🍋 Inflation Hits Bananas

Trader Joe's is raising banana prices for the first time in 20 years, plus job postings for crypto firms are up 50% YTD.

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"How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case." — Robert G. Allen

Good Morning! Inflation has finally gone bananas at Trader Joe's - banana prices increased from 19 cents to 23 cents each, marking the first hike in over 20 years. Boeing's CEO will step down amidst the ongoing 737 Max saga. In news for other troubled companies, FTX is about to cash out $884 million from selling its stake in Antrophic. In Asia, the private equity scene is having a chilly start to the year, with Q1 deals hitting a slump not seen since 2015. And Apollo’s Zito has become Wall Street’s go-to private credit banker. Plus the No. 1 trait bosses look for when promoting employees.

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SQUEEZ OF THE DAY

Crypto Boom is Back

The crypto market is heating up - and so is the industry’s job market. Thanks to the rollercoaster ride that is Bitcoin prices - the digital asset scene is looking to hire back many of the laid-off workers from this past crypto winter. 

Coinbase is looking to hire 200 employees - and the news comes a little over a year after the exchange laid off 20% of its workforce. And Kraken, Binance, Gemini, and even the more traditional financial firms like Fidelity are all getting in on the crypto hiring frenzy.

And crypto startups are now freshly flush with funds - so they’re getting in on the action, too.

A crypto jobs board site says they’ve seen a 50% spike in job postings this year - and one headhunter lists more than 1,700 job ads, up from under 1,000 last year. Things aren’t looking as rosy as the 2021 bull market - but it’s been a pleasant surprise for many in the industry. 

Takeaway: The crypto industry is known for being volatile - and that comes with a boom-or-bust employment cycle needed to service the industry. $BTC has rallied over 60% YTD, and Coinbase’s shares recently hit a 52-week high. But many of these crypto companies made promises not to over-hire again and avoid past mistakes. And the path to recovery is still unpredictable - job ads still aren’t hitting last cycle’s highs yet.

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HEADLINES

Top Reads

  • Trader Joe's is raising banana prices for the first time in 20 years (Quartz)

  • Boeing CEO to step down as 737 Max crisis weighs on aerospace giant (CNBC)

  • Apollo’s Zito becomes Wall Street’s go-to private credit banker (YT)

  • What the perennially inverted yield curve means (Axios)

  • FTX to sell majority of Anthropic stake for $884 million (YF

  • Asia private equity deals set for worst Q1 since 2015 (Reuters)

  • These investors think Trump’s new public company will flop (YF)

  • Amgen wants in on the booming weight loss drug market  (CNBC)

  • AI has an energy problem (WSJ)

  • Ammo maker Vista Outdoors gets $3 billion rival takeover offer (Axios)

  • Goldman’s hedge fund clients get more active in crypto options (YF)

CAPITAL PULSE

Markets Rundown

Stocks took a breather from their all-time highs.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Digital World Acquisition Corp. ($DWAC) +35% ahead of the SPAC’s merger with Truth Social.

  • (+) GameStop ($GME) +15% ahead of the company reporting earnings tomorrow.

  • (–) United Airlines ($UAL) -3% after the FAA increased oversight on the airline.

Private Dealmaking

  • Ingersoll Rand bought ILC Dover, a materials maker for life sciences, for $2.33 billion

  • Novo Nordisk bought Cardior, an RNA therapies developer, for $1.1 billion

  • American Express GBT bought CWT, a business travel solutions provider, for $570 million

  • AbbVie bought Landos Biopharma, an inflammatory bowel disease drug maker, for $212 million

  • FundGuard, an investment accounting platform, raised $100 million

  • Pandion, a residential parcel delivery startup, raised $41.5 million

For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.

BOOK OF THE DAY

Age Of Revolutions

Populist rage, ideological fracture, economic and technological shocks, war, and an international system studded with catastrophic risk―the early decades of the twenty-first century may be the most revolutionary period in modern history. But it is not the first. Humans have lived, and thrived, through more than one great realignment. What are these revolutions, and how can they help us to understand our fraught world?

In this major work, Fareed Zakaria masterfully investigates the eras and movements that have shaken norms while shaping the modern world. Three such periods hold profound lessons for today. First, in the seventeenth-century Netherlands, a fascinating series of transformations made that tiny land the richest in the world―and created politics as we know it today. Next, the French Revolution, an explosive era that devoured its ideological children and left a bloody legacy that haunts us today. Finally, the mother of all revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, which catapulted Great Britain and the US to global dominance and created the modern world.

Alongside these paradigm-shifting historical events, Zakaria probes four present-day revolutions: globalization, technology, identity, and geopolitics. For all their benefits, the globalization and technology revolutions have produced profound disruptions and pervasive anxiety and our identity. And increasingly, identity is the battlefield on which the twenty-first century’s polarized politics are fought.

All this is set against a geopolitical revolution as great as the one that catapulted the United States to world power in the late nineteenth century. Now we are entering a world in which the US is no longer the dominant power. As we find ourselves at the nexus of four seismic revolutions, we can easily imagine a dark future. But Zakaria proves that pessimism is premature. If we act wisely, the liberal international order can be revived and populism relegated to the ash heap of history.

“The CNN host and best-selling author explores the revolutions―past and present―that define the polarized and unstable age in which we live.”

DAILY VISUAL

Nvidia vs Bitcoin vs Gold

Returns from Jan 2, 2020 to March 17, 2024

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DAILY ACUMEN

Greatness

Achieving greatness is not about conforming to the norm but about daring to be different. If you’re consistently making choices that align with those around you, you're likely to encounter the same outcomes. True innovation and success often stem from stepping away from the herd and forging your own path.

When you observe the trajectories of truly great figures across various fields, a common thread is their willingness to take risks and make unconventional choices. These individuals did not rise to the top by playing it safe or by adhering to the status quo; rather, they achieved their extraordinary status by challenging it.

To distinguish oneself in a sea of similarity, it's necessary to analyze not only what everyone else is doing but also to ask the critical questions: Why are they doing it this way? Is there a better, albeit less conventional, approach? The answers to these questions can spark the kind of thinking that leads to breakthroughs.

It's not about being contrarian for the sake of it; it's about genuine reflection on whether the common path is the most effective for reaching your unique goals. When your choices start to diverge from the pack, you may find that you're not only carving a new path but also uncovering opportunities that others have overlooked.

The journey to greatness is often solitary and fraught with challenges, but it is also the road where true potential can be realized. It calls for a combination of self-belief, resilience, and the courage to venture into the unknown. Remember, the results you desire will often come from actions that others haven't taken, from decisions that require you to step out of the collective shadow and into the light of individuality.

ENLIGHTENMENT

Short Squeez Picks

MEME-A-PALOOZA

Memes of the Day

 

 

 

 

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