Is it canceled yet?

MARKETS

  • U.S. markets: The healthcare sector rode Joe Biden's Super Tuesday coattails to a massive rally, yanking the entire market with it. All three major indexes moved out of correction territory.
  • Beige Book: Now that you know what it is, do you care what it said? Sorry, you have no choice. Fed officials said economic activity is growing at a "modest to moderate pace" but the coronavirus was hurting travel demand and rattling supply chains.

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TRAVEL

No Networking Opportunity Is Worth Getting Sick

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The best investment advice we can offer this week: Short lanyards, laser pointers, and 4pm beers.

Organizers all over the world are canceling conferences and trade shows as coronavirus-related travel restrictions and safety concerns pelt wrenches into their plans. That doesn't just mean Rebecca from Intel and Steve from Facebook won't get their yearly catchup over hotel bar calamari-it means direct economic losses in the hundreds of millions.

  • Those losses have conservatively passed $500 million, per PredictHQ data cited by Recode.

The meet-and-greets that will never be

Barcelona's Mobile World Congress was projected to host over 100,000 people and bring $546 million to the regional economy. But the giant tech conference was scrapped last month, leaving restaurants, hotels, and other biz tourism industries on the hook.

The two-week Geneva International Motor Show was scheduled to kick off today, until the Swiss government banned public gatherings of more than 1,000 people. The show attracts way more than that-over 500,000 visitors every year bring $209–$261 million to local fondue shops.

  • Since 1904, only the first and second world wars have prevented the trade show from happening, managing director Olivier Rihs said.

Zoom out: Conferences and other group events account for about a third of hotel chain revenue, Raymond James Financial hotel analyst Bill Crow told the NYT. Crow said he wouldn't be surprised to see hotel companies revise projections made last quarter when we thought the virus would stay in China.

Some organizers are trying workarounds

They've floated limitations on indoor event attendance, handshake alternatives like foot taps and fist bumps, Facemasks For All, and mandatory hand washing.

Looking ahead...South by Southwest in Austin, TX, is still on, though Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Intel pulled out. If you have any questions about an event you are supposed to attend, consult the website isitcanceledyet.com.

AUTO

Specific Motors

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After spending some time with a kite in a thunderstorm, GM knew what it had to do: spend over $20 billion developing electric vehicles.

At a major presentation near Detroit yesterday, the automaker revealed its gameplan to leapfrog Tesla. The takeaway: no GM brand is spared an electric future.

  • Cadillac, GMC, Buick, and Chevrolet are all getting new electric models in the next few years.
  • If you want something more, uh, conventional than the Tesla Cybertruck, you'll have plenty of GM SUVs to choose from, including an electric Hummer.
  • Finally, get ready for the Cruise Origin, a shared, self-driving electric car without pedals or a steering wheel.

Tying everything together is Ultium, new battery technology that will allow GM's vehicles to complete the Ironman of electric cars-up to 400 miles on a single charge.

Zoom out: GM needs to convince investors it can win the next 20 years of the auto industry, because right now they're shacking up with Elon Musk. Tesla's valuation is about triple GM's.

2020

Bloomberg's Campaign Reaches Its Terminus

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg pulled out of the presidential race yesterday, explaining that staying in would make it harder to defeat President Trump. He endorsed his "friend and a great American" Joe Biden.

The backstory: Bloomberg's strategy was to skip the first nominating contests and drop Fortnite-style into Super Tuesday, hoping the $500+ million he spent on advertising would pay off.

It...did not. The only territory he won was American Samoa, whose GDP is slightly higher than Bloomberg's total campaign spend.

He did leave us with some memories:

  • A meme blitz on Instagram that forced Facebook to change its sponsored content policies
  • His rough performance during the Las Vegas debate
  • Concerns over how Bloomberg News would cover his candidacy

The good news for Bloomberg? He's still worth about $58.4 billion.

And looking ahead...he'll still be writing checks, just not to his own campaign. Bloomberg's roughly 500 staffers will get to work supporting the eventual Democratic nominee through Election Day.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Viral Today, Gone Tomorrow

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Twitter is testing a feature that allows users to crank out tweets that disappear after 24 hours. It reportedly spent a year developing this "ephemeral" feature, yet landed on the name...fleets. For fleeting tweets.

  • Fleets, which feel like Twitter copied Instagram's homework but changed it a little, are being tested in Brazil for now to gauge interest.

Zoom out: Twitter is showing up to the ephemeral messaging party with the hot dog foil cleanup crew. Disappearing content is Snap's bread and butter, Facebook added it to its platforms long ago, and even LinkedIn is testing the waters.

Better late than never. Instagram Stories and other ephemeral messaging have become increasingly popular with users disillusioned with two-month anniversary posts in-grid. Twitter's hoping to win over the growing contingent who prefer content that's here today, gone before I regret it.

But this is more than playing catch-up to IG. Fleets encourage a different kind of communication-one without likes, retweets, or the pressure of knowing a future employer might look up your 2013 timeline. Twitter hopes that without those markers, fleets might encourage casual, intimate conversations...without the performative aspects of today's Twitter scroll.

ENERGY

OPEC Pumps Its Own Gas

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Day 4 already? Time flies when you're spending a week dissecting the most important events on the economic calendar.

Today, we're tackling the biannual economic fête to end all economic fêtes-the OPEC meeting, where members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries determine the direction of global oil markets and debate unleaded vs. 89 octane.

What is OPEC? A cartel of 14 major oil exporting countries formed in 1960. Their goal? World domination...of global petroleum prices.

  • It's all about supply and demand-members influence pricing by voting to raise or lower oil production.
  • OPEC members supply roughly 43.5% of the world's crude production and hold 81.9% of its crude reserves, so those changes in supply matter.

OPEC begins its meeting today in Vienna, and members are considering a substantial production cut aimed at lifting prices battered by coronavirus concerns. China, where the epidemic began, is the world's biggest oil importer.

  • On the table: extending existing cuts by 1.7 million barrels per day. OPEC ally Russia reportedly isn't sold, but OPEC member Saudi Arabia craves higher prices to sustain its oil-dependent economy.

FOOD

The Second Coming of Dead Broccoli

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You know what they say about showbiz: As soon as you've made it into every smoothie from Brooklyn to West Hollywood, the next sexy starch waltzes in to steal your spotlight.

The latest fibrous starlet: cauliflower. U.S. sales of the raw vegetable and foods containing it leapt nearly 40% to $700 million from 2016 to 2019, per Nielsen data cited by the WSJ.

Why cauliflower is b(l)ooming: The popular keto and paleo diets encourage fewer grains. Cauliflower is rich in protein and fiber, plus its bland mild taste means it can sub in for starch and dairy ingredients.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • ViacomCBS is putting the publisher Simon & Schuster up for sale. The first four bidders get a signed copy.
  • Campbell Soup is ordering more ingredients to keep up with demand for its canned items during the coronavirus epidemic.
  • No Time to Die, the upcoming Bond film slated for an April release, was pushed to a November rollout due to coronavirus's impact on theatrical demand.
  • Sanofi, knee-deep in backlash over the price of its drugs, said the price of its drugs fell just over 11% on average last year.
  • Apple warned retail employees about a shortage of replacement iPhones. The accident-prone can thank supply chain disruptions from the trade war. Just kidding it's the coronavirus.

REAL ESTATE APPRAISER

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Grammy-winning artist and producer Pharrell Williams has listed his Beverly Hills house. Or...is it a house? Some on the internet aren't convinced, pegging it more for a tech startup's offices or a community college.

Alas, it is a house, and it has...

  • A 200-foot driveway that you'll never need to shovel
  • 10 beds, 11 baths, and 17,000+ square feet
  • An outside area with koi ponds, tennis courts, waterfalls, and a pool
  • A structure made almost entirely of glass, with crazy views of LA

Here's our question to you: What is the listing price?

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REAL ESTATE APPRAISER ANSWER


$16.95 million

Comments (1)

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