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The Great Resignation speeds up...
November 13, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Morning Brew

Cariuma

Good morning. Today's newsletter features industrial conglomerates, labor data, Taylor Swift, the housing market, and Britney Spears.

Who says you can't have it all?

Neal Freyman and Matty Merritt

MARKETS

Nasdaq

15,860.96

S&P

4,682.85

Dow

36,100.31

10-Year

1.573%

Bitcoin

$64,303.39

Meta

$340.89

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

  • Markets: Despite rising yesterday, stocks closed out the week lower for the first time in six weeks as investors fretted over rapidly rising prices. Tech giants like Meta drove yesterday's gains.
  • Economy: The highest inflation rate since the early 1990s is also taking its toll on everyday Americans. US consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in a decade, with 25% of a UMich survey's respondents reducing their living standards due to price increases.

CORPORATE

Breaking Up Is Easy to Do

J&J logo getting ripped in two

Francis Scialabba

Some of the world's most iconic companies are realizing that, if only their business units kept separate bedrooms, they'd get a better night's sleep.

Let's start with 135-year-old Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest maker of health products by sales. J&J said it would break off its consumer products division from the one that makes medical devices and drugs, creating two public companies in the process.

  • J&J's consumer division is a powerhouse, home to medicine-cabinet staples like Tylenol and Band-Aid.
  • But prescription drugs are the company's real engine, accounting for 55% of its revenue in 2020.

J&J has been challenged by lawsuits alleging its baby powder caused cancer, but execs maintain that those legal battles didn't play a role in the decision to split up. Instead, J&J thinks a separate consumer business would be nimbler and better able to respond to changing trends more quickly.

"De-conglomerating" is sweeping the globe

Some of the world's most storied conglomerates have recently decided that maybe size doesn't matter after all. Toshiba, the Japanese industrial behemoth, said yesterday it was splitting into three companies focused on infrastructure, semiconductors, and electronic devices.

Historically, Toshiba has been compared to GE, and this move is uncanny. On Tuesday, the 129-year-old corporate icon said it was breaking itself up into three units, in an acknowledgment that a single company simply cannot be successful when trying to compete in such a wide variety of industries.

Or can it? As the sun sets on one class of conglomerates, a new generation of them is rising. Amazon, for instance, started with selling books but now makes The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and slings green juice at Whole Foods. Alphabet developed driverless cars and runs YouTube. They're betting that new digital technologies will allow them to sidestep the inefficiencies that plagued struggling stars like GE.—NF

        

WORK

Forget Baseball, Quitting Is the New American Pastime

Peggy from Mad Men quitting her job

Mad Men

An astonishing 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September, amounting to 3% of the entire workforce, per a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's even higher than the previous record set in August, when 2.9% of the workforce clocked out.

The acceleration of people quitting their jobs shows that the Great Resignation is not losing any steam. Facing an attractive labor market with a record number of openings (11.2 million projected, as of Nov. 5), workers are adopting a "grass is always greener" mentality to shop around for jobs that are more fulfilling, safer, and better paying.

So where is the grass turning brown? In industries with demanding hours and where potential exposure to Covid-19 is greater.

  • 6.6% of all workers in accommodation and food services quit their jobs in September.
  • a) Entertainment and recreation and b) education and health services each waved goodbye to more than 50,000 workers that month.

Looking ahead...expect even more mayhem in the labor market as employers ramp up hiring ahead of the holidays. Retailers are hoping to onboard 500,000–650,000 seasonal workers to meet demand, up from the 486k hired last year.—NF

        

MUSIC

New 'Red' Album Was the Lucky One

Taylor Swift with her Grammy on the red carpet at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in downtown Los Angeles, CA, Sunday, Mar. 14, 2021.

Jay L. Clendenin/Getty Images

We are finally free to scream "Holy Ground" in the shower knowing Taylor Swift is getting all those sweet royalties. After almost 10 years, Swift rereleased her Red album yesterday as part of a broader effort to own the rights to her music.

Last November, Swift spoke out against the fact that twice without her consent or knowledge, her masters (the original recordings of her songs and music videos) were sold to third parties. So she's started rerecording those albums; Red is the second such effort.

The timeline (Taylor's Version):

  • 2006: Swift signs a 13-year contract with Big Machine, granting the record company ownership of the masters for her first six albums.
  • 2019: Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings buys Big Machine, which includes Swift's catalog, for $300 million. Swift publicly called this her "worst case scenario," accusing Braun of bullying her for years.
  • 2020: Braun sold Swift's masters to an unknown investment firm for a rumored $450 million.

Bottom line: The rerecorded album is already raking in the streams, which means the only people more nervous for the new "All Too Well" than Jake Gyllenhaal are record execs who fear that other artists may follow in Swift's footsteps. In Universal Music Group's more recent contracts, the company has been increasing how long artists have to wait to rerecord their music.—MM

        

TOGETHER WITH CARIUMA

Shoes With Their Own Paparazzi?!

Cariuma

If you count tons of people taking pics in their CARIUMA sneaks, then yes. These shoes are catchin' the spotlight. What else would you expect from footwear that's stylish, celeb-loved, and where-have-you-been-all-my-life comfy?

It's no surprise that CARIUMAs have generated waitlists in the thousands. But hold the shoe envy, because we bring glorious news: After clearing a 22k waitlist, CARIUMA's ever-popular IBIs are finally back in stock . Bonus win: They're available in slip-on and high-top styles, in fall-ready colors. 

And it's looking like a good day for highly anticipated returns, because *drumroll* CARIUMA's bestselling OCA sneakers are also back. These babies have over 7k five-star reviews, and come in canvas, suede, low-top, and hightop options.

CARIUMA kicks are killin' it, so get 'em before they're gone again. 

PS: They're never on sale, but Brew readers get a special discount here.

GRAB BAG

Key Performance Indicators

Stat: How crazy is the housing market? US homes from July 2020 to June 2021 were on the market for a median of one week before going under contract, a record low dating back 32 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. The previous year, homes sat on the market for three weeks.

Quote: "The conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required."

With those words, Judge Brenda Penny officially put an end to Jamie Spears's 13-year-long conservatorship of his daughter, Britney, a suffocating period in which the pop star had no control over her life and finances. Britney is finally free.

Read: Why LinkedIn is the one good social network. (OneZero)

        

CARTOON

Saturday Sketch

Sketch showing some ridiculous things you're

Max Knoblauch

        

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Elon Musk continued to sell Tesla shares yesterday, bringing the total value of stock he sold this week to $5.8 billion.
  • The SEC rejected a proposed ETF from VanEck that would have directly tracked bitcoin's price moves. Bitcoin ETFs approved to date only track futures contracts.
  • President Biden will nominate Robert Califf to lead the FDA. Califf served as the head of the agency for two years during the Obama administration.
  • Jon Gruden sued the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, accusing them of leaking private emails in order to force him out of his job as coach of the Raiders.

BREW'S BETS

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Have big questions about healthcare? We're hosting our next Twitter Spaces discussion on the healthcare industry with experts from our partners at General Electric. Sign up on your mobile device here for our, ahem, very healthy discussion about healthcare now.*

Oops: In the Friday Puzzle yesterday, we incorrectly wrote that the number of triangles in the diagram was 18 when it was in fact 24. Apologies to everyone who got very confused early in the morning.

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Written by Neal Freyman and Matty Merritt

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