NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Big ambitions require investment, but not all infusions of capital are equal. Cronos, the Canadian pot producer, is in early talks with Marlboro maker Altria, Reuters reported on Monday. An association with a huge tobacco company isn’t exactly what this nascent industry needs.
LAS VEGAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Las Vegas made its reputation on sin. So it might seem fitting that the cannabis industry chose to locate its biggest annual gathering in the city this week. And just as Vegas has used conferences to try to clean up its reputation – it’s now the venue for more than 21,000 confabs a year - the weed business is shifting in that direction, too. The drug remains federally prohibited in the United States, and less than a month has passed since Canada made it legal for adult use. But a veneer of acceptability has started to settle on the sector. It’s as if cannabis is trying on its first suit and tie.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mass shootings happen in an instant and grab headlines. A business and investment shift away from the firearms industry is happening more subtly. FedEx, the U.S. shipping group, is ending a program that offers discounts for business members of the National Rifle Association, the company confirmed to Breakingviews.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - David Solomon steps into his new role at Goldman Sachs at a flattering moment. The Wall Street group reported a 21 percent increase in earnings for the third quarter of 2018. The investment bank that Solomon used to run put in a strong performance. And the firm’s annualized return on equity of 13.1 percent beat uptown rival Morgan Stanley. Big numbers aren’t really Solomon’s challenge, though – people are.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Margrethe Vestager has taken on Apple, Facebook and Google as Europe’s antitrust commissioner, leaving behind huge fines and bruised feelings. She talks with John Foley about Silicon Valley’s missteps, Europe’s challenges and what she’s buying on Amazon – her latest target.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Cannabis is making cryptocurrencies look lethargic. Share prices of listed producers have rocketed, in some cases faster than bitcoin did last year. Brendan Kennedy, the chief executive of Tilray, which made $21 million of revenue last year, believes his company could be worth $100 billion. He’s half right: a weed producer could get that big. The odds are against it being Tilray.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Barney Frank helped craft the post-crisis rules that put banks back on track. He talks with John Foley about how politics has made the system more fragile, why populism thrived on the right but fizzled on the left, and what it was like to be one of the few openly gay lawmakers.
ASPEN, Colo. (Reuters Breakingviews) - Goldman Sachs is playing follow-someone-else’s leader. The $87 billion Wall Street firm is expected to announce early this week a career investment banker as its next chief executive. David Solomon comes from the side of Goldman that advises clients rather than the bit that trades securities and produced current chief Lloyd Blankfein. It further de-emphasizes the role that part of the business plays. It’s also something Morgan Stanley did almost a decade ago.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The big American banks get ever bigger, more profitable and more cozy. JPMorgan set the tone on Friday with a record $8.3 billion of earnings for the three months ending June 30. Return on equity at Jamie Dimon’s $363 billion colossus was a roomy 14 percent. Citigroup followed with $4.5 billion of earnings for the quarter, comfortably above consensus forecasts. Yet the largest lenders' price-to-earnings multiples have fallen this year even as forecasts of their earnings power have risen.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tesla’s big-ideas man is sweating the small stuff. Chief Executive Elon Musk told employees on Tuesday that the $60 billion electric-car maker will cut 9 percent of its staff, in an acknowledgement that it’s hard to change the world while not being sustainably profitable. It’s more of a signal than an actual maneuver, but it matters, particularly to the financial community Musk has at times alienated.