply chain snarls have had on Apple’s production ahead of the holiday season.

  • E.C.B. meeting: Christine Lagarde, the European Central Bank’s president, may offer some insight on when the bank will scale back its bond-purchase programs. Officials are also expected to provide their outlook on inflation.

  • Oil earnings: Investors will find out whether Exxon Mobil and Chevron benefited from a global energy crunch that pushed oil prices up to seven-year highs. The report captures the period when Hurricane Ida damaged oil platforms and infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico in late August.

When will the shortages end? Why are new cars so hard to find? What happened to all the giant container ships?

In an era in which we’ve become accustomed to clicking and waiting for whatever we desire to arrive at our doors, we have experienced the shock of not being able to buy toilet paper, having to wait months for curtains and needing to compromise on the color of our new cars. The pandemic ushered in many of the problems the world now faces, but the end of the pandemic will not instantly fix things.

We answer the questions above and more with a look at the global supply chain. READ THE ARTICLE ->

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