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October 12, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Morning Brew

eToro

Good morning. Currently brainstorming Halloween costume ideas after getting an invite to a party. Thinking of going as a Southwest Airlines flight so we don't have to show up.

Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt

MARKETS

Nasdaq

14,486.20

S&P

4,361.19

Dow

34,496.06

10-Year

1.613%

Bitcoin

$57,244.91

Alibaba

$163.95

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 4:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks dipped slightly to start out the week, but over in cryptoland bitcoin has surged 30% this month to hit its highest level since May. Alibaba's on a nice little win streak too, gaining for five straight days.
  • Covid: The Covid treatments are coming. Merck asked the FDA to authorize its antiviral pill for Covid-19, which would be the first pill to come to market. AstraZeneca also released new data that showed its antibody cocktail reduces the risk of developing severe Covid.

ENVIRONMENT

The Other Greenhouse Gas

Cows in a field

PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP via Getty Images

25 more countries have pledged to reduce methane emissions 30% by the end of the decade, US Special Climate Envoy John Kerry announced yesterday. That brings the total attendance at the methane slashing party to 34.

It's progress, but also has a major asterisk. China, India, Russia, and Brazil, the four largest emitters of methane, haven't signed on.

What is the relationship between methane and global warming?

Let's put it this way: If carbon dioxide is the Joker of climate change, methane is Harley Quinn. Methane is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas to CO2, and while it lasts in the atmosphere for less time than carbon dioxide (~10 years vs. a CO2 molecule's hundreds of years), it is a significantly more potent contributor to warming—about 28x more powerful, according to some estimates.

Therefore, climate experts say we won't be able to limit warming without tackling the methane problem. Kerry said that reducing methane emissions was the "single fastest strategy" to keep temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

And where do methane emissions come from?

Almost one-third of methane emissions from human activity came from fossil fuel operations, according to the International Energy Agency. Methane is the main component of natural gas, and it can leak into the atmosphere from pipelines and other gas infrastructure. Other methane sources include landfills, erupting volcanoes, and decomposing veggies.

But the No. 1 source of global methane is agriculture—primarily through livestock burping and manure. This has led to a rethinking of how dairy and beef cows are fed. One English farm is adding garlic and citrus pellets to cattle feed to disrupt methane-producing enzymes in their stomachs.

Looking ahead...climate pledges will be the talk of the next few weeks as the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, is set to begin Oct. 31.—NF

        

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix Stands Behind Chappelle Special

Billboard for Dave Chappelle's new standup special

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of Netflix, circulated a memo to staff Friday in which he defended the company's controversial decision to launch Dave Chappelle's most recent standup special, The Closer, and offered guidance on how managers should respond to employees upset about the program, Variety reports.

Some employees are angry because, in The Closer, Chappelle accuses the trans community of having "thin skin," defends J.K. Rowling's tweets that many have called transphobic, and calls himself "team TERF," or a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

Things got so heated that three employees crashed Netflix's high-level quarterly business review meeting last Friday. One of those, a software engineer named Terra Field who identifies as queer and trans, bashed the company on Twitter for airing Chappelle's special. Netflix has suspended the three employees for allegedly attending a meeting they weren't invited to.

In the memo, Serandos said that Netflix doesn't allow titles that "are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe The Closer crosses that line." Others think it does. Jaclyn Moore, the trans co-showrunner of Dear White People, said she's cutting ties with the company over its Chappelle decision. —MM

        

ECONOMICS

Prizewinning Economists Show You Don't Need a Lab

The three Nobel Prize winners in economics show that science is happening all around us—if we're willing to look.

David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens, US-based economists who shared the prize awarded yesterday, helped pioneer the use of "natural experiments" to conduct studies on real-life situations as if they had happened in a tightly controlled lab.

Here's one example: Card is most famous for his and Alan Krueger's 1993 study on the effects of minimum wage on employment. They compared fast food jobs in New Jersey, which had just raised its minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.05, to fast food restaurants in neighboring Pennsylvania. The idea was that NJ and PA are generally pretty similar, so any observed differences in the labor market could lead to important conclusions about raising the minimum wage.

What did they find? That NJ's higher minimum wage did not hurt job growth...and may have even increased employment. This shocked most experts at the time.

Bottom line: Natural experiments are now ubiquitous in economics research, but only because these Nobel Prize recipients showed what was possible. —NF

        

TOGETHER WITH ETORO

When You Mess With the Bull…

eToro

You get the horns. But when you buy $500 worth of crypto with eToro, you'll get $50 added to your trading account balance. Other bulls, take note. This is the kind of human/bull friendship you should aspire to.

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Learn about the industry with their market guides and weekly newsletter—we're not biased or anything, but newsletters rock. Plus, there are no holding fees, or deposit fees for USD. What did we tell ya? eToro can become your BBF (Best Bull Friend). 

Learn more about eToro's limited-time $50 bonus here.

GRAB BAG

Key Performance Indicators

Cars stranded in floodwaters in the NYC area

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Stat: About a quarter of US critical infrastructure—hospitals, airports, police stations, and more—are at risk of getting flooded to the point of being inoperable, according to a new study from the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

Quote: "We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it's already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion."

Nicolas Chaillan, the Pentagon's first chief software officer, told the Financial Times that the US was failing to respond to China's cyber threats and its growing capabilities in AI and machine learning. That's the main reason why he resigned last week.

Read: Is Earth a giant crystal? (Motherboard)

        

TRAVEL

The Private Jet Industry Is Taking Off

One of the world's largest business jet conventions kicks off today in Las Vegas. The talk of the trade show floor won't be the best wax for buffing your G800, but the boom times for private jets.

Private jet company NetJets said demand is higher than it's ever been, with an average of 500 chartered flights a day compared to less than 400 in 2019.

But that's also put unprecedented strain on the industry's infrastructure. If you're already familiar with the private jet shortage, congrats on your lumber empire. But if you're not, you should know that that private jet operators are scrambling for workers and materials just like every other sector.

  • Private aviation company XO started requiring 72 hours notice to charter a jet for its members, instead of the typical 24.

+ While we're here: Southwest is struggling to get things back on track. It canceled 10% of its scheduled flights yesterday, after scrapping 28% of its Sunday flights. —MM

        

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders following a NYT report that he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language over several years.
  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said he personally thinks bitcoin is "worthless" and that regulation is coming.
  • Surf's up: Huntington Beach CA, reopened its beaches following a major oil spill more than a week ago.
  • Jonathan Kent, the new Superman and the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, will soon get a boyfriend, DC Comics announced yesterday.

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BREW'S BETS

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GAMES

The Puzzle Section

Brew Mini: Brain a little fuzzy after a long weekend? Kick it back into gear with today's puzzle.

Marathon Trivia

With the Boston Marathon held yesterday, we thought we'd devote this trivia section to the most famous marathons in the world, the six races known as the World Marathon Majors. Can you match the marathon with its unique characteristic?

Marathons: Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin

Characteristics:

  1. This one's famous for its abundance of runners in costume.
  2. Founded in 1897, it's the oldest annual marathon in the world.
  3. This city's marathon updated its course in 1990.
  4. The flattest of the Marathon Majors.
  5. It finishes at The Mall.
  6. This city's marathon course incorporates five bridges.

FROM THE CREW

Brew's Bookshelf

Brew's bookshelf promo image

Every other week, Brew's Bookshelf brings you a few of our favorite reads.

  • Max Chafkin profiles the controversial tech mogul Peter Thiel in The Contrarian.
  • In May, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found on the grounds of a former residential school in Canada. In 2017, journalist Tanya Talaga investigated seven deaths of indigenous students in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the history of Canada's residential schools for Seven Fallen Feathers.

ANSWER

1) Tokyo has a lot of runners in costume 2) Boston has the oldest marathon 3) Berlin updated its course in 1990, which until then had been restricted to West Berlin 4) Chicago is the flattest 5) the London Marathon finishes at The Mall 6) New York's course incorporates five bridges.

✢ A Note From eToro

Disclaimer: eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal.

✤ A Note From Wendy's

Limited time only.  U.S. price and participation may vary. Excludes Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant.  Not valid in a combo.  Check your local Wendy's for breakfast hours.

       

Written by Neal Freyman and Matty Merritt

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