Almost Daily Grant's

“Almost Daily” is the end-of-day delectation from Grant’s.

ADG tells you what happened. It speculates on what may happen and tracks and develops Grant’s themes. Look for it after the New York close of trading—almost daily.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The world is yours

Received in the Grant’s inbox today, via investor Paul Isaac: 
Coming soon: The first blockchain-accelerated early payment default. 

The blind side

Forbes reports this afternoon that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has formed a new venture capital fund, Rx3 Partners with Byron Roth, chairman and CEO of Roth Capital Partners. 
Rodgers, who threw 25 touchdowns and just two interceptions in 2018 but whose Packers failed to make the playoffs for a second straight year, commented: “With Rx3, I saw the opportunity to create an investment platform that brings together a group of like-minded influential investors and their respective networks with the backing of institutional resources.”
In other words: motion right, end-around, play-action fake on two. 

Lobby horse

The Department of Defense’s forthcoming $10 billion cloud computing award, known as JEDI, has been mired in controversy and allegations of misconduct involving, Inc.’s web services division (AWS). Does a potential scandal involving AWS and Uncle Sam present a risk to the continuation of Amazon’s unparalleled success? 
On May 24, Amazon competitor Oracle Corp. which vied for the JEDI contract and was eliminated from contention (AWS and Microsoft Corp. are the remaining bidders), filed an updated complaint with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims alleging that the procurement process for JEDI has been rife with conflicts of interest.  
Oracle alleges that at least two employees, Deap Ubhi and Anthony DeMartino, improperly influenced the process to favor AWS at the expense of other competitors, as detailed by Almost Daily Grant’s on April 18. On March 4, the Federal News Network reported that the DoD Inspector General and FBI’s Public Corruption Unit have opened a joint investigation into the JEDI procurement process. 
The updated court filing contains no shortage of explosive allegations:
The Department of Defense deviated from its procurement policy and did not require Ubhi, [redacted] or DeMartino (and many others) to complete conflict of interest forms and sign nondisclosure agreements prior to JEDI involvement. Consequently, several DoD officials with clear financial interests in AWS participated in JEDI in violation of applicable laws and regulations. 
Mere sour grapes from a losing contestant? In its filing, Oracle cites correspondence on the Slack messaging platform suggesting that Ubhi (who worked at AWS from 2014 to 2016 before joining the Pentagon, and then returned to AWS in November 2017) pressed senior DoD official Jane Rathbun to favor a single-award approach, which is widely believed to favor AWS:
In one message, Ubhi reports “we just won this conversation’ because ‘Jane R. is now moved to our side and is supportive of a single provider.” Ubhi later advised the Defense Digital Service team to “check your email, and see Jane coming to the light”. . . In subsequent messages, Ubhi noted it “puts multi vs. single to bed once and for all hopefully (at least from a technical standpoint.”
Ubhi later indicated to [DDS general counsel Sharon] Woods that he was not worried about the “single vs. double” awardee approach and “if there are people in the building (Pentagon) that (he) need(s) to go see and school, or ally, let’s do that too.”
Beyond lobbying DoD officials to structure JEDI as a winner-take-all, Oracle claims that Ubhi used his position to accumulate intelligence about competitors cloud capabilities, while preparing for his return to Amazon:
In mid-September 2017 (during his employment discussions with AWS), Ubhi helped set up the Google Drive to act as DoD’s “repository for *everything*” JEDI related. Ubhi and the DDS team subsequently convinced all DoD JEDI participants “to data dump” everything into the Google folder.
Ubhi managed untold amounts of nonpublic and acquisition sensitive JEDI-related information based on his access to the JEDI Google drive. At some point prior to rejoining AWS, Ubhi synced the Google Team Drives to his laptop. 
Amazon will have a hard time distancing itself from Ubhi’s conduct, if Oracle’s allegations are accurate:
AWS knew of Ubhi’s central JEDI role as AWS courted Ubhi to rejoin AWS. AWS also knew that Ubhi had not recused himself as legally required. Still neither Ubhi nor AWS notified DoD of the employment negotiations.
On October 2, 2017, Ubhi emailed AWS advising that he is “running point on all [JEDI] industry touch points.”
Apart from the criminal investigation into JEDI, Congress has taken a dim view of the winner-take-all approach to the massive contract. In its 2020 budget released on May 20, the House Appropriations Committee stated that due to concerns about committing to a single provider for a 10-year term:  
The Committee directs that no funds may be obligated or expended to migrate data and applications to the JEDI cloud until the Chief Information Officer of the Department of Defense provides a report to the Congressional Defense Committees on how the Department plans to eventually transition to a multi-cloud environment, as described in its January 2019 Cloud Initiative Report to Congress.
That follows an early April decision from the C.I.A. to shift to a multi-cloud strategy by 2021, after signing a $600 million contract with AWS in 2013. 
No matter what happens with the government investigation, the competition is collectively taking aim at AWS. Today, Microsoft and Oracle announced an agreement to connect cloud computing units by linking their respective data centers, as well as letting users log into either company with a single user name. 
As for Amazon, a $10 billion award over 10 years doesn’t stand out as critical, considering the company reported $242 billion in revenue and $11.4 billion in net income over the 12 months ended March 31. But a loss of government confidence in AWS (which generated $2.2 billion of net income in the first quarter, up 57% year-over-year and representing two thirds of the consolidated total) could be significant. As a D.C.-based observer told ADG in April: “The AWS story, as sold to enterprise customers and the Street, is built upon the [C.I.A] reference case and the cash that has come in from that deal.” 

Recap June 5

A second straight rally in stocks pushed the S&P 500 higher by 2.7% this week, while short-dated Treasurys partially reversed yesterday’s pullback with the two-year yield finishing at 1.84%, down from 2.22% just two weeks ago.  Energy was once again hammered, with Brent crude falling below $60 a barrel this morning for the first time since January, while gold continues to diverge, finishing at $1,330 an ounce for a near-four month high.  The VIX closed at 16, its lowest in two weeks. 
- Philip Grant

Monday, April 6, 2020

Grant's credit primer

Socially distant

(Prospective) deal of the day

Get to the choppa
"Whatever it takes" is the law of the land,

Recap April 6

Friday, April 3, 2020

Debtor in Chief

Lobby horse

Where the rubber meets the road
Mr. Market drinks from a firehose.

Recap April 3

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Grant's credit primer

Nevertheless, they persisted
A bolt from the electronic heavens this morning,

QE progress report

Recap April 2

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

He ain't lying

Rethinking old reliable
The unstoppable force (Canada’s seemingly invincible housing market) meets the immovable object of a global pandemic.

Recap March 31

Monday, March 30, 2020

Volatility chronicles
Hedging ain't easy.

Trickle-down theory
It's alive!

Wet powder
The customer's yachts are in dry-dock.

Recap March 30

Friday, March 27, 2020

They said it

Back to the drawing board
All that shimmers

Dollar tree
The Financial Times reports this afternoon

Recap March 27

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Deal of the day

Home cooking

Other people's money
Here's Uber CEO

QE progress report

Recap March 26

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The howitzer chronicles
Is outright debt monetization coming to the Old Continent?

Credit check

Scales of justice
On Monday, Moody's Investors Service

Recap March 25

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

No backsies
Cough it up.

Physical challenge
A second straight rip in gold took the

Recap March 24

Monday, March 23, 2020

Chaos creates opportunity

The howitzer chronicles
In other words, "whatever it takes!"

The thing itself
The 11% sell-off in gold over the past month

Damage assessment
The recent wipeout in credit

Recap March 23

Friday, March 20, 2020

The howitzer chronicles
This morning,

Cheese grater
Yesterday afternoon,

Recap March 20

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bazooka Joe
Let's review the latest round of action from the Federal Reserve.

Off the canvas
Yesterday, the Bloomberg Mortgage REIT (real estate investment trust) Index collapsed by 24%,

QE progress report

Recap March 17

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Risk parody
Headline of the day, from The Onion:

He said it
Here's Ed Yardeni,

Ports in the storm
Signs of life from the corporate bond market,

Recap March 17

Monday, March 16, 2020

Recap March 16

Liquidity check
Last Thursday,

Spinal tap
The parade of companies opting

Friday, March 13, 2020

Recap March 13

Now it's getting serious
A headline from the New York Post:

Credit check

Going viral
CoindDesk reports today that

Drifting too far from the shore
Dislocations in the bond market

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Recap March 12

The edge

Credit check

State of nature

QE progress report

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Recap March 11

That 70's Show
A throwback to days of yore:

Credit check

That was then
Bloomberg reports this morning that volatility in the Japanese yen registered its highest level this week since 2008.

CoCo Crisp

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Recap March 10

Paging Sheriff Nottingham

Channel stuff
Time for a re-rating?

Monday, March 9, 2020

Survey says

Credit check

Upside down
As government bond yields

Recap March 9

Friday, March 6, 2020

Keep the Bronco in park
Headline of the day,

Getting warmer
Today, the Markit North American

Bubble bath
The feverish rally in U.S. Treasurys

Getting warmer
Many happy returns?

Recap March 6

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Sour patch
Taking it down a notch.

Not-QE progress report

Recap March 5

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Price taker
The Fed's surprise decision

Better safe than sorry
The c-suite in retreat?

Credit check
Stocks may be solidly red for the year and Treasury yields are diving to record levels, but

Recap March 3

Monday, March 2, 2020

Devalue investing
As China contends with the COVID-19

Recap March 2

Friday, February 28, 2020

Eat and run
The bell is ringing.

Recap Feb. 28

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Under Siege 3
From the Financial Times:

This bond's for you
It's not just stocks.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Feb. 27

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Value-free zone
Today, the S&P Municipal Bond Index rose

Waffle fries
No happy meal here.

Recap Feb. 26

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Recap Feb. 25

Deal of the day

Open house
A reappraisal underway?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Credit chronicles

Private practice
Time for a reset?

Recap Feb. 24

Friday, February 21, 2020

Green(back) shoots
It's an historic day in the Treasury pits,

Recap Feb. 21

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Millennial falcon
From investigative website The Smoking Gun:

Aaron's Judge
This morning, furniture, appliance and electronics retailer

Not-QE progress report

Recap Feb. 20

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Let's review
Time for a second look.

Recap Feb. 18

Friday, February 14, 2020

Down in the bottom
The basement is getting crowded.

Recap Feb. 14

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Like a hurricane
The currency markets have never been so calm.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Feb. 13

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

He said it
Here's Fed chairman

That's Armour-e
To the penalty box.

Recap Feb. 12

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Judge dread
A bombshell.

Recap Feb. 11

Monday, February 10, 2020

Headline of the day
From the Financial Times:

Curb your enthusiasm
Things are looking up for corporate America.

Recap Feb. 10

Friday, February 7, 2020

Sentiment check
On Wednesday

Hut hike
Here comes the sun.

Recap Feb. 7

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Crypto carve-out
From Coinbase:

Credit chronicles
A debtor's delight.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Feb. 6

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

All in the family
The hits keep coming at the Vision Fund,

Go big or go home
At the corner of Wall Street and Main:

Recap Feb. 4

Monday, February 3, 2020

Today in high finance
From the Financial Times:

Bizzle brothers
A downshift in the Valley?

Recap Feb. 3

Friday, January 31, 2020

Real talk
As comfortable with trillions as most of us are with tens and hundredds

Dial tone
On Wednesday, telecom behemoth AT&T, Inc.

Recap Jan. 31

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Circle of trust
The Wall Street Journal reports today on a "bruising" price war

Logan's Run
Time for a higher purpose?

Not-QE progress report

Recap Jan. 30

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

He said it
Here's the newly installed Boeing Co. CEO

Beyond reconciliation
A quick pivot

Recap Jan. 29

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Take two
They're back.

Debtors delight
The parade of landmark bond issues

Recap Jan. 28

Monday, January 27, 2020

Planet crypton
On Jan. 13, hip-hop

Creditor chronicles
Another day, another record.

Play it again Sam
Time to expand the "toolkit."

Recap Jan. 27

Friday, January 24, 2020

Employees-of-the-month Club

Cold fusion
They get an 'A' for timing.

Recap Jan. 24

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Credit chronicles
Let the good times roll.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Jan. 23

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Bubble screen
Football fans traveling to Miami

Lean out
Time to find the off ramp.

Recap Jan. 21

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Did you just say Yutes?
One step closer.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Jan. 16

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Grande central
Today, the U.S. and China signed

Recap Jan. 15

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Let's pretend
Back in the saddle.

Recap Jan. 14

Monday, January 13, 2020

To heel
Some adult supervision for the Wild West of finance?

How the other half lives
It was no December to remember.

Recap Jan 13

Friday, January 10, 2020

Price proppers
You can't accuse them of disorganization.

Recap Jan. 10

Thursday, January 9, 2020

'Nar pow
Not-quite late cycle.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Jan. 9

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Highly unusual
Throw it in reverse.

Recap Jan. 7

Monday, January 6, 2020

Under the hood
A permanently high plateau?

Recap Jan. 6

Friday, January 3, 2020

What makes markets
Two brokerage houses,

Asset lite
Risk-averse buyers get in line.

Recap Jan. 3

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Diet starts tomorrow
A worthy New Year's resolution:

Mission impossible
What can't low rates do?

Low and slow
Long live the bond bull market.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Jan. 2

Friday, December 20, 2019

Damn Yankees
From Bloomberg:

Most important meal of the day
Reuters reports that the winning bidder

While the iron is hot
It's been a banner year for corporate debt,

Recap Dec. 20

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Wild Wild East
It's finally happening.

Recap Dec. 19

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Phone home
The high-stakes lawsuit

98 pound weakling
It's a perfect set-up.

Recap Dec. 18

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

B.S. detector activated
Felix Rohatyn,

Early spring for Europe's banks?
A light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps.

Recap Dec. 17

Monday, December 16, 2019

Candy crush
From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

Turn the page
It’s a new day.

Recap Dec. 16

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

From the clouds
It was a bombshell.

Recap Dec. 10

Monday, December 9, 2019

The sixth sense
A hedge-fund help wanted from

In memoriam
Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker died yesterday in New York at the age of 92.

Tail wags the dog
A bit of a surprise:

Recap Dec. 9

Friday, December 6, 2019

Buzzfeed's Mark Distefano

Bird is the word
This was one to chirp about

Recap Dec. 6

Thursday, December 5, 2019

A short-lived synergy:

Pivot table
Meet the new boss.

"Not-QE" progress report

Recap Dec. 5

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Truffle shuffle
Yesterday, Sergey Brin and Larry Page

Brave new world
A trio of sightings in financial services:

Recap Dec. 4

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Spin doctor
Bloomberg headline of the day.

Your honor, your honor
To the courtroom.

Recap Dec. 3

Monday, December 2, 2019

The good times continue apace for private equity.

Recap Dec. 2

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Big RxR Blues
Good news from the Great White North this morning,

Recap Nov. 26

Monday, November 25, 2019

Gig factory
Time to pump the brakes?

Open road
This morning,

Liquidity check
Back to the well.

Recap Nov. 25

Friday, November 22, 2019

Last call
It was the best of times, or something.

Recap Nov. 22

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Real vision
Change is the only constant

"Not-QE" progress report

Recap Nov. 21

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Fly trap
Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing dubbed:

Recap Nov. 20

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

From Bloomberg:

Bum rush
You just can’t keep a good company down.

Recap Nov. 19

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sitting in limbo
He's set to roam.

Broken arrow
Nevertheless, they persisted.

Recap Nov. 18

Friday, November 15, 2019

Fools' gold
Sound money for the 21st century?

Modern family
Maybe it was just a coincidence.

Recap Nov. 15

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Block chain
This just in:

Falling down

Recap Nov. 14

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Blackout warning

Bumper to bumper
The pile-up continues.

Recap Nov. 12

Monday, November 11, 2019

Hot and sour soup
Trouble in Hong Kong is intensifying:

Recap Nov. 11

Friday, November 8, 2019

Lap of luxury
From the Daily Mail:

Down in the bottom
There's more where that came from.

Recap Nov. 8

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Time share
Forget subscriber counts.

Trend zone
“Passing on at least parts of the negative interest rates to parts of the customers – not to Joe Six-pack or Herman the German obviously.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Nov. 7

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Soft serve
Hindsight is 20/20.

Recap Nov. 5

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Child's play
From CNN:

Block party
The command economy received its orders

Recap Nov. 5

Monday, November 4, 2019

Under the bridge
Will the referees blow the whistle?

Recap Nov. 4

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Daily Beast
On Monday, state-owned

Her cup spilleth over

Recap Nov. 1

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Knife Catchers, Inc.
The space between the basement and penthouse

Not QE Progress Report

Recap Oct. 31

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ring that bell
The call came through.

Recap Oct. 29

Monday, October 28, 2019

Care bears
Put it on the tab.

Recap Oct. 28

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Snapper
Many happy returns, sort of.

Recap Oct. 25

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Protest chic

When doves fly
A perfect score.

Recap Oct. 24

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

He said it
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The bold and the beautiful
Back to the drawing board.

Just wing it
Just how dire is The We Co.'s financial state following the pulled IPO?

Recap Oct. 22

Monday, October 21, 2019

Peg leg
Look out below.

Recap Oct. 21

Friday, October 18, 2019

Today in hedging
Here's Mario Draghi,

Manifest destiny
Into the wild frontier.

Recap Oct. 18

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mystery train
The signal's gone from green to yellow.

Recap Oct. 17

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Is it safe?
The hits keep coming.

Recap Oct. 15

Monday, October 14, 2019

A real headline, from RealClearMarkets:

Porous the spider
Last one out, turn off the lights?

Recap Oct. 14

Friday, October 11, 2019

Space force
From Bloomberg

Dine and dash
The struggles continue for the restaurant industry,

Recap Oct. 11

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The King's Speech
A job opening, on LinkedIn

P.O. Box
It's a gusher

Recap Oct. 10

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

ADG 10/9: How to train your Draghi
A new frontier in "whatever it takes."

Recap Oct. 9

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

QT, we hardly knew yee
This afternoon,

The dreadful wind and rain
A major snowstorm

Recap Oct. 8

Monday, October 7, 2019

He said it
Here's President Trump today, on Twitter:

Put it on the tab

Recap Oct. 7

Friday, October 4, 2019

Now is the winter of our streaming content
Amazon, Inc. and Walt Disney Co. are feuding over terms which the former would carry the latter’s

Discovery channel
The renewed bloodletting in the energy patch has seen West Texas Intermediate crude

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Reach and pull
As bond yields the world over continue to hug the ground, issuers reach for the sky.

Recap Oct. 3

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Utah, get me two

Tandem bicycle
Change is in the air at PMI, the trading division of

Recap Oct. 1

Monday, September 30, 2019

Under the hood
According to research from Morgan Stanley,

Today, troubled U.K.-based closed-end investment fund Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc.

Recap Sept. 30

Friday, September 27, 2019

Say it ain't so
Spotted yesterday in Gramercy

One-stop shop

Recap Sept. 27

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dead air
The timing could hardly be worse.

Recap Sept. 26

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Sentiment check
Karz for Kidz, 2019 edition.

Ya gotta believe

Recap Sept. 25

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Banks for nothing
He’s positive that rates should be negative.

Recap Sept. 24

Monday, September 23, 2019

If you build it

At least eyeballs are countable.

Recap Sept. 23

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Masa of leverage

Polonius, call your office

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Recap Sept. 17

After the deal
Four years ago, roll-ups were the vogue of Wall Street,

Monday, September 16, 2019

Price gusher

Recap Sept. 16

Friday, September 13, 2019

Everything burns

Recap Sept. 13

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The science of central banking
Investor eyes were trained towards Frankfurt

How now Kowtow

Recap Sept. 12