Financial Daily Dose 7.12.2019 | Top Story: Amazon to Spend $700M Retraining 100,000 Workers

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Amazon announced this week that it will spend $700 million to retrain a third of its US workforce to adapt to the increasing amount of robotic and automation technology in its warehouses.  The 6-year effort will eventually impact roughly 100,000 employees – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Also, in decidedly non-warehouse-related Amazon news, Alexa’s getting ready to take a crack at what ails you [well, what ails the Brits, at least]. Literally – BusinessInsider

Paul Singer and his Elliott Management Corp. have scored a big early win from the California legislature “in their monthslong battle” with shareholders of the troubled PG&E Corp. Singer, one of the biggest owners of the company’s bonds, has been lobbying hard for a wildfire-liability bill that would allow PG&E to issue new “securitization bonds to pay victims form future wildfires, but not to pay off claims from fires it already caused,” and he got his wish on Thursday – WSJ

The Times helps us understand how economic fears pronounced enough to drive a Fed rate cut can coexist with stocks routinely hitting record highs. Welcome back to the TINA market, friends – NYTimes

And since we’re talking macro economy, let’s dive into employment figures.  Specifically, let’s look beyond the unemployment rate—currently at a near-50-year low of 3.7%–and pull the labor force participation rate into the mix. Doing so (and looking at its trends of late) paints a far different picture of the supposed employment boom times we’re experiencing at the moment – NYTimes

Some highlights of Fed Chair Powell’s Trip to the Hill: Senate edition and otherwise – WSJ and Bloomberg

Fed Vice Chair Randal Quarles has set a Q4 arrival date for the long-awaited revamped Volcker Rule. An earlier attempt at a revision drew major criticism from Wall Street for “not going far enough to ease burdens on banks and simply the post-crisis trading limits” – Bloomberg and Law360

British pharma company Reckitt Benckiser has reached an agreement with US officials to pay up to $1.4 billion to resolve a “long-running investigation into sales of a treatment for addiction to opioids by its former prescription drugs business” – Law360

New numbers from D.C. show that the U.S. budget deficit widened by 23% (to $747.1 billion) in the first 9 months of the fiscal year. The growing figure, “a result of Trump’s tax cuts,” came despite an increase in customs collections to $50.5 billion from a year ago – Bloomberg

Consulting giant Accenture PLC has chosen Julie Sweet, the head of its North America operations, as the company’s new CEO. Sweet, a Cravath alum, had previously served as Accenture’s general counsel and compliance chief – WSJ and NYTimes and Law360

US probe be damned, France will move on with its 3% tech tax on revenue that Big Tech companies “reap in France from such activities as undertaking targeted advertising or running a digital marketplace” – WSJ and MarketWatch and NYTimes

The Kraninger-era CFPB appears to be altering its mission “from enforcement to consumer education,” a move that could potentially help the US’s troubling financial literacy figures but that critics say shifts the “burden of consumer protection from financial companies to ordinary citizens” – WSJ

A New York federal jury has found Premium Point Investments CEO Neil Ahuja “guilty of charges that he scheme to inflate his now-fallen hedge funds assets by $100 million” after a six-week trial – Law360

Amidst the 50th anniversary celebrations of Apollo 11’s moon mission, it’s easy to lose sight of the underdog role NASA played to the USSR’s space program for much of the 1960s. Here’s a fantastic piece from Forbes explaining why the Soviets, despite their impressive head start, didn’t win the race to the moon landing – Forbes

Have a great weekend,
MDR

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