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NO BIG DEAL
This trade war is getting petty AF. How petty? China has begun slapping bush league fines on US companies conducting business in the People’s Republic.
China’s State Administration for Market Regulation handed down a $23.6M fine on Ford’s joint venture in the country claiming that it had violated antitrust laws after having set minimum prices … in one city. Keep in mind that a state-owned auto manufacturer controls 50% of the JV and the fines account for roughly 4% of Ford’s 2018 sales … in that single Chinese city. Level of inconvenience? Stepping on a LEGO … with a thick sock on.
Coincidentally the slap on the wrist comes just days after China opened an investigation into FedEx for diverting two packages bound for China, and follows China’s threat to “blacklist” US companies.
Translation: were the US and China not beefing, we’d say “cool story, bro” and move on. But they are and we didn’t. It remains to be seen how the always level headed braintrust leading the US’ trade war efforts will respond to the seemingly “microaggression.” May we suggest burning dog feces on the doorstep?
Meanwhile in Mexico …
“That’s gonna be a no from me dog.” – POTUS to Mexico
Trade negotiations between the US and Mexico failed to produce an agreement that would postpone tariffs on goods imported to the US. A 5% tariff will be imposed on ALL goods imported from Mexico starting June 10th.
That number will grow to 25% by October 1, 2019 if Mexico does not stop immigrants from leaving the country and coming to the US. The Trump administration said that tariffs may not go into place at all if Mexico made certain concessions during meetings today. Apparently, they did not.
NEXT STOP: SKYNET
The day has arrived. Amazon’s drones are here and ready to take over the world. Announced at the company’s re:MARS conference in Vegas, the flying death delivery machines can carry packages up to 5 pounds and can fly as far as 15 miles. According to Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, the machines could be monitoring your every move within months.
Who’s flying these things?
The drones won’t be flying blind, they’ll be equipped with AI technology that can help them avoid powerlines, people, and even small animals. The drone announcement came shortly after a presentation on Amazon’s Pegasus and Xanthus drive robots, which are being employed in warehouses to move packages. I wonder if they get bathroom breaks and minimum wage?
Since 2012, Amazon has enlisted the use of more than 200k robotic drive units, while somehow still creating 300k new (human) jobs.
Better, faster, stronger
According to Jefferey Commerce and Co. Amazon is leveraging drone technology to cut down on delivery times to people within range of an Amazon warehouse. The initiative is also a step towards Amazon’s goal of making half of its shipments net zero carbon by 2030. The drones can be charged sustainably and, according to our retail overlords, are more energy efficient than someone delivering a package in their car.
Peloton Interactive, the maker of outrageously priced in-home exercise bikes, filed for an IPO with the SEC on Wednesday.
No details are public yet, as the company filed confidentially. This means that the number of shares and projected price range is unavailable, but Peloton says that those figures have not been determined yet anyway. Likely because the company has been busy dealing with uppity Lululemon wearing riders who are none too pleased with Peloton’s “updated” music catalog.
Look back at it
Peloton’s last fundraising round, in August of 2018, was led by TCV and brought in $550M. This pushed the company’s valuation to $4.15B, but it is said to be seeking a higher valuation than that figure.
While this has been a big year for tech IPOs, Peloton has one ace up its sleeve: it’s profitable *gasps*. CEO John Foley described the company as ‘weirdly profitable’. He claimed last August that the company was expected to generate $700M from subscription and bike sales by February.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Fiat Chrysler went all “for that reason, I’m out.” The Italian car company pulled out of negotiations related to a proposed $40B merger with French auto manufacturer Renault. The reason? Renault’s top shareholder, the French government, feared that the deal may put too much strain on its current alliance with Nissan. Fiat, allegedly already fed up with the French government, wasn’t about playing second fiddle to Nissan.
- Don’t hate, eliminate. YouTube announced that it is ramping up a three-step process to eliminate hateful content from its platform. Any channels that feature discrimination related to race, gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identification are about to be put on blast. The company is also circling back on its initiative to remove borderline content and harmful misinformation from the platform, aka fake news. And finally, it plans to hit the haters where it hurts: the pocketbook. YouTube will prevent channels from monetizing if they consistently brush up against hate speech policies.
- Coffee futures saw their largest one day drop since 2010 as July futures fell 7.3% amid sell signals and an indication that late frost would not be impacting the coffee bean harvest. Prices had climbed 19% YTD thanks to concerns that rain would harm the quality of the Brazil bean harvest and as those fears have subsided, so has the price. But that’s showbiz baby.
- The Dow rallied another 200 points on Wednesday as markets extend their run on expectations that the Fed will cut interest rates this year. Jerry Interest Rates set the markets ablaze when he said he would do anything to “sustain the expansion,” of our economy.
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