EU Says UK Parliament Is Titanic Voting for Iceberg to Move
Parliamentary democracy may have some power, but it can’t tell parliaments outside of itself what to do. In “ruling out” a no deal Brexit yesterday in a vote, chief Brexit negotiator for the European Union, Michel Barnier, has likened it to the Titanic voting for the iceberg to move. The only way to rule out no deal, said Barnier, is to approve a deal. Otherwise, there is no deal by default. Parliament had voted to strike language from its ruling out of no deal that no deal would be the default position, and by doing so they hope to vote it away with their magical votes, but reality has a way of asserting itself against political fantasy, as always. Hopefully though, they’ll feel better for a few minutes. British stocks are up today despite all the chaos. So it looks now that there will be a Brexit extension and possibly a second referendum, though European member states would have to approve an extension unanimously.
FAA Grounds Boeing 737 MAX Series, Says Oops, Plane Now Unsafe
The Federal Aviation Administration has changed its tune on the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX series, saying now that the plane is not airworthy anymore, even though it said it was airworthy 2 days ago, because it has determined that the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight was linked to the previous Lion Air crash in Indonesia of the same model plane. Why the FAA changed its mind now rather than ground flights days ago while investigating if this was actually the case instead of assuming it wasn’t and being wrong, is up for debate. Probably power politics and such, which should comfort all air travelers. Acting FAA administrator Daniel Elwell said, “It became clear — to all parties, actually — that the track of the Ethiopian Airlines flight was very close and behaved very similarly to the Lion Air flight,” Elwell said. There are 72 active Boeing 737 MAX planes in the United States.
FDA Moves Against E-Cigs
Outgoing FDA head Scott Gottlieb has succeeded in imposing tough new regulations on flavored e-cigarattes. Retailers will now have to either bad minors from entering their stores completely, or put the dreaded flavored e-cigarettes in a special age-restricted section, meaning that minors will now have to present their fake IDs, which they were doing before anyway. The difference now is that the clerk will have to go get the stuff with a key rather than the customer. So nothing really changes, but Gottlieb probably feels alright now because he did something. Just like the Titanic voting for the iceberg to move, where the FDA is the Titanic and the iceberg is people under 18 vaping e-cigarettes. Tobacco stocks remain mostly unaffected by the move, which is understandable because it doesn’t really accomplish anything besides making bureaucrats feel like they accomplished something. (NYSE:MO) (NYSE:BTI)
GE To Present 2019 Financial Forecast as Stock Recovers a bit
General Electric (NYSE:GE) will put out its 2019 financial forecast today and investors want to see some nice big numbers. GE shares are up 53% since December after some optimism that the 127 year old giant can turn itself around after 2 years of losses totaling $30 billion. GE has sold off assets in a fire sale after it became loaded up with a gargantuan debt pile and since it can’t call on its buddy the Federal Reserve to print it out of insolvency, it had no choice but to liquidate at whatever price was offered for various units so it could stay in business. Shares are at about the same level as they were in 1995.
Tesla to Unveil DeLorean-Like Model Y Compact SUV With Wing Doors
When this thing goes 88 miles per hour, you’re going to see some serious stuff. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will unveil its Model Y at 8pm Pacific time today in a live-streamed event. The car is a compact SUV with doors that open up reminiscent of the DeLorean, but as far as we know, it does not have a flux capacitor. The Model Y will be hit the market around 2021 when numerous other electric vehicle models of its type will be ready to compete with it. Tesla has said that it does not expect to book a profit in the first quarter, and has mulled closing its stores because nobody buys a Tesla at a store in a mall anyway.