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A buzzy IPO goes sour, triggering an epic sell-off

March 31, 2021, 9:22 AM UTC

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Good morning.

Today is the final trading day of Q1, and we’re looking at a lackluster close to the quarter. With the exception of rebounding tech futures, U.S. stocks are mostly flat ahead of President Biden’s big infrastructure bill reveal later today. This bill could weigh in at about $2.25 trillion.

Across the pond, Europe’s buzziest IPO—that of Deliveroo (ticker: ROO)—is off to a lousy start. At one point, trading was halted in volatile trade as the share price dipped below 3 quid in the opening minutes, more than 25% below its offer price. This share offering was supposed to be a feather in London’s cap, but it’s looking like a day to forget for some investors.

Let’s see how the rest of the markets are faring.

Markets update


  • The major Asia indexes are mostly lower in afternoon trading with the Nikkei down 0.9%.
  • It’s too early to completely rule out the lab leak” hypothesis, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday following a now disputed report about the origin of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The fallout of the Archegos Capital implosion continues with a new report tallying up the banks’ losses at up to $10 billion. It’s hit Japan’s Nomura particularly hard, messing with CEO Kentaro Okuda’s turnaround plan.


  • The European bourses were mostly lower this morning with London’s FTSE the worst of the bunch.
  • Shares in Deliveroo, Europe’s hottest IPO, began trading this morning with a thud—well below its issue price. That’s after the Amazon-backed Deliveroo had to scale back the offer price as storm clouds swirl over its labor practices and the outlook for the meals-delivery sector.
  • Staying in London…AstraZeneca got hit with another sell-off on Tuesday as fresh doubts arise over the safety of its COVID vaccine. Shares are down 0.5% today, underperforming the wider market.


  • U.S. futures are trading sideways this morning. That’s after all three indexes limped to the finish line yesterday, closing out in the red.
  • Speaking of hotly anticipated IPOs… Robinhood last week confirmed it’s filed the paperwork with the SEC to go public. This offering will be anything but conventional, Fortune‘s Shawn Tully reports.
  • This next item is infuriating: Volkswagen is NOT mulling a name change for its the U.S. business, as the world’s media (including Bull Sheet) reported yesterday. It was a premature April Fool’s joke, the company said. Ha. Ha. 🤯


  • Gold is down, trading below $1,700/ounce.
  • The dollar is off, but is looking at its best quarter in over a year.
  • Crude is flat with Brent trading above $64/barrel.
  • Bitcoin trades around $57,000.




E for enormous

Some big institutional investors have shied away from the Deliveroo IPO on ESG concerns. But, overall, ESG-fueled investing is booming. According to BofA Securities, the inflows into ESG equity funds has more than doubled in the past year.

Archegos to the Reddit brigade: Hold my 🍺

World’s smallest country, meet one big boat


Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… Until then, there’s more news below.

Bernhard Warner

As always, you can write to or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

Today's read

Crypto for the unbanked. The meteoric rise in Bitcoin may be obscuring a more promising use-case for digital currencies. "Making digital currencies, including the digitization of fiat currencies, more useful, understood, and ubiquitous will go a long way to driving greater digital payment use and utility," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman writes in Fortune. "The benefits are legion, particularly for businesses and consumers––presenting an opportunity to engage in cheaper, safer, and more efficient transactions while meeting widespread consumer demand for the expansion of payment options."

Searching for Italy. The story of Europe's oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, is a fascinating one. Since its founding in 1472, the iconic Italian bank "has survived plagues and outside invasions, economic booms and busts," writes Eric J. Lyman in Fortune. Now, in a new chapter, this bank that's older than America is seeing all kinds of interest from American investors.

Some of these stories require a subscription to access. There is a discount offer for our loyal readers if you use this link to sign up. Thank you for supporting our journalism.

Market candy

Quote of the day.

Instead of this pattern of small increases in capacity over time, all of a sudden we had a quantum leap, and that really set off an arms race.

That's Marc Levinson, an economist specializing in the history of globalization, describing the race to make the colossal container ship even more gargantuan in size. It's a fascinating read, courtesy of The New York Times' Niraj Chokshi. In the past 15 years, container ships have roughly doubled in size, giving us Ever Given-sized giants. We're going to need a bigger canal.