It’s the first day of the DealBook Online Summit, featuring top newsmakers in business, policy and culture debating the most important issues of the moment — and the future. Today, speakers will consider the arc of innovation, the prospects for beating the pandemic, the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, and the future of policymaking in Washington.
Here is today’s lineup (all times Eastern):
9:00-9:45 a.m.: Masayoshi Son of SoftBank
The billionaire founder and chief executive of SoftBank, the Japanese tech conglomerate, will discuss the $100 billion Vision Fund’s biggest bets and his long-term outlook for innovation.
Mr. Son sees himself as a transformational figure. He has frequently said he has a 300-year vision for his company, which he has tried to position as the leading investor in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. His strategy has focused on making huge investments in companies, such as Uber, that he believes have the potential to transform and dominate entire industries.
11:00-11:30 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Dr. Fauci will provide an update on the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic and reflect on his service under six presidents.
I’ve just been doing this for so long, and I’m trying to do my best to get the message across without being overtly at odds, OK? The only thing I can do is to get out there with whatever notoriety or recognition I have and say, these are the four or five things. Please pay attention to them. And if we do that, I feel confident that we’ll turn this around.
1:00-2:00 p.m.: Pfizer’s Albert Bourla, Bill Gates and Heidi Larson of the Vaccine Confidence Project
The panel will discuss the latest breakthroughs in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine and the challenges of distributing it, both in terms of logistics and winning public trust.
Even in normal times, mass-vaccination campaigns involve many moving parts within a vast network of suppliers, transporters and middlemen.
The particulars of Pfizer’s vaccine will make this effort even more complex. The vaccine, developed with the German company BioNTech, has to be stored at around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit) until shortly before it is injected. That is about the temperature of the South Pole on a winter day and colder than any of the other leading vaccines in development.
4:30-4:55 p.m.: Senator Elizabeth Warren
One the most prominent progressives in the Senate, with a track record of aggressively trying to rein in Wall Street, Ms. Warren will discuss the post-election outlook for the intersection of business and policy.
Elizabeth Warren loves her plans, but in her speech you heard not a wonk’s delight in technocracy, but the emotional power of a thousand wrenching life stories told to her through tears on the campaign trail — of mothers defeated by the impossible demands of work and child care, of young men eviscerated by the self-doubt borne from joblessness. No politician is as good at translating the arcana of policy to the language of pain, suffering and relief.
From 9:00 a.m. Eastern, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son will discuss his company’s biggest bets and share his 300-year outlook for innovation.
Every day, the DealBook newsletter helps subscribers makes sense of the latest business and policy news. Here are some of the stories in today’s edition:
News Corp bids for Simon & Schuster. Rupert Murdoch’s media company, which owns HarperCollins, is one of two finalists to acquire the book publisher, The New York Times’s Ed Lee reports. (The other is Bertelsmann, which owns Penguin Random House.) A deal would substantially consolidate the book publishing industry, giving Mr. Murdoch ownership of titles by top authors like Stephen King and several hit books critical of President Trump.
Airbnb opens its books for its I.P.O. The home-rental giant filed its offering prospectus yesterday, revealing how it has been affected by the pandemic. Revenue in the first nine months of 2020 was down 32 percent, to $2.5 billion, while net losses doubled, to $697 million. Like other tech companies, it has created multiple classes of stock that give its founders disproportionate control.
Judy Shelton’s Fed nomination grows shakier. President Trump’s controversial pick for the central bank faced new opposition, as Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said he would vote against Ms. Shelton’s nomination. A confirmation vote may come down to a tiebreaker decided by Vice President Mike Pence.
Elsewhere in the newsletter, DealBook reporters note how President-elect Joe Biden was expected to seek the middle ground on an economic rescue package, but in his first major policy speech he seemed steeled for a fight. Analyzing political donations for the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff elections, it looks like the private equity industry is investing in government gridlock, backing the Republican incumbents after donating more, on balance, to Mr. Biden’s campaign than President Trump’s. And with the departure of one of Goldman Sachs’s best-known rain makers, Gregg Lemkau, M.&A. may have less sway at the Wall Street giant.