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Matt Levine

Oh Hey Here’s Another SPAC

Also retail investor relations, diverse hedge funds and attractive mutual funds.

A major challenge in asset management is naming things. If you are starting a new investment vehicle, you want to give it a name that is unique and memorable and that conveys something about your aspirations. For instance if you’re starting a hedge fund you will probably name it after some figure of classical mythology (to convey “I have read books”) or Elvish mythology (to convey “specifically, I have read the appendices to ‘The Lord of the Rings’”), or after a posh town or neighborhood (to convey “I am posh”), or after a generic geographical feature (to convey “I am posh but discreet”), or after a nautical term (to convey “I would like to buy a yacht”).

On the other hand, if you are starting a special purpose acquisition company—a sort of blind pool in which you raise money in a stock offering and then use it to go out and find a company to take public—what do you want to convey? I think that you mostly want to convey “hurry, it is a boom market for SPACs, let’s get this SPAC out the door, no time to think about the name!”