*This is sponsored advertising content and the disclaimer at the bottom of this email MUST be read carefully.
*Disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for Cytonics’ Regulation A+ Offering. Please read the offering circular at invest.cytonics.com
Could things get worse in France right now? This morning prosecutors raided 5 of the biggest banks including Société Generale, BNP Paribas, and HSBC. They face +$1 billion in penalties from tax fraud and money laundering.
Are you kidding me?
As the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) opens investigations into managers’ conduct at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, cracks are beginning to show at another major US lender. Charles Schwab’s bottom line is facing pressure with customers moving cash out of certain accounts while the company’s balance sheet sits on more than $29 billion in unrealized losses (read: long-dated bonds).
Traditional institutions aren’t the only ones under stress. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has sued Binance, alleging the crypto exchange broke laws by allowing US investors to trade crypto derivatives on its platform and deliberately avoiding registration requirements.
Meanwhile, as the US banking system continues putting on its best dumpster fire impression, the chances of an economic downturn are increasing. After recently revising its odds of a recession down to 25%, Goldman Sachs has moved those probabilities back up to 35%, pointing to a looming credit crunch as a result of the banking turmoil. The consensus is 60%:
After letting go of 11,000 workers in November, the “year of efficiency” rolls on at Meta where employees who merely “met most expectations” will receive smaller bonuses and restricted stock awards. The social media giant will also go back to conducting performance reviews bi-annually rather than once per year.
By the same token, Disney is similarly making moves to tighten its belt and cut costs. The company is shutting down its metaverse division just over a year after its creation to revolutionize the storytelling and consumer experience.
Carnival Corp. may have topped earnings estimates for Q1, but the cruise operator’s outlook is bleak. The company is forecasting another loss in 2023 as rising costs are expected to outpace revenues (which have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels).
Iraq is in a legal dispute with Kurdistan and Turkey that has resulted in the halting of some 400,000 barrels a day from Ceyhan. While the disagreement has buoyed oil prices (WTI crude closed above $70 for the first time in nearly 2 weeks), they still remain on pace for their 5th consecutive monthly decline.
Meanwhile, OPEC+ is likely to keep production levels consistent. At its meeting next week, delegates are expected to stick to the current output plan despite turbulence in financial markets and uncertainty over supply.
Full earnings here.
Pensions: China’s recently launched private pension plans—a $1 trillion market—are largely out of reach for US and foreign money managers like BlackRock and Fidelity.
Teams: Good news for anyone using Microsoft Teams—the company is rolling out a new update it claims will be twice as fast as the previous version.
Second-hand: Thanks to price cuts implemented by Tesla to spark demand for new models, the automaker’s second-hand cars are losing their value faster than that of rival electric vehicles.
Contrarian: Despite a market largely convinced of a pivot in monetary policy ahead, BlackRock sees no cuts this year but rather expects the Fed will continue hiking rates into persistent inflation.
Ad spend: Magna—one of the world’s largest ad-buying firms—has lowered its forecast for ad spend in 2023, though the market is still expected to reach a record $326 billion this year.
Inflows: Last week, digital asset investment products snapped 6 straight weeks of outflows with their largest inflows since July 2022 ($160 million).
Bail terms: Lawyers for the disgraced founder of FTX have accepted new bail terms for Sam Bankman-Fried which include the use of a new phone with no Internet access and capabilities limited to old-fashioned phone calls and text messages.
Ripple: Despite new fears arising from the CFTC filing against Binance that XRP tokens could be considered commodities, XRP has surged over the last 24 hours (in stark contrast to broader crypto markets).
Perks: A new Ticketmaster feature will allow artists to grant special event access to NFT holders.
Research: Already at the crypto forefront (among traditional institutions), Fidelity is building out a crypto and token research development team to dive even deeper into the space.
Check out GritCRYPTO for more.
Healthcare: CVS is expecting to close this week on its $8 billion acquisition of Signify Health.
Football: NFL owners are making a push to allow private equity and institutional investors to buy stakes in the league’s teams.
Gas: BP and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company have partnered to establish a gas development joint venture and to make a bid for $2.4 billion NewMed
Crude: Energy Transfer is set to acquire pipeline operator Lotus Midstream for $1.45 billion.
Influencers: WPP–a British advertising firm–has acquired social influencer marketing agency Obviously less than a week after agreeing to buy another influencer marketing specialist, Goat.
CHARGED UP. The transition to clean energy needs more than wind and solar. Alkaline Fuel Cell Power is bringing sustainable energy infrastructure to the masses. Through low-cost, high-efficiency hydrogen fuel cells, and cleaner on-site heat and power generation, Alkaline is bringing greener power to the people.*