Oct 31, 2017

Tom Barrack's October to forget

Tom Barrack, speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Colony Capital CEO and Tom Barrack probably can't wait for October to end, after a month in which he has been at least tangentially involved in both the nation's largest cultural scandal and its largest political scandal.

Weinstein: Colony Capital initially agreed to bail out the embattled Weinstein Co., without fully appreciating the legal liabilities and other complexities created by Harvey Weinstein's despicable actions. The deal — born of Barrack's past business dealings with the Weinstein brothers — soon collapsed.

Manafort/Gates: Barrack is credited with introducing President Trump to Paul Manafort, and for recommending that he be hired as campaign manager. Colony also hired Manafort deputy Rick Gates as a consultant back in March, but fired him yesterday after both Manafort and Gates were indicted for conspiring against the U.S. (among other charges).

Kicker: Barrack was interviewed in October by the Washington Post, which garnered headlines for his statement that longtime pal Trump was "better than this."

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon is looking to invest in localized podcast content, like news and sports, sources tell Axios. Sports content is top of mind as the company plans to buy up more TV rights and have adjacent audio content for users.

Why it matters: Amazon sees a strategic advantage in podcasts by leveraging Alexa voice tech to help users discover personalized content.

The oil stakes of Trump vs. Biden

Reproduced from Rapidan Energy Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. oil production is in a steep decline, but one question is how much November's elections will affect how much it does — or doesn't — bounce back.

Why it matters: The powerful price and demand headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic are creating a financial crisis in the oil patch.

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