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John C. Portman's "Ballet Olympia" sculpture outside SunTrust Plaza in Atlanta. Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
In terms of the number of deals, mergers and acquisitions activity is off to the slowest start since 2015. But the deals that have been made this year are much bigger than before, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
By the numbers: According to data prepared for Axios by Dealogic, public North American companies have announced 53 deals so far this year — fewer than the 81 in the same period last year.
Between the lines: The deals so far this year are beating records within their industries.
Bottom line: "Choppy financial markets, trade tensions and fears of an economic slowdown hampered deal makers" a bit in 2018, the Wall Street Journal notes. Those same risks could still dampen the deal activity we've seen so far in 2019.
With nearly $280 billion in deals so far, this year is on pace to pass 2018's blowout numbers and one of the biggest tie-ups so far could get even bigger. Maybe.
Newmont agreed to an all-stock deal valued at $10 billion to buy Goldcorp in January. But Barrick just announced an unsolicited bid for Newmont.
A Barrick-Newmont merger would make Barrick again the largest gold miner, producing an estimated 10 million ounces a year.
The U.S. sanctions have crippled Venezuela's oil industry so fully that the country has half a billion dollars worth of oil sitting in ships off its coast, Bloomberg's Lucia Kassai and Fabiola Zerpa report.
What's happening: An armada of 16 ships, holding 8.36 million barrels of Venezuelan crude, are floating off the country's coast. The cargoes belong to PDVSA, Chevron, Valero and Russia's Rosneft oil company.
Driving the news: Oil prices edged up on Monday, a dead cat bounce from the selloff that followed President Trump's calls in a tweet for OPEC to "relax and take it easy" with its planned output cuts. Crude had previously reached a 3-month high in anticipation of the cuts from OPEC and Russia.
Yes, but: Goldman Sachs' energy analysts expect prices to rise as high as $75 a barrel, they said in a note to clients on Monday, but reverse course as the return of the "New Oil Order" returns, with U.S. producers pumping up production and the expiration of OPEC+ cuts.
The continually escalating U.S. sanctions on Venezuela have created problems for more than just the country's president and his inner circle. They are creating "new compliance risks for U.S. and international financial institutions," the Wall Street Journal's Mengqi Sun writes.
Why it matters: Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, which has been the target of some sanctions, has many subsidiaries and outsources much of its business to third-party vendors. That means banks are picking over transactions and potential customers with a fine-tooth comb, said Daniel Gutierrez, who chairs the anti-money-laundering compliance committee at the Florida International Bankers Association.
The deep connections between the U.S. and Venezuela in the oil industry goes much deeper than simply paying for gas. The sanctions can affect automobile and heavy machinery manufacturing, as well as elements of insurance and finance, said Cari Stinebower, a sanctions lawyer at Crowell & Moring LLP, tells WSJ.
In a recent paper on how to protect workers from automation, Brookings Institute's Robert Maxim and Mark Muro write that while just 25% of the U.S. workforce are facing "high" exposure to job loss from automation in the coming decades, that still represents 36 million Americans.
"To adapt to coming changes, workers will need more support for skill development," Maxim and Muro write. "Unfortunately, employer-supported training, one of the main forms of skill development for incumbent workers, has been declining over time."
Between the lines: Data shows that as a portion of our economy, the U.S. spends less than every other industrialized country except Mexico on training workers, so-called active labor market policies that provide workers with skills and match them to jobs.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify before the Senate Banking Committee today and the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow. Two members of the Banking Committee and at least 1 member of the Financial Services Committee are likely to run for president in 2020, so expectations are low for substance.
But on the off-chance there's some staffer out there who reads Axios Markets and wants to help his/her boss out, here are a few questions.
History: Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific rulers and builders in world history. She commissioned hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, many of which still stand.
One of Egypt's first female pharaohs, she re-established the trade networks that had been disrupted during a previous occupation, and helped build the wealth of the 18th Dynasty.
While she was successful in warfare, increasing the size of the Egyptian empire early in her reign, she is generally considered to have ruled over a long era of peace and rekindled international trading relationships. That wealth enabled Hatshepsut to initiate building projects that raised the caliber of Egyptian architecture to a standard that would not be rivaled by any other culture for 1,000 years.
Later pharaohs even attempted to claim some of her projects as theirs.
During her reign, she built so much and created such impressive works that almost every major museum with ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world has Hatshepsut's work in their collections. Her tomb is also one of the most visited buildings in the world.