Facebook Email Leak; Huawei CFO Arrested; Nomura Vs. Nomura

The Water Coolest

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A U.K. lawmaker went nuclear on Facebook, releasing a trove of incriminating internal and confidential emails indicating that Zuck and team have been utilizing user data as a pawn in business dealings.

Damian Collins, a member of Parliament, and noted Facebook critic, released almost 200 pages of internal Facebook emails given to him by Ted Kramer. Kramer, the founder of Six4Three is currently engaged in a lawsuit with big blue related to the network denying data access to his app Pikini … which identified bikini pics on Facebook.

In emails dating back as far as 2012 Facebook allegedly granted certain white-listed companies, including Netflix and Lyft, unfettered access to user info, cutoff certain competitors from obtaining your personal data, and even cut deals to sell user data outright.

It’s been quite a year for MySpace’s younger, nerdier cousin. In March news of the Cambridge Analytica story broke, revealing that nearly 50M users’ data may have been used by the Trump campaign to target voters in 2016.

More recently, the exodus of Instagram’s founders following disagreements with Zuck sent shock waves through the tech space. And the company’s crisis du jour revolves around a PR firm that Facebook allegedly hired to denigrate its enemies.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “So you mean to tell me that Mark Zuckerberg, a man once denounced for creating a ‘Hot or Not’ knockoff may meet his demise at the hands of an app called Pikini? The Social Network 2 is going to be so lit.”



Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada, presumably by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, this past weekend, after the US requested her apprehension for allegedly violating US sanctions. Wanzhou faces potential extradition to the US after a bail hearing scheduled for Friday.

Wangzhou, the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei is the first arrest in an ongoing probe of Huawei, which is suspected of violating US-issued sanctions. The probe, which has been ongoing since 2016, accuses Huawei of selling US manufactured goods in Iran.

Huawei isn’t the only Chinese phone maker that has been under the watchful eye of Uncle Sam. ZTE, another Chinese national company, has already been fined $1.2B for selling goods in Iran and North Korea.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “This oughta bode well for US-China relations.”



That’s my quant.” – hearthrob Ryan Gosling as Jared Vennett

Investment bank Nomura has cracked the case on what really caused the steep market drop earlier this week. Turns out that whole “3% drop in the market” thing wasn’t just caused by some fiery tweets and inverted bond yields. It was those meddling, trend-following quants. Or was it?

See, quants are quantitative analysts who use computer algorithms and programs to create financial models. The programs analyze data as determined by the traders and execute trade orders automatically according to the model.

Oddly enough, Nomura employs one of the most widely-followed quant traders on Wall Street, Charlie McElligot, who took the blame one step further, pointing fingers at Commodity Trading Advisers (CTAs).

A Tokyo-based Nomura trader didn’t take kindly to the accusation, denying that the market fallout was driven by CTAs. Although it is not uncommon for there to be a difference of opinions within banks, the two leaders aren’t exactly padding their “team player” stats for year-end with a public spat.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Nomura is doing its best Deutsche Bank impression.”






  • Wells Fargo has fired almost three-dozen retail district managers related to the sales scandal … which came to light two years ago. If nothing else, the investigation was “thorough.” Mary Mack (no, we’re not making that up), the head of consumer banking at Wells sacrificed the peasants in hopes of appeasing the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) Gods.


  • AIG is partying likes its 2008. The massive insurer fired its CFO, Sid Sankaran suddenly, replacing him with internal candidate Mark Lyons. Shares of the company are down 32% this year amid a “rebuild.”


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