Bitcoin Plummets; Apple’s Huge Tax Bill; And Overwatch League Has Big First Week
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I got that old thing back
You know the old saying: “you gotta spend money … to spend money.” Apple plans to repatriate at least part of the $252B in cash it has parked overseas, triggering a one-time $38B tax bill, so that it can fulfill its promise to contribute $350B to the US economy over the next 5 years.
The most patriotic act since Washington crossed the Delaware will earmark $30B to create 20k new jobs and a sprawling new campus. More indirectly the largest publicly traded company in the world vows to spend $55B with US suppliers and manufacturers this year alone. China cannot be happy about this.
The maker of the iPhone has caught a lot of flak for doing what they do best: outsourcing. But they’re hoping to do right by their employees at least, announcing that they will award all employees a one time $2.5k stock bonus.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Not so fast. Don’t for a second think that Apple turned into a Boy Scout overnight. A large chunk of this change can (and likely will) be used to pay shareholder dividends and to buyback shares. Apple’s no stranger to these tactics, which tend to boost stock price, having returned almost $240B to shareholders over the past 5 years.”
Are you ready for some e-sports?
Be nice to the nerds, someday they could be your boss … or a professional athlete, apparently. Blizzard, the maker of Overwatch, saw the first week of their professional Overwatch league wrap up with over 10M unique views. The opening day alone saw an average of 408k views per minute.
To put things in perspective, the NFL’s first Amazon and Twitter broadcast of Thursday Night Football only averaged 372k and 243k views per minute, respectively. That could explain why professional sports leadership like the Patriots’ Robert Kraft and Mets’ Jeff Wilpon want in on the e-action.
The Overwatch League topped Twitches viewer stats all week, beating out some of Twitch’s most popular channels by hefty margins. As of now, Overwatch teams are receiving equal shares of revenue from ad sales, tickets sold and broadcasting rights, as well as local revenue up to a set amount.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Personally, I think everybody would rather watch video games than any of the garbage the NFL has been trotting out on Thursday nights. TNF hatred aside, with big names like Kraft and Wilpon paying attention, the e-sports world isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”
Buy the dip!
Bitcoin’s value crashed through the $10k floor for the first time since November. The currency was at a high of $19,343 just a few weeks ago. Who could have seen this coming? *Cough* everyone *cough*
BTC and many other crypto-currencies’ legitimacy seemed to be gaining traction as bitcoin futures began trading on NASDAQ in late 2017. But this meant that traders could short the crypto-currency … you know, that thing traders do when they think assets are going to plummet.
The drop has been compounded by announcements that Russia and China will be adding regulations to the BTC markets in those countries.
It’s worth noting that at the time of writing bitcoin is trading at $11,755. Hold on.
Bitcoin haters rejoice!
Somewhere, likely on luxury bedding, Jamie Dimon has a big smile on his face. This is the same Jamie Dimon that hated on bitcoin as the crypto-currency skyrocketed throughout 2017. But he’s not alone. Even the Oracle of Omaha chimed in, denouncing the crypto-currency market last week.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I haven’t seen anyone posting lately about how I can safely invest in bitcoin using their unique Coinbase referral code. Weird. Just when I was ready to get involved …”
IN OTHER NEWS
- The Fed’s Beige Book report indicates that the U.S. economy and inflation expanded at a modest-to-moderate pace from late November through the end of 2017.
- Barclays is cutting 100 senior positions in its Investment Bank. Just what this world needs is a bunch of middle aged frat bros running around Wall Street with severance packages to blow.
- Verizon and the NBA ink an estimated $400M deal that grants exclusive mobile “League Pass” streaming rights to Verizon’s Yahoo. Can’t Yahoo just die already? Stop teasing us with superior Fantasy Football and Finance news.
- Knitted sneakers are sending wool prices soaring. Prices jumped 30% last year and continue to rise, hitting an all time high yesterday. But if I see one more Allbirds ad on Facebook I am going to burn down their corporate offices.
- US indices were up yesterday:
- DOW: +1.25%
- S&P 500: +0.94%
- NASDAQ: +1.03%
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Ask a Bo$$
(Ask a Bo$$ is TWC’s newest series that is going to change the way you get your wildly-specific career and job-related advice. We aren’t PhD‘s … but we are battle-hardened corporate crusaders fighting the good fight and promise to enlighten you with brutal honesty you won’t get anywhere else. Enjoy.)
This question was originally posed on Ask a Manager from an employer perspective. I’m going to take some liberties and tackle it from an employee point of view.
Here’s the long-winded question in tweet-length or less: Should I use ‘family leave’ (a different type of PTO than personal/vacation time at my company) on February 5th and 6th to go to the Super Bowl (February 4th) when I told my boss that the time off was for visiting a sick family member? I’m getting low on vacation days. Also, if my team doesn’t reach the Super Bowl and I decide to sell my tickets should I go into work on the 5th and 6th?
Ask a Bo$$ answer: The answer is YES, you should go to the Super Bowl. Hands down. You won’t remember that killer PowerPoint presentation, but you will remember a game winning Super Bowl drive, or really any Super Bowl moment, ever.
With that said, you shouldn’t be a f*cking idiot. Super Bowl tickets don’t grow on trees and your sorry ass needs a way to pay StubHub $6k for nosebleed seats. PTO isn’t a privilege, it’s a right and unless your contract stipulates how you can use it (it shouldn’t), why not just used standard personal time? And if we’re being totally honest, lying about going to an event that literally every single person in the US (even your boss who is a cat lady) knows about is some next level sh*t. If you want to stick it to the man bring headphones in the handicap stall or take off a random Wednesday and say you were sick like the rest of us.
Oh and claiming someone in your family is sick is pretty messed up. “Karma,” look it up.
But since you’re already waist deep in this cesspool, you’ve got to keep up the charade. By no means can you go into work those two days. In fact you should spend the entire two days crafting an air tight story … and possibly polishing your resume in case all hell breaks loose.
Bottom line: No, just, no.