“Potential criminal charges mean you open your wallet in the civil actions, hoping to receive leniency instead of jail time” — University of Michigan business law professor Erik Gordon, dropping some knowledge bombs on Volkswagen’s $15 billion emissions scandal settlement.
- The mayhem from Friday’s massive losses spilled over into Monday, with the financials (especially U.K. banks) and materials sectors suffering the brunt of the fallout as investors fled to the safety of utilities and telecom
- The S&P Global Broad Market Index suffered its biggest two-day loss in history, with global equity markets losing a mind-boggling $3 trillion over the past two trading days
Alternatives to Watch
- The pound added another 3% loss to its already massive 10% drop in value against the dollar as investors try to figure out what this means for the future of the U.K.
- Gold resumed its climb and bond yields fell as money continued to flood into safe-haven assets
Looking For Ideas?
…Twitter’s got plenty. Profitability and growth? We’ll get back to you on that one. After making bold moves like investing $70 million in SoundCloud and expanding the maximum video length to 140 seconds, Twitter is going to a place so bold we can hardly bear it: the social media giant is adding a sticker option for photos. Okay, so maybe it’s not revolutionary, and it might sound familiar (Snapchat, much?). They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s not all imitation. Twitter’s stickers will have a unique feature: like clicking on a hashtag, you’ll be able to click on a sticker inside a tweet and see how it’s being used around the world.
The Day Has Finally Come
…Ladies and gents, we now live in a world where both Starbucks and Chipotle are offering rewards programs. That’s right: yesterday, Chipotle announced its rewards program called “Chiptopia” in an effort to gain back its customers’ trust (and stomachs) after its little E.coli epidemic. The program launches July 1 and will run for three months, during which you’ll earn perks like complimentary chips and guac (yes, free guac) and buy-one-get-one free burritos based on your number of visits per month. If all goes well, Chipotle may turn the program into a permanent fixture once the three months are up. With sales falling an unprecedented 30% last quarter, there’s plenty at stake. See you at lunch, Chipotle.
Out With the Old
…In with Ulf Mark Schneider. For the first time in nearly 100 years, Nestlé has gone with an outside hire for its recently vacated CEO position. The lucky man? Ulf Mark Schneider, who is taking over the world’s largest food company. Passing the torch to the now ex-CEO of a healthcare business is an interesting move, but one that actually makes a good deal of sense. Nestlé has been quietly reducing its reliance on a growth-challenged (and more health-conscious) food industry by making major investments in the health sciences space. The goal? To transform itself into a nutrition and health company. Fear not, Nestlé isn’t getting rid of its famous chocolate and coffee anytime soon, but as the new CEO shows, this ain’t your father’s Nestlé.
It’s Day Five
…Of the post-Brexit era, but the shock is still being absorbed. On Friday, credit rating company Moody’s assigned the UK a negative credit outlook after news of the referendum broke…and that was just the beginning. Yesterday, S&P and rival ratings agency Fitch both downgraded the country’s credit rating as well. What does it mean? At three strikes, Britain has lost its top-notch financial standing. A lower rating could make it more expensive for the British government to borrow money, which just adds to the list of potential financial woes that the Brexit might create.
- Amazon to expand Dash button program
- Pepsi re-launches Diet Pepsi with aspartame
- Google CEO Sundar Pichai gets hacked
- Wendy’s to open first restaurants in Brazil this July
- Monday: International Trade (-)
- Tuesday: Nike, Carnival Earnings: U.S. Q1 GDP (3rd Estimate)
- Wednesday: Monsanto, General Mills Earnings; Personal Income and Outlays
- Thursday: Constellation Brands, ConAgra, Micron, Darden Restaurants Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: ISM Manufacturing Index; June Auto Sales; Construction Spending
7/4/16: THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL NIGHTMARE
We’ve all heard the warnings—TSA lines have reached record-breaking lengths, and you’d better get to the airport at least a day early if you hope to catch your flight. So, you may think, why not drive instead and skip the lines? Think again: this July 4, even the streets aren’t safe—according to AAA, motorists will hit the roads in record numbers. Read on if you need any more convincing to stay home this Independence Day:
- Exactly how bad will it be? Over 36 million people will drive at least 50 miles each over the holiday weekend. In case you were wondering, that’s a solid 1.8 billion miles, which is equivalent to just under 20 trips to the sun. No big deal.
- The space travel-worthy numbers would make 2016 the third record-breaking year in a row, representing an increase of 1.2% over last year.
- But why? You guessed it: as usual, it all goes back to oil. The average price for a gallon of gasoline has dropped 47 cents since last year, down to a palatable $2.31.
- All of this—July 4, cheap gas, driving on highways—sounds very American, but it’s important to the rest of the world too. After all, Americans account for just 10% of all gasoline demand.
INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY
A shell is tied to the side of a boat. The shell hangs 3 meters above water level. The water rises 2 cm an hour. How long before water touches the shell?
BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY
Home Reversion Plan—These are available to people aged 60 and over, and are designed to help them free up the cash held in their homes. Here’s how it works: you sell part or all of your property to a reversion company at a discount, in return for a lump sum payment or a regular income, or both. You retain the right to stay in the property for the rest of your life.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
On the brighter side of things, the UK can look forward to hosting Wimbledon on July 10. The prize money for the tournament even increased 5% from last year. Unfortunately, that amount was set in April and now is worth less than last year in dollars thanks to the UK’s currency plunge. Yes, even sports are affected by this Brexit.
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