Sonos Files For IPO; China Goes After US Soybeans; Winklevoss’ Digital Currency Exchange Poaches NYSE Exec

The Water Coolest

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Digital currency exchange Gemini is doing some serious recruiting. The Winklevoss (Winklevii?) founded exchange plans to hire the former CIO of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Cornish. The move will be official later this month.

Cornish will be the company’s first CTO, and will likely be the first in a string of high profile hirings as digital currency exchanges move to legitimize themselves in the eyes of investors.

In recent months, many veterans of the NYSE and other stock exchanges have made the jump into digital currency. Likely because of the rich signing bonuses, not their identification as cypherpunks. Coinbase itself, one of Gemini’s largest competitors, has brought on executives from both the NYSE and CME Group, a Chicago based futures exchange.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Bring on all the executives you want, those Winklevoss boys just better make sure Zuck doesn’t swoop in and steal them out from under their noses.”



What’s the only thing that dads like to bring up in casual conversation more than their grilling prowess? That’s right, the Sonos soundbar they bought Nance for their 30th wedding anniversary.”

The Cadillac of wireless speakers, Sonos, has filed for an IPO that will target a valuation between $2.5B and $3B. *Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. sheepishly grin*

But the precursor to the Beats Pill has been playing catch-up against increasingly higher quality speakers and voice assistants. Sonos’ dropped the Sonos One, an Amazon Alexa controlled smart speaker and has allowed for integration with a slew of other smart assistants.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Sonos isn’t going to win any originality awards for its proposed NASDAQ ticker, “SONO.” You’ve got one chance to go public (unless you’re Dell), you’ve got to make it count, like these companies.”



The trade war between the US and China has taken aim at a commodity more American than baseball and apple pie combined … soybeans.


Well, last Friday a 25% tariff went into effect on $34B worth of Chinese goods entering the US. In retaliation, China hit back with another set of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of US goods, including a 25% tariff of soybeans.

Wait, what?

Soybeans are the top agricultural export of the US, and China has bean our biggest customer. The Asian country with an insatiable appetite for soy is canceling orders, reselling current stockpiles of US soybeans, and increasing purchases from Brazil. They have already lowered commitments to buy just 366k metric tons through September and will cut purchases by 66k tons next year.

The US will now have to find new customers to purchase the product. Bean-gladesh and Pakistan already raising their hands to purchase 60k tons each.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “This trade war has not been easy on any of us, and it’s probably only going to get worse from here. But look on the bright side: at least you don’t have a full five day work week ahead of you. Oh, wait …”



  • Regulators in the UK won’t allow Steven Cohen’s hedge fund, Point72, to trade Brit’s money on insider information (read: Steven A. won’t be able to take outside money from UK investors).
  • The good news? US employers added 213k employees to their payrolls last month. The better news? The unemployment rate rose to 4% (from 3.8%). Wait, what? The increase indicates that more job seekers are looking for work, but just haven’t found it yet. The bottom line? There might not be a worker shortage after all.
  • Just when you thought Mark Zuckerburg couldn’t get any more insufferable, he leapfrogs Warren Buffett to become the world’s third richest man as Facebook shares continued their climb.
  • Investment management firm, Elliot Management, is the proud owner of AC Milan after its deadbeat Chinese owner failed to repay debt. Breaking his kneecaps and threatening his family would have commanded so much more street cred.


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.