Barnes & Noble And La Croix CEO On Hotseat; Glencore’s Subpoena; Micron Cutoff In China

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Glencore, the thrill-seeking mining and commodities trading giant, was slapped with a subpoena courtesy of Uncle Sam, demanding documents relating to possible corruption and money laundering in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo. If there were a financial fraud Olympics, these countries would be medal contenders.

The Fed’s move isn’t exactly surprising, though. Just last month Glencore tried to zig when the US zagged, by resuming royalty payments to Israeli billionaire, Dan Gertler, to maintain access to valuable mining rights. The issue? Gertler is on the US’s naughty list. So what did Glencore do? Try to pay in Euros to skirt fines.

Glencore could face serious sanctions and its executives could face jail time. The news alone is already wreaking havoc on the company’s share price, with the company shedding as much as $5B in market cap.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Let’s be honest, Glencore sounds a lot more like a YouTube workout for beer-bellied, middle-aged men than a leader in global mining.”



All is fair in love and (trade) war. Micron, the Idaho based microprocessor producer has been banned from selling its products in China, the market with the largest appetites for chips.

Their crime? Suing Korean competitor, UMC, for allegedly funneling trade secrets to China among other wrongdoings.

The real culprit appears to be China, however. The People’s Republic isn’t home to any of the top 10 producers of microprocessors in the world … and it’s safe to say they want that to change by any means necessary (*cough* stealing patents *cough*).

Investors took note that roughly 50% of Micron’s revenue comes from China. Shares dropped 5% on the news.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “’It would be so much easier for me to give a damn if I knew what a microprocessor actually did.”



Take note execs: having a corner office no longer affords you a get out of jail free card if you don’t follow company guidelines. Barnes and Noble announced Tuesday that they fired their CEO, Demos Parneros, for violating company policy. No other details were provided around the abrupt firing. No word on if it had to do with the incredible letdown that was the “Nook” …

It’s been a rough go at it for the struggling retailer over the past two years. According to the bookseller, the release was not related to any fraud or issues with financial reporting. The company’s next CEO will be the fourth to take the reins in the past 24 months.

La Croix’s CEO also seems to be spiking his seltzer. The chíc bubbled water maker’s Chief Executive has been accused of inappropriately touching two pilots on a business jet between 2014 and 2016. Lawyers for Nick Caporella denied the allegations, though one of the lawsuits was settled in January. Because innocent people do that all the time …

Water Cooler Talking Point: “’Must be something in the deliciously flavored, overpriced water that these CEOs are downing at executive lunches.”



  • Wang Jian, the Chairman, and co-founder of Chinese conglomerate HNA died after a freak accident on holiday in France.
  • The good news? Tesla hit its goal of producing 5k Model 3’s in a week. The bad news? Tesla skipped brake and roll testing to achieve the goal. The worse news? Shares dropped roughly 7% following the report.
  • Amazon is a grower, not a shower. Amazon Prime Day which begins on July 16th will last 36 hours in 2018, 6 hours longer than last year. For the first time, there will also be Prime Day deals at Whole Foods.


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.