Loud and Clear

Just how opaque is the business of campaign financing? “Corporations may make donations to campaigns under other names,” says our first contributor.

And another reader pegs Amazon for a deep-pocketed company making campaign donations.

Speaking to that — about three weeks ago — Amazon donated $1.5 million to a Seattle-based Super Pac that supports seven candidates for the city’s District Council.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal had this to say about the large donation: “This most recent influx of money from Amazon is callously disrespectful to the residents of our city.

“It says loud and clear that some people are afraid of letting real democracy work for the people.” (emphasis added)

Do you agree or disagree with the Congresswoman? Has the wild world of bankrolling campaigns destroyed democracy in the U.S.?

Your Rundown for Monday, November 25, 2019:

Are Uber’s Days Numbered?

“Uber was stripped of its license to operate in London on Monday by the city’s transport regulator, which cited a ‘pattern of failures’ that ‘placed passenger safety and security at risk,’” CNBC reports.

Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision. The thing is, the company’s already operating in the city under two appeals to regulator Transport for London (Tfl).

“Tfl had first suspended Uber’s license in 2017, flagging concerns with the company’s approach to safety,” CNBC reports.

“Following that initial move, Uber had twice been granted a temporary license to continue operating in the city — the first, a 15-month reprieve issued by a judge last year, and the second, a two-month permit granted by TfL in September.”

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says: “We understand we’re held to a high bar, as we should be. But this TfL decision is just wrong. Over the last 2 years we have fundamentally changed how we operate in London. We have come very far — and we will keep going, for the millions of drivers and riders who rely on us.”

According to the company, there are 45,000 Uber drivers in the city. And it’ll be business as usual for them today as the company appeals. But for how much longer?

Which leads to how much longer can Uber sustain its unprofitable business model? (That’s right — the company’s notoriously unprofitable.)

If Uber’s massive stock sell-offs mean anything, Uber’s days are numbered. We’re talking about co-founder Travis Kalanick selling half his Uber shares — for $1.5 billion — after the stock’s lockup period ended Nov. 6.

Just another stop on Uber’s road to ruin?

Market Rundown for Mon. Nov. 25, 2019

S&P 500 futures are up 17 points to 3,127.

Oil’s lost 28 cents per barrel to $57.30.

Gold is down $5.60 to $1,458 per ounce.

Bitcoin’s up 2% to $7,165.35.

Have a good day. We’ll talk tomorrow.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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