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With a Big Tax Break, Hong Kong Tries to Soothe the Rich

HONG KONG — Political opposition has been quashed. Free speech has been stifled. The independent court system may be next.But while Hong Kong’s top leaders take a tougher line on the city of more than seven million people, they are courting a crucial constituency: the rich. Top officials are preparing a new tax break and other sweeteners to portray Hong Kong as the premier place in Asia to make money, despite the Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly autocratic rule.So far, the pitch is working. Cambridge Associates, a $30 billion investment fund, said in March it planned to open an …

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He Built a $10 Billion Investment Firm. It Fell Apart in Days.

Until recently, Bill Hwang sat atop one of the biggest — and perhaps least known — fortunes on Wall Street. Then his luck ran out.Mr. Hwang, a 57-year-old veteran investor, managed $10 billion through his private investment firm, Archegos Capital Management. He borrowed billions of dollars from Wall Street banks to build enormous positions in a few American and Chinese stocks. By mid-March, Mr. Hwang was the financial force behind $20 billion in shares of ViacomCBS, effectively making him the media company’s single largest institutional shareholder. But few knew about his total exposure, since the shares were mostly held through complex financial …

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Returning to the Office Sparks Anxiety and Dread for Some

Last fall, after some of the restrictions had eased in Germany, Trivago, a travel company based in Düsseldorf, let employees work remotely three weeks of the month and then spend one week in the office. The office weeks were designed for collaboration and were treated like celebrations, with balloons hanging from the ceilings and employees plied with coffee and muffins, said Anja Honnefelder, the chief people officer and general counsel of the company.But the experiment failed, she said. “We saw that many of the people only came back for two or three days during the week because it felt …

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Banks Face Billions in Losses as a Bet on ViacomCBS and Other Stocks Goes Awry

Mr. Hwang had worked under the billionaire hedge fund titan Julian Robertson at Tiger Management, making him one of the firm’s famous alumni, or “cubs,” when he started his own fund, Tiger Asia. But in 2012, he faced an insider-trading investigation; securities regulators said Tiger Asia had used confidential information to bet against the shares of Chinese stocks, and had manipulated other shares.Mr. Hwang entered a guilty plea to wire fraud on behalf of Tiger Asia and paid millions of dollars in fines while also accepting a five-year ban on managing public money as a result of the settlement …

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The Start-Up Enemies of Wall Street Are Booming

“The infrastructure has gone to a whole other level,” said CJ MacDonald, founder of Step, a debit card provider aimed at teenagers. Introduced in September, Step quickly reached one million customers, partly from endorsements from social media influencers like Charli D’Amelio.In December, Step raised $50 million in funding. The company was not looking for more money, Mr. MacDonald said. But investors started calling as soon as the app joined the top-downloaded finance app list shortly after it was released. The money came together in a matter of weeks, he said.Investors are even clamoring to buy into broken deals. …

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Greensill Capital: The Collapse of a Company Built on Debt

LONDON — The courthouse should have already been closed for the day.At a hearing that began at 5 p.m. on March 1, lawyers for Greensill Capital desperately argued before a judge in Sydney, Australia, that the firm’s insurers should be ordered to extend policies set to expire at midnight. Greensill Capital needed the insurance to back $4.6 billion it was owed by businesses around the world, and without it 50,000 jobs would be in jeopardy, they said.The judge said no; the company had waited too long to bring the matter to court. A week later, Greensill Capital — valued at $3.5 billion less …

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Where’s My Stimulus Payment? Maybe in Your Account. (Finally!)

Demand for information hardly slowed Wednesday: Wells Fargo said heavy traffic had temporarily caused problems for its online banking service. “This does not affect stimulus payments with March 17 effective date, which were credited to accounts today,” the company said in a statement.For this round, payments top out at $1,400 per person, including children and adult dependents. To qualify for the full amount, a single person must have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or below. For heads of household, adjusted gross income must be $112,500 or less, and for married couples filing jointly that number has to be $150,000 or below.Partial payments …

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The Financial Crisis the World Forgot

By the middle of March 2020 a sense of anxiety pervaded the Federal Reserve. The fast-unfolding coronavirus pandemic was rippling through global markets in dangerous ways.Trading in Treasurys — the government securities that are considered among the safest assets in the world, and the bedrock of the entire bond market — had become disjointed as panicked investors tried to sell everything they owned to raise cash. Buyers were scarce. The Treasury market had never broken down so badly, even in the depths of the 2008 financial crisis.The Fed called an emergency meeting on March 15, a Sunday. Lorie Logan, who oversees the Federal …

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Goldman Sachs Partners’ Exits Point to a Changing Culture at the Bank

Late in March, Gregg Lemkau, the longtime co-head of investment banking and an executive who was widely considered a potential Goldman C.E.O., sent a Twitter post about getting up during the wee hours to work remotely from his home in Hawaii, which is six hours behind New York.He soon got a call from Mr. Solomon, who was not pleased with the perception of the message, say three people with knowledge of the call. The two executives argued, those people said, over whether Mr. Lemkau should return to New York. They settled their differences and Mr. Lemkau stayed …

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Fed Chair Powell Offered a Patient Message. Markets Quivered Anyway.

Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, said he and his colleagues have a “high standard” for what full employment means, underscoring that the central bank is likely to be patient in removing its support for the economy.Mr. Powell pointed out that the virus has pushed many people out of the job market and said that “4 percent would be a nice unemployment rate to get to, but it will take more than that to get to maximum employment.” It is unlikely the job market will return to full speed this year, he added, speaking in an online …

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