Weekly Playlist: Oil Blues, High-Profile Firings And High-Priced Tequila

Les copains d’abord – Georges Brassens

The song title means “Friends First” in English, and Wall Street certainly saw Emmanuel Macron as a friend.  The stock market got an early boost this week when new French President Emmanuel Macron saw his party score a solid majority in the parliamentary election over the weekend. Wall Street took the win as a mandate for his pro-European Union, pro-business friendly reform program.

As I’m sure you hear all the time: “Des bateaux j’en ai pris beaucoup, mais le seul qui’ait tenu le coup, qui n’ait jamais viré de bord, mais viré de bord, naviguait en père peinard sur la grand-mare des canards. Et s’app’lait les Copains d’abord.”

Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith

The National Association of Realtors released its monthly figures on previously owned homes this week, a stat known as existing home sales.  The figure unexpectedly rose in May, climbing 1.1 percent to an annual pace of 5.62 million homes.

The reason for the surprise?  Low inventories convinced economists that despite robust demand and a recent dip in interest rates, the lack of affordable options would push existing home sales down.  Apparently, economists were looking for home buyers to give up and, presumably, settle for sleeping in tents.

Through The Wire – Kanye West

Kanye West’s debut single, “Through the Wire,” was recorded shortly after the rapper suffered a car accident in 2002.  He literally recorded the song “through a wire,” that being the wire that was holding his jaw together.

Like Kanye, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick is outspoken in a way that threatens his career.  This week we learned that Kalanick had lost his spot as CEO of the high profile ride sharing company, largely due to a litany of unpleasant revelations about the companies culture.  His career may be in a ditch now, but like Kanye, it’s likely the 40-year-old entrepreneur will find his way back into the spotlight.

Gasoline – Sheryl Crow

“Gasoline will be free,” Sheryl Crow sings repeatedly in her (somewhat unimaginatively named) track “Gasoline.”  That seemed like a distant possibility earlier this week.

Wall Street reacted negatively to a sharp dip in oil prices this week.  Crude has stabilized following its initial collapse, but not before the price plunged to a 10-month low.  The price remains below $43 per gallon going into the final trading session of the week.

Tequila Song – The Champs

Diageo agreed this week to acquire Casamigos, a so-called super-premium tequila brand.  The purchase price could be worth up to $1 billion, including $700 million up front and another possible $300 million based on performance over the next 10 years.

Among the winners: George Clooney.  The super-premium movie star is one of the three founders of the brand, who formed the company in 2013.  Whether you think Casamigos is the best thing Clooney’s made since then pretty much depends on your opinion of Hail Caesar!  It’s certainly the biggest blockbuster.

Strawberry Swing – Coldplay

A study released a few years ago showed that listening to music helped relieve stress.  This isn’t much of a surprise, but it’s always nice to have your life experience confirmed by a rigorous scientific study.

This study had the particular benefit of including a list of the top stress relieving songs.  The top four scientifically confirmed stress relievers are generally ambient tracks – including a tune by Enya and the number-one song, “Weightless” by Marconi Union.  But number five on the list is “Strawberry Swing” by Coldplay.

Why mention all this?  Because this week saw the release of the Federal Reserve stress tests of banks.  All 34 of the financial institutions that received scrutiny – the biggest banks with operations in the U.S. – passed the first round of testing.  Stress?  What Stress?

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