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ALL’S WELLS THAT ENDS WELL
“Please don’t be a white guy with Wall Street experience.” – Wells Fargo investors
“Introducing our new CEO, this white guy from Wall Street. And did we mention he has literally no retail banking experience?” – Wells Fargo
That’s right, after months of speculation, rumors that multiple women were in the running and eventually settling for interim CEO Alan Parker, Charles Scharf, the current Chief Exec of Bank of New York is taking his talents to Charlotte.
Who is this Charlie?
First and foremost, he’s a Jamie Dimon henchman. Need I say more? The two snapped necks and cashed checks at Commercial Credit in the 80s. So you know he’s seen some sh*t.
His resume also includes CEO of Visa, a Microsoft board member, and, of course, more than two years as CEO of BONY.
Why, Charlie, why?
Well, for one thing, WF is still the 4th largest bank in the US. Plus, Alan Parker has managed to right the ship (with the help of some government intervention) that Tim Sloan drove directly into an iceberg.
Oh, and the money isn’t terrible. Scharf’s base salary will be $2.5M, exactly what Sloan was being paid before he “retired.”
The bottom line …
Shares of Wells rose nearly 4% on the news. But Scharf doesn’t exactly bring a stellar track record to the beaten-down bank. You see, from July 2017 when Scharf took over, BONY’s stock fell 10.94%. Wells’ stock lost 11.13% over the same time period.
Still, analysts believe it will be a move in the right direction, because, you know, it couldn’t get any worse.
THE COAST IS CLEAR
Following the announcement on Friday that the White House was considering blocking Chinese companies from listing on US exchanges, it appears that the plan has been put on the back burner.
The US Treasury Department cleared the air, indicating that the land of the free and the home of the brave welcomes investment in the US, Chinese or otherwise … for the time being.
What was going on?
On Friday, reports surfaced that the White House planned to restrict investment into Chinese companies, particularly through the US stock markets. The goal was to protect investors from risks that stem from a lack of regulatory oversight on the side of the Chinese.
Keeping US government pension funds from investing in the Chinese market was also on the table.
That’s not all, though
Chinese firms aren’t in the clear just yet. Nasdaq said it would be clamping down on smaller Chinese firms looking to IPO, through tightened restrictions and delayed approvals, in order to keep Chinese investors from hogging IPO shares. When small Chinese companies go public, a large portion of their shares are held by a small number of investors that are connected to the company, making the offering about as attractive to US investors as a WeWork IPO.
Nasdaq’s decision was made independent of the White House … “apparently.”
The bottom line …
As of now, you can keep investing in China … even if it does make you a little bit communist. And China is still planning to meet with the US on October 10th. Depending on how those talks go, we could be looking towards eased tensions between the two global powers.
If the White House ever ends up following through with blacklisting Chinese stocks and bonds, however, US investors couldn’t include them in portfolios. That causes problems given China’s ever-growing economic presence. Chinese assets make up an increasingly larger percentage of global indexes.
IN OTHER NEWS
- After a nice little Thursday, Tesla had a rough Friday. A judge ruled that the company violated the National Labor Relations Act in 2017 and 2018 by threatening and retaliating against employees. Elon Musk tweeted that employees who joined a union would forego company stock. If Elon’s treatment of the SEC is any indication, this judge just opened Pandora’s box.
- Meanwhile, another one of Musk’s companies, SpaceX, unveiled its Starship rocket. In his address, Musk said the company could put humans in space as early as next year. The Starship rocket which can launch, land, and launch again is set for its next test (orbiting at 65k feet) in the next few months. If things go well at that altitude the Starship will move to infinity and beyond (read: outer space).
- Fail-Mary. DirecTV has announced that it isn’t sold on renewing its exclusive rights contract with the NFL for the satellite TV provider’s “NFL Sunday Ticket.” Currently, the company pays $1.5B to hold the rights to show NFL games but thanks to cord-cutting, the service believes it has peaked in value. DirecTV actually loses $500M per year, but hey, that’s showbiz baby. DirecTV would be open to splitting the rights with another provider which is typically less costly.
- Fashion-rental company Rent the Runway is putting a temporary hold on new customers as it struggles with delivery to its current customers. Your SO’s favorite unicorn will be suspending new customer enrollment until at least October 15th. Current customers who have experienced shipment delays scored $200 credits for their troubles. The company opened up its own distribution center over the summer, which has been a complete sh*tshow.
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