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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lucid Motors, a Newark, Calif.-based electric car maker, on Thursday failed to secure investor approval for its $24 billion acquisition by Churchill Capital Corp IV, a SPAC led by Michael Klein.

Why it matters: This is the downside of having a meme SPAC, as not enough retail investors showed up to cast votes. Churchill and Lucid seemed to know this might be coming, as they flooded Reddit and other online message boards with "get out the vote" messages.

What now? The parties say they still expect to obtain the necessary votes, perhaps by as early as today. [Update: They got it done]

HOOD hold: This is also a pretty big black eye for Robinhood, which is set to go public next week, feeding the narrative that it doesn't provide enough information to amateur investors. One possibility is that Robinhood's proxy emails got caught in spam filters, which is something Klein himself raised during an investor call.

The bottom line: "Public companies use third-party services known as 'proxy solicitors' who are supposed to keep tabs on shareholders so they can be reached when it’s time to vote on company matters. But this has gotten harder because so many people are trading SPAC shares," The Verge writes.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Aug 5, 2021 - Economy & Business

The downside of Robinhood's upside

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

One definition of a meme stock is this: Any publicly listed company whose stock becomes a speculative vehicle beloved of retail investors armed with small-dollar Robinhood accounts.

Driving the news: To no one's surprise, Robinhood itself has now become one of those stocks, just a few days after going public last week.

37 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.