Climate change could rain on Saudi Aramco’s IPO parade | Reuters


Saudi Aramco’s biggest asset could also be a liability.

The state energy giant’s vast oil reserves – it can sustain current production levels for the next 50 years – make it more exposed than any other company to a rising tide of environmental activism and shift away from fossil fuels.

Source: Climate change could rain on Saudi Aramco’s IPO parade – Reuters

Humbled Deutsche Bank faces battle in its own backyard | Reuters


In an attempt to draw a line under years of scandals and heavy losses, Sewing is pulling back from investment banking and rebuilding Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) corporate division by deepening existing relationships and attracting clients beyond its traditional blue-chip customers.

But when Deutsche has tried to expand its business with Zalando by offering to hold more of its cash for free, rather than charging a fee, Zalando (ZALG.DE) has declined.

The company, whose revenue has grown to 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in the 11 years since it was founded, wants to continue to spread its risk by leaving its cash with a wide range of institutions, sometimes for a fee.

Source: Humbled Deutsche Bank faces battle in its own backyard – Reuters

Alarm in Texas as 23 towns hit by ‘coordinated’ ransomware attack


Twenty-three Texas towns have been struck by a “coordinated” ransomware attack, according to the state’s Department of Information Resources.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, often delivered via email, that locks up an organization’s systems until a ransom is paid or files are recovered by other means.

In many cases, ransomware significantly damages computer hardware and linked machinery and leads to days or weeks with systems offline, which is why it can be so costly to cities.

Source: Alarm in Texas as 23 towns hit by ‘coordinated’ ransomware attack

Germany′s central bank warns of possible recession | DW


The German economy could slip into a technical recession in the third quarter after failing to recover over the summer, the Bundesbank said on Monday.

In a monthly report, the Bundesbank said falling industrial production and orders would likely lead to a continued shrinkage in the period from July to September, after Germany saw a drop of 0.1% from April to June.

This would mean the economy would fulfill the definition of a technical recession, which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Source: Germany′s central bank warns of possible recession | News | DW | 19.08.2019

China’s Belt and Road ‘Reboot’ Is Really a Foreign Influence Campaign


The Belt and Road Initiative today is most readily identifiable as an infrastructure development program, since media coverage tends to focus on flagship projects like ports and power plants, as well as the fallout when some of them go awry. But while Chinese Communist Party leaders hail the scheme in lofty economic terms, in practice, it has become something of a catchall for an almost catholic variety of loosely connected projects and initiatives overseas, all bearing its name.

The “Belt and Road” philosophy has recently been invoked in all sorts of development-adjacent projects, from Chinese NGOs seeking to build “stronger emotional ties” through AIDS prevention missions to foreign exchange programs for Chinese university students in Belt and Road member countries.

At times, projects under the Belt and Road umbrella even appear to be at odds with one another; while some bodies, such as the BRI International Green Development Coalition, preach sustainable energy development, as of this year Chinese banks under the Belt and Road framework have reportedly funded as many as 140 coal plants worldwide.

The mission creep of the Belt and Road Initiative has caused so much confusion that even the Chinese Communist Party moved to better define its aims and scope earlier this summer.

Source: China’s Belt and Road ‘Reboot’ Is Really a Foreign Influence Campaign

The Serious Money Is Warming to Bitcoin | WIRED


So is crypto the next big thing in institutional investment, or is this fighting over scraps? For now, crypto custody still involves a relatively small pool of money. Coinbase got a boost earlier this month when Grayscale Investments moved its $2.7 billion worth of crypto funds from Xapo to Coinbase, more than doubling the company’s assets under custody. That’s tiny compared with the trillions under management for a company like Fidelity. Custody competitors like Palo Alto, California-based BitGo have reportedly been circling for Xapo’s other clients.

Still, companies like Coinbase and Fidelity think there’s room for growth. In May, Fidelity released a survey of more than 400 institutional investors that found 22 percent already held cryptocurrency, and another quarter saw potential to do so.

Source: The Serious Money Is Warming to Bitcoin | WIRED

Trump Throws a Fit, Blames “Clueless Jay Powell,” “Crazy Inverted Yield Curve” for Market Sell-Off | Vanity Fair


On Wednesday, the Dow Jones plunged as 800 points after the U.S. bond market flashed a signal that a recession may be on the horizon. Rational people understand that this is largely happening because of persistent fears about Donald Trump’s never-ending trade war with China, in addition to concerns about a global economic slowdown.

And then you have the president, who has never once been accused of being rational, smart, or even sane, and who believes that this is all the Federal Reserve’s fault.

Source: Trump Throws a Fit, Blames “Clueless Jay Powell,” “Crazy Inverted Yield Curve” for Market Sell-Off | Vanity Fair

When the Venture Capital Subsidies Dry Up | Fortune


.. common sense and the hard truth of history suggest that VCs risking other people’s money look heroic in upturns and turn tail faster than any in downturns. Read Sequoia Capital’s famous “R.I.P.” presentation from 2008 to understand the mentality.

Today’s leading investors and entrepreneurs either have never lived through a recession or were at much smaller operations during the last one, nearly a decade ago.

Ideas that seem really good when there’s money to burn suddenly seem foolish when there isn’t.

Source: When the Venture Capital Subsidies Dry Up | Fortune

America’s CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation | Fortune


For Milton Friedman, it was simple. “There is one and only one social responsibility of business,” the Nobel economist wrote in 1970: to “engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” Companies must obey the law. But beyond that, their job is to make money for shareholders.

And Friedman’s view prevailed, at least in the United States.

Over the following decades, “shareholder primacy” became conventional business wisdom. In 1997, the influential Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of the chief executive officers of nearly 200 of America’s most prominent companies, enshrined the philosophy in a formal statement of corporate purpose. “The paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders,” the group declared. “The interests of other stakeholders are relevant as a derivative of the duty to stockholders.”

Times change.

On Aug. 19, the BRT announced a new purpose for the corporation and tossed the old one into the dustbin. The new statement is 300 words long, and shareholders aren’t mentioned until word 250.

Source: America’s CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation | Fortune

Watchdog Group Tallies 2,310 Conflicts of Interest Associated With President Trump’s Businesses | Government Executive


A nonprofit group tallied 2,310 conflicts of interest stemming from President Trump’s unprecedented decision to retain a stake in his business properties since he took office in 2017.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released a report Thursday that calculated the number of times the president visited his properties at taxpayers’ expense (362), the number of foreign government officials (110) and U.S. officials (250) who have visited Trump properties and the number of political events (63) held at his properties.

Source: Watchdog Group Tallies 2,310 Conflicts of Interest Associated With President Trump’s Businesses – Government Executive