Spiro

Happy Tuesday.

According to WalletHub, Louisiana is the most stressed state in the U.S. Utah is the least.

In Case You Missed It. 

👋🏾 The Academy Awards says that it has launched a formal investigation into the Chris Rock slap.

📦 FedEx has a new CEO: Raj Subramaniam will replace the company’s founder Fred Smith in June.

📑 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It goes into effect July 1.

🖼 The British Museum will remove the Sackler family from its galleries and displays due to the family’s role in the opioid crisis.

Covid Update 😷 :

  • Elon Musk says he has tested positive for Covid again but said so in a very skeptical way.
  • The FDA is considering authorizing a second booster shot for Americans 50 and older.
  • Shanghai started a new strict lockdown on Monday.

MARKETS

Bitcoin

$47,603.35

Ethereum

$3,422.76

Cardano

$1.21

Dow

34,955.89

S&P

4,575.52

Nasdaq

14,354.90

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00 am ET.

  • Markets:  Bitcoin continues it’s big moving and shaking over $47K. A few big funds contributed to the bump as they locked up billions in Bitcoin purchases overnight. This led to a broader crypto recovery as markets added $100 billion to the overall capitalization in the past 24 hours.

Lead: Let’s Talk About Peace

credit: theguardian

Officials from Russia and Ukraine will meet today in Turkey to negotiate for peace.

In the wake of those talks, Ukrainian President Zelensky told the West that his people must not die because Western states are too timid to hand over weaponry or are afraid of sanctions. A spokesperson for Russia said that they are *this close* to considering sanctions an act of war. Which means…???

Now there are reports of officials on both sides having been poisoned. These are hard to parse out and a U.S. official told Reuters that the incidents seem more like “environmental” poisoning, rather than a malicious act.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan reminds the world that it is open for business. Any company that exited Russia due to the political climate is welcome in Kazakhstan, says the country’s deputy foreign minister. They want nothing to do with an “Iron Curtain.”

The Billionaire Tax

credit: getty

President Biden is back to budgeting with a new budget that proposes a 20% tax on wealthy individuals. It is called the “billionaire minimum income tax.”

It sounds good to those who are nowhere near that tax bracket but in reality it is pretty fuzzy math. Billionaires already pay far more than 20% on their assets so what is he playing at? He’s playing at taxing assets that are not sold. He warned us about this but maybe we’d forgotten? I know I had.

If someone owns more than $100 million in assets, the proposed law would tax them on the unrealized gains of those assets. So you bought something years ago that you haven’t sold but is worth more? The government will tax your equity. Will the government pay you a credit if the value of the asset is worth less? Unclear but probably not.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The White House proposal would enormously complicate the tax code and create huge investment distortions.”

You may think this doesn’t apply to you because you’re not a millionaire but history shows that the U.S. creates these tax rules and slowly spreads them far and wide over time. Remember that income taxes were supposed to be a temporary measure to pay for the Civil War but they were later made permanent by Congress.

I find this proposal alarming but there is no guarantee that it passes Congress and if it does, it may be challenged in the courts given that the Constitution precludes taxing “unrealized capital gains.”

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Supply Chain Slowdown Part Deux

credit: western standard

War in Russia + Covid lockdowns in China = Renewed concern about supply chain.

We are sorry to say but that is true. According to Wired, “More than a million containers due to travel to Europe from China by train—on a route that goes through Russia—must now make their journey by sea as sanctions bite. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also severed key supply lines for nickel, aluminum, wheat, and sunflower oil, causing commodity prices to skyrocket. Countries in the Middle East and Africa that rely on produce from Ukraine are likely to experience serious food shortages in the coming weeks and months. Some European automotive production lines have cut their output due to a shortage of wiring normally sourced from factories in Ukraine. If the pandemic, which triggered a surge in purchasing of goods, caused the global supply chain to buckle, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s continuing zero-Covid policy risk breaking it completely.”

Maybe that is why “doomsday prepping” is no longer considered a crazy thing to do. According to experts, it used to be something that right-wing older men did. Now it applies to anyone who knows to keep extra dried goods around and change their lives to not rely on the global supply chain. The term now applies to younger people and more women than ever. It can encompass anyone who gardens, owns solar panels or has an earthquake kit.

Given the above story about the supply chain, the thought of an underground bunker full of food isn’t so funny anymore is it?

News By The Numbers

credit: getty

20. That is how many fines British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his party buds were issued by Metropolitan Police for breaking quarantine rules last year and having parties while the rest of the population was in lockdown. The police say more penalties are coming.

$30 million. That is how much a boxing promoter is offering Will Smith and Chris Rock to have a proper fight in the ring.

Hundreds. That is how many stolen bikes one man was caught with. Police say his mountain of loot was so big it could be seen from Google Earth satellite images.

57. That is how many health conditions are linked to having type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

What’s Trending?

credit: giphy

Ezra Miller is trending because he was arrested for disorderly conduct while he was at a bar in Hawaii. He is the actor that plays The Flash in the DC movies.

Julia Fox is trending for wearing this outfit to an Oscars after-party. As someone who freaked out when my mom dressed me in turtlenecks as a child, this dress is my nightmare.

Dave Chappelle is trending because people are desperate for his reaction to the Will Smith smack. In related news, Roman Polanski is trending as people point out that he and Harvey Weinstein did bad things too and both got to keep their Oscars.

Cancun airport is trending because there was a security scare that sent passengers fleeing on Monday, which authorities say seems to have been a false alarm.

Zendaya Oscars 2022 is trending because you know our girl nailed it for the night with her outfit choices.

From Chicken to Diesel

credit: chick-fil-a

Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain, says that it will start handing over its cooking oil to be used as car gas.

The company says that it will partner with Darling Ingredients, a Texas-based company, to collect oil and residue cooking grease from U.S. and Canadian stores. The company can also turn “meat waste” into fuel, including trimmings, bones, expired meat and inedible scraps. The company processes these items into diesel fuel that can be used by vehicles. The company is on track to produce more than 700 million gallons of diesel this year. That is an impressive number but less so when you consider that the U.S. can go through that amount in two days.

One can imagine that Chick-fil-A has a lot of waste to hand over with over 2,700 restaurants in North America. Just remember, there is no service on Sundays!

Today’s Live Show

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JOIN US TODAY AT 9AM EASTERN TIME

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Join us on today’s live morning show.  Today we’re looking at why President Biden just doubled down on regime change in Russia while his own cabinet officials are saying the opposite. Something doesn’t add up. We’re also analyzing the new tax law that team Biden just proposed and we’re not sure what they’re thinking. All that and new supply chain troubles on today’s show. Click here to RSVP and I’ll see you at 9 AM Eastern.

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