EU And UK Near Brexit Deal; Oil Plummets Again; Waymo Will Launch Self-Driving Service Within Months

The Water Coolest

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THE HEADLINES

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DEAL OR NO DEAL

Brexit News

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If you think the political environment is batsh*t in the US, just wait until you get a load of Her Majesty’s sh*tshow. Let’s recap shall we? In 2016 52% of Britons voted to leave the European Union for a slew of reasons, including the presumed opportunity to craft stronger trade deals. On March 29, 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered a two year negotiation period during which the EU and UK must amicably split.

With the EU and Brexiteers within spitting distance of March 29, 2019 talks seem to finally be heading in the right direction … kind of. The two parties put forth a plan that will be presented to Theresa May’s government for approval today.

But coming to an agreement won’t be easy. One of the biggest issues revolves around a physical border with Ireland and what that means for trade between the UK and EU nation.

As part of the deal, if no trade agreement can be reached before March 29th of next year, negotiators from the UK and EU agreed on a contingency plan that would allow for free trade between the two countries. The issue? This plan would come in the form of a UK-wide customs agreement with the EU that has no end date. Some Brits believe this will muddy the waters when the UK tries to negotiate non-EU trade agreements.

Some of Theresa May’s cabinet members have even threatened to resign over the proposed plan. And even if it does get to Parliament for approval, it is far from a guarantee that the plan will get the green light.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The breakup sex is going to be incredible once this is all said and done.”

 

CRUDE AWAKENING

Ever heard of the Exxon Valdez? How about Deepwater Horizon? Consider both a metaphor for the current state of the oil market. Prices of crude oil have dropped to $55.69 per barrel, marking the lowest point in a year of low points.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced a decrease in global demand for oil in 2019 … meanwhile, OPEC partners are producing 32.9M barrels per day. *Draws graph with “X” on it* It’s Econ 101, really. There is more oil being produced than countries are looking to consume, and as demand drops so do prices.

The downturn caught some investors by surprise. Just a month ago, oil was “headed to $100 per barrel.” Speculators were all “HODL WTI.”

And now? OPEC may cut as much as 1M barrels per day in production as it looks to limit supply and buoy prices. Meanwhile, Russia and the US have a literal f*ck ton of reserves to keep the market flooded should they so choose.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “If I had to choose one image that best captured the current state of affairs in the oil industry it would be this.”

 

YOUR RIDE IS ON THE WAY-MO

Think self-driving car services are a thing of the distant future? Not so fast. Alphabet’s Waymo says that a self-driving car service could be a reality in as little as two months. Wait a second, who approved this?

Waymo’s service will be available for paying individuals but cater to businesses, like Walmart, who want to get people into their stores. To start, the service will be available in Phoenix. The initial pool of riders will be pulled from the original Early Rider Program, which Waymo has had in place since last year.

Currently, Waymo is valued at roughly $150B, with that number expected to grow as their service roll out to the general public.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Hmmm, a self-driving vehicle pilot program in the Greater Phoenix metro area … what could possibly go wrong?”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

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  • Even Sully couldn’t pull Boeing out of this nosedive. Investigators are claiming that Boeing withheld information about potential hazards associated with a feature meant to stop the exact thing that caused a fatal crash in Indonesia. Boeing shares fell on the news.

 

  • GE is gutting itself faster than the demo day montage in the first half of a Fixer Upper episode. Next on the chopping block? GE’s shares of Baker Hughes. The conglomerate will sell its $4B stake in the oil services company. Roughly 65M shares will be purchased by Baker Hughes and the remainder of the 101M shares will sell on the open market. The move comes about six months prior to an initially agreed upon sale and will give GE a much-needed lifeline of cash.

 

 

  • In addition to halting retail sales, JUUL will go cold turkey on social media like your butt-hurt friend who can’t handle the “hateful rhetoric” on her Kim K. prison reform posts. JUUL’s social presence helped morph the nicotine filled USBs into a lifestyle accessory. Tobacco companies are barred from similar types of media outlets.

 

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