Israel and UAE Open Talks Over Top-Secret Oil Pipeline

Israel and UAE Open Talks Over Top-Secret Oil Pipeline(Bloomberg) -- Israel and the United Arab Emirates have opened talks over an oil pipeline linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, whose operations Israeli officials treat as top secret.Europe Asia Pipeline Co., controlled by Israel’s government, and UAE-based MED-RED Land Bridge Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the transportation of crude and oil products between the Persian Gulf and Western markets, according to an EAPC statement on Tuesday.The agreement comes after the UAE, OPEC’s third-biggest oil producer, and Israel announced in August they would normalize ties. The two have since discussed establishing embassies, starting direct flights and business deals.EAPC operates the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, built by Israel and Iran in the 1960s. It has a capacity of 600,000 barrels a day and almost 23 million barrels of storage space. Most oil sent from the Gulf to Europe is either shipped through the Suez Canal or via Egypt’s Sumed pipeline, which can pump 2.5 million barrels daily.The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co., as EAPC used to be called, was jointly owned by the Jewish state and Iran’s government. Tehran would ship some of its Europe-bound oil to Eilat and then pipe it to Ashkelon on the Mediterranean.After Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, the nations became enemies. Yet for some years Israel still allowed Iranian oil to be sent through the pipeline in secret, including by Glencore Plc founder and sanctions-busting commodities trader Marc Rich.The two countries have argued over the pipeline more recently, with Tehran wanting compensation after Israel took over its 50% stake. Even today, information on what flows through the pipeline can be censored by Israel’s military.Tuesday’s agreement, the financial details of which weren’t disclosed, will also allow traders to transport oil from the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions to Asia, EAPC said. MED-RED Land Bridge is a consortium of UAE and Israeli companies.The pipeline project could get backing from the U.S. government. A $3 billion Jerusalem-based fund announced this week by the U.S., Israel and the UAE is supporting the effort, according to the head of the U.S. International Development Finance Corp.(Updates with U.S. backing in final paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


AMC to raise fresh capital as liquidity troubles deepen

AMC to raise fresh capital as liquidity troubles deepenAMC's move to raise fresh capital comes after ratings agency S&P said earlier this month that the company had just six months of cash reserves. "In the event the Company determines that these sources of liquidity will not be available to it or will not allow it to meet its obligations as they become due, it would likely seek an in-court or out-of-court restructuring of its liabilities," AMC said in a filing. Big theater chains, including AMC and Cineworld Group , have reopened many of their locations, but fears of the virus and delays in major releases have kept audiences at bay.


U.S. Futures Push Higher Amid Stimulus Talks: Markets Wrap

U.S. Futures Push Higher Amid Stimulus Talks: Markets Wrap(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose and U.S. futures extended overnight gains amid optimism about progress on stimulus talks in Washington. Treasuries and the dollar retreated.Shares climbed in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea, and fluctuated in Australia. S&P 500 contracts edged higher after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she remains hopeful of a deal before the election. The gauge bounced back from Monday’s selloff on Tuesday. Tech shares mostly shook off the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to sue Google for allegedly abusing its power. Netflix Inc. plunged in late trading after it missed Wall Street estimates.Elsewhere, Treasuries continued to decline, with the 10-year yield rising above 0.8%. Oil slipped. The yuan climbed to the strongest since July 2018 and copper hit its highest in more than two years. In the latest developments, Pelosi said Tuesday she’s hopeful for a stimulus agreement this week, which would be bigger, better and retroactive. Still, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned the White House against a bigger Pelosi-led deal before Nov. 3. The administration’s offer is now $1.88 trillion, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on CNBC. Pelosi has pushed for $2.2 trillion along with a number of requirements for how the money should be deployed.A rally built on stimulus hopes has investors weighing the chances of striking a deal against speculation that the looming election will prove too much of a hurdle to overcome. Yet with Federal Reserve policy makers urging for more fiscal support to complement unprecedented monetary aid, many in the market may be willing to let Pelosi’s deadline come and go.Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Tuesday the prospect of Congress failing to deliver additional fiscal support made him nervous, though he was “somewhat optimistic” about next year’s recovery.“Equity markets are under some pressure following limited advances in stimulus talks,” Sebastien Galy, a senior macro strategist at Nordea Investment Funds SA, said in a note. “The odds of a deal being low, tells us much about the battle between hope and the reality of an economy still under severe shock but recovering.”Amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said the unexpectedly early pickup in infections is a “clear risk” to the economic outlook in the region. Europe’s leaders have intensified efforts to slow the contagion, reviving lockdowns in some areas after piecemeal curbs made little impact. New cases hit daily records in Germany and the Netherlands.Here are some key events this week:Brexit trade talks are likely to continue at least into next week if the U.K. and EU fail to reach an agreement.The final presidential debate before the U.S. election, between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, will be live from Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday.Here are some of the main market moves:StocksS&P 500 futures rose 0.5% as of 11:23 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.5%.Topix index rose 0.9%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2%.South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.3%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.8%.Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.1%.CurrenciesThe yen rose 0.1% to 105.40 per dollar.The offshore yuan traded at 6.6587 per dollar, up 0.1%. The onshore yuan gained as much as 0.16% to 6.6664 a dollar in early trading in Shanghai.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2%.The euro was at $1.1833, up 0.1%.The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.2963.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries increased more than two basis points to 0.81%.Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose more than three basis points to 0.79%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.6% to $41.44 a barrel.Gold added 0.4% to $1,913.76 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Disney says California rules will keep Disneyland shut for 'foreseeable future'

Disney says California rules will keep Disneyland shut for 'foreseeable future'Officials in California, home to Walt Disney Co's Disneyland, on Tuesday pushed the reopening of large theme parks months down the road, drawing outrage from the industry, which predicted the loss of thousands more jobs. California Health Secretary Mark Ghaly said theme parks with a capacity of more than 15,000 visitors must wait to resume business until a county's COVID-19 risk level drops to the lowest tier of "minimal" spread. Under California's four-tier scheme, the lowest tier means daily cases of the coronavirus must number less than one per 100,000.


Political strategist turned tech investor Bradley Tusk on SPACs as a tool for VCs

Bradley Tusk has become known in recent years for being involved in what’s about to get hot, from his early days advising Uber, to writing one of the first checks to the insurance startup Lemonade, to pushing forward the idea that we should be using the smart devices in our pockets to vote.

Indeed, because he’s often at the vanguard, it wasn’t hugely surprising when Tusk, like a growing number of other investors, formed a $300 million SPAC or special acquisition company, one that he and a partner plan to use to target a business in the leisure, gaming, or hospitality industry, according to a regulatory filing.

Because Tusk — a former political operative who ran the successful third mayoral campaign for Mike Bloomberg —  seems adept at seeing around corners, we called him up late last week to ask whether SPACs are here to stay, how a Biden administration might impact the startup investing landscape, and how worried (or not) big tech should be about this election. You can hear the full conversation here. Owing to length, we are featuring solely the part of our conversation that centered on SPACs.

TC: Lemonade went public this summer and its shares, priced at $29, now trade at $70. 

BT: They are down today last I checked. When you only check once in a blue moon, you’re like, ‘Hey, look at how great this is,’ whereas if, like me, you check me every day, you’re like, ‘It lost 4%, where’s my money?’

We got really lucky; Lemonade was our second deal that we did out of our first fund, and the fact that it IPO’d within four years of the company’s founding is pretty amazing.

TC: Is it amazing? I wonder what it says about the common complaint that the traditional IPO process is bad — is it just an excuse that founders and investors use to keep a company private longer?

BT: [CEO] Daniel Schrieber was very clear that he and [cofounder] Shai Wininger had a strategy from day one to go public as quickly as they possibly could, because in his view, an IPO is supposed to represent kind of the the beginning. It’s the ‘Okay, we’ve proven that there’s product market fit, we’ve proven that there’s customer demand; now let’s see what we can really do with this thing.’ And it’s supposed to be about hope and promise and future and excitement. And if you’ve been a private company for 10 years, and you’re worth tens of billions of dollars and your growth is already starting to flatten out a little bit, it’s just much less exciting for public investors.

The question now for everyone in our business is what happens with Airbnb in a few weeks or whenever they are [staging an IPO]. Will that pixie dust be there, or will they have been around so long that the market is kind of indifferent?

TC: Is that why we’re seeing so many SPACs? Some of that pixie dust is gone. No one knows when the IPO window might shut. Let’s get some of these companies out into the public market while we still can?

BT: No, I don’t I don’t think so. I think SPACs have become a way to raise a lot of money very quickly. It took me two years to raise $37 million for my first venture fund, and three months was the entire process for me to raise $300 million for my SPAC. So it’s a mechanism that is highly efficient and right now is so popular with public market investors that there is just a lot of opportunity, and people are grabbing it. In fact, now you’re hearing about people who are planning SPACs having to pull [them] back because there’s a ton of competition right now.

At the end of the day, the fundamentals still rule. If you take a really bad company public through a SPAC, maybe the excitement of the SPAC gets you an early pop. But if the company has neither good unit economics nor high growth, there’s no real reason to believe it will be successful. And especially for the people in the SPAC, where they have to hold on to it for a little while, by the time the lockup ends, the world has probably figured out that this is not the greatest IPO of all time. You can’t put lipstick on a pig.

TC: You say you raised the SPAC very quickly. How is the investor profile different than that of a typical venture fund investor?

BT:  The investors for this SPAC — at least when I did the roadshow, and I think I did 28 meetings over a couple of days — is mainly hedge funds and people who don’t really invest in venture at all, so there was no overlap between my [venture fund] LP base and the people who invested in our SPAC that I’m aware of. These are public market investors who are used to moving very quickly. There’s a lot more liquidity in a SPAC. We have two years to acquire something, but ultimately, it’s a public property, so investors can come in and out as they see fit.

TC: So it’s mostly hedge funds that are getting paid management fees to deploy their capital in this comparatively safe way and that are getting interest on the money invested, too, while it’s sitting around in a trust while [the SPAC managers] look for a target company.

BT: Why it kind of does make sense for [them to back] VCs is they are basically making the bet to say: does this person running the SPAC have enough deal flow, enough of a public profile, enough going on that they are going to come across the right target? And venture investors in many ways fit that profile because we just look at so many companies before deploying capital.

TC: Do you have to demonstrate some kind of public markets expertise in order to convince some of these investors that you know what it takes to take a company public and grow it in the public markets?

BT: I guess. We raised the money, so I guess I passed the test. But I did spend a little under two years on Wall Street; I created the lottery privatization group of Lehman Brothers. And my partner [in the SPAC], Christian Goode, has a lot of experience with big gaming companies. But overall, I think that if you are a venture investor with a ton of deal flow and a good track record but very little or no public market experience, I don’t know that that would disqualify you from being able to rate a SPAC.

Watch GM unveil the $80,000 GMC Hummer EV right here

GM just took the wraps off the Hummer EV and it looks great. The vehicle is coming to dealers in 2022, with pre-orders starting in 2021. You can watch the unveiling here.

The vehicle is detailed here. With 1,000 HP, 350 mile range, and autonomous drive modes, it’s an impressive vehicle though still significantly more than Tesla said the Cybertruck will cost.

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AOC aims to get out the vote by streaming Among Us with pokimane and HasanAbi

We are about seven months into a pandemic and just two weeks from a presidential election. At this point, surprises are a dime a dozen. So it should feel very 2020 that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about to stream Among Us, the hit game of 2020, on Twitch alongside mega-streamer pokimane and political analyst HasanAbi.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted yesterday that she was looking for people to play the popular game with in an effort to get out the vote, noting that she’s never played before but that it looks fun.

Streamer pokimane, who has 6 million followers on Twitch and whose YouTube videos regularly see more than 1 million views each, responded to the tweet with a figurative raised hand.

HasanAbi, a very popular political commentator on Twitch, who has more than 380,000 Twitter followers, also chimed in to the conversation saying that they’re already making a lobby. It wasn’t long before Rep. Ilhan Omar raised her hand, too.

A good game of Among Us (imagine that someone mixed a fairly basic multiplayer video game with a murder mystery party) usually requires 10 players, so the other six players are still TBD. But the Verge reports that a handful of other streamers (such as DrLupo, Felicia Day, Greg Miller, James Charles, and Neekolul) also lined up to play with AOC.

According to Ocasio-Cortez, the stream is all about getting out the vote. And this isn’t the first time that she’s used video games to connect with her followers. AOC opened up her DMs to all 6.8 million of her followers back in May to let them send her an invite to their island, and she visited them.

Millennial voters (and Gen Z) skew toward backing the Biden / Harris ticket, and AOC is coming to them by getting on Twitch and streaming one of the rocket ship games of this year.

The stream starts at 9pm ET/6pm PT and can be found here.

And you can check if you’re registered to vote here.

Update 9:01pm ET: AOC hasn’t even started playing the game yet and has nearly 250,000 concurrent viewers. 

Feast your eyes on the all-new, all-electric GMC Hummer EV

GMC has a new all-electric version of its classic Hummer oversized SUV. This thing is a beast, as you might expect, with an advertised 350-mile range and a 3-second zero to 60 mph time. It’s a bit ridiculous to be honest, which is kind of what the Hummer has always been about so that makes sense.

Alongside a teaser, GMC released a number of press photos of the 1,000 HP bruiser, so take a look below. It definitely looks like a Hummer – which may or may not be your cup of tea.

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