Wall Street’s affair with blank-check firms, the finance fad that pushed companies onto the stock market during the COVID-19 pandemic, ended this year with a string of big bankruptcies and even bigger losses for shareholders.

At least 21 firms that went public by merging with special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, went bankrupt this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Measured from their peak market capitalizations, the insolvencies bookend the loss of more than $46 billion of total equity value.

The failures span money-losing electric vehicle startups and forward-thinking farming comp

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