JC Weekly Brief – 1st February, 2021

by Jefferson Capital
February 1, 2021

Global Overview

Regulators vs. Volatility

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has initiated a meeting with U.S. financial markets regulators amid recent market volatility. The Treasury Department is seeking to identify potential misconduct and question brokerages’ decision to halt trading for retail investors.

It is not clear whether any policy moves will be implemented in foreseeable future, however, such precedent is viewed as a potential financial stability issue.

The long-awaited relief bill

The bipartisan passage of the new relief bill has been undermined by Republicans’ $600 million counterproposal. The long-awaited coronavirus support package has been on hold since the end of last year.

Although the US Budget office states that an economic outlook is improving faster than expected, a new relief bill is necessary to avoid a potential “liquidity trap”.

Capital Markets


PX Last 1 Week YTD
United States
S&P 3 871.74 2.23% 3.08%
NASDAQ 13 777.74 3.30% 6.90%
Euro Stoxx 50 3 642.12 2.39% 2.52%
FTSE 100 6 503.72 -0.34% 0.67%
DAX 14 060.29 2.89% 2.49%

Fixed Income

10 Year Week* YTD*
United States 9.10% 22.30%
United Kingdom 15.20% 25%
Germany 8.50% 10.90%
Switzerland 9.30% 19.70%
*Change in sovereign debt Yield

Major Buy-back by Apple

Apple is planning to initiate a buy-back program using proceeds from $14 billion newly issued bonds. The company priced a bond sale across six maturities ranging from 20 to 40 years.

The market has reacted with mixed signals as the stock price did not see major moves. Analysts argue that the majority of proceeds might be directed at refinancing the existing short-term debt which amounts to $7.75 billion.

Drinks & Drive

Uber has announced its acquisition of alcohol delivery service – Drizly. World’s favorite “taxi” platform has set the price at $1.1 billion and is expected to integrate Drizly functionality into Uber Eats services.

Uber Eats has been expanding aggressively, adding groceries and prescriptions to its list of deliverable goods, as the demand for delivery goods ballooned during the pandemic.

Private Equity & Venture Capital

Netflix for Wine

Online markets place and wine review app, Vivino, has raised $155 million in a Series D round. The round was led by Swedish Venture Capital firm Kinnevik and has brought a total amount of raised funds to $221 million.

Known as “Netflix for Wine”, Vivino has over 50 million active users and has seen a 103% surge in sales over the last year.

Ribbit’s emergency response

Ribbit, a Palo-Alto based VC firm and one of the largest Robinhood shareholders, is stepping up to lead a whopping $3.4 billion emergency funding for a retail-brokerage app. Amidst the recent meme stock frenzy.

Robinhood backers, including Sequoia and Andressen Horowitz are gathering up with a hasty response to the trading crisis. As such this action could set in motion Robinhood’s decision to enter the public markets arena sometime this year.

Commodities & Digital Assets

PX Last 1 Week YTD
WTI Crude 56.37 7.70% 16.18%
Gold 1 794.42 -2.72% -5.55%
XBT/USD 37 533 8.19% 29.43%

Bitcoin Principles

Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Bridgewater, Ray Dalio, has surprised investors by publishing in-depth research on Bitcoin. Once a passionate adversary, Dalio admits that Bitcoin can be perceived as a long-term store of value.

Famous for his macro strategies, Dalio argues that Bitcoin has the potential to become a widely used monetary hedge, although he does not overlook vast regulatory hurdles.