increase in investor demand for company disclosures on things like climate-related risks, board and leadership diversity and political donations. Most recently, it issued a risk alert about the “lack of standardized and precise” definitions of E.S.G. products and services, which could lead to confusion among investors and inconsistent reporting by companies.

  • At his Senate confirmation hearing, Mr. Gensler appeared inclined toward more expansive disclosures, noting that “it’s the investor community that gets to decide” what is material.

Blank-check companies: Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have been proliferating, raising many regulatory concerns. These include “risks from fees, conflicts, and sponsor compensation, from celebrity sponsorship and the potential for retail participation drawn by baseless hype, and the sheer amount of capital pouring into the SPACs,” said John Coates, the acting director of the S.E.C.’s corporate finance division, in a statement.

  • Given Mr. Gensler’s strong enforcement credentials, many predict more scrutiny of SPACs in the months ahead. This could take precedence over the other recent market frenzy, meme stocks, but regulatory action on the gamification of trading, payment for order flow and other factors in the mania around GameStop and others may not be far behind.

Bringing cryptocurrency into the mainstream: Mr. Gensler was confirmed on the day that the crypto exchange Coinbase went public, signaling a new era of legitimacy at a time when crypto rules are in flux. Blockchain executives and their growing lobby told DealBook that they welcome working with Mr. Gensler, who is more versed in crypto technology than most other policymakers. “He gets what’s going on,” Hester Peirce, an S.E.C. commissioner and vocal crypto champion, said of Mr. Gensler.

  • Clarity on when a digital asset qualifies as a commodity or a security tops Coinbase’s wish list, according to its chief counsel, Paul Grewal: He’s “hopeful” about Mr. Gensler’s tenure, noting that he will be well-informed and engaged on crypto issues, “even if we won’t always agree.”


  • CVC Capital Partners has reportedly delayed submitting a final takeover bid for Toshiba following the resignation of the Japanese conglomerate’s C.E.O. (Nikkei)

  • Penske Media, the publisher of Rolling Stone, has reportedly agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in the South by Southwest festival to keep the tech, music, and film event afloat. (WSJ)

  • WeWork may be trying to go public through a SPAC instead of an I.P.O. this time, but concerns about its rosy projections for growth and profitability remain. (WSJ)

Politics and policy

  • All the ways British officials are trying to defend London’s status as a major financial hub after Brexit. (NYT)

  • Super PACs are starting to play an outsize role in the race for New York City mayor. (NYT)

  • President Donald Trump may be out of office, but the One America News Network has bet its business on essentially pretending he never left. (NYT)


  • Two men were killed in an accident involving a Tesla that was apparently operating in Autopilot mode. (NYT)

  • Clubhouse has raised new funds at a $4 billion valuation, but there are signs that the audio chat app’s popularity is waning. (CNBC)

Best of the rest

  • What research says about how to make hybrid work succeed. (Reset Work)

  • Speaking of the future of work: HSBC’s senior leaders have scrapped their own executive floors and now “hot desk” like everyone else. (FT)

  • “The New York Power Lunch Is Back, With New Rules” (WSJ)

We’d like your feedback! Please email thoughts and suggestions to

View Source

Volleyball Player Lost Her Job Over Pregnancy. Now She’s Fighting Back.

ROME — When the Italian volleyball player Lara Lugli got pregnant, she knew she would lose her job.

But when her club refused a request for some pay she claimed was owed to her, she brought a lawsuit. The club responded by accusing her of causing financial damage and ruining her team’s season, and she decided to speak out.

She denounced her treatment on Facebook on Sunday, triggering outrage across Italy and a national conversation that was a long time coming. Her case was a call to action in a country where many paid female athletes have lacked legal protections against discrimination for decades, and where all too often women must still choose between motherhood or jobs.

“Comparing a pregnancy to bad behavior is simply so low,” said Ms. Lugli, now 41. “This is not something just about me.”

Credit…via Lara Lugli

Her case reflects a broader gender inequality in Italian sports, entrenched in deeply rooted stereotypes in a country that ranks 76th in the world in terms of gender gap, according to the World Economic Forum.

Facebook Wednesday that the fact women must choose between motherhood and work “forces them into inequality,” and is a situation that Italian women can no longer tolerate.

the United States and Norway — maternity clauses would most likely be impossible to impose, Ms. Tortorella said.

promised to not financially penalize its sponsored athletes who become pregnant, after its handling of the issue had been criticized. A few months ago, FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, made it mandatory to guarantee maternity leave for at least 14 weeks for professional women soccer players.

But because of the lack of public attention, political interest and funding for women’s volleyball, offering professional contracts would be a fatal blow to the clubs’ finances, the president of the Women Volleyball League has said.

a recent study. Overall, 72 percent of athletes in Italy are men, while only 28 percent are women, according to the Italian National Olympic committee.

“It is a partly a cultural problem, and that is clear,” said Luisa Rizzitelli, the president of Assist, the national association of women athletes. But it also reflects a lack of political will to invert the trend.

“Women in sports need to be allowed to have protections if they become mothers,” she added. “In 2021, this simply is no longer acceptable.”

View Source