"There is no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting." — David Letterman
Good Morning! Meta stock has been through it all (including a 64% plummet in 2022) but it is hitting all-time highs and flirting with a trillion dollar valuation. Dow is also setting new records, hitting 38,000 for the first time. But Bitcoin dipped below $40k for the first time this year. Centerview’s CEO gave an AI warning, and Wall Street’s landlord phase is back. Plus 9 signs that someone's super smart but kinda insecure, and tips on how to network like a pro.
SQUEEZ OF THE DAY
Grok Has Entered The Chat
Elon Musk is making waves - this time with his AI company, xAI. Apparently, Musk has already secured $500 million from investors, and he’s eyeing a fundraising goal of $1 billion. Allegedly, he’s aiming for a valuation between $15 billion and $20 billion.
Elon has denied the report in a tweet. But this could be a case of SEC denying the Bitcoin ETF approval days before it was approved.
We are definitely keeping an eye out on this one and will keep you updated as the story unfolds.
Elon kicked off xAI last year, and was one of the early backers of OpenAI.
Musk stopped backing OpenAI in 2018 after a disagreement with senior execs over the speed and nature of technological advancement.
So, he's now building Grok, a chatbot cooked up using social media posts from X. And since Musk owns X, he claims his chatbot gets to analyze fresher data than its competitors. And he says Grok will be anti-woke, too.
Musk said in November that equity investors in X will own 25% of xAI.
Takeaway: Another day, another billion dollar Elon Musk company. With how tumultuous his tenure at Twitter has been, leveraging the social media platform’s data could help Musk turn a profit.
And if the reports are true, Musk and his investors will probably hammer out the final details over the next few weeks. Some firms are even eying a trade-off-computing power over or along with xAI equity. In the tech world, companies are raising money with processing power, just because of how expensive it is.
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The Dow closes above 38,000 for the first time ever (CNBC)
Apollo among private equity firms considering a Redstone buyout (YF)
Macy’s takeover battle could get hostile (Axios)
Banks want to win back loan deals snapped up by direct lenders (BB)
The Wall Street landlord phase is back (YF)
Why most billionaires come from Mom and Dad (Vox)
Meta’s stock recovered its post-pandemic losses (Axios)
An investment banker’s AI warning (BB)
The phone-transcript mystery in the Morgan Stanley trading settlement (Axios)
Bitcoin dips below $40k for the first time in 2024 (CNBC)
Stocks closed higher as January stock market rally continues.
(+) Spirit Airlines ($SAVE) +19% because the airline will appeal a judge blocking its JetBlue merger.
(+) Sentinel One ($S) +6% after BTIG upgraded the cybersecurity stock.
(–) Vita Coco ($COCO) -6% after a downgrade by William Blair.
ElevenLabs, an AI voice synthesis platform, raised $80 million
DailyPay, an on-demand payments company, raised $75 million
Myrealtrip, an online travel platform, raised $56 million
Flowdesk, a digital asset trading firm, raised $50 million
Artsight, a hospital workflow platform, raised $42 million
Prismatic, an embedded integration platform, raised $22 million
For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.
BOOK OF THE DAY
If you could rewind your life to the very beginning and then press play, would everything turn out the same? Or could making an accidental phone call or missing an exit off the highway change not just your life, but history itself? And would you remain blind to the radically different possible world you unknowingly left behind?
In Fluke, myth-shattering social scientist Brian Klaas dives deeply into the phenomenon of random chance and the chaos it can sow, taking aim at most people’s neat and tidy storybook version of reality. The book’s argument is that we willfully ignore a bewildering truth: but for a few small changes, our lives—and our societies—could be radically different.
Offering an entirely new lens, Fluke explores how our world really works, driven by strange interactions and apparently random events. How did one couple’s vacation cause 100,000 people to die?
Does our decision to hit the snooze button in the morning radically alter the trajectory of our lives? And has the evolution of humans been inevitable, or are we simply the product of a series of freak accidents?
Drawing on social science, chaos theory, history, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Klaas provides a brilliantly fresh look at why things happen—all while providing mind-bending lessons on how we can live smarter, be happier, and lead more fulfilling lives.
“We control nothing, but influence everything.”
US Debt Hits Record High
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Distinguishing between poor and good thinkers often lies in the aftermath of their decisions. Poor thinkers tend to find their choices ricocheting back, creating a cascade of problems.
The correlation between poor decisions and the subsequent time invested in problem-solving is evident—the more poor decisions, the more time consumed in rectifying them.
This perpetual cycle leaves little room for contemplation of new challenges, reinforcing a cycle of poor thinking.
Contrastingly, good thinkers grasp a fundamental reality: the nexus between quality decisions and thoughtful deliberation. They acknowledge that the investment of time in good thinking is a prerequisite for making sound decisions.
While good thinking is an expenditure, its dividends manifest in the form of informed choices and efficient problem-solving.
In this dichotomy, the cost of good thinking pales in comparison to the exorbitant price paid for poor thinking, which not only depletes resources but also obstructs the pathway to genuine intellectual growth.
Short Squeez Picks
Memes of the Day