July 23, 2023

Musk to Change Twitter Logo to X

📰 News Organizations

  • Musk Says Twitter Will Change Its Logo to X. Twitter Inc. owner Elon Musk said on a tweet that the social media company will change its logo soon, getting rid of the blue bird that’s long been its signature. The billionaire owner of Twitter also posted an image of a flickering “X.” In the same series of tweets, Musk launched a user poll about changing the default platform color to black.

  • Threads User Engagement Drops 70%. For a second week in a row, the number of daily active users declined on Threads, falling to 13 million, down about 70% from a July 7 peak, according to estimates from market intelligence firm Sensor Tower. The average time users spend on the iOS and Android apps has also decreased to four minutes from 19 minutes.

  • White House Secures AI Security Pledges from Tech Giants. Top AI companies, including Microsoft, Google, and OpenAI, have pledged to collaborate with the White House, promising to develop measures for consumers to identify AI-generated content and test tools for security before public release.

  • Eviction Notices Surge Across the US, Impacting Homelessness. Eviction Lab reports a considerable increase in eviction filings, reaching nearly 970,000 nationwide over the past year, marking a 78.6% rise from 2021 when the country was under an eviction moratorium. As a result, homelessness has been on the rise since eviction filings approached pre-pandemic levels by December 2022.

  • India's Rice Export Ban Risks Escalating Global Rice Price. In a bid to control high food prices, India has enforced an immediate ban on non-basmati white rice exports, compounding the effects of the country’s September ban on shipments of broken rice. A significant move considering it is the world's leading rice exporter, accounting for over 40% of the global rice trade.

  • Sergey Brin Returns to the Frontlines at Google for AI Development. Sergey Brin, Google's Co-founder, has been actively involved in the company's Mountain View offices, collaborating with researchers three to four days a week to build the powerful Gemini AI system, as Google aims to make significant strides in the AI field.

🐦 Twitter

  • Nvidia is investing in the AI Drug Discovery market which is projected to surpass $1B by 2032, growing at a 27% CAGR. AI’s ability to operate large datasets can reduce both the cost of discovery and the time to market. Source.

  • The Fed's open market account (SOMA) is shrinking, reverse repos (RRP) are dropping, and the Treasury is still filling its coffers at the Fed—all of which gives us a flat liquidity profile. The stock market has been ignoring it, betting on better earnings to justify its P/E-driven advance. We’ll know soon enough if this is justified. Source.

  • Decline in median existing single-family home price starting to reverse. Year/year drop rebounded to -1.2% in June; still negative but key to watch given low supply has helped bolster home prices. Source.

  • While everyone is panicking over the S&P 500 being down 0.7%, the Dow Jones just had its 9th consecutive green day, the longest winning streak since 2017. Source.

  • US Federal Tax receipts fell 7% over the last year, the largest YoY decline since June 2020 and before that April 2010. At the same time, US Government Spending increased 14% over the last year. The Result: a budget deficit of $2.25 trillion. Source.

The American credit scoring system is one of the under-appreciated marvels of the modern world. It enables trust among strangers at scale, and therefore reduces costs & increases commerce, to everyone’s benefit (even those with low scores).

Moses Kagan

📓 Online Publications

  • Amazon to Introduce Pay-by-Palm Technology at All Whole Foods Stores. Amazon will roll out Amazon One, a biometric payment technology, at all Whole Foods locations. Shoppers can use their palm to pay for items by linking their credit card to the scanning device, streamlining the checkout process.

  • Tesla Will Spend Over $1 Billion on Dojo Supercomputer. Further development of the Dojo supercomputer system should help the company move closer toward fully autonomous driving capabilities. By continuing to invest big in Dojo and other advanced computing technologies, the EV leader could pave the way for massive new opportunities.

  • U.S. Housing Starts Fall 8% in June, Biggest Drop in a Year. Housing starts fell to a 1.43 million annual pace last month from 1.56 million in May. The data measures how many houses would be built over an entire year if construction took place at the same rate in every month as it did in June. The pace of construction in June slowed from a jump of nearly 16% the previous month.

  • Seriously Delinquent Mortgages Hit Lowest Level Since 2006 in June. According to Black Knight's First Look report, the percent of loans delinquent increased 0.55% in June compared to May and decreased 2.8% year-over-year. The number of delinquent properties, but not in foreclosure, is down 24,000 properties year-over-year.

🎧 Podcasts

  • The Next Big Step is Energy. Vivek Ramaswamy thinks the next leap forward involves growing our way out of the impending fiscal calamity by restoring three to four percent GDP growth. This can be achieved by unlocking American Energy, eliminating barriers to energy production like the permitting process, and embracing nuclear energy while disregarding the constraints imposed by the climate change movement. Source(22:08)

  • Promising Outlook in Earnings For 2024-2025. Sam Ro thinks that in the second quarter of 2024, a record-breaking earnings quarter is expected above the 2022 high, followed by anticipated record levels of earnings growth in 2025. The relationship between stocks and earnings remains significant, with stocks leading the way in earnings performance. This observation is supported by data from the last two years, where the S&P 500 indicates a rising trend in earnings. Source(44:15)

  • 'Skims' Valued at $4 Billion. Kim Kardashian and Jens Grede's Skims raised $270 million in a recent funding round, the company is now valued at $4 billion, showing the power of a celebrity behind a company. The SKIMS chief executive announced that the company has achieved profitability and is projected to generate $750 million in sales this year, a significant increase from $500 million in 2022. Source(16:00)

  • Google Pitches An AI News Writing Product. The tool, internally codenamed “Genesis,” can serve as a personal assistant for journalists by taking in information and then generate news copy. The tech giant has pitched the AI tool to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal’s owner, News Corp. Scott Galloway thinks that AI can be a good aid in idea generation as long as it’s fact-checked personally. Source(28:16)