Microsoft And Facebook Team Up; PG&E Woes; Rocket Labs Raises Cash

The Water Coolest

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THE HEADLINES

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ASHES TO ASHES, DUST TO DUST

Things haven’t been this dark at PG&E since Jeff Skilling was a BSD and Enron traders were saying things like this to managers of power plants: “Ah, we want you guys to get a little creative, and come up with a reason to go down.” It’s worth noting that Pacific Gas and Electric declared bankruptcy in 2001, due largely to Enron’s practices.

But now the utility provider is facing a different force of nature: wildfires which have already claimed the lives of 60 Californians. Shares of PG&E have fallen more than 60% in just six days over concerns about unprecedented damage to the provider’s grid.

Morgan Stanley cut its price target in half to $31. Others have followed suit and downgraded the stock. MS’s guidance reflects an estimated $25B of fire-related liabilities and a 30% discount to earnings power.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “You could say the stock is … on fire. Too soon?”

 

OPEN (SOURCE) RELATIONSHIP


Microsoft CTO, Kevin Scott, announced that Paul and Bill’s Excellent Adventure is taking its AI development focused talents to Facebook. That is, Mr. Softee is creating an alliance with Zuck & Co. to work on open-source AI development through the PyTorch platform.

See, open source software is when the source code of a software is available to the public to use, modify, and enhance. Despite current global trade policies, most people believe that sharing is caring.

Microsoft has developed its own open-source platform called Cognitive Toolkit which has shown great strides in the area of speech recognition but it ain’t got sh*t on PyTorch and Google’s TensorFlow.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Sounds like the main flaw of Microsoft’s open-source platform is that it wasn’t, um, open.”

 

IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

In its quest to become the Uber of space flight, Rocket Labs has raised another $140M. The ‘little rocket company that could’ has now raised $288M and was last valued at $1.2B.

According to Rocket Labs, size doesn’t matter. The company’s payload is much smaller (think: the size of a fridge) than that of competitors such as SpaceX. But its size affords Rocket Labs the ability to shoot for the stars more often even if the $5.7M per launch price tag represents a premium compared to competitors.

Rocket Labs is fresh off of its maiden commercial voyage (last Saturday) which sent seven spacecraft in orbit.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “A name like ‘Rocket Labs’ is really the best they could do?”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

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  • Biggie vs. Tupac. Jobs vs. Gates. And now, Cook vs. Zuck. The CEO of Apple and totally-not-a-lizard-person, Mark Zuckerberg are trading jabs. The controversy? Zuck allegedly making Facebook execs use Android devices over Apple which was a response to Cook’s comments that “Privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty” (a response to Facebook’s privacy issues). Shots fired.

 

  • Not up in here! Right on cue, DJ D-Sol says he’s personally outraged by the 1MDB scandal in a voicemail delivered to all employees. Still, shares are reeling, with Goldman Sach’s down for the fifth straight session.

 

  • Bernie Sanders and Ro Khanna from California are introducing The Stop WALMART Act, aimed at blocking big employers from buying back stock unless they pay all employees $15 per hour. If passed, companies’ CEOs could not make more than 150 times the median pay of all workers and all employees would be allowed to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave.

 

  • Sports streaming services DAZN has reached an agreement with the MLB. The 3 year, $300M deal would allow DAZN to produce a show every MLB weeknight similar to NFL Redzone that focuses on key moments of games. No word on if this would make baseball less boring. This wasn’t the only deal signed at the MLB owner’s meeting, as they also a 7 year / $5B extension with Fox Sports.

 

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