“A vote for Brexit would make some people very rich—but most voters considerably poorer” — Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, in an op-ed piece highlighting the risks of a Brexit.
- Markets continued to rally after a speech from Janet Yellen struck a cautious tone, citing fears of a possible Brexit and its impact on the global economy
- SolarCity soared nearly 15% after hours after the company received a $2.8 billion buyout bid from Tesla—and if you weren’t already aware, Elon Musk is CEO of both companies (creating one of the largest conflicts of interest in history)
- United Airlines rose 4% after detailing a plan on an investor call to generate the company an extra $3 billion in added revenue by focusing on operational efficiencies—classic corporate buzzspeak, but investors didn’t mind
Facebook is Going Live
…Are you watching? Yesterday, everyone’s favorite social media giant inked a $50 million-plus deal with roughly 140 companies and celebrities to contribute to Facebook’s rapidly growing live video streaming service. The names listed in the deal range from media companies like CNN and the New York Times to celebrities like Russell Wilson and Kevin Hart, who will provide short clips on their Facebook pages. Zuckerberg and Co. are in the early stages of developing this lucrative video advertising platform, hoping to bring some competition to the likes of YouTube and Snapchat. Consider it brought.
Twitter Isn’t Doing Too Well
…But you can’t say it’s not trying. With Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram at our disposal, who actually posts videos to Twitter? If you raised your hand, embrace it—it’s all part of the plan. Most recently, Twitter launched a mobile app for video creators called Twitter Engage (just for iOS). Not only will all Twitter users be able to post videos over 4x longer in duration (they’re capped at 140 seconds now—big shock there), but the app will also give users the ability to monitor how their tweets are performing and help them identify mentions from “influential” users. If you’re a Twitter investor, you might be asking what exactly this does for you. For one, Twitter stands to earn a few bucks through selling pre-video advertising to marketers.
Boeing Had a Big Tuesday
…Yesterday, the U.S. manufacturer signed an agreement to sell airplanes to Iran Air. Why is this a big deal? To give some context, U.S. economic sanctions against Iran were finally lifted in January after being in place since 1979. Before that, Boeing supplied the majority of Iran’s planes, and now (pending government approval), Boeing will be the first major U.S. corporation to do business there again. If the deal goes through, the next question will be where Iran will get the money to pay Boeing—U.S. banks still aren’t allowed to work with Iran—but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Who Would Walk Away From a $73 Million Salary?
…Softbank’s President and COO Nikesh Arora, that’s who. What’s going on here? Softbank (a Japanese telecommunications giant) is headed by an aging CEO, who recently decided to postpone his retirement. Arora, the handpicked heir for CEO (and one of the highest paid execs on the planet), didn’t want to wait longer for his time to shine and jumped ship. Any leads? Well, Softbank hasn’t been doing too well lately and just sold off its stake in Supercell (the Clash of Clans developer) to raise some much-needed cash. It may be good timing for Arora, but leaving that salary couldn’t have been easy.
- Hedge fund manager facing insider trading charges found dead from apparent suicide
- Star athletes lose over $30 million in ponzi scheme
- Tencent buys ‘Clash of Clans’ maker Supercell
- Apple is returning money to ebook buyers after losing price-fixing lawsuit
- Monday: Treasury Bill Auctions
- Tuesday: Adobe (+/-), FedEx (+) Earnings
- Wednesday: Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble Earnings; Existing Home Sales
- Thursday: BlackBerry, Accenture Earnings; New Home Sales; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: Durable Goods Orders; Consumer Sentiment
UP GOES THE UPPER MIDDLE CLASS
We’re all well aware of a certain politician who isn’t the biggest fan of the 1%. Hint: Larry David does a great impersonation of him on SNL. But new research suggests that this tiny sliver of the U.S. population isn’t the only group seeing tremendous economic success. Economist Stephen Rose of the Urban Institute recently found that the upper middle class is larger and richer than ever before. The stats, you ask?
- “Upper middle class” gets thrown around in conversation plenty, but can anyone actually define what it means? The short answer: yes. In this report, it’s defined as those with an annual income between $100,000 and $350,000 for a family of three.
- Now for the kicker: the upper middle class grew to nearly 30% of the U.S. population in 2014, up from 12.9% of the population in 1979.
- However, during the same time frame, the middle class shrunk from 38.8% of the population to 32%. Although some gained wealth, that’s still a big drop for the group once considered the “backbone of the American economic order.”
- Rose’s study is not without its critics. The Pew Research Center believes that the upper middle class has seen only modest gains and puts greater emphasis on the diminished middle class. One way or the other, it’s a good conversation to be having.
INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY
How can I get the answer 24 by using the numbers 8, 8, 3, 3? You can only use the main signs: add, subtract, multiply and divide. (Answer)
BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY
Arbitrage – Taking advantage of the difference in the price of a share or currency, usually in two different markets. In the U.S., arbitrage is often associated with risk arbitrage, which means buying shares in potential takeover targets, waiting for a bid that inevitably pushes up the share price and then selling the shares for a profit.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Instagram lovers (and haters): the photo-sharing app has now surpassed 550 million users. Who’s the real winner? Facebook, of course, which purchased the app in 2012 for $1 billion—when it had a mere 30 million users. Zuckerberg strikes again.
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