US Averts Rail Workers Strike With Last-Minute Tentative Deal

Financial Daily Dose 9.15.2022

September 15, 2022

As if we needed to say it, a potential rail workers’ strike would not be ideal for the American supply chain. The walkout “could exacerbate the congestion that has plagued American ports” and “would bring fresh pressure to bear on trucking companies.” All of which, of course, threatens to push prices around the country still higher - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

All the more reason to celebrate the tentative accord reached this morning to avert “what would have been an economically damaging strike.” Early credit appears to go to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh’s negotiating all-nighter - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

California AG Rob Bonta has filed an antitrust action against Amazon, an action limited to California (that, if successful, “could have a broad impact across the country”) with a focus on “the way Amazon penalizes sellers for listing products at lower prices on other websites” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

Markets around the world “wobble[d]” on Wednesday in the aftermath of Tuesday’s freefall in the American indices, even as U.S. markets bounced back a bit - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Marketplace

Patagonia founder Yvon Choinard, the “eccentric rock climber who became a reluctant billionaire with his unconventional spin on capitalism,” has transferred ownership of the company to “a specially designed set of trusts and nonprofit organizations” created to “preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits . . . are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe” - NYTimes

The EU has set out a “sweeping plan” to claw back some $140 billion in “profits and revenue from energy companies” to help consumers “in response to the economic pain Russia has inflicted in Europe in the standoff” over Ukraine - WSJ

Speaking of such companies, Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden, announced that he is leaving the energy giant at the end of the year. His replacement, Wael Sawan, “currently heads a unit that includes the company’s lucrative liquefied natural gas business and its investments in c lean energy, including wind and solar power” - NYTimes and WSJ

Netflix, new to the ad-supported streaming game, is out with new estimates predicting that version of the platform “would reach about 40 million viewers globally by the third quarter of 2023.” The estimate comes as part of Netflix’s pitch to ad buyers, with whom it has been meeting in recent weeks - WSJ

Walmart’s officially getting into the banking game, with hopes that the digital bank accounts it will roll out in coming weeks will be a hit with the retailer’s “1.6 million US employees and legions of weekly shoppers” - Bloomberg

Ethereum finally put the finishing touches on its long-awaited blockchain network overhaul. Dubbed “Merge,” the change marks “the crypto world’s most-ambitious software upgrade to date” and dramatically improves Ethereum’s energy consumption (which will reportedly decline “by an estimated 99%”) - Bloomberg

File under “third time’s the charm” and clearly not “quit while you’re behind”—Masa Son and friends are reportedly considering launching a third SoftBank vision fund, even as the first two iterations have been hammered by “ill-timed bets and massive losses” - WSJ

Because of its vastness (and our current lack of warp drives with which to explore it), space is still largely a massive exercise in patience for the scientists who study it. Now, thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope and other tools coming on line, “after 2,500 years of people yelling at each other over life in the universe, in the next 10, 20, and 30 years we will actually get data” - NYTimes



The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.