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V – Visa Inc.

Visa to buy Plaid for $5.3B

The acquisition will enable Visa to work more closely with fintechs through all stages of their development and drive growth in Visa’s core business, Visa said.

Visa Inc. (Visa) is a payments technology company that connects consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners and government entities to electronic payments. The Company operates through payment services segment. The Company enables global commerce through the transfer of value and information among the participants.

1. Visa — 323M Cardholders

Visa logo

Visa is a monolith in the credit card world, widely accepted by over 8 million merchants. From traditional benefits to premium rewards, Visa personal credit cards offer a wide range of benefits for cardholders around the world. Mobile cardholders can save themselves time and shop online using Visa Checkout.

2. MasterCard — 191M Cardholders

MasterCard logo

The second most major credit card network in the United States, MasterCard offers perks like easy bill pay and personal information protection using chip technology. MasterCard processes transactions in over 210 countries and in more than 150 currencies.


Tesla: Monster Run ~ Still Bullish

Tesla rally finds a new gear

Jefferies boosts its price target to $600 from $400 as it points to the ability for Tesla to add sales in the power storage and third-party battery sales businesses.

“We think it would be wrong to exit Tesla on valuation given that: it is the only [automaker] engaged in a positive-sum game in [electric vehicles] amid rising market acceptance,” advises Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois.

Tesla, Inc., formerly Tesla Motors, Inc., designs, develops, manufactures and sells fully electric vehicles, and energy storage systems, as well as installs, operates and maintains solar and energy storage products. The Company operates through two segments: Automotive, and Energy generation and storage.

Youth Lost ?? ~ Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Original typescript with corrections and emendations in Wilde’s hand, 1890

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde caused a furor in the British press when it appeared in 1890 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. Hostile critics recoiled from what they sensed was its homoerotic theme.

One newspaper, Scots Observer, insinuated that the story was as despicable as the Cleveland Street scandal, which had recently exposed the exploitation of telegraph messenger-boys who had offered sexual services to titled gentlemen at a male brothel in Central London.

The typescript held by the Clark reveals the careful manner in which Wilde, along with his editors at Lippincott’s in Philadelphia, revised sexually-sensitive phrasing.

“UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library”

Original typescript with corrections and emendations in Wilde’s hand, 1890

Fintech – Financial Technology

Fintech refers to the integration of technology into offerings by financial services companies in order to improve their use and delivery to consumers. It primarily works by unbundling offerings by such firms and creating new markets for them.

Fintech startups received $17.4 billion in funding in 2016 and were on pace to surpass that sum as of late 2017, according to CB Insights, which counted 26 fintech unicorns globally valued at $83.8 billion. The same firm reported that there were 39 VC-backed fintech unicorns worth $147.37 billion by the end of 2018.

CGC – Canopy Growth Corporation

First & Free – a hemp-derived CBD product line

Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) has launched First & Free – a hemp-derived CBD product line offered in a variety of formats, including softgels, oil drops and creams. The products will be available for purchase through e-commerce site: www.firstandfree.com.

Recreational marijuana legal in Illinois

Illinois is ringing in the new decade by becoming the 11th state in the country and the District of Columbia to allow the legal sale and purchase of marijuana.

Under the new state law, adults over the age of 21 may own 30 grams of cannabis flower, 500 milligrams of THC in pot products and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.

Cannabis stocks are enjoying end-of-the-year buying today, giving battered longs hope for a better 2020. Selected tickers: Cronos Group (CRON +11.7%), Aurora Cannabis (ACB +11.3%), Tilray (TLRY +8.5%), Canopy Growth (CGC +9.2%), Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ +4.3%), The Cannabis ETF (THCX +4%), Aphria (APHA +7%)

2014 Château de Roquebrune ~ Pomerol

Pure Merlot, this wine comes from a property that borders on Pomerol proper. Its juicy red-berry flavors are classics for the vintage. Ripe while crisp and with acidity

Château de Roquebrune has been a family owned winery for 5 generations.  Today, it is run by Florent Guinjard. The estate is located on the border of the appellation Pomerol on the northern side of the small Barbanne river that splits both appellations.

The vineyard is just across from Château de Sales in Pomerol. It covers 19 ha and the soils are worked manually, with no use of chemicals.

VIV – Telefônica Brasil S.A.

Vivo selling 1,909 towers to Telxius

Telefônica Brasil (NYSE:VIV) says in a filing that it has agreed to sell 1,909 towers to Telxius Torres Brasil (an indirect subsidiary of Spanish parent Telefónica (NYSE:TEF)).

That deal, intended to optimize capital allocation, comes for 641M reais in consideration (about $153M).It ensures continuity in providing mobile service by including leasebacks, and establishes conditions for expanding rented space. The transaction still needs approval from CADE, Brazil’s antitrust regulator.

Telefonica Brasil S.A. is a mobile telecommunications company in Brazil offering postpaid mobile services. The Company also operates as a fixed telecommunications company in the state of Sao Paulo. The Company markets its mobile services under its Vivo brand. It offers its clients a portfolio of products, including mobile and fixed voice, mobile data, fixed broadband, ultra-fast broadband, Pay television, information technology and digital services.

Its operations consist of local and long distance fixed telephone services; mobile services, including value-added services; data services, including broadband services and mobile data services; Pay television services through direct to home (DTH), Internet protocol television (IPTV) and cable; network services, such as rental of facilities, as well as other services; wholesale services, including interconnection; digital services; services designed specifically for corporate customers, and the sale of wireless devices and accessories.

INVESCO Ltd. ~ Global Investment Management

Invesco Ltd. engages as an independent global investment management firm. It operates through Investment Management segment. The firm offers a range of single-country, regional, and global capabilities across major equity, fixed income and alternative asset classes, delivered through a diverse set of investment vehicles. The company was founded in December 1935 and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.