Latest Issue

SPACs: the financial fashion for these shell companies could spell trouble

The City shouldn’t hurry to match risky innovations taking place across the Atlantic

By Paul Wallace  

Image: robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo

In the past year or so, a new way of bringing private firms to the stock market has become all the rage on Wall Street. It involves—acronym alert—SPACs, short for “special purpose acquisition companies.” The upsurge in SPACs currently has no parallel in the City, owing to regulatory restrictions. Now there are moves afoot to allow London to follow suit. But this is one American financial innovation that Britain can usefully do without.

SPACs have turned on its head the usual process of launching a private company on the stock market in the United States. Traditionally, that has…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect