Market Morning: Uber Grounded in NYC, MoviePass Sees The Light, Lira Crash Continues

MoviePass, Now a Picocap, Understands that $10 a Month for Unlimited Movies Doesn’t Work

Now that the stock has already dropped asymptotically closer and closer to zero with a market cap of only $113,737, MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson (NASDAQ:HMNY) has finally come to the conclusion that letting people watch as many movies as they want for $10 a month might not be the greatest of business plans. Better late than never, as they say. In something of a “duh” moment, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said, “It is really tough to launch a business that shoots up like a rocket ship, but hasn’t completely got the business model right.” In other words, it’s pretty easy to give away a service in demand for way below market price and lose money. To remedy this mathematical conundrum, MoviePass has changed it model to 3 movies a month for $10. Time to buy the picocap? You can buy the whole company for about the price a really nice luxury car.

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Will Egyptian Air Car Challenge Tesla Dominance?

A team of student engineers from just outside Cairo have built a car that runs on compressed air, and they have no debt or Mars colonization plans to distract themselves with, unlike Tesla. So there’s a plus. They probably won’t be competing with Elon Musk any time soon, but their car can hit 40kph and can drive 30km on a tank of…air. It costs about $1,000 to make, and the students are aiming for a top speed of 100kph (about 60mph) with a max range of 100km before refueling, or re-airing. The question is, how much energy does it take to compress air into a tank for the car? Either the idea is genius, or it’s a bunch of hot air.

China’s Xi Xinping Triggered By Winnie the Pooh

China’s President for Life has a vendetta out for Winnie the Pooh. Maybe all this tariff back-and-forth has frazzled the man or made him overly irritable, but Winnie the Pooh is now something of a resistance icon against government power in China, given the consensus that Xi sort of looks like the pudgy animated honey thief. Beijing has embarked on a censorship mission against Pooh and associated characters, even banning the newest Pooh movie in China, Chirstopher Robin. Perhaps the move was made to protect the Chinese movie industry against foreign imports, an industry that hasn’t released a real blockbuster since 2000’s masterpiece Crouching Tigger Hidden Pooh Bear. Chinese stocks (NYSEARCA:FXI) are up around 2% today and the Chinese yuan (CNY=X) continues to hover near 52 week lows against the US dollar.

Score for the Unions and Taxi Interests Who Can’t Compete With Uber, Lyft

The Independent Driver’s Guild, a union of drivers in New York City, has succeeded in forcing minimum wage on drivers outside of the union, so that they can no longer compete with the union on wages. The New York City Council has also suspended new licenses for Uber and Lyft drivers for one year, which will push up the prices of Uber and Lyft rides by constricting supply, at the expense of other drivers who want to become Uber and Lyft workers. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the bill will help cut down on the amount of congestion on the streets of New York. Maybe, but only by increasing the congestion on the subways and sidewalks of people looking for rides who can’t get them.

Lira Lashing Relentless as Turkish Banks Near Collapse

The Turkish Lira (TRY=X) hit fresh lows against the US dollar today, reaching as high as 5.45 per dollar. Turkey has entered a hyperinflationary depression, with official inflation figures at 16% and interest rates on the 10Y nearing 20%, in what looks to be a repeat of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in the US. The iShares Turkey ETF (NASDAQ:TUR) is nearing 2009 bear market lows, Turkey’s membership in NATO is being openly questioned, and President Erdogan’s growing power is starting to resemble Hugo Chavez’s rise to absolutism just before Venezuela’s complete economic collapse. The detention of US Christian Pastor Andrew Brunson has soured relations between Turkey and the US, which just keeps adding pressure on the Lira. Speculations are that a Lira exchange rate of anything over 7 could collapse the Turkish financial system.

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