Trial Balance

Bank Executives to Testify, Gauging Work Ethic, M&A Success: Trial Balance

This week we look ahead to the SVB and Signature Bank execs testifying before Senate to answer questions about the bank collapses and more.

With media company Vice’s recent filing for bankruptcy, the temptation of equating high valuation with high long-term success received a mortal blow. No matter how much a company is presumed to be worth, the talent they have, or the products they offer, they still need to be maintained with proper strategy and leadership in order to grow. Vice’s failure, and the many companies that have failed in a similar fashion, are real-world lessons for leaders to avoid complacency. 

With this in mind, which titans of today’s tech industry could collapse like Vice? Could OpenAI be the next MySpace? The importance of proper leadership and strategy at all levels of business, and learning how to “control growth,” as Coupa CFO Tony Tiscornia mentioned in his Q&A with managing director Andy Burt, is pivotal to being able to sustain long-term success.

(The Trial Balance is CFO’s weekly preview of stories, stats, and events to help you prepare.)

Part 1: 6 a.m. CFO — Keeping Sharp and Gauging Work Ethic

From coffee and keto to CFO, Marc Mathenz of Pine Labs breaks down how keeping sharp is more than just a mental exercise, but is a holistic lifestyle. From intermittent fasting and a routine-based morning, Mathenz’s focus on staying sharp mentally is extremely physically oriented. (5/18)

Also this week, reporter Adam Zaki approaches the idea of hustling at work, and how the differences in expression of work ethic among the varying generations impact leadership’s ability to judge a candidate’s willingness to work hard. (5/19)

Part 2: Economic Calendar

Monday —  The Atlanta Federal Reserve kicks off its Financial Markets Conference, the bank’s “signature policy and research event,” in Amelia Island, Florida. Keynotes include SEC Chair Gary Gensler and Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England. All sessions will be live-streamed.

In a week relatively light on economic data, the New York Fed releases the Empire State manufacturing survey. Last month’s survey showed growth for the first time in five months but also indicated manufacturing firms don’t expect business activity to improve much over the next six months.

Tuesday — In what may be a lively Senate committee hearing, the former CEO of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank’s former chair and former president testify before the Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs about what led to their banks’ collapses.

After two months of declines in retail sales, some economists predict slowing inflation may have sparked retail sales growth in April. The U.S. Census Bureau releases data on U.S. retail sales as well as business inventories. 

The Federal Reserve’s data on industrial production and capacity utilization is due. 

Wednesday — Numbers on April housing starts and building permits are released by the Fed. 

FASB holds a board meeting to discuss comment letter feedback on disclosure improvements related to the SEC’s disclosure update and simplification initiative. A live webcast is available.

In the House of Representatives, Michael Roffler, former CEO and President of First Republic Bank, and other bank executives appear before the Financial Services Committee to discuss oversight of regional banks.

Thursday — The Conference Board releases its index on leading U.S. economic indicators for April, expected to once against show a decline.

The Center for American Progress holds a panel to explore The Economic Consequences of Default. Speakers include Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. The panel can be viewed on Youtube at 3 p.m.

Friday — Fed Chair Jerome Powell and former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke give their perspectives on U.S. monetary policy at the Thomas Laubach Research Conference in Washington, D.C. 

Earnings this week — Home Depot, Baidu, Target, Jack in the Box, Wix, Walmart, Dole, Madison Square Garden, Deere & Co., Foot Locker, Experian, and others.

Part 3: M&A Success: How Midsize Sellers Cash Out

Midsize sellers spend the better part of their lives building a company so they can now cash out and ride into the sunset. Unfortunately, mergers and acquisitions can be challenging. There are many pitfalls and traps that await, especially if this is your first time.

Allan Tepper, co-founder of CFO Consulting Partners, offers five lessons to help sellers obtain the value they created. (May 16)

Stat of the Week

$17.05 trillion 

(Total consumer debt hit a record high of $17.05 trillion during the first quarter.)