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TAKE A TRILL PILL
Amazon joins Apple as the only other US company in the four-comma club. Amazon has had a meteoric rise to its $1T market cap. At the beginning of 2018, the company boasted a measly $600B market cap. A mere 165 trading days later Amazon topped the $1T mark. How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?
Record profits courtesy of AWS (cloud services) have helped offset massive cash outlays in AMZN’s consumer segments and more strategic spending in the B2C space has shored up Amazon’s competitive advantages (read: Whole Foods acquisition). And investors have taken notice.
Alphabet and Microsoft are quickly approaching the $900B mark. The two tech giants hold a commanding lead over the next closest competitors.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “One can only hope that Jeffrey Commerce tagged Larry Page and Satya Nadella in a ‘Savage Patrick’ meme to mark the occasion.”
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TAKE A STAND
“It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for ’em.”
If Nike was aiming to make a splash with their new ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, they’ve certainly done so. #NikeBoycott is trending on Twitter and some owners have gone so far as to tear the signature swoosh off of their Nike apparel. Even the President weighed in.
Not everyone hates the move as much as Donny Politics, though. Experts cite Nike’s global reach and its millions of customers who give zero f*cks about American football … or politics. Plus the move may help better position the brand with “kids these days” who want to know what companies stand for.
Still, shares fell 3.2% yesterday following Nike and Kaepernick’s announcement. The swoosh had been bleeding US market share to European rivals for the past few years but appears to be regaining its footing as of late.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “The people boycotting because of Kaepernick do know that Nike was accused of using child labor as recently as the late 90’s … right?”
European regulators have slapped ING Groep with a record 775M Euro fine ($899.8M) as part of a settlement by Dutch prosecutors in a massive money laundering investigation.
The charges claim that ING had been “seriously deficient” in reporting payments of bribes, like the ones from a company called VimpelCom Ltd. to the daughter of Uzbekistan’s President.
Regulators across the globe have been cracking down on financial institutions that overlook financial fraud. Despite being the biggest in Europe, ING’s fine pales in comparison to the $8.97B bill the U.S served to BNP Paribas for evading U.S sanctions (read: making forbidden financial transactions). Harry Dunne was right, the French are a**holes …
Water Cooler Talking Point: “If I can figure out what my friends did this weekend by checking their Venmo feed, these financial institutions must know about the shady stuff going on within their organizations.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Theranos, the Enron of Silicon Valley, will formally dissolve after paying out its remaining cash to unsecured creditors.
- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will appear before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Senate Intelligence Committee, alongside Sheryl Sandberg. In a prepared written testimony, Dorsey claims Twitter “does not use political ideology to make any decisions.” Both committees will grill @Jack on how he plans to combat election meddling ahead of the 2018 midterms.
- Time to update the LinkedIn. The formidable healthcare venture led by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase has found its COO: Jack Stoddard.
- Mercedes Benz unveiled its Tesla killer, the EQC, yesterday. The pomp and circumstance kicks off MB’s $12B drive to dethrone Elon.
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