Corporate News


Nike had long been one of the biggest retail industry holdouts from selling on Amazon. The Portland-based company steadfastly resisted having its merchandise sold directly through Amazon (though it was sold by secondary sellers). However, very recently it relented despite its worries over a lack of pricing control and display. For Nike, the deluge of its products being sold on Amazon through middlemen had become so strong (it is the most purchased apparel brand on Amazon), that it seemed to realize it had lost control of pricing and display in spite of its efforts. The same appears to have happened to other brands, like Patagonia, North Face, and Chanel.

FINSUM: This is a sign that Amazon is growing so dominant that it is creating its own gravity, where the site’s popularity compels retailers to give-in despite reservations.


Travis Kalanick may have departed as Uber’s CEO, but that does not mean Uber is not now a threat to the US auto industry. Silicon Valley has been taking the lead in the US car industry, which is threatening to upend the long-held dominance of American automakers in Detroit. Analysts at Guggenheim believe that Uber and other Silicon Valley companies, like Google’s Waymo, pose a threat to Ford and GM. They argue that this “secular upheaval” occurring in the car industry is weighing on the car companies’ stock.

FINSUM: The adage is that uncertainty is bad for markets, and that seems to be the case here. Our view, which contrast to most is that self-driving cars will actually favor auto companies as they will be able raise prices as the returns of renting out such automobiles push their economic worth higher. It could make cars a higher margin industry.

(New York)

Big banks have been on a tear since Trump’s election, and aside from their stock prices, they seem to be emboldened in terms of business decisions. For instance, Goldman Sachs is trying to expand its business into new areas. The bank is trying to pick up more business in the industrials sector with a special focus on service firms such as consulting, staffing, and security firms. It has just hired two senior bankers from Credit Suisse to head the new charge into the sector. These types of companies are often owned by private equity firms and tend to throw off high fees to banks.

FINSUM: One of things about Goldman that we really respect is that it constantly tries to improve itself and move into new areas. This is a minor change, but over the past few years it has plowed into some major new territory, like online savings accounts.

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