Morning Brew - ☕ Moneyballed

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November 15, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off

Morning Brew

Miso

Good morning. Little did we know that our crypto newsletter would launch just weeks before the industry’s biggest blowup ever. Good (?) timing.

If you want to read more about the FTX debacle and what it means for the sector, check out our new crypto newsletter, Incrypto, which is diving much deeper into this unfolding saga than we have space for here.

Neal Freyman, Max Knoblauch, Matty Merritt, Abby Rubenstein

MARKETS

Nasdaq

11,196.22

S&P

3,957.25

Dow

33,536.70

10-Year

3.858%

Bitcoin

$16,388.32

Hasbro

$57.16

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 3:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks snapped a two-day rally despite Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard saying it will “probably be appropriate soon” to slow down the pace of interest rate hikes. It certainly wasn’t all fun and games for Hasbro, the S&P 500’s biggest loser of the day. Bank of America analysts downgraded the stock, accusing the toymaker of printing too many Magic: The Gathering cards.
 

DEMOGRAPHICS

Earth has enough people for 1.6b basketball teams

Sign says Earth population 8 billion Francis Scialabba

Around 365 million years ago, prehistoric fish decided to leave water for land. And now there are 8 billion humans.

Today, the population of Earth will reach the 8 billion milestone, according to UN projections. It’s the result of an epic growth spurt in the last century: There were just 2 billion humans in 1925, and 4 billion as recently as 1974—so we once again doubled our numbers in less than 50 years. Corporate will love to hear that!

What drove the growth? People are living better, for longer. Child and maternal mortality rates are down, scientists have developed cures for deadly diseases, and extreme poverty rates have plunged.

But growth is hitting a wall, and it will reshape society

The world population is expected to peak in the 2080s at 10.4 billion people, hang there for a few decades, then fall at the dawn of the 22nd century. The reason: Fertility rates are declining, and many countries are not producing enough babies to maintain growth. The populations of 61 countries are projected to drop by at least 1% by 2050, with Eastern Europe suffering the biggest losses.

Shrinking populations alarm economists. Fewer kids means fewer workers contributing to the economy, at the same time the growing ranks of older people will require financial support. Everything from our cities to our healthcare systems will need to be reimagined.

Other countries have the opposite issue. While dozens of nations are grappling with population loss, other countries are experiencing population booms. Eight countries, including Nigeria, Tanzania, and Pakistan, will account for more than half of the projected population increase by 2050. Such blistering population growth can strain resources and make it harder to reduce poverty and provide education, the UN says.

Still, with peak human population on the horizon, we should expect demographic decline to become a more prominent policy issue. Per the UN, in 2050 the number of people 65 or over will be more than double the number of kids under five.—NF

        

TOGETHER WITH MISO

King of the fast-food court

Miso

All hail King Miso! 

His Majesty’s food-frying, drink-filling robots can do the work of 1.5 human workers and increase efficiency while boosting restaurant profit margins by up to 3x. 

It’s no wonder the kingdoms of Jack in the Box and White Castle are already automating their kitchens with Miso’s RaaS (robot-as-a-service) solutions.

But Miso’s turning his kingdom into an empire… 

Right now, Miso is taking his automation arsenal to the massive $675b global fast-food market. And having already landed a major international brand partner, Miso’s well on its way to establishing a foothold in the 20-million-restaurant global marketplace. 

Want to be part of robot royalty? Invest in Miso before the opportunity ends this Friday, 11/18.

WORLD

Tour de headlines

China's President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden shake hands Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

World’s two biggest polluters to restart climate talks. The US and China agreed to resume talks on climate change after Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met for three hours yesterday in Bali ahead of the G-20 summit (talks had been stalled since Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August). The two also discussed other issues, including Taiwan, and Biden came away from the meeting saying “there need not be a new Cold War.”

Ex-football player charged in UVA shooting. University of Virginia student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. was taken into custody yesterday for allegedly shooting and killing three members of the school’s football team Sunday night. Two other students were also wounded in the shooting, which took place on a charter bus returning to campus from a field trip. The campus was locked down for 12 hours as police searched for Jones, a member of the football team in 2018 but off the roster at the time of the shooting.

Google settles 40-state privacy investigation. Google agreed to pay $391.5 million to resolve a massive investigation into how it tracked user locations in the largest multistate privacy settlement in US history. The company says that the issue at the root of the investigation—that it stored location data for users even if they’d opted into a privacy setting disallowing that—has been fixed. Location data is a key part of Google’s ad business that generates $200 billion annually. The attorneys general called the settlement a historic win for consumers.

WEALTH

Bezos said not all of his fortune will go to rockets

Jeff Bezos smiling picture alliance/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos, the world’s fourth richest man, told CNN that he will give away the majority of his $124 billion fortune in his lifetime. It’s the first time the former Amazon CEO has made this kind of commitment.

Bezos’s announcement comes after years of criticism that his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, has lapped him in charitable donations.

  • Scott is worth an estimated $24 billion and gave away over half of her net worth in less than three and a half years.
  • Bezos’s most notable charitable donations so far include his promise to distribute $10 billion over 10 years (~8% of his net worth) through the Bezos Earth Fund to fight climate change.
  • Bezos has also caught flak for not signing the Giving Pledge, a promise made by the world’s richest people to give away most of their wealth.

But now that Bezos has come around, how will he disburse the funds? Not sure yet. A “lifetime” for a megabillionaire could be pretty long, and he hasn’t revealed a plan.

Bezos did write one big check in recent days. He and his partner, Lauren Sánchez, awarded Dolly Parton $100 million to give to a charitable org of her choice through the Bezos Family Foundation’s Courage and Civility Award.—MM

        

CRYPTO

Sam Bankman-Fried is getting moneyballed

Sam Bankman-Fried movie Photo Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Source: Getty Images

The $32 billion FTX implosion is already on the Hollywood fast track. Nonfiction superstar author Michael Lewis, who is famous for writing The Big Short and Moneyball, has reportedly been embedded with the bankrupt crypto exchange’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried for six months and will pen a book telling the inside story.

News of Lewis’s next book was revealed by a CAA agent in an email to potential buyers of the movie rights. “The story has become too big for us to wait,” the email said. Lewis hasn’t written anything yet, but given recent events, you have to imagine he has a few ideas for sentences. According to the email, the author plans to focus on the rivalry between SBF and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), whom he likens to the “Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader of crypto.”

Lewis has a knack for telling stories about industry shifts using eccentric characters. SBF, a 30-year-old (former) crypto billionaire who once implied he would donate $1 billion to political races, claimed he was “skeptical of books,” and had dreams of buying Goldman Sachs, certainly fits the mold.

Further reading: In our interview with Lewis back in February, the author referred to the excesses of the crypto industry as “almost performing a satire” of capitalist systems. Read the full interview here.—MK

        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

Academic workers protesting at UCLA Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram/Getty Images

Stat: About 48,000 teaching assistants, researchers, and other academic workers in the University of California system walked off the job yesterday in the biggest strike of the year. It’s also the biggest higher-ed academic strike the US has ever seen, according to the United Auto Workers union, which represents the workers across the UC system’s 10 campuses who are trying to get a big minimum pay bump to cope with the state’s skyrocketing housing costs.

Quote: “If I was on cannabis, I wouldn’t have bit his ear.”

Mike Tyson is teaming up with Evander Holyfield to launch a line of cannabis-infused edibles called “Holy Ears.” Tyson famously bit Holyfield’s ear in a 1997 boxing match, but he apparently would have refrained had he been high as a kite.

Read: Why offshore fish farms could lead to a sustainable future…or an environmental disaster. (Quartz)

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Amazon plans to lay off ~10,000 corporate and tech staffers, the largest layoff in the company’s history.
  • Katie Hobbs, a Democrat and Arizona’s secretary of state, was projected to win the state’s governor race yesterday. She defeated Kari Lake, who backed Donald Trump’s claims of fraud in the 2020 election—which Hobbs oversaw.
  • Another court blocked Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan. This time it’s the 8th Circuit, which issued a nationwide injunction putting the (already paused) program on hold while it weighs an appeal from six Republican-led states.
  • Iran handed down its first known death sentence linked to massive anti-government protests of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody. Amini was detained over how she was wearing her hijab.
  • London no longer has Europe’s largest stock market—that distinction now belongs to Paris, where luxury brands surged in value after China started easing Covid restrictions.

Listen up

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The Brew’s Business Casual podcast discusses the business topics relevant to your life right now. Check out these recent popular episodes:

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BREW'S BETS

An AI-powered hand, edible tape that’s microwave safe, and an ad-free search engine: Check out the best inventions of 2022.

Make it a potluck. Here’s 67 recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes. Or if you’re short on time, let Ina Garten remind you “store-bought is fine.”

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*This is sponsored advertising content.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Mini: If you know where the World Cup is being played, you are already nearly 25% done with today’s Mini. Play it here.

Population trivia

If the global population is 8 billion in 2022, what’s your best guess for the global population in the year 0?

(This question probably works best as a competition among your coworkers, and the person who gets the closest wins a free lunch.)

AROUND THE BREW

Elevate your leadership game

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Need tools to be the best leader you can be? Push your career forward with Morning Brew’s Leadership Accelerator, kicking off in January. Apply today and get $100 off with code THANKFUL.

We asked readers for their thoughts on inflation and what they’re doing to combat it. View the full poll results here.

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ANSWER

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Written by Abigail Rubenstein, Matty Merritt, Max Knoblauch, and Neal Freyman

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