Saudi Aramco Is World’s Most Profitable Company; NYC To Charge Congestion Toll

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THE HEADLINES

 

ESSENTIAL OIL

Aramco

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The Saudis came here to do two things: smite enemies and make some profit. And it looks like we’re running out of journalists to off.

Unsurprisingly, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company, recorded a $111B profit last year. Let’s put that in perspective, shall we?

  • Apple, the reigning profitability champ netted just $59.4B in 2018
  • ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell hauled in a measly $20.8B and $23.4B in profit respectively last year
  • Saudi Aramco’s profit is greater than Apple, Google, and Facebook … combined

The typically tight-lipped, state-held oil-producing giant offered a rare glimpse into its finances as it plans to issue bonds that will help pay for its $70B acquisition of SABIC, a petrochemical company owned by the kingdom’s wealth fund. Data was published by Moody’s.

Both Fitch and Moody’s gave Aramco investment grade ratings ahead of its bond offering. However, there are some concerns over the state’s influence on the company. And “allegedly” blackmailing the world’s richest man with d*ck pics probably didn’t help either.

 

WELCOME TO NEW YORK, THAT’LL BE $12

In an effort to curb congestion in lower Manhattan, the NY state legislature approved a toll to enter Manhattan’s business district below 60th Street. The charges are TBD by a panel appointed by the MTA and may be as high as $11.25 for cars, and $25.34 for trucks. No word on shopping carts overloaded with cans and stolen scrap metal.

And just when you thought you’d mastered alternative-side parking rules, a sliding scale based on traffic volume in the city may be implemented to determine toll prices.

NY is the first American city to consider a congestion toll but isn’t the first global city to give it a try. London created its own congestion zone back in 2003 and saw a 30% increase in average speeds in the area and an 11% hike in public transit use. That’s pretty bloody impressive. Stockholm also gave congestion pricing a try, earmarking funds for public improvement projects such as bike lanes and pedestrian safety.

Location, location, location

Also included in New York State’s budget is a tax on multimillion-dollar homes purchased in the Big City. The taxes will be scaled and start at one percent which kicks in after the first million dollars. The rate increases again at $2M, and continues to grow until hitting the cap of 4.15% at $25M.

 


IN OTHER NEWS

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  • Shares of WWE tumbled before closing up following a scathing John Oliver segment. Oliver’s popular HBO show, ‘Last Week Tonight’ dropped an absolutely punishing elbow from the top rope, criticizing Vince McMahon’s treatment of his talent. You see, WWE wrestlers are considered independent contractors and as such are not offered health insurance. And statistics show that wrestlers are dying at a faster rate than NFL players and the general population. The news comes just a week after WWE founder Vince McMahon sold some 3.2M shares to fund XFL 2.0.

 

  • Power user tip: don’t drop the soap. Two ex-Barclays traders were sentenced to four and five years in prison, respectively. Carlo Palombo and Colin Bermingham were convicted of manipulating the Euro interbank offered rate, which helps determine rates on trillions of dollars worth of loans, to help further their own trades. Interestingly enough there aren’t actual guidelines on how banks should submit rates, but a presiding judge argued that an attempt to manipulate them for one’s own gain was definitely not kosher.

 

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