Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made some comments this week on the 'tax the rich' ideas making the rounds in America.
Taxing the rich is fine, he said in an interview with The Verge, and "more progressive" taxes on the ultra rich are okay.
Gates then went on to characterize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as an 'extreme' politician who is missing the point by focusing on targeting high income brackets. Read the rest
This fascinating infographic compares the values of various assets (gold, silver, cryptocurrency, real estate, stocks, and so on) by presenting each asset as a number of $100 billion squares.
All the global assets combined are dwarfed by the derivatives market.
The infographic includes this quote from Warren Buffett:
The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event makes their toxicity clear. Central banks and governments have so far found no effective way to control, or even monitor, the risks posed by these contracts. In my view, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.
(The infographic was made in 2017 when the market capitalization of bitcoin was $100 billion. It's now $60 billion.) Read the rest
"After Gerry’s death, Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost," said his widow.
Amazon, including subsidiaries such as Whole Foods and temp work programs, will pay $15 an hour or more to all its U.S. workers.
This comes as Amazon is facing increasing scrutiny over how its workers are treated and paid. Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, recently introduced legislation to end what he calls “corporate welfare” — and it’s pretty clear who he had in mind, since the bill was titled Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS).
Now unionize. Read the rest
For the first time, the most common US bill in circulation is the $100: these benjamins aren't being used to transact our daily business -- they're the preferred form of savings after a long spell of low inflation and nonexistent interest rates, when there are so many obvious reasons to distrust the banks. (via Naked Capitalism)
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Making a living as an Uber or Lyft driver can be tough. An over saturated market, having too few people in need of your services, paying to maintain your ride and the high cost of gas can all take a serious bite out of a driver's bottom line. Read the rest
The Fitness Marshall has over a million subscribers and over 150 videos on his channel. His paltry take after three years of work comes to about $20 a video after record labels and everyone else take their cuts. Read the rest
Unlike most airports, London's Heathrow is privately owned, so it's a great case study for how airports make money. Wendover Productions explains. Read the rest
Walmart has been whining about Amazon drinking what it considers to be its milkshake for some time. Sucking cash out of the pockets of the same low-income earners that you pay just enough to keep alive is a seriously competitive business. With Amazon's online shopping dominance in North America has left Walmart’s brick-and-mortar empire only capable of making Scrooge McDuck money when it’s really Jeff Bezos money that they’re after. In an effort to top off their coffers, Walmart’s been pushing, hard, into catching up to Amazon in the area of online sales. Earlier this week, they announced a partnership with Microsoft that’ll ensure that Walmart’s online shopping experience is faster, more secure and a lot more reliable. Maybe it’ll help!
If not, plopping out yet another online video streaming service to compete against Amazon Prime video and, perhaps you’ve heard of it, a little thing called Netflix, will totally help them to make the crazy-hunting-man-because-he’s-the-most-dangerous-game cash that they’re so horny for.
From The Information (subscription required):
Discussions are still ongoing, and the retailer may eventually decide against offering a service. But Walmart executives believe their customers, particularly in the middle of America, would be interested in a lower-cost option than what is currently available, the person said. Netflix and Amazon are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the U.S., one of the people said.
Yeah. No matter what middle America’s viewing habits might be, or how little they opt to charge for the privilege of watching Highway to Heaven on-demand, I don’t know that I trust Walmart to pull this off. Read the rest
Did you know the US Department of Treasury has a mutilated currency division? One of its jobs is to analyze stacks of paper currency that have been burned in a fire or chewed up by vermin. In this video, Eric Walsh, the assistant manager of the division, shows how they do their job. It looks like painstaking, but interesting, work. They reimburse about $40 million every year.
Are you in need of this important service? Go here and submit your claim. The service is provided at no charge. Read the rest
One six-year-old kid, one thousand dollars, one day to spend it.
The guys at Yes Theory gave Huck a cool grand in cash to spend on anything he wanted. Inspired by a scene in Home Alone, he starts with renting a limo. Then it's eating pizza in the limo and then it's taking the limo to the toy store. By the end of (what is a surprisingly heartwarming) video, he's got a bag full of candy and empty pockets (see what he did with the remainder of his cash).
(Neatorama) Read the rest
America's health care is totally screwed up, Part Ten Gazillion: in many cases, the medicines your doctor prescribes are cheaper than the co-pay your health insurance charges, which means that if you just buy the meds instead of charging them to insurance, you save money.
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I've seen people in the US count money in nearly all these ways but perhaps certain methods are dominant in different countries. In any case, the Belarusian finger flip is new to me and rather impressive. Try doing that with your stinkin' bitcoins!
"70 People Reveal How To Count Money in Their Country" (Condé Nast Traveler) Read the rest
Andrey Avgust's speculative redesign for America's heroically ugly paper money reimagines greenbacks as modern plastic banknotes, similar to the more daring bills in Australian and UK currency, with UV-readable serials that are repeated in QR codes with PGP-signed hashes.
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Tesla burned $710m last quarter but hopes to be profitable soon. In the meantime, don't ask Elon any boring questions!
"We're going to go to YouTube. Sorry, these questions are so dry. They're killing me."
Instead, Mr Musk took questions from YouTube vlogger and journalist Galileo Russell who was listening to the call. Mr Russell hosts a YouTube talkshow called HyperChange TV, dedicated to the financial side of Silicon Valley technologies.
Mr Musk encouraged Mr Russell to keep asking questions, because they focused more on technology, rather than business
Here's the official theme tune of your Tesla deposit:
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Being rich might not buy you happiness, but it can get you out of prison pretty damn fast, even if you kill four people. In the holy-shit-what's-gonna-kill-us-today fast-paced world that we live in, it's easy to forget about a Grey Poupon stain like Ethan Couch. Here's his thing, point by point:
Back in 2013, the then 16-year old stole booze from a Walmart (classy!) and proceeded to drink. When he was later captured by the police, his BAC was three times the legal limit. Couch also had Valium in his system that day, making for a pretty powerful cocktail. Intoxicated, Couch slammed into a car with his pickup truck, at top speed. All four people in the car were killed.
Couch's high-falootin' rich dude lawyer managed to get him off with 10 years of probation. The lawyer cited the fact that the lad's family was so loaded that he'd grown up rich enough to be shielded from having to learn about right and wrong.
Apparently, he was also too rich to be able to stand the horrors of probation in all the luxury that money can afford. He and his mother, Tonya, took off to Mexico in an attempt to keep him from having to serve the rest of his "sentence."
The Feds came to Mexico, gathered up the pair, and brought them back to the United States. Fun Fact: Tonya Couch didn't go to jail for helping her son flee his probation. Money's AMAZING!
Dylan was finally sentenced to jail. Read the rest
Zarinah Agnew lives at the Red Victorian, a modern-day commune in San Francisco's Haight neighborhood. Six months ago, as an experiment, she and her roommates thumbtacked $80 in cash on three different corkboards (at the Red Vic and another local intentional community called The Embassy). They then attached small pink signs that read, “Take what you need, leave what you don’t!”
They called each of their experimental corkboards, the "Great Wall of Money."
Here's what happened next, according to Agnew:
Read the rest
We left them up in our houses and watched. It was kind of amazing.
I watched them stay pristine for a few days, and slowly gain extra funds. Once they had been touched, the notes started to move and disappear. The $1s went first, but again once a $20 had gone, the others followed suit. But they oscillated back and forth in a healthy manner.
Then one night the board was cleared, presumably by a single person. It was full at 3am and gone by 6am that morning. I was sort of delighted by this as it demonstrated to me that the board wasn’t remaining replenished through politeness. People were using it as it was intended. And lo, after a week, the empty board, started to collect notes once more...
Before long the Red Vic Great Wall of Money collected bart tickets, maps, notes, and all sorts of things. Eventually, the community moved it out onto the street where it collected even more goods and services — half smoked blunts and items of clothing were pinned to the board.