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Must Read of the Day 

For a while we've been writing about how marijuana legalization will be a big issue in the 2020 presidential elections, most recently last Thursday evening. Here you go: "Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill on Thursday to legalize marijuana nationwide as he mounts his presidential campaign. Co-sponsors of the bill, known as the Marijuana Justice Act, include fellow 2020 Democratic contenders Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York." Source: CNBC

Goldman Sachs: "This cycle has been unusual in that margin expansion has driven more than 60% of profit growth in both the US and Europe. This contrasts with previous cycles, where revenue growth, a function of the pace of nominal GDP growth, drove more than 70% of the rise in profits." In light of margins nearing record levels, we also note the problem that they've started to contract as we've highlighted in these reports... Source: Zero Hedge

KKR: "we are not bearish, but we do not think that public markets will continue to appreciate in a straight line from current levels if earnings growth continues to disappoint... the equity upgrade in January was based on our belief that investors were already pricing in a recession. Now, we think that fear is no longer being discounted in global equity prices, U.S. ones in particular.” Source: Zero Hedge

"Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are planning to give some drivers money to buy stock in their initial public offerings, a rare move that would grant them access to two of the most hotly anticipated IPOs ever... Both Uber and Lyft’s IPOs will include programs that would give some of their most-active or longest-serving drivers a cash award with an option to put it toward stock in the IPOs." Source: WSJ

"Zūm, a ridesharing startup for kids, just raised a $40 million Series C round led by BMW i Ventures with participation from Spark Capital and Sequoia Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to $70 million. Zūm is a mobile app that enables parents to schedule rides for their kids from fully vetted drivers. It also partners with school districts to support their transportation needs." Source: TechCrunch

Facebook "is working on making a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money on its WhatsApp messaging app, focusing first on the remittances market in India... The company is developing a stablecoin - a type of digital currency pegged to the US dollar - to minimize volatility." Source: Bloomberg

"SoftBank Vision Fund is investing $1.5 billion in Chinese car trading platform Chehaoduo Group, placing another major bet on the world's largest automobile market... It intends to use the money to develop technology in data and cloud computing." The investment values the company at +$9 billion. Source: Bloomberg

"Daimler and BMW deepened their alliance on Thursday to share spiraling development costs for highly automated driving technologies, even as each carmaker pursues separate efforts to develop fully self-driving cars." Source: Reuters

"Amazon announced a new initiative today called Project Zero, a new effort that the online retailer is rolling out with the goal of eliminating counterfeit products from the site. Once approved, brands that join Project Zero will be able to directly flag and remove counterfeit listings of their products from Amazon on their own." Source: The Verge

"Amazon this morning launched a new delivery option for Prime members that will allow them to control when their orders arrive, Amazon Day. The option lets shoppers pick a day of the week to take delivery of their recent orders." Source: TechCrunch

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