Hypothetical WeWork Exchange | Variance in US Retail Gas Prices | A Quick Take on the Riots in Chile

First because I really enjoyed this mock interchange by Matt Levine of Bloomberg representing the initial investment conversation between Adam Neumann (WeWork) and Masayoshi Son (Softbank). Just to repeat, this is most likely not what was said.

Bloomberg – How Do You Like We Now – Matt Levine 10/23/19

Son: What does your company do?

Neumann: We lease office buildings, spruce up the space and sublet it in small chunks.

Son: Hmm I invest in visionary tech stuff, this doesn’t really sound like my thing.

Neumann: Did I mention we are a state of consciousness. A generation of interconnected emotionally intelligent entrepreneurs.

Son: Okay yeah that’s more like—

Neumann: The world’s first physical social network. We encompass all aspects of people’s lives, in both physical and digital worlds.

Son: You’re crazy! I love it! But could you be, say, ten times crazier?

Neumann: You’re going to invest $10 billion in my company, which I will use as kindling to light the whole edifice on fire, and then when we are both standing in the ashes you will pay me another billion dollars to walk away while I laugh at you.

Son: All my life I have dreamed of meeting someone as crazy as you, but I never really believed this day would come. 

Neumann: I’m gonna use your money to buy a mansion with a room shaped like a guitar, where I will play the world’s tiniest violin after all your money is gone. 

Son: YES PUNCH ME IN THE FACE.

Neumann: Also I’ll rename the company “We” and charge it $6 million for the name.

Son: RUN ME OVER WITH A TRUCK.

WSJ – Rising California Gasoline Prices Highlight Growing Divide in U.S. – Amrith Ramkumar 10/23/19

…An unpleasant truth for many Americans, even at a time of abundant global oil supplies: Regional differences in taxes, environmental rules and access to energy infrastructure can translate into large seasonal swings in gasoline prices.

Prices have surged this fall in California and other West Coast states following outages at several refineries in the region. Analysts said the coast is generally vulnerable because of its limited pipelines and refineries that turn oil into fuel products such as gasoline. Higher gas taxes in some states aiming to fund local infrastructure projects and varying pricing strategies by energy companies also drive gaps.

The volatility isn’t an isolated event. The standard deviation of gas prices—a measure of how much each state’s price varies from the national average—has hit its highest level this year in data going back to 2005, according to price tracker GasBuddy. The figure has risen in each of the past three years.

And for those that haven’t been following the riots in Santiago, Chile, John Authers of Bloomberg summarized the situation very well in his 10/22 article “Chile’s Violence Has a Worrisome Message for the World.”

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