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WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE
Facebook made it official yesterday, introducing the world to its proposed cryptocurrency, Libra. With the project, Zuck hopes that people outside of the yellowcake uranium and/or black tar heroin biz will embrace crypto for mainstream purposes. Wishful thinking.
It will be a while before we know if Zuckerbot has unleashed a new world order or just launched the next Google+, but in the meantime let’s dissect Libra’s white paper, shall we?
What we know
• Users will be able to exchange local currency for Libra instantly using FB Messenger, WhatsApp or a stand-alone Libra app … and buy actual goods and services with it.
• Libra will be a “stablecoin,” meaning it will be pegged to a basket of global currencies to avoid wild swings a la bitcoin.
• Facebook will create a subsidiary called Calibra (super original, Zuck) to separate church and state (read: social and financial data).
• The ‘Book will partner with other major corporations and VCs which will invest in the project and offer bandwidth to manage the currency’s massive ledgers. The 27 partners plus Facebook will make up the Libra Association.
• The name comes from the Roman word for a unit of weight measure, not the astrological sign, you basic b*tch, you.
• Libra will have a really stupid symbol that only a mother could love: ≋.
What we don’t know
• If this sh*t will ever gain regulatory approval and which regulatory body will oversee the altcoin. US Senator Maxine Waters has already asked Zuck to put the project on hold and France’s Finance Minister raised concerns about currencies being controlled by “private companies that respond to private interests.”
• How exactly Facebook will make boatloads of money from it. As of now, it appears the ‘Book will rely on small transaction fees and interest earned on money users cash in.
• If it will be safe or not.
• The exact launch date. Facebook has promised a go-live date of early 2020.
• When the Winklevoss twins plan to approach the president of Harvard to lodge a complaint about Mark Zuckerberg stealing their idea.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
Trade talks between the US and China are on track to start back up. The two leaders agreed to come back to the table at the G20 summit later this month in Japan to discuss getting their collective sh*t together and working out a deal.
Before you get all “Make American-Chinese Trade Relations Great Again,” don’t forget that talks have stalled numerous times in the past. Both sides are hopeful that this go-round will be different. POTUS tweeted that both teams would be working on talks before the actual meeting set for June 28th.
The news helped send the Dow up 350 points today as investors are optimistic that a deal will get done. The FOMC met today as well, and expectations of a possible rate certainly didn’t hurt US indices’ cause.
One would think that taking a position with a set term would provide relative job security at the very least. Well, think again. Turns out, the four-year term for Fed Chairman is a “suggested” stint.
On the eve of the Fed announcing its plan for interest rates for the remainder of 2019, President Trump hinted (read: threatened) that he could replace Powell should the Chairman botch upcoming decisions. And apparently, this wasn’t Jerry Interest Rates first time on the chopping block. POTUS had allegedly considered demoting Powell in February.
In the eyes of Donny Politics, a rate cut is the only option going forward. And Trump’s fears of a weakening US economy were only compounded yesterday by Mario Draghi’s comments that the European Central Bank was considering additional monetary stimulus.
Protect this house!
It’s got to be tough to focus on the task at hand (deciding the fate of the biggest economy in the world) when you hear that the White House is exploring options to strip you of your Chairmanship … and make you walk down the streets of Castle Rock naked with a bell.
Tune in today at 2 PM to see what the Fed has up its sleeve and whether or not Powell gets voted off the island.
IN OTHER NEWS
- PG&E has finally reached a settlement with more than 14 agencies, including the town of Paradise, CA, over accusations that the company’s equipment caused some of the most devastating wildfires in California’s history. The settlements, totaling more than $1B, come five months after PG&E filed for bankruptcy. The suits don’t affect any of the open suits filed by individuals and businesses that the fires affected.
- Adobe had itself a quarter. The Photoshop maker reported a 25% revenue increase vs. the same period last year. Adobe, which has been working to reinforce its Creative Suite products (aka the way pretty much all memes are made), hit $2.74B in revenue vs. an expected $2.71B. Not too shabby.
- What housing crisis? Google is injecting $1B into the San Fran housing market in the form of various investments over the next 10 years. Many San Franciscans blame the tech industry for the cities housing affordability issues. And Google hopes to ease the tension with, what else, money. $750M of the investment is earmarked for repurposing Google-owned commercial real estate for residential purposes, equating to around 15k homes for those “at all income levels.” This is a super passive-aggressive way to tell all those developers to stop living in your parking lot.
- IAG plans to end Boeing’s sales woes with the purchase of 200 737 Max planes, a total sale of more than $24B at list price. The deal was a Godsend for Boeing’s starving sales team, as the firm has been at the center of both investigations and lawsuits stemming from two 737 Max crashes earlier this year, and hasn’t had a sale in two months. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Boeing won’t be posting the planes in its monthly order numbers until the deal is signed. So there’s still time to back out, IAG!
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