🍋 Singapore and Swiftonomics

Singapore is trying to shake off its hardo reputation by investing in Taylor Swift concerts, plus red-hot jobs report, and 4 health benefits of quitting caffeine.

Together With

"The days can be easy if the years are consistent. You can write a book or get in shape or code a piece of software in 30 minutes per day. But the key is you can't miss a bunch of days." — James Clear

Good Morning! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much Oppenheimer, which clinched seven Oscars, including Best Picture. The U.S. economy added 275k jobs last month, surpassing expectations. However, it spelled trouble for U.S. banks as their profits plummeted by 44% in Q4. Meanwhile, Wall Street is witnessing a new gold rush, with the number of family offices tripling since 2019. Additionally, female workforce participation has now exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Plus, four health benefits of quitting caffeine, and what people who are good at small talk do differently. 

Streamlining the hospitality sector with AI: Jurny is targeting over $1 trillion of inefficiencies in the hospitality sector, and readers can invest now for a limited time.


Singapore and Swiftonomics

Singapore is one of the largest financial hubs in Southeast Asia. And Singapore is hoping its latest bet gives the small island country an economic boost. Singapore is reportedly paying Taylor Swift $3 million per show to give the country a much-needed boost.

Known for its strict, work-focused culture and the infamous chewing gum ban, the country is seeking a transformation by leveraging the star power of Taylor Swift, whose U.S. tours sparked an economic boom.

As part of the agreement, she is taking an undisclosed sum of money and has agreed not to perform in other neighboring countries.

And, given how high-profile Taylor Swift has become, even the Prime Minister of Singapore is chiming in on the controversy. He defended Singapore for hogging Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift’s six Singapore concerts could generate between $260M - $372M in the country’s economy. 

Singapore has become a hub for asset managers, with some calling it the "Switzerland of Asia." Ray Dalio, Ken Griffin, and Steve Cohen have all set up shop there since the pandemic. And thanks to bankers escaping Hong Kong's zero-Covid policies, Singapore is arguably the leading financial center in Asia.

Takeaway: Singapore is finding that one of the easiest ways for the country to shed its stern reputation is through hosting concerts. They’ve recently hosted Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and now Taylor Swift. With 70% of the Taylor Swift concert-goers expected to be coming from outside the country, Singapore is trying to invest in rehabilitating its image. If these cultural investments help Singapore eclipse Hong Kong as the leading financial center in Asia, the long-term benefits could be invaluable.


Beyond Nvidia: Explore AI’s Hidden Jewels

With Google Bard, ChatGPT and the like sculpting the future of nearly every industry, VCs are betting big, pumping billions into AI startups with huge potential growth. 

But profiting from the AI wave isn’t just for major players–savvy investors can take advantage, too. 

Jurny and its AI-powered platform is streamlining hotel and short-term rental operations, targeting over $1 trillion in inefficiencies.

With customers already reporting improvements upwards of 80%, are we surprised Jurny has the backing of leading investors Mucker Capital, Okapi Venture, and others?

Over $12 million in capital has already poured in, but there’s still time to jump aboard. 


Top Reads

  • Oscars full list of winners (HR)

  • The US economy added 275,000 jobs last month (CNN)

  • U.S. bank profits drop 44% in Q4 as big firms cover failed bank costs (Reuters)

  • Family offices have tripled since 2019, creating a new gold rush on Wall Street (CNBC)

  • More women at work than pre-COVID (Axios)

  • Is America actually banning TikTok now? (CNN)

  • Equinox gets $1.8 billion to refinance debt (YF)

  • As Wall Street titans gather, finance museum searches for a home (Reuters)

  • The February jobs report shows a healthy, but cooling, labor market (Axios)

  • Leading U.S. banks leave ESG project finance group (Reuters)

  • Powell: ‘There will be bank failures’ caused by commercial real estate losses (YF)


Markets Rundown

The stock market took a breather from its rally, dragged down by Nvidia.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Samsara ($IOT) +14% after the internet-of-things stock beat revenue.

  • (+) Gap ($GPS) +8% because the retailer’s holiday earnings crushed expectations.

  • (–) Nvidia ($NVDA) -6% after the chipmaker took a breather from its rally.

Private Dealmaking

  • Zama, a cryptography startup, raised $73 million

  • Todyl, a cybersecurity startup, raised $50 million

  • Crisp, a collaborative commerce platform, raised $50 million

  • Defense Unicorns, a delivery software provider, raised $35 million

  • Aktiia, a blood pressure monitor developer, raised $30 million

  • Maybell, a quantum infrastructure developer, raised $25 million

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


Why We Remember

A new understanding of memory is emerging from the latest scientific research. In Why We Remember, pioneering neuroscientist and psychologist Charan Ranganath radically reframes the way we think about the everyday act of remembering. Combining accessible language with cutting-edge research, he reveals the surprising ways our brains record the past and how we use that information to understand who we are in the present, and to imagine and plan for the future.

Memory, Dr. Ranganath shows, is a highly transformative force that shapes how we experience the world in often invisible and sometimes destructive ways. Knowing this can help us with daily remembering tasks, like finding our keys, and with the challenge of memory loss as we age. What’s more, when we work with the brain’s ability to learn and reinterpret past events, we can heal trauma, shed our biases, learn faster, and grow in self-awareness.

Including fascinating studies and examples from pop culture, and drawing on Ranganath’s life as a scientist, father, and child of immigrants, Why We Remember is a captivating read that unveils the hidden role memory plays throughout our lives. When we understand its power-- and its quirks--we can cut through the clutter and remember the things we want to remember. We can make freer choices and plan a happier future.

"Not only will every reader remember better afterward, they'll also never forget this life-changing book."


I Really Don’t Know, Sir

“Comedian Robin Williams was a terrible student. During a macroeconomic class at College of Marin, Williams’ final paper contained a single sentence to his professor: “I really don’t know, sir.”

He failed the test, but it’s the right answer to most economic problems.

There is so much that we not only don’t know, but can’t know, about why complex systems like the stock market and economy behave the way they do, because human emotions and shifting social preferences can’t be distilled down to a formula. Humility is a superpower that prevents overconfidence.

But being very smart makes it harder to harness that humility. You want to put your big brain to work, and your mental horsepower allows you to create complex stories and elaborate models of cause and effect. Worse, if you believe that complexity equals intelligence and intelligence equals accuracy, you favor the explanation that strains your brain the most.

If asked, “Why did the stock market fall 0.23% last week?” an average person will shrug their shoulders and walk away. A very smart person will show you their yield-curve model and valuation analysis and tell you whether the performance will continue. Who do you think is more likely to be stricken by overconfidence?

I’ve come to believe that part of the reason professional money managers produce such lousy returns is because the industry attracts such intelligent people. They’re too smart for their own good. There’s a fine line between intellectual rigor and believing your own bullsh*t, and smart people are at more risk than ordinary folks.”

Source: Morgan Housel


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