HQ Lands Funding; Yellen’s Last Dance; Natty Light To Pay Off $1M In Student Loans
The Water Coolest is a free daily business news and professional advice email newsletter created for weekday warriors that is delivered fresh daily at 7 AM EST. You can subscribe at thewatercoolest.com.
Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 51 seconds
College kids want cheap beer and less debt, and AB InBev plans to answer their prayers. The maker of Natty Light will be giving away $1M to 25 college students to help them pay off student loans. To enter, students need to create a video featuring the green tab from one of their (many) cans of Natty Light, and tell a story about what made college so special to them (preferably a decision made while indulging in the preferred cheap beer of frat stars).
The contest was announced in an advertisement that ran regionally during Super Bowl LII last night. The ad is a departure from typical beer brand giveaways like trips to next year’s Super Bowl, party cruises, etc., and for good reason …
Debt is giving students epic hangovers post-college. 44M Americans have college debt that has ballooned to a collective $15T. Yup, that’s a T. For example, if you graduated college in 2015, it’s likely that you’ll need to delay retirement until you’re 75. And that’s if you don’t die from boredom first.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I like a good craft beer now and then, but if drinking a case of Natty Light on a Friday night gets me closer to paying off my college debt, then I’m all in.”
YELLEN FROM THE TOP ROPE
Janet laid down the hammer, blasting Wells Fargo’s board for failing to oversee the bank’s unscrupulous growth. In an effort to rapidly expand the bank, management imposed unrealistic growth targets. And the enterprising minds at the bank opened up 3M fake accounts to con the system. The controversy cost former CEO John Stumpf his job.
The sanctions will cap the banks growth at $1.7T (Assets Under Management as of the end of 2017) and expects 4 of Wells Fargo’s 16 board members to step down. Although the central bank has been known to penalize firms, stunting a financial institution’s growth as a punishment is the first of its kind.
Tag team, back again
Yellen wasn’t the only government official to take a metal folding chair to Tim Sloan’s head. President Trump vowed swift justice against the diabolical financiers at Wells Fargo. This comes as a surprise as the Trump administration has worked to loosen banking regulations, including the Volcker rule.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Why hasn’t the recent women’s movement adopted Janet Yellen as a poster child? She was (by time this runs) one of the most powerful women in the world. She had her finger on the pulse of the most important economy in the world.”
LET’S GET DOWN TO QUIZ-NESS
“HQ-ties” will be happy to hear that the company raised $15M from Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund. Although it may not be a savage investment, an endorsement from these guys is like Oprah promoting your book … expect good things to follow.
The investment is also a good sign for co-founders Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov, who founded Vine but got a reputation for being d-bags after Vine was purchased by Twitter. HQ will use the funds to address technical issues that plague almost every session and get some cash flowing in to fund for the prizes that draw people in to the game.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “So far I know two people who have made it through all 12 questions. The grand prize? $3.12! It’s really not about the money though, it’s about the camaraderie. The app has brought more families together than Dr. Phil and a Prozac prescription. Definitely make someone else download it and play during working hours.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- The Dow dropped 666 points (2.5%) Friday, it’s biggest drop since after the surprise Brexit vote outcome. A 600 point drop has only happened a handful of times in the history of the Dow, with most of them coming during the Financial Crisis and Great Recession. Queue the Illuminati conspiracy theorists.
- Uber and Waymo (Google’s self-driving car division) will head to court on Monday. The suit claims that a former Google employee stole trade secrets, started a new self-driving company and sold it to Uber. Is there anything that Travis Kalanick did that wasn’t completely illegal?
- JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup will ban purchases of crypto-currency with their credit cards. Not to fear future bitcoin billionaires, you can still use your debit card and couch change to top off your Coinbase account.
- iHeart Radio is facing insolvency as it is burdened with more than $20B in debt. I guess those Elvis Duran Phone Taps were more expensive than we thought.
- The US gained 200k jobs in January and hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose 2.9%.
- US indices were down Friday:
- DOW: -2.50%
- S&P 500: -2.12%
- NASDAQ: -1.96%
Mondays are for motivation …
Professional motivation, tips, tricks, hacks & resources carefully-curated by yours truly. Something you’d like to see featured? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL I DO IS WIN, WIN, WIN, NO MATTER WHAT
Whether you’re a Dunkin drinking “Sawx” fan or a Bill Beli-cheat truther, there’s no doubt that Bill Belicheck has been pretty successful in the NFL. The typically tight lipped play caller spoke with Suzy Welch on success and winning. Granted, the maniacal gridiron maestro inhabits the rarefied extremities of the success spectrum, but there’s a lesson or two to be had for those of us whose pigskin success is limited to Madden ’18 W’s.