Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged … For Now; Gaming And Music Festival Announced; Harley Takes Aim At Asia
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Jay Powell and the Fed did what the Fed does best: absolutely nothing. After two days of meetings and at least one butthurt US President, Jay and his board of governors decided to hold interest rates steady between 2.25% and 2.5%.
There’s always a “but”
But, that doesn’t mean the Fed won’t pull the trigger on a rate cut before the year is over. In fact, at his post-meeting presser Powell indicated “The case for somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened.”
The July Fed meeting is shaping up to be a bit of a Donnybrook. As part of projections coming out of this week’s meeting, eight of seventeen officials indicated that the Fed will cut the benchmark rate this year, with seven predicting two cuts. One black sheep believes the Fed will need to raise rates making him roughly the economic equivalent of that one (of ten) dentist who doesn’t recommend Sensodyne.
Markets have already “built” in two rate hikes, hence the good day on Wall Street. The Fed’s future decisions will be affected largely by any updates (or lack thereof) regarding the ongoing trade war.
Yup. Inflation. The measure of sustained price increases of goods and services over time remains near 1.6%, below the Fed’s 2% goal. Jerry Interest Rates even went so far as to lower his expectations for headline inflation from 1.8% as reported in March to 1.5% for the year.
LiveNation Entertainment’s C3 Presents announced it is planning the first ever Metarama Gaming + Music Festival in Las Vegas scheduled for October. The festival will feature the likes of Snoop Dogg, electronic musician Marshmello, and gamer “Ninja” in a mash-up of the growing industries.
The music festival scene has blown up as more and more companies seek to cash in on millennials and Gen Z’s insatiable thirst for excuses to day drink and take molly. And apparently, it’s not a bad business model. PWC estimates the revenue from concert and festival ticket sales in the US will hit $27B this year en route to $30B by 2022.
Metarama aims to provide attendees with a one of a kind experience. With the rise of online games like “Fortnite” that have harnessed the power of social media, fans get the opportunity to play along with esport GOATs as if they were pals who can discuss what it’s going to be like when they finally lose their virginity.
The festival will showcase esport team competitions, pro-am matches between “athletes” and musicians, amateur tournaments with real money on the line, and actual concerts. Oh, and other fun activities like “resuscitate that OD’ing teen.”
Organizers hope to sell 40k tickets to the event at $150 a pop with no age limit.
Harley-Davidson announced that it has made a deal with a Chinese manufacturer to produce a smaller 338 cc motorcycle to be released in Asian markets. For context, many of HD’s hogs boast more than 1,700 cc, a measure of engine size and how well respected you are by other neighborhood dads facing a mid-life crisis.
The move comes as part of CEO Matt Levatich’s plan to diversify sales outside of the US, especially in Asia. While profit margin per unit in the US is healthy, overall sales volume is declining as Harley’s core demographic ages and millennials continue to suck. In fact, the motorcycle maker’s Q1 profit dropped 26.8%.
The preferred bike-maker of the Sons of Anarchy also expects to release an electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, in 2020. Harley priced the bike at just under $30k in an effort to make the bike more affordable … to eco-friendly biker gangs.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Slack’s not-so-IPO is set to go live this morning, and the NYSE has set its reference price at $26 per share. Going public via a direct listing means that shares held by employees and other investors will convert into publicly traded assets. There will be no underwriters or accompanying underwriter fees, nor will there be any new equity issued. During private trading between February 1st and March 30th, shares traded between $21and $35.
- The NBA has found a way to let degenerate gamblers get some action even when there isn’t a game to bet on. The NBA Last 90 will allow bettors to watch the final 90 seconds of a “game,” created by splicing together highlights from 90 seconds of previous matchups between the two teams. You’ll be able to bet on things like the game’s final score, the total number of 3’s made, the combined number of points … and if anyone will go all Ron Artest on a fan.
- Checks over stripes. Europe’s second highest court has ruled that just having three stripes on a piece of apparel doesn’t necessarily mean that Adidas can sue you. The court’s ruling found that three stripes are too generic a pattern to be protected, and that “even a slight variation could produce a significant alteration to the characteristics of the mark as registered.” Great news for Russian guys who don’t want to pay name brand prices for tracksuits.
- YouTube is looking to make some major changes to the way it handles children’s content amid an FTC investigation into its collection of data on minors under 13 without parental consent. Google, YouTube’s parent company, is considering removing all children’s content from the platform and moving it to the standalone YouTube Kids. The move is risky considering children’s content is some of the most consumed on the site, and millennial parents are only going to get lazier. Another suggested change includes turning the autoplay feature off on content for kids, as parents have complained that their children have been automatically served some less than appropriate vids.
- Speaking of porn … pornstars, artists, and sex workers gathered to protest outside of Instagram’s California headquarters on Wednesday. The “free spirits” were protesting the removal of sex workers accounts related to Insta’s rules on nudity. The protestors argued that enforcement is inconsistently enforced. Pickets are also planned for IG’s NYC headquarters. Hell hath no fury like a naked woman scorned.
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