“I've done a number of Super Bowl ads. And that is the best advertising of the year. That is when people realize they're going to be compared directly against other ads.” — Jerry Seinfeld
Good Morning! Bill Ackman is dropping a “durable growth” fund for the everyday investor. Uber posted its long-awaited first annual profit since its IPO. The mysterious creator of Bitcoin might finally be revealed at an upcoming trial. Disney will take a $1.5 billion stake in Epic Games and work with the Fortnite maker on new content. The S&P 500 is on the cusp of hitting 5,000. Plus Morgan Housel’s thoughts on spending money, and a 5-step routine for staying mentally grounded.
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SQUEEZ OF THE DAY
Bank Run Szn
It’s been almost a year since the last time we had a banking crisis (RIP SVB Credit Suisse). But Wall Street’s already worried we have another regional banking crisis on our hands. New York Community Bancorp, the bank that absorbed the fallen Signature Bank in 2023, has seen its stock fall almost 60% over the past month.
NYCB is a mid-sized lender, with assets over the $100 billion mark. And now some economists are worried its struggles could send shockwaves throughout the banking industry, again.
NYCB’s bread-and-butter is commercial and multi-family real estate, sectors that have faced their own set of challenges post-pandemic. NYCB needed to diversify so the bank acquired Flagstar Bank in December 2022 and absorbed the assets of the fallen Signature Bank in March 2023.
But the path to expansion came with its pitfalls. The acquisition spree propelled NYCB past the $100 billion asset threshold, leading to stricter capital mandates. The bank's financial health took a hit, with a significant Q4 loss in the fourth quarter and a cutback on dividends. These moves led to a crash in its stock price and ultimately triggered a downgrade by Moody’s.
Takeaway: There’s been real concern that real-estate-focused banks could face struggles. Besides NYCB, M&T Bank could be another to watch out for as its stock has fallen 10% over the past few weeks. Larger banks like JPMorgan and Citi have been setting aside money for potential real estate losses, but it’s unlikely we’ll see the type of bank runs we did in March 2023. In any case, another bank for Mr. Dimon to gobble up?
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Bill Ackman will open a NYSE-listed fund for regular investors (CNBC)
Why Meta’s dividend is so valuable (Axios)
Chipotle grows restaurant traffic by 7.4%, crushes revenue estimates (CNBC)
Drug companies scramble to boost production of weight-loss drugs (Axios)
Uber posted its first annual profit since its IPO (CNBC)
McKinsey and BCG warn staff face jail if they reveal Saudi work (Guardian)
Sweden’s caffeinated secret to happiness at work (WSJ)
The creator of Bitcoin could be revealed at an upcoming trial (Wired)
Elon Musk's antics are weeding out Tesla's nonbelievers (YF)
Snap doesn’t get its Meta moment (Reuters)
Stocks closed higher as strong earnings continue.
(+) Enphase Energy ($ENPH) +17% because of strong solar demand.
(+) Chipotle ($CMG) +7% after posting strong earnings, announcing plans to double the chain’s restaurant count.
(–) Snap ($SNAP) -35% after a revenue miss and weak guidance.
Barratt, a British homebuilder, bought rival Redrow for $3.2 billion
California Resources bought Area Energy, an oil and gas producer, for $2.1 billion
Amundi bought Alpha Associates, a private markets investor, for $377 million
Avnos, an air capture startup, raised $36 million
Integral, a forex trading startup, raised $30 million
Transmutex, a nuclear engineering startup, raised $23.2 million
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BOOK OF THE DAY
Never Not Working
Many workers believe that to compete with other top talent, they must embrace a culture that rewards long hours and a constant connection to work. Businesses and society endorse busyness, overwork, and extreme commitment as the most valued traits in workers.
Sometimes that endorsement is explicit, as when Elon Musk told X/Twitter employees to work "long hours at high intensity" or get fired. More often it's an implicit contract, a buildup of organizational and cultural norms and the adoption of new technologies that make it easy to tether people to work.
Either way, this workaholic behavior is unhealthy and counterproductive for workers and for organizations. It's time to fight back. Malissa Clark—a preeminent researcher on the culture of overwork—shows you how in Never Not Working.
Clark examines overwork and burnout, not just from the individual's perspective but from an organizational perspective too. She delivers a comprehensive, nuanced definition of workaholism, busting myths along the way—working long hours, it turns out, doesn't automatically make you a workaholic.
She also helps you assess whether you're falling prey to the phenomenon and whether you're creating workaholics in your organization.
“The always-on, hustle culture creates an unhealthy, counterproductive relationship with work.”
Private Credit Has Been Growing Slower than Public and Bank Credit
In an increasingly fast-paced and stressful world, mindfulness and meditation have emerged as powerful tools for managing stress and improving mental wellness.
These practices help in cultivating a state of awareness and presence, allowing individuals to respond to situations with clarity rather than reacting impulsively.
Regular mindfulness practice can reduce anxiety, improve concentration, and enhance overall emotional resilience.
Starting with just a few minutes a day, individuals can integrate mindfulness into their daily routine, using techniques such as focused breathing, guided meditations, or mindful walking.
Embracing mindfulness can lead to significant improvements in quality of life, fostering a sense of peace and well-being amidst life's challenges.
Short Squeez Picks
Memes of the Day