Taco Bell And KFC Delivery; Twitter Makes Profit; Rabobank Busted For Drug Money Laundering
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Define rock bottom: eating $47 worth of Taco Bell by yourself in a dimly lit parking lot while listening to a self-help book on tape. Don’t worry friend, there are hotlines. And after today, you can get your glutton on in the comfort of your own home.
GrubHub announced a partnership with KFC and Taco Bell restaurants to provide pickup and delivery options for customers. In a competitive landscape that includes Uber and Amazon delivery services, GrubHub is clapping back by leveraging users of its well-established platform.
YUM Brands, owner of the fast food chains is also purchasing a 3% stake in GrubHub for a total of $200M. Pizza Hut President Artie Starrs, also a member of the YUM(my) family, will get a seat on GrubHub’s Board of Directors. GrubHub stock jumped 25% upon release of the news.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “The only thing that stops people from getting drunk and eating Taco Bell every weekend is that you can’t get Taco Bell delivered. Now that buffer is gone. I have a feeling the phrase ‘judge not lest ye be judged,’ could be making a comeback.”
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Twitter has wanted to be profitable since 2013, and they planned on being there in 2017. That’s not an unreasonable goal for a company whose sole purpose is to be profitable. Well, it’s 2018 and Twitter finally did it. Twitter closed out the year with a profit of $91.1M, a slight step up from the previous year that netted them a loss of $167.1M. You’ve got to start somewhere.
Shares of Twitter rose 12% on the news, the largest jump since 2015. Twitter has been a favorite medium of the quick-witted and easily distracted since its inception, but trouble monetizing ads (unless they’re coming from Russia) has made it tough for the platform to make money.
Twitter missed predictions regarding user growth by about 2M, but their user base still climbed 4% from last year, reaching 330M.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “For the widespread traction that Twitter has gained in the sports, news and pop culture spheres of influence, it’s next level ball-dropping when you can’t manage to make any money. Good for Twitter for finally turning a profit.”
SNITCHES GET STITCHES
Rabobank’s cover-up of a massive drug money laundering scheme perpetrated by Mexican drug cartels is the stuff of Narco’s Season 4 plot lines.
The US government will fine the Dutch bank $369M for illicitly “cleaning” hundreds of millions of dollars worth of narcotic’s profits. What’s worse is that Rabobank knew about the deposits and withdrawals and tried to cover their tracks. They even went as far as to “white list” (no pun intended) certain accounts (read: drug lord’s) to bypass internal controls. This has Accounting Ethics 101 case study written all over it.
Red flag number one? Rabobank’s highest performing location was its Calexico branch, about two blocks from the US-Mexico border. Oh, and all of that baking soda residue.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that a large financial institution has been at the center of a money laundering scheme. In 2012 HSBC paid the US government $1.9B to settle accusations of money laundering for some of the biggest illegal drug traffickers in the world. Hmm, Wells Fargo doesn’t look so bad after all.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “This is the problem with drug lords these days. Why do they need to get cash into the US anyway? Can’t they be reasonable kingpins like Pablo Escobar and buy completely outlandish things like hippos or just burn their cash to stay warm/do the thing rappers only sing about?”
IN OTHER NEWS
- The stock market is officially in a correction after dropping more than 10% off of its high in January. The Dow lost 1k points for the second time this week.
- Ben and Jerry’s announces organic diet ice cream to compete with Halo Top. Just a heads up, the chunks of frozen cookies buried inside still aren’t that great for you.
- LogMeIn plans to buy Jive Communications for $342M. Jive Communications is not to be confused with Jive, the Slack competitor, but unfortunately, it will still help your coworkers ask you for stuff.
- The Ivy League is bringing in Porsche as a corporate sponsor. Finally, a break for the cash-strapped Ivy League.
- Pepsi is releasing a La Croix competitor named bubly. Did they purposefully leave out the third “b” to make it equally as confusing to pronounce as La Croix?
- More emoji are coming in 2018, and they include a salt shaker and genders for superheroes. Each time a new emoji sees its shadow, you add six more weeks of teaching your mom how to use them.
- US indices were up Friday:
- DOW: -4.15%
- S&P 500: -3.75%
- NASDAQ: -3.90%
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It’s only fitting that on a Friday we’d discuss productivity, or lack thereof. Scientists found that despite significant increases in technology, productivity has fallen among workers. They call this the “productivity paradox.”
I’ll go ahead and call it what it is: inevitable. For f*ck’s sake now you can date, gamble and troll much more respectable human beings from the comfort of your cubicle. How does management expect us to crank out TPS reports when Snap stories abound?
So today I salute those lacking ambition and blaming it on technology. And wish all of you well in your quest to “sneak out early” on a Friday.