Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 11.13.18

Welcome to the new Opening Bell from The Water Coolest. We think you’re gonna like it here … Go home, you’re drunk [The Water Coolest] Diageo is divesting 19 of its “value” brands. You know, the ones best served in plastic bottles and consumed before 10 AM under a bridge. The lower end brands (read: the Camel cigarettes of booze) including Seagram’s Canadian whiskey and Goldschlager schnapps will fetch roughly $550M in cash. The buyer? Privately held US spirit maker, Sazerac. Diageo to Sell 19 Brands Amid Focus on Premium Spirits [WSJ] Jho Low can it go? [The Water Coolest] D-Sol and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Malaysia’s finance minister demanded a full refund for Lloyd’s handy-work on the 1MDB debacle that earned the company roughly $600M. News of the Malaysian governm...

Opening Bell: 11.12.18

Welcome to the new Opening Bell from The Water Coolest. We think you’re gonna like it here… No stress [The Water Coolest] Apparently, the Fed is channeling its inner Kunu a la “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (think: “Do less”). A speech by Fed Vice Chairman of Supervision Randal Quarles on Friday was the source of many a fist bump throughout the banking world. Quarles (Barkley), doing his best to score an invite to Dorsia, opened the kimono on a slew of planned bank-friendly regulations including making stress tests more consistent year over year and giving banks results before the house of cards wrap up their shareholder-return plans. The man with the plan (Quarles) also hinted at eliminating the leverage ratio which compares equity to total assets. Banks and the Fed argue that this doesn’t t...

Opening Bell: 11.9.18

Welcome to the new Opening Bell from The Water Coolest. We think you’re gonna like it here… Babysitter’s Club [The Water Coolest] Apparently, Travis Kalanick was busy. Tesla has named Robyn Denholm as chairwoman (?) of the board. Replacing Musk as chairman was an SEC sanction handed down as part of Elon’s settlement with the commission related to the tweet heard round the world. Tesla had until November 13th to name a replacement. Let’s be honest, Denholm will ‘advise’ Musk like Luke Walton ‘coaches’ Lebron James. [READ FULL ARTICLE ON MUSK’S REPLACEMENT AS CHAIRMAN] Monster, Inc. [The Water Coolest] Coca-Cola is unleashing a new line of energy drinks as it continues to branch out from its classic fizzy soda product (we see you, CBD infused coke). The new products, “Coca-Cola Energy,” and ...

We’ve Made You A New Friend For The Mornings

Since we’re famously anti-social in our better moments, we’re happy to announce a new partnership with The Water Coolest, a daily business & markets email newsletter that we have been reading and enjoying for a few months now. We like that they call themselves the “preferred handicap stall reading material of corporate cogs,” but we really like that they offered to write the Opening Bell for us. We also see some actual synergy here. These guys seem to get whatever it is we do here and they appear clever. They’ve also allowed us to tattoo #DraftDimon on one of them, so they are clearly easy to manipulate. Because we like them, and because they seem hardworking despite being cynically smart, you’ll get a taste of The Water Coolest in your inbox every single morning when they take over th...

Opening Bell: 11.6.18 (Is Something Happening Today Edition)

Two Visions of Patriotism Clash in the Midterm Elections [NYT]Here in the middle of the country, where three of Iowa’s four House races are competitive, and where Mr. Trump first rewrote the rules of patriotism by attacking a war hero and ex-P.O.W., Senator John McCain, it is clear that Republicans and Democrats part ways over the meaning of duty, respect and love of country.For Republicans and Mr. Trump, who was joined for his final rallies by the singer Lee Greenwood, who performed his anthem “God Bless the USA,” patriotism in politics often means conspicuous displays of respect for the traditional expressions of America — the flag, the military, the Pledge of Allegiance. Amazon Plans to Split HQ2 Evenly Between Two Cities [WSJ]The driving force behind the decision to build two equal off...

Opening Bell: 11.5.18

Xi’s Swipes at Trump Show China Standing Its Ground in Trade War [Bloomberg]Xi hit back against President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies Monday with some of his most pointed language yet, denouncing “law of the jungle” and “beggar-thy-neighbor” trade practices. At the same time, he didn’t outline any new proposals that would suggest he was prepared to meet Trump’s demands, such as halting forced technology transfers or rolling back support for state-owned enterprises. Stocks declined across Asia.“All countries should strive to improve their business environment and solve their own problems,” Xi told the inaugural China International Import Expo, which featured more than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions and organizations. “They shouldn’t always whitewash themselves and b...

Opening Bell: 11.1.18

Google employees around the world are walking out today to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct [CNBC]The demonstrations — set for 11:10 a.m. at each local time — come in in the wake of an explosive New York Times’ report that detailed how Google shielded executives accused of sexual misconduct, either by keeping them on staff or allowing them amicable departures. For example, Google reportedly paid Android leader Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package despite asking for his resignation after finding sexual misconduct claims against him credible. (Through a spokesperson, Rubin denied any misconduct and on Twitter he called his reported compensation a “wild exaggeration.”) UK, EU close to Brexit deal on financial services: UK official [Reuters]Such a deal would give the United...

Opening Bell: 10.30.18

Exclusive: Trump to terminate birthright citizenship [Axios]President Trump plans to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil, he said yesterday in an exclusive interview for “Axios on HBO,” a new four-part documentary news series debuting on HBO this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.Why it matters: This would be the most dramatic move yet in Trump’s hardline immigration campaign, this time targeting “anchor babies” and “chain migration.” And it will set off another stand-off with the courts, as Trump’s power to do this through executive action is debatable to say the least. GE Slashes Dividend, Revamps Power as New CEO Begins Turnaround [Bloomberg]General Electric Co. slashed its dividend to just a...

Opening Bell: 10.29.18

Merkel to Quit as Party Chief as Her Chancellorship Wobbles [Bloomberg]The unexpected reversal by Merkel, 64, signals the beginning of the end of an era during which her command of Germany put its stamp on Europe and beyond for more than a decade. Even so, Merkel’s term as chancellor runs until 2021 and Merkel has said she intends to serve it out. She is scheduled to speak to the media at 1 p.m. local time in Berlin.The chancellor told a leadership meeting of her Christian Democratic Union on Monday that she won’t run again as party chairwoman at a convention in December, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was closed. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty insists the 63% premium the tech giant is paying for Red Hat is a ‘fair price’ [CNBC]“I don’t think the world r...

Opening Bell: 10.25.18

Europe attempts comeback after world stocks routed again [Reuters]It wasn’t a sunny picture by any means. Germany’s Dax .GDAX hit a near two-year low and London’s FTSE .FTSE and Paris’ CAC 40 .FCHI both brushed 1-1/2 year lows early on, but a semblance of stability was emerging. [.EU]The pan-European STOXX 600 was almost back at level pegging having opened down almost 1 percent and after Japan’s Nikkei .N225 had slumped 3.5 percent overnight. [.T]Currency dealers were also cautiously reversing out of Swiss franc CHF= and Japanese yen JPY= safety trades [/FRX] and Italian and Spanish bonds made ground as traders waited to see what message the European Central Bank delivers at its meeting later. [GVD/EUR] Tesla Profit Blowout Reverses Much of Musk’s Damage to Stock [Bloomberg]The profit and ...

Opening Bell: 10.24.18

Oil falls to $76 as worries mount on demand outlook [Reuters]In a sign supply is plentiful, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday U.S. crude stocks had risen by 9.9 million barrels – more than forecast. The U.S. government’s supply report is due at 1430 GMT.Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, was down 37 cents to $76.07 a barrel at 1020 GMT. It fell earlier in the day to $75.11, the lowest since Aug. 24. U.S. crude CLc1 was unchanged at $66.43.“Rising oil inventories and growing petro-nations’ output calm the supply fears related to the Iran oil embargo,” said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer. Trump Steps Up Attacks on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell [WSJ]In an interview Tuesday with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump...

Opening Bell: 10.23.18

U.S. Futures Tumble on Peak Profit, Trade Concerns: Markets Wrap [Bloomberg]The sell-off in U.S. equities put the S&P 500 Index on track for its 12th loss in 14 days as investors grow concerned that the trade war and rising interest rates have put an end to runaway expansion of corporate profits. Caterpillar sank 6 percent in early trading after flagging concern over rising materials costs, while 3M dropped 5 percent after cutting its forecast.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid toward the lowest level since December 2016 as Asian equities teetered on the verge of a bear market. Some of the steepest losses were in Japan, Hong Kong and China, where shares had posted the biggest jump in more than two years a day earlier. Disappointing earnings from Renault and some European tech companies ad...

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