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Q&A with a snack expert...

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October 10, 2021 | View Online | Sign Up
Mark Zuckerberg as a projection in front of crowd

Jess Suttner

IN THIS ISSUE

Why the rich love South Dakota

The latest in snack trends

A Make It Work reader takeover

 
 

Editor's Note

 
 

Good morning. Today is World Mental Health Day. Since one of the ways you can practice good mental health is to express gratitude, I'd like to express my gratitude to my friend and Morning Brew cofounder and executive chairman Alex Lieberman for working to destigmatize mental health issues.

A lot of people look up to Alex. And they should—he started Morning Brew from nothing and was relentless in building the company to the digital media rocket ship it is today.

What's even more important than that, in my opinion, is how Alex uses his platform to talk about his own struggles with mental health. Alex has said he's had anxiety for his entire life, describing it as a "pressure on my chest like a 10lb dumbbell is resting on it." He's also explained how he manages his anxiety, including doing therapy and establishing a strict, daily routine.

When someone as successful as Alex—or, for that matter, Simone Biles or Naomi Osaka—open up about their struggles with mental health, it can create a much bigger space for these conversations.

So, thank you Alex.

—Neal Freyman

 

 

Stock Watch

Stock watch graphic

 

Q&A

 

Icebreakers With...Andrea Hernández

Andrea Hernández headshot

Andrea Hernández

We all have an opinion on sour cream and onion chips, but media entrepreneur Andrea Hernández is a snack expert. And she's not being stingy with her wisdom. As a member of Andrea's Snaxshot cult (her words, not ours) you can read her newsletter that dives into snack aisle trends, chat about alt-meat brands in her Discord channel, or just tag her in your latest granola bar haul.

We sat down for a chaotic chat with Andrea.

What are you obsessed with in the snack world right now?

Ruby, the hibiscus drink. I keep indoctrinating people to drink it and it's so good. I've been trying to make it a "thing" as a chaser for tequila.

What is your go-to meal to cook for someone if you're trying to impress them?

When I was in New York, I actually got invited to a Shabbat dinner and I cooked my famous ceviche. This is an exclusive for Morning Brew on how I get my ceviche to taste so good. Do you know how there's that milky water or milky sauce from the fish in ceviche? It's called Tiger's Milk. The secret is to drain that after cooking and make a fresh sauce before serving.

What's in the cards for the future of snacks?

I want to see more Liquid Death-type of stuff. I'm done with the pastels and "blanding." Give me some chaos.

What are you obsessed with outside of the snack world?

I'm obsessed with learning about how Web3 [an internet built on decentralized networks] is evolving. It feels like a renaissance. I'm a '90s kid and Web3 makes me feel very nostalgic for when I was growing up with the internet, like the AOL time.

What about Web3 is so exciting to you?

Web 1.0 was all "let's have fun with the internet." I remember what it was like surfing the web and spending hours and hours learning random stuff. And it was chaotic, I loved it.

In the past decade, with Facebook and other Big Tech companies, everybody just wanted to look like each other. And the internet became boring. The internet should be fun. It should be chaotic.

What internet groups were you a part of when you were growing up?

Neopets, Club Penguin, and I was obsessed with this Lizzie McGuire site. I remember using my 15 minutes on the internet to go on the Lizzie McGuire page.

If you had a year of your life to dedicate to research and write someone's biography, who would your subject be?

Jorge Luis Borges, a Latin American author who wrote the weirdest, most mind-bending magical realism stories. Also, Jeff Goldblum.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

     
 
Mugsy

 

WORK LIFE

 

Taking Back Sunday

Make it work image

Each week, our workplace whisperer Shane Loughnane answers a reader-submitted question about work in 2021. Anything bothering you at work? Ask Shane here.

Last week, a reader from Singapore asked about dealing with the "Sunday Scaries," proof that Monday can be found hiding under our beds in any hemisphere. I asked our readers to weigh in and, as usual, you delivered. For example, I learned that Rachel debriefs with her neighbors over "wine and waffles" on Sunday evenings, which sounds as delicious as it does therapeutic. I've also been turned on to the Sunday Scaries by Headspace podcast, recommended by Colleen and others.

In honor of all the great responses, I thought we might take this opportunity to highlight some of the other notable replies that Make It Work has received recently:

You Light Up My (Zoom) Life

A few weeks ago, we met Brandon, who was trying to look his best on Zoom in the absence of natural light. While the ring light advice shined brightest, I was also reminded that within Zoom settings, you're able to touch up your appearance, adjust for bad lighting, and more (h/t Angie and others). For those of you still looking to become "Lord of the Ring light," here were a few specific recs that came through:

Writing on the Wall

Finally, we had Rachel, who was in search of a quote for her office wall. Ted Lasso's infinite wisdom may have won the day, but we also learned that Stuart gets his motivation via the openings on The Wire, while Sophie reminded us that we need not look any further than a Halls cough drop wrapper for encouragement. Don't have HBO Max or the common cold? These readers have got you covered:

  • "A year from now, don't wish you had started today."—Bob
  • "None of us are as smart as all of us."—Jai and Terry

I like to think this column is a testament to that last quote. Indeed the collective knowledge of our readers is our greatest asset—as long as you keep submitting your questions and responses, I promise to do my best to help "make it work" here every Sunday (scaries or shine).

Have a question about work you want to ask Shane? Write in here. And if these work topics are super interesting to you then be sure to check out our newly launched HR Brew newsletter.

     
 

ANALYSIS

 

The Tax Badlands

Mt. Rushmore

Scott Olson/Getty Images

One of the world's most prolific offshore tax havens is located more than 1,000 miles from any shore.

The US state of South Dakota now rivals notorious tax shelters like Panama, the Cayman Islands, and Switzerland as a destination for the top 0.01% to shield their  wealth from the grubby hands of tax authorities, the newly released Pandora Papers show.

Quick recap: The Pandora Papers, published one week ago, represent one of the biggest leaks of financial docs in history. They show how celebrities, world leaders, and business magnates take advantage of opaque financial laws to hold onto as much of their wealth as they can...and, in some cases, get away with crimes.

And while none of that is particularly surprising, what is surprising is the changing geography of tax havens. The ultrarich are taking their money out of traditional tax shelters like the island of Jersey (one of the Channel Islands) and stashing it in rural US states like Nevada, Wyoming, and, most of all...South Dakota.

  • Of the more than 200 US trusts appearing in the Pandora Papers, 81 were located in South Dakota.

South Dakota's trust industry held $367 billion in anonymous, untraceable assets in 2020, a nearly 4x increase from $75.5 billion in 2011. And these trusts aren't catering to cattle ranchers who made it big—they're linked to individuals in 40 different countries outside the US.

The bigger issue? 28 US-based trusts are linked to individuals or companies accused of misconduct overseas, such as money laundering, bribery, and human rights abuses, per the Washington Post.

And now the question you've all been waiting for…

Why South Dakota?

It's not why most people arrive in South Dakota—by accident. For decades, the state has intentionally loosened regulations on its financial services sector to grow its economy and create finance jobs, particularly in the city of Sioux Falls.

This deregulation push, spurred by trust industry insiders, turned a South Dakotan trust into "the most potent force-field money can buy," wrote the Guardian's Oliver Bullough.

By setting up a trust in South Dakota…

  • Your assets are protected from claims by creditors, angry clients, or even your ex-spouse (a level of security not afforded by other tax havens).
  • You are not subject to income tax, inheritance tax, or capital gains tax in the state...because South Dakota has none of those.
  • You never actually have to go to South Dakota.

In sum, if you're a shady billionaire or a corrupt president of a Latin American country with something to hide, South Dakota looks like a mighty attractive place to shield your fortune from governments.

Or, rather, the US more broadly is an attractive place to hide your wealth. After years of bashing "offshore" havens for sheltering tax avoiders, the US has moved up to second in the world rankings for financial secrecy. —NF

     
 
Prudential

 

REAL ESTATE

 

Open House

Welcome to Open House, the only newsletter section that's now using the tagline, "That's really it." We'll give you a few facts about a listing and you try to guess the price.

Tiny house in Newton, Massachusetts

Redfin

Today's listing is...small. It's a 251-square-foot tiny home in Newton, Massachusetts, a pricey Boston suburb with a downtown area it calls "Newton Centre," just like the Brits would. This tiny home is the perfect place for anyone who wants the feel of an NYC apartment but none of the access to a $1 pizza slice. Amenities include:

  • 1 bed, (maybe) 3/4 bath
  • The smallest oven you ever did see
  • Mere inches of granite countertops
  • Living in the same town where Jim and Ryan from The Office grew up

How much to pretend you're a giant?

     
 

RECS

 

1. The most important device in the universe. (Major Grin)
2. Leadership lessons from Coach Ted Lasso. (Founder's Journal)
3. Who scams the scammers? Meet the scambaiters. (The Guardian)
4. Bob Iger's long goodbye from Disney. (The Hollywood Reporter)
5. Rescoring 19 albums that warrant a second look. (Pitchfork)
6. Love, hope, and worry in drought-ridden Page, Arizona. (Morning Brew)
7. Mapped: The 50-year evolution of Walt Disney World. (Visual Capitalist)
8. A 5-part podcast on the sounds of the ocean. (Hakai Magazine)
9. Why is NFT art so lazy? (Storming the Ivory Tower)
10. Everything you need to know about American fashion. (Vogue)

Big questions, real change. Our new Twitter Spaces series powered by GE starts this week. Hosted by our executive chairman, Alex Lieberman, he'll be speaking with experts from GE about the energy transition on October 13th. Sign up on your mobile device to listen right here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content

 

CONTEST

 

Meme Battle

Welcome back to Morning Brew's Meme Battle, where we crown a single memelord every Sunday.

Today's winner: Jose Heredia from Mexico City.

Charlie Day in Always Sunny

This week's challenge: You can find the new meme template here for next Sunday. Once you're done making your meme, submit it at this link for consideration.

 

ANSWER

 

$449,900

 

SURVEY

 

How Was Today's Newsletter?

GREAT GOOD BAD

       

Written by Neal Freyman, Max Knoblauch, Jamie Wilde, and Matty Merritt

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