Andrew Ross Sorkin’s column in the New York Times this morning on Special Purpose Acquisition Companies opens on the intriguing fact that Michael Gross must find a company to buy in the next 14 days for $300m or return the cash to his shareholders.
The rise of Spacs – shell companies that raise money in an initial public offering to buy unidentified other companies – reminds me of the days of the South Sea Bubble. Investors in Spacs are pretty much going on faith that the sponsors of these vehicles know what they are doing.
Esther Dyson, who knows a thing or two about media and technology (as well as being the board member of 23 and Me who helped me with my genetic sample in Davos last month) wrote an op-ed piece in the Journal yesterday on the internet-based future of advertising.
It caught my attention because of who wrote it and because it was pegged to the Microsoft bid for Yahoo, as was my column on the same topic last week. I found it especially engaging because she agreed with me on one point but then branched out into something else entirely.