🍋 Cyberquake on Wall Street

How the world's biggest bank got hacked, traversing Manhattan on a USB stick, plus $29 flights are back.

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"The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat." — Lily Tomlin


Good Morning! The holiday airline mid off is back - JetBlue, Spirit, and Frontier have 260 million seats to fill this quarter and are racing to the bottom, offering $29 flights. Weight-loss drugs are the hottest new corporate benefit. The millionaire biohacker Bryan Johnson says he’s already burned through $4 million trying to reverse his biological age. A British grocery store chain axed all of its self-checkouts. And Google is in talks to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the chatbot startup CharacterAI.

Reminder that CEO of Eckard is hosting an exclusive webinar on Mineral Rights Investing today at 4:30pm ET. RSVP here.


Cyberquake on Wall Street

The finance world is still trying to figure out how the world’s biggest bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., got hit with a massive cyberattack. 

The situation escalated to the point where a physical transfer of data via USB stick across Manhattan was necessary to facilitate trade settlements involving the bank's $5.74 trillion in assets.

The key suspect is the infamous Lockbit crew, suspected to be Russian mobsters. They’ve been behind some of the most high-profile cyberattacks, from Boeing to the Royal Mail. Once ICBC was hit, chaos ensued. Market-makers, brokerages, and banks were left scrambling, rerouting trades, and begging for access.

Ransomware is a common cyberattack technique - taking control and only letting go when the victim coughs up the dough. And it's gotten pretty popular. Chinese banks usually keep things under wrap, and there’s talk the attack hit the U.S. Treasuries market.

This isn’t the first major cyber attack on the financial world. Remember ION Trading UK? They got slapped with ransomware eight months ago, causing markets to tap out and bankers to deal with transactions manually.

Takeaway: Bank leaders are starting to lose sleep over cyberattacks. The fear? A full-on cyberattack that cripples the financial system's backbone, causing mass chaos. And if anything - experts say ICBC is a surprising target. China banned crypto, a favorite of hackers because of its anonymity.


Markets Rundown

Stocks closed higher and continued their year-end rally.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Palantir Technologies ($PLTR) +8% because the company says AI adoption is growing.

  • (–) Groupon ($GRPN) -35% after the e-commerce company said its turnaround is taking longer than expected.

  • (–) Plug Power ($PLUG) -40% because the hydrogen company says they could run out of money in a year.

Private Dealmaking

  • Roller, a venue management software platform, raised $50 million

  • Eleos Health, a therapy voice analytics provider, raised $40 million

  • Skyroot Aerospace, a satellite launch service provider, raised $27.5 million

  • Engine Biosciences, a drug discovery platform, raised $27 million

  • Tabnine, a code generation startup, raised $25 million

  • Arch, a private investment management platform, raised $20 million

For more PE & VC deals, subscribe to Buysiders.


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Top Reads

  • Hedge funds shorting U.S. financial stocks at record levels (Reuters)

  • Private equity now featuring less equity (WSJ)

  • Why Washington wants to treat Apple and Google like big banks (YF)

  • What Elon Musk’s ‘age of abundance’ means for the future of capitalism (WSJ)

  • Moody’s cuts USA outlook to negative, citing higher interest rates (CNBC)

  • Inflation is making corporate America anxious (YF)

  • Why the golden era of remote work might be over (CNBC)

  • Dating apps on the rocks with Wall Street (Axios)

  • Ken Griffin says West desperately needs nuclear power (BB)

  • SoftBank can’t shake the ghosts of tech booms past (WSJ)


The Pumpkin Plan

Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.

This is the exact situation Mike Michalowicz found himself in when he was trying to grow his first company. Although it was making steady money, there was never very much left over and he was chasing customers left and right, putting in twenty-eight-hour days, eight days a week. The punishing grind never let up. His company was alive but stunted, and he was barely breathing. That’s when he discovered an unlikely source of inspiration—pumpkin farmers.

After reading an article about a local farmer who had dedicated his life to growing giant pump­kins, Michalowicz realized the same process could apply to growing a business. He tested the Pumpkin Plan on his own company and transformed it into a remarkable, multimillion-dollar industry leader. First he did it for himself. Then for others. And now you.

“In his crazy-like-a-fox style, Mike Michalowicz reveals why channeling a pumpkin farmer brings you unparalleled success.”


Short Squeez Picks


Q3 2023 Cost of Living Index

Source; Axios


Elevate Your Financial Health

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People Tell Me…

When it comes to articulating your strengths without coming across as arrogant, remember these three magic words: "People tell me..."

Whether you're pitching to investors or advocating for yourself, this simple phrase can make all the difference. It's a subtle way to showcase your strengths without sounding like you're singing your own praises.

The beauty of this approach is its simplicity. Just identify your strength, something that others have genuinely recognized in you, and tack on those three magic words.

For instance, "People tell me I have a knack for bringing positive energy to the team," or "People tell me I excel at identifying consumer insights." It's like seasoning your self-presentation with a dash of humility.

Now, here's the catch: your claim must be legit. You're not making this up; you're conveying genuine feedback from others about your unique strengths.

Why does this work? Well, it's a breeze to implement. You pick a strength, insert the magic words, and voilà, you've got a compelling statement. It's indirect, as you're essentially passing on someone else's praise, and it carries credibility because it's a third-party testimonial.

So, the next time you're in a situation where you need to showcase your strengths, remember those three little words, and confidently share what makes you exceptional. It's a simple yet powerful tool to help you stand out without sounding conceited.


Memes of the Day




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