🍋 Re"Defy"ned Fast Food

JetBlue is hoping that persistence pays off and beefing up its offer to take over Spirit Airlines. They raised the break-up fee to shareholders, if regulators block the deal, to $350 million, or $3.20 a share. Restaurants are raising fees as well, to fight inflation. There's been a "service fee" or "temporary fee" added to bills at places like Macaroni Grill. UK is testing out the four-day work week for six months with 3,000 employees. Elon Musk is trying to get out of the Twitter deal and Taco Bell is innovating (what?) with their “DeFy” restaurants.

Short Squeez
June 07, 2022

Together With

"I don't think of work as work and play as play. It's all living." — Richard Branson

Good Morning! JetBlue is hoping that persistence pays off and is beefing up its offer to takeover Spirit Airlines. They raised the break-up fee to shareholders, if regulators block the deal, to $350 million, or $3.20 a share. Restaurants are raising fees as well, to fight inflation. There's been a "service fee" or "temporary fee" added to bills at places like Macaroni Grill. The UK is also changing things up. They're testing out the four-day work week for six months with 3,000 employees. (Work hard mates, for the rest of us) Speaking of work, Elon Musk, who was in the news for requiring Tesla employees to be in the office, is back in the news for the other T company he is (or was) interested in. He's said in a letter that he has the "right not to consummate" his acquisition of Twitter, and a "right to terminate the merger agreement." 

Today's sponsor, Trends, gives you thousands of vetted business ideas and data-backed tips. Try it for a week for just $1.

1. Story of the Day: Re"Defy"ned Fast Food

Taco Bell is known as a lot of things. Cheap food, late night drunk food, a restaurant where you can get a quick cleanse of the bowels, etc. One thing I don't think anyone thinks of it as, is futuristic. Well, that just changed.

On top of the mad science they do, making your taco shell out of Doritos, or creating new colors/flavors of Mountain Dew, Taco Bell has taken innovation to a new level. They created a new restaurant concept called Defy, which looks like a bank drive-thru or gas station, that has multiple bays you can get food at (see below). Defy will use vertical lifts that work like pneumatic tubes to deliver your diarrhea-itos even faster.

   

I know what some of y'all are probably thinking... Chick-fil-A has had a vertical conveyor belt system for a long time! There's nothing new about this! Well yes, and no. The first Defy location has four lanes, and opens in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota tomorrow (any MN readers out there, pls check it out and report back). Three of the lines will be dedicated to mobile orders, and those will be fulfilled with proprietary lift technology developed by Vertical Works after you scan your order's QR code at a kiosk.

From February 2020 to February 2022, digital orders grew by 117%. Also, according to Bluedot's The State of What Feeds Us report, mobile order drive-thrus are the top ask from consumers as far as digital innovations go. So, this new restaurant can help Taco Bell further take over the drive-thru game, which it already has an edge in. The average fast-food line was 346 seconds, but Taco Bell clocks in at a speedy 268 seconds. Can we bring it down even more?! I'm in a rush to get back to my couch!

Short Squeez Takeaway: Often times we forget about companies that sell actual goods and provide services, as all the news headlines are filled with unprofitable tech unicorns that we don't tangibly interact with every day. In a time when inflation is hitting wallets hard, we may see cheap food companies like T-Bell doing really well, as consumers try to save cash where they can. Clearly, these Mexican food mavericks know that and are getting ready for what's to come.

Source: Axios

2. Markets Rundown

Improving COVID trends and relaxed restrictions in China buoyed investor sentiment, along with some potential tariff relief from US policymakers on Chinese imports to help fight inflation.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Sunrun ($RUN) +6% along with other solar stocks after the Biden administration announced they're suspending tariffs on panel products from some Asian countries for 2 years.
  • (+) Spirit Airlines ($SAVE) +7% thanks to a new juicier acquisition offer from JetBlue.
  • (–) Twitter ($TWTR) -2% because Elon Musk accused them of "resisting and thwarting" his right to information about how many fake accounts are on the platform.

Private Dealmaking

  • Religion of Sports raised $50 million
  • Modak, a web3 platform for teen creators, raised $5.3 million
  • Resilience, a biomanufacturing company, raised $625m in Series D
  • Diabeloop, which develops machine learning software for diabetes treatment, raised a $70 million Series C round led by LBO France
  • Incognia, which focuses on user authentication and fraud prevention, raised a $15.5 million Series A
  • Journera, a six-year-old Chicago startup that provides real-time data to help marketers and travel agencies identify potential travelers raised $10 million

3. Top Reads

  • Here’s everything Apple just announced (CNBC)
  • SEC closes in on rules that could reshape how stock market operates (WSJ)
  • Kohl’s enters exclusive talks to be sold to Vitamin Shoppe owner (WSJ)
  • Why is this fund executive calling private equity a Ponzi? (BB)
  • Paramount sued over ‘Top Gun’ copyright as ‘Maverick’ soars at the box office (CNBC)
  • Paul Krugman calls cryptocurrencies a 'scam' (Fox)
  • AstraZeneca boss: I don't think I would do anything differently (BBC)
  • How ‘Trustless’ is Bitcoin, really? (NYT)
  • What is a stock split? What to know about Amazon’s 20-1 split (WSJ)
  • Inflation is poised to ease according to these three key indicators (BB)

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4. Book of the Day: Age Later: Health Span, Life Span, and the New Science of Longevity

How do some people avoid the slowing down, deteriorating, and weakening that plagues many of their peers decades earlier? Are they just lucky? Or do they know something the rest of us don’t? Is it possible to grow older without getting sicker? What if you could look and feel fifty through your eighties and nineties? 

Founder of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and one of the leading pioneers of longevity research, Dr. Nir Barzilai’s life’s work is tackling the challenges of aging to delay and prevent the onset of all age-related diseases including “the big four”: diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. 

One of Dr. Barzilai’s most fascinating studies features volunteers that include 750 SuperAgers―individuals who maintain active lives well into their nineties and even beyond―and, more importantly, who reached that ripe old age never having experienced cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or cognitive decline. 

In Age Later, Dr. Barzilai reveals the secrets his team has unlocked about SuperAgers and the scientific discoveries that show we can mimic some of their natural resistance to the aging process. This eye-opening and inspirational book will help you think of aging not as a certainty, but as a phenomenon―like many other diseases and misfortunes―that can be targeted, improved, and even cured.

For the first time ever, there are more people on earth who are older than sixty-five than people who are younger than five.”

5. Short Squeez Picks

6. Daily Visual: Crypto Hacks

Amount lost to hacks by blockchain, as of June 3, 2022

Source: Axios

7. Daily Acumen: No Shame About It

When you are looking to invest your hard-earned savings in the stock market – whether for the first or the tenth time – know how well prepared you are to face short term corrections and capitulations.

The biggest edge you have as a small investor is your behavior. Look at how you behaved during the last major crash of early 2020. It should tell you a lot about yourself – whether you got nervous considering that the stock price declines were a big problem, or whether you got excited considering the problem was an opportunity.

If you haven’t figured out your temperament, the stock market is a very expensive place to find out. A long-term view requires an ability to stomach extreme short term market volatility. If you can’t do that, you may want to move your money to other instruments like bank fixed deposits and liquid/debt funds.

Jason Zweig wrote in a post on The Wall Street Journal –

"In order to capture the potentially higher returns that stocks can offer, you have to reconcile yourself to the certainty of horrifying short-term losses. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be in stocks — and shouldn’t feel any shame about it, either."

That’s the point. If your inner voice tells you that you are not wired to do well in stocks because, may be, you are not adept at business analysis or you are too emotional with stock prices or you just do not have the time, you must stay away from direct stock picking, and not feel any shame about that.

But if you are in the arena, it’s better to prepare for problems, expect that your portfolio will occasionally be ‘stormed,’ and get used to such storms. Any market crash won’t feel scary then, just because you would start accepting that as an integral part of your journey of wealth creation.

The secret of investing is that there is no secret. It’s staying the course.

The moment you get it, you become what Ben Graham would call an ‘intelligent investor’ who is destined to do well over the long run.

8. Crypto Corner by Bonkalytics.com

For more crypto-focused content, sign-up here.

9. Memes of the Day

   

     

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