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MLB says goodbye to Georgia...
April 03, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Daily Brew

Outer

Good morning. If this were an Applebees, we'd be in the back prepping the chocolate molten lava cake for our Sunday Edition's birthday tomorrow. 

For a little tease of what to expect: We're not saying we interviewed the man of steel, but we did interview a man of steel...and he's got some business chops on and off the silver screen.

MARKETS 1-DAY PERFORMANCE

 
NASDAQ
+1.76%
13,480.11
S&P
+1.18%
4,019.87
Dow
+0.52%
33,153.21
Bitcoin
+0.25%
$59,309.49
10-Year
+4.4 bps
1.720%
Ethereum
+8.21%
$2,132.09
 

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 7:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Nation: A Capitol Police officer was killed and another was injured after a man rammed into a barricade with a car. The suspect emerged with a knife, and later died after being shot by authorities.
  • Markets: The stock market was off yesterday, but crypto never rests. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, jumped to an all-time high yesterday. 

ECONOMY

Big Jobs Energy

You're hired image

Francis Scialabba

The March jobs report, released yesterday by the Labor Department, was like being on a 12-hour flight next to a crying baby when the captain says, "We have begun our descent."  

The economy added 916,000 jobs in March, the biggest gain since last August and way up from the 468,000 added in February. The unemployment rate also ticked down from 6.2% to 6%, its lowest level since before the pandemic. 

The biggest winners: 

  • Leisure and hospitality = 280,000 jobs added. Newton's third law says that the sector that was battered the most during the pandemic also has the most to gain from a recovery. 
  • Construction = 110,000. Brew readers know the housing market has been on fire since at least last summer, and in January home prices posted their biggest annual gain in 15 years.

Putting it in perspective

Economists say this jobs report represents a turning point in the labor market's road back to health. Because not only was this the third straight month of positive job growth...the future looks even brighter.

  • The vaccination rollout has ramped up, raising hopes that the public health crisis that forced businesses to close could come to an end in the next several months. 
  • The economy basically just raised a $1.9 trillion Series E in the form of Biden's stimulus plan. Flush with pandemic-era savings and additional $1,400 stimulus checks, consumers are ready to spend

But we haven't landed the plane yet. Of the 20+ million jobs lost in March and April of 2020, 8.4 million have yet to be recovered. And the number of Americans who've been out of work for at least six months increased last month.

Looking ahead...with the wind at his back, Biden wants to proceed full sail. The $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal he introduced this week, literally called the American Jobs Plan, would create 13.5 million jobs by the end of his first term, as opposed to 11.4 million without the plan, per Moody's Analytics. But with the GOP and corporate America wary of a tax hike, getting that done won't be easy. 

        

CIVIL RIGHTS

MLB to Georgia: ✌

Major League Baseball announced it was moving its All-Star Game and the 2021 draft out of Georgia due to the state's new restrictive voting law. The All-Star Game, which was supposed to take place at Atlanta's Truist Park in July, had been planned since 2019, but the league said Georgia's law is at odds with its values.

Commissioner Rob Manfred elaborated on those values in a statement:

  • "Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. ...Fair access to voting continues to have our game's unwavering support."

In response, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the league's decision indicates that "cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included."

Big picture: This week, GA-based corporations including Delta and Coca-Cola came out forcefully against the bill. But MLB's is the first big action taken by a company in order to inflict economic pain on the state. We'll see if others follow. 

        

COVID

Vaccine Tracker

Vaccine tracker

Francis Scialabba

In the US…the latest numbers from the White House: More than 100 million Americans (almost a third of the population) have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and yesterday the US administered 3.975 million doses, a new daily record.

Around the world...150 countries have given more than 630 million doses. Nearly 50% of the UK population has received a first dose.

More headlines

Airplane mode: Vaccinated people just got the all-clear from the CDC to start traveling recreationally again, which is great news ahead of the busy Easter weekend. But the agency says to keep the mask on and practice social distancing.

Florida, man: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order yesterday banning "vaccine passports," or documents that prove vaccination. If anyone still wants to show off, Recode reports that vaccine-themed merch is huge on Etsy right now.

        

SPONSORED BY OUTER

'This Fabric Is Fab, Rick'

Outer

That's what you'll say to your pal, Richard, when you show him your new outdoor sofa from Outer

Outer set out to create outdoor furniture that was a triple threat: bed-comfy, indoor furniture-stylish, and camping gear-durable. Everyone said the necessary fabric didn't exist...so Outer invented it. Outer's performance fabric is stain, fade, and mold resistant

Outer's patented OuterShell® technology rolls out over the sofa to protect it from dirt and debris, so there's always a dry, clean spot for Richard to sit. When the two of you settle in for a chat, you can just tuck the OuterShell behind a cushion. 

And...just in case Richard gets on your case about sustainability: Outer uses materials from recycled plastic bottles

It's a great time to invest in your home and an even better time to hang out on a comfy sofa in your backyard. Do both with Outer.

GRAB BAG

Key Performance Indicators

Stat: At least 55 of the largest companies in the US, including Nike, FedEx, and Salesforce, paid no federal corporate income tax in the most recent fiscal year, per a report from the left-leaning research group Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). How'd they get around it? Government tax breaks, particularly from the 2017 tax bill and 2020's CARES Act, according to ITEP.

Quote: "People underestimate the difficulty of scaling 'vibe,' where WeWork has a proven talent."

Prof. Scott Galloway lays out a bull case for WeWork, which is set to go public via SPAC at a $9 billion valuation. When WeWork initially tried to go public a few years ago at a valuation of $47 billion, Galloway said, "Any equity analyst who endorses this stock above a $10 billion valuation is lying, stupid, or both." 

Read: This is a story about how I lost $10,000,000 by doing something stupid. (Andrew Wilkinson)

        

M&A

Turns Out You Don't Need Handshakes to Make a Deal

handshake

Giphy

Mergers and acquisitions did gangbusters last quarter, breaking all-time Q1 records for global M&A and private equity-backed deals, according to Refinitiv.

  • The value of pending and completed deals jumped 93% from Q1 2020, even though the number of deals only increased 6%. 
  • About half of M&A activity was US-based.
  • Private equity deals worldwide rose 116% from last year, making this PE's strongest Q1 ever.

What happened? Super low borrowing costs, investors making up for lost time during the pandemic, and everyone's favorite acronym. SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, accounted for ~28% of US dealmaking in the first quarter.

  • The largest SPAC deal to date happened in February, when veteran investor Michael Klein's SPAC took Lucid Motors public in a $24 billion deal.

Looking ahead...the current M&Amentum could slow down if SPAC mania stalls. The SEC is ramping up oversight and, since the start of last week, four deals were postponed, per Bloomberg.

        

MUSIC

Scooter Braun Agrees to Dynamite Offer

BTS Dynamite

Giphy

What do you get when you combine BTS, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato? One killer pop playlist, and now, a global powerhouse of a music company. HYBE acquired Ithaca Holdings for about $1 billion yesterday, but unless you own some turntables, you might want a refresher on who these two audio giants are:

HYBE is a South Korean music company formerly named Big Hit Entertainment. It manages a little-known group called BTS, as well as other rising K-pop artists like SEVENTEEN and TXT.

Ithaca Holdings is Scooter Braun's multi-label music empire. It oversees a) SB Projects, which manages The Biebs, Grande, Lovato, and more, and b) the country-focused Big Machine Label Group, known in part for its terse breakup with Taylor Swift.

Zoom out: A South Korean music company acquiring some of the US's most prominent labels, instead of the other way around, is a sign that the entertainment industry has come out from the Hollywood sign's shadow.

Looking ahead...HYBE has ambitions to be a lifestyle brand with its hands in travel, real estate, and more. It's unclear exactly what that'll look like, but if BTS's rabid "Army" fan club backs it, it'll be big.

        

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Tesla delivered 185,000 electric vehicles last quarter, more than doubling up its deliveries from a year ago.
  • John Krafcik is stepping down as the CEO of Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary making self-driving cars.
  • At least 50 passengers were killed when an express train derailed in Taiwan.
  • The US and Iran have agreed to restart talks about returning to a nuclear deal, the State Dept. said yesterday.

BREW'S BETS

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Listen to your DNA. GenoPalate uses your DNA to show you how to eat better and optimize your health. Their members have experienced increased energy, improved digestion, and confidence in their health. Start living healthier with a custom nutrition plan from GenoPalate today.*

Culture round-up: Browse the Louvre's entire collection for free, listen to new Olivia Rodrigo, and watch new trailers for The Suicide Squad and A24's Zola (based on the Gilgamesh of tweet threads). 

Weekend Conversation Starters:

  • How early do you arrive to Zoom meetings?
  • Four toppings, one burger, wdyd?
  • Should we listen to Big Milk and call it oat juice?

*This is sponsored advertising content

GAMES

Brew Crossword

Crossword

Francis Scialabba

Today's Brew Crossword was created by our very own Toby Howell. If you know Toby, then you know this puzzle is a must-play. If you don't know him...trust the people that do.

Play the puzzle here.

+ Think you have what it takes to make your own crossword? Spoiler: You do. Check out our tutorial, and then be sure to submit. If we select your crossword, we'll also send you the iconic Brewneck sweatshirt.

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Written by Jamie Wilde, Matty Merritt, and Neal Freyman

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