The Hollywood agency CAA is buying its rival ICM.

The acquisition adds muscle to an already heavyweight Creative Artists at a time when talent representatives are sparring with studios over compensation in the streaming age.

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Reese Witherspoon is among Creative Artists Agency’s clients.Credit…Matt Petit/Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, via Getty Images

Creative Artists Agency announced Monday that it was buying its smaller rival ICM Partners for an undisclosed amount, the largest industry consolidation in more than a decade and one that could have significant ripple effects in the entertainment and sports worlds.

The acquisition adds muscle to an already heavyweight Creative Artists at a time when talent representatives are sparring with studios over compensation in the streaming age. If studios are no longer trying to maximize the box office for each film but instead shifting to a hybrid model where success is judged partly by ticket sales and partly by the number of streaming subscriptions sold, what does that mean for how stars are paid — and where they make their movies?

CAA boasts a client roster that includes Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Zendaya, Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson, while ICM counts Shonda Rhimes, Samuel L. Jackson and Pete Davidson among its marquee names. The deal marks the largest consolidation in the agency world since the William Morris Agency merged with Endeavor in 2009 and reflects a recommitment to the representation business after the talent agencies lost their dispute with the Writers Guild of America over packaging deals earlier this year.

CAA is also the top sports agency, representing close to 1,000 top athletes including Paul George, Drew Brees and Chris Paul. ICM bolstered its sports business in the past year with the purchase of Select Sports Group, which represents National Football League figures like Kyler Murray and Colin Kaepernick; and the Stellar Group, which manages some 800 clients from the world of soccer.

The deal to buy ICM, according to CAA, will “drive broader and more inclusive representation” for their clients.

“Our strong financial position enables us to continue to expand and diversify our businesses, with service and representation remaining central to what we do and who we are,” the top CAA executives Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett said in a statement.

ICM Partners’ chief executive, Chris Silbermann, will join the CAA board upon completion of the deal, which the agencies said they expected before the end of the year.

Visitors looking at Polestar vehicles at the Munich Auto Show in Germany on Sept. 11.Credit…Andreas Gebert/Reuters

Polestar, the Swedish high-end electric vehicle company, has signed a deal to go public at a $20 billion valuation, via a merger with a SPAC backed by the Gores Group and Guggenheim Capital, the company said on Monday.

Polestar is owned by Volvo Cars and Volvo’s Chinese parent, Geely, with other investors including Leonardo DiCaprio. Polestar’s equity owners will roll over all of their interest in the deal and retain a 94 percent stake in the company.

Shares of the SPAC climbed above its I.P.O. price on Monday, a rarity among pre-merger SPACs these days.

Polestar has two models on the road, and it wants to offer three more by 2024. It delivered approximately 10,000 vehicles in 2020, but lags far behind the market leader, Tesla.

“Compared to us, Tesla is a very old company,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s chief executive. Rather than spend capital building electric-charging infrastructure, as Tesla did, Polestar can take advantage of existing infrastructure, he said. (In the United States, that may still not be enough.)

Its valuation is conservative — for an electric car company. Lucid, which went public via SPAC in July, is valued at $41 billion. Rivian is expected to be valued at about $70 billion in its coming I.P.O. Tesla is worth nearly $770 billion.

“Public markets are a little bit more challenging today, especially for SPACs,” said Mark Stone, the senior managing director of Gores Group. The deal includes $250 million in financing, which the Gores Group chairman, Alec Gores, said could be adjusted as needed, as in the case of redemptions by SPAC shareholders. The deal includes a six-month lockup period.

The deal comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and China. Doubts about the future of the Chinese real estate giant Evergrande — and its impact on the Chinese economy — have dragged down stocks of other Chinese electric vehicle companies like Nio and Li Auto that trade in New York. China has also been discouraging local companies from listing abroad.

Polestar manufactures cars in China, but “we are a European company,” Mr. Ingenlath said, noting that the company’s headquarters are in Sweden.

The SPAC sponsors studied the “China issue” thoroughly, Mr. Gores said, adding that Polestar has manufacturing capabilities outside of China, like those it’s building in the United States, that can be tapped as necessary.

Eric. S. Rosengren traded in real estate investment trusts in 2020, a year when the Federal Reserve was active in markets and he helped set policy.Credit…Steven Senne/Associated Press

A Federal Reserve Bank president who recently came under fire for securities trading he engaged in last year, when the central bank was active in rescuing financial markets from the pandemic crisis, said on Monday that he would retire nine months ahead of schedule.

Eric S. Rosengren, who is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, will retire on Thursday, he said in a news release. He said he was retiring to try to prevent a kidney condition from worsening, to stave off dialysis.

“Eric has distinguished himself time and again during more than three decades of dedicated public service in the Federal Reserve System,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said in a statement released alongside the news.

Mr. Rosengren was one of two Fed presidents whose financial activity in 2020 had drawn scrutiny in recent weeks. He held stakes in real estate investment trusts and listed purchases and sales in those, at a time when he was warning publicly about risks in the commercial real estate market and helping to set policy on mortgage backed security purchases.

His colleague Robert S. Kaplan at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas gained attention for buying and selling millions of dollars in individual stocks, among other investments. Both presidents had previously announced that they would convert their financial holdings into broad-based indexes and cash by Sept. 30.

The watchdog group Better Markets has been calling for the Fed to fire both presidents if they do not resign, in light of their activity.

Mr. Rosengren has been president of the Boston Fed since 2007, and his retirement was previously planned for June. The Fed’s 12 regional members rotate in and out of voting seats, and Mr. Rosengren would have had a vote on monetary policy next year.

Kenneth C. Montgomery, the Boston Fed’s first vice president, will serve as interim president. The Boston Fed’s board members — excluding bank representatives — will need to select a permanent pick for president, subject to approval from the Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington.

A longtime Fed employee who worked in research and bank supervision before becoming president, Mr. Rosengren played a key role in the 2020 crisis response. His regional Fed ran both the money market mutual fund and Main Street lending backstop programs that the Fed rolled out last year.

The Boston Fed noted in the release that Mr. Rosengren hoped that his health condition would improve, and that he would be able to “explore areas of professional interest” in the future.

Lael Brainard in 2017.Credit…Brian Snyder/Reuters

Top Federal Reserve officials emphasized on Monday that the labor market is far from completely healed, underlining that the central bank will need to see considerably more progress before it will feel ready to raise interest rates.

“We still have a long way to go until we achieve the Federal Reserve’s maximum employment goal,” John C. Williams, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech Monday afternoon.

Leading Fed officials — including Mr. Williams, Lael Brainard and Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair — have given similar assessments of the outlook in recent days and weeks. They have pointed out that the economy is swiftly healing, bringing back jobs and normal business activity, and that existing disruptions to supply chains and hiring issues will not last forever.

But they say the recovery is incomplete and that it’s worth being modest about the path ahead, especially as the Delta variant demonstrates the coronavirus’s ability to disrupt progress.

“Delta highlights the importance of being attentive to economic outcomes and not getting too attached to an outlook that may get buffeted by evolving virus conditions,” Ms. Brainard, a Fed governor, said in her prepared remarks on Monday.

Those comments came on the heels of the Fed’s September meeting, at which the central bank’s policy-setting committee clearly signaled that officials could begin to pare back their massive asset-purchase program as soon as November. They have been buying $120 billion in government and government-backed securities each month.

The speeches on Monday emphasized that as officials prepare to make that first step away from full-fledged economic support, they are trying to separate the decision from the Fed’s path for its main policy interest rate, which is set to zero.

Central bankers have said they want to see the economy return to full employment and inflation on track to average 2 percent over time before lifting rates away from rock bottom.

That makes the debate over the labor market’s potential a critical part of the Fed’s policy discussion.

Some regional Fed presidents, including James Bullard at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and Robert S. Kaplan at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, have suggested that the labor market may be tighter than it appears, citing data including job openings and retirements.

But Mr. Williams said on Monday that the job market still has substantial room to improve. While the unemployment rate has fallen from its pandemic high, he said the Fed is looking at more than just that number, which only tracks people who are actively looking for work. The Fed also wants the employment rate to rebound. He pointed out that a high level of job openings is not a clear signal that the job market has healed.

“Even if job postings are at a record high, job postings are not jobs,” Mr. Williams said. “These vacancies won’t be filled instantly.”

Although Mr. Williams said he had been watching the impact of school reopenings on the labor market, he said he did not think they would cause a huge surge in people returning to work this month or in October.

“It may take quite a bit longer for the labor supply to come fully back,” he said.

Ms. Brainard batted back the idea that labor force participation — the share of adults who are working or looking for jobs — might not return to its prepandemic level.

“The assertion that labor force participation has moved permanently lower as a result of a downturn is not new,” she said. A similar debate played out following the 2008 financial crisis and labor force participation ultimately rebounded, especially for people in their prime working years.

Ms. Brainard warned that Delta was slowing job market progress. Last week there were more than 2,000 virus-tied school closures across nearly 470 school districts, she said, and “the possibility of further unpredictable disruptions could cause some parents to delay their plans to return to the labor force.”

The construction site of Evergrande Cultural Tourism City, developed by China Evergrande Group.Credit…Aly Song/Reuters

China’s ability to blend top-down control of politics with market-based capitalism was for years seen as a source of strength. That balancing act, though, appears to be teetering. Economic growth is slowing and the country is facing a potential financial crisis in the collapse of Evergrande, a heavily indebted property developer.

Some have called Evergrande’s troubles China’s “Lehman moment,” referring to the investment bank whose collapse precipitated the 2008 global financial crisis. Others, like The New York Times’s Paul Krugman, have said that a better analogy is Japan, where years of overinvestment and an aging population led to a long period of sputtering growth, though far from an economic collapse.

Either way, China’s reaction to its challenges is to exert greater control over its largest companies, making it clear who calls the shots in the country, the world’s second-largest economy after the United States. This has significant implications for foreign investment, geopolitics and more, as a quick tour of some of Beijing’s recent crackdowns shows:

Cryptocurrency: On Friday, China bolstered its ban on all activity linked to digital currencies, which some saw as part of a broader effort to channel citizens away from private financial services providers, which include decentralized crypto services as well as popular apps like AliPay and WeChat. The move should also be seen in the context of the Chinese central bank’s advanced development of its own digital currency, which would allow the government to track and control financial transactions.

Technology: China has been turning the screws on its largest tech companies, citing unfair competition. Officials recently ordered Alibaba to divest a recently acquired stake in one of the country’s largest broadcasters and limited online game playing to just three hours a week for anyone under 18, denting companies like Tencent. Earlier this summer, Chinese officials stopped Didi from signing up new users days after China’s largest ride-sharing app listed its shares in the United States. The government said it had to do with data privacy, but the timing cast a chill over Chinese companies listing abroad.

Electric vehicle manufacturers: China is putting the brakes on its homegrown electric vehicle industry, which has been fueled by government subsidies. This month, a minister declared that the country had “too many” EV companies. The government said it would encourage consolidation and was looking to reduce aid for the industry.

For-profit education companies: In July, China banned tutoring companies from making profits and restricted foreign investment in the $100 billion sector. It is now estimated to be worth considerably less.

Energy usage: China has pledged to cut its carbon gases by 65 percent in the next decade. In September, after two-thirds of the nation missed it emission goals for the first half of 2021, Beijing imposed stricter limits on energy usage, particularly on manufactures. Numerous factories, many of them that produce parts for such U.S. companies as Apple and Tesla, say their power supply has been substantially cut, forcing some to operate by candle light.

An unfinished Evergrande housing complex in Luoyang, China.Credit…Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

The financial world is watching the struggles of China Evergrande Group, one of the largest property developers on earth and certainly the most indebted. Last week, a deadline to make an $83 million payment to foreign investors came and went with no indication that Evergrande had met its obligations, raising questions about what would happen if its huge debt load went sour, Keith Bradsher reports for The New York Times.

China has a lot riding on its ability to contain the fallout from an Evergrande collapse. After Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in generations, began his second term in 2017, he identified reining in financial risk as one of the “great battles” for his administration. As he approaches a likely third term in power that would start next year, it could be politically damaging if his government were to mismanage Evergrande.

The government doesn’t want to move in yet because it hopes Evergrande’s struggles will show other Chinese companies that they need to be disciplined in their finances, say people with knowledge of its deliberations who spoke on condition of anonymity. But it has an array of financial tools that it believes are strong enough to stem a financial panic if matters worsen.

The government is “still going to provide a guarantee” for much of Evergrande’s activities, said Zhu Ning, deputy dean of the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, “but the investors are going to have to sweat.”

A gas station in Leicestershire, England, on Saturday. Grant Shapps, the transportation secretary, has appealed to motorists not to buy more fuel than they normally would.Credit…Carl Recine/Reuters

Since January, after Britain completed the final stage of Brexit, employers have been unable to freely recruit European workers. The pandemic has also exacerbated a crisis that stems from a long-term shortage of British truck drivers.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain reversed course and offered thousands of visas to foreign truckers to combat a driver shortage that has left some supermarket shelves empty and caused long lines at gas stations, Stephen Castle reports for The New York Times.

The decision, announced late Saturday, reflects the growing alarm within the government over a disruption to supplies that has prompted panic buying and, in some places, caused fuel to run out and gas stations to close.

The post-Brexit exodus of European workers is only one cause of the long-term driver shortage. The industry has had difficulties attracting workers to jobs that are traditionally lower paid and require long, grueling hours away from home. Truckers have also complained that safe parking spaces and rest stops can be hard to find.

So great is the concern that there has been speculation that the military could be called up to drive trucks. That has not yet happened, but Defense Ministry staff members will be asked to help speed up the process for truck licensing applications.

The S&P 500 ticked down 0.3 percent on Monday, while the Nasdaq composite dipped 0.5 percent.

Oil prices rose sharply. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, climbed 2 percent to $75.45 a barrel. Total domestic crude inventories decreased by 3.4 million barrels for the week ending Sept. 17, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday.

The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote Monday on legislation that would raise the U.S. debt limit and provide government funding, scheduled to lapse on Oct. 1, through December. Senate Republicans are expected to block the measure. The move could roil financial markets and capsize the economy’s nascent recovery from the pandemic downturn.

The House is set to vote on a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday, a measure that focuses spending on transportation, utilities, pollution cleanup and other components.

European indexes were lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.2 percent.

Shares for Facebook gained 0.2 percent. Facebook said on Monday that it had paused development of an “Instagram Kids” service intended for children 13 years old or younger amid questions about the app’s effect on young people’s mental health.


Senate vote on the debt limit: The Senate is expected to vote on legislation to keep the government funded through early December and lift the limit on federal borrowing through the end of 2022 before a Thursday deadline. The United States could default on its debt sometime in October if Congress does not take action to raise or suspend the debt limit, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen warned.


Consumer confidence: The Conference Board is set to report its consumer confidence index for September. The results last month showed the index’s sharpest decline since February, but preliminary data from the University of Michigan’s gauge of consumer sentiment showed a modest gain for September.

Senate Banking Committee hearing: Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, and Ms. Yellen will testify at the Senate Banking Committee hearing on their agencies’ oversight of the CARES Act. Economists are expecting the officials to be quizzed about inflation, a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the debt ceiling.

NABE Conference: Ms. Yellen is set to speak at a virtual event hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association for Business Economics. Her address will be followed by a moderated conversation with Constance Hunter, the chief economist for KMPG.


Personal Consumption Expenditures: The inflation gauge will provide insight on how much and how quickly rising prices will fade. The data comes after an update from the Fed about its plans to “taper” bond purchases that the central bank is making to support the economy.

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