As the numbers have gone from a trickle to a stream to a flood, I’ve been watching the announcements of new SPAC formations the past year with a mixture of amusement and bewilderment. On the one hand the rationale behind why someone would want to give their money to someone else to invest blindly is baffling. On the other hand I fully comprehend why every sponsor of a SPAC is coming to market as soon as possible – it’s free money for them.
Because of the utter logic of the latter point – free money – I held off on writing about the reinvigoration of what I would characterize as a charade. But now that we seem to be reaching a crescendo, whereby every financier and celebrity is
lending their name getting involved with creating a SPAC, I can no longer hold back. It would be easy to pick on Shaq as the catalyst for this writing, or Billy Beane or Paul Ryan, heck even Masayoshi Son’s SPAC announcement coming so quickly on the heels of his WeWork debacle. Yet what finally spurred me to put pen to paper was not the flood of new SPACs, but what I see as the beginning of the end for these noxious vehicles. Or maybe end-game is a better characterization. Because it’s not the upsurge of newly announced SPAC’s that’s so alarming as much as the cashing out, and the early signs of this are sprinkled sotto voce in the SPAC-mania headlines.