Black Friday set a record $9.8bn in sales, up 7.5% from last year. The frenzy continued through the holiday as Americans spent $38bn over the next five days. Cyber Monday that its own record of $12.4bn, up 9.6% from last year. None of which was spent on Mrs. M, so I’ll have to deal with that. After a soft retail October and September, this proves that there is a little more blow in America’s economic baggie. How much, however, is a trickier question, and those floating credit card bills are going to start to pinch.
Britain’s anti-trust regulator is challenging a move by Adobe to buy Figma, a smaller rival for $20bn. EU regulators are set to make a similar challenge, with decisions coming in February.
Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren is claiming Roarke Capital, a private equity investor in US restaurants like Jimmie John’s, Sonic, Arby’s and a buffet of others, is a “sandwich monopoly” now dubbed — wait for it — Big Sandwich. She’s fighting an acquisition of Subway as it would harm consumers. It has been pointed out that there are plenty of sandwich shops, food trucks, gas stations that sell sandwiches and aren’t backed by Roarke Capital and, failing that, any random idiot can whip up a ham and cheese without outsourcing the maneuver. Maybe Senator is just hangry.
Finland is closing its last border crossing with Russia which has been funneling migrants and refugees, originally from Syria and Somalia, to the Finnish border into the EU. Moscow, it seems, is still fussy about Finland’s joining NATO.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments today on whether the SEC — not the college football conference — is unconstitutional. Yeah… that’s happening.
WeWork filed a motion to end costly and long-term leases on 69 buildings whose landlords want their money. They say WeWork only them five days to respond to request for termination, and they want to know more about the company’s credit lines. And who can blame them? WeWork has hundreds of leases it hopes to get out of and emerge from bankruptcy with a less stupid business model.
Charlie Munger — second in command at Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and generally smarter that either you or me — died yesterday at the age of 99. And the financial world just got a little less smart.
Richard Murff is the founder of 4717 Insights. For more on the world, how it got here and a stiff drink, head to the 4717. Murff is the author of Pothole of the Gods: On Holy War, Fake News & other Ill-Advised Ideas, Drunk as Lords, and the upcoming Horrible Political Jokes in Ukraine.