The trio are set to take part in a live discussion at The B Word conference today. The event aims to “demystify and destigmatize mainstream narratives about Bitcoin.”
They have their work cut out. The concerns facing Bitcoin right now read like a laundry list. China has turned its attention to crypto, banning financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies and forcing Bitcoin miners to suspend operations. Regulators elsewhere, including the U.K. have adopted a tougher stance of late.
Longstanding environmental issues were catapulted into the mainstream in May by none other than Musk himself. The billionaire halted Tesla purchases using Bitcoin, citing concerns over the use of fossil fuels for mining and transactions. Bitcoin bulls fervently rejected Musk’s comments, championing the renewable energy used by many miners.
That aside, Musk, along with Dorsey and Wood, have never been shy to voice their passionate support of Bitcoin. Their joint appearance today after Bitcoin’s fall below $30,000 feels like a key moment. It has lost more than half of its value in just three months since its all-time high above $64,000 in April.
This high profile triumvirate could arrest the slide, or they might make it even worse.
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Delta Variant Now 83% of U.S. Cases, Even Higher in Some Areas
The Delta variant has surged to 83% of genetically sequenced Covid-19 cases in the U.S., from 57.6% on July 3. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a Senate hearing on Tuesday the percentage is even higher in some parts of the country.
- Houston Methodist Hospital detected its first case of the Lambda variant first identified in Peru. The major healthcare provider is already treating 185 Covid patients, 85% of whom have the Delta variant. The majority are not vaccinated.
- The average number of new U.S. cases has soared 198% over the past two weeks, while the average deaths per day is up 44%, according to the New York Times. Cases rose 387% in Oklahoma, 376% in Louisiana, and 308% in Mississippi over the past 14 days.
- Although 161.5 million Americans are fully vaccinated, including 60% of adults, nearly two-thirds of U.S. counties have vaccinated less than 40% of their residents, per the CDC. Arkansas, where 35% are fully vaccinated, has the highest number of cases per capita.
- After Los Angeles County reinstituted its indoor mask mandate on Saturday, nearby Pasadena, Calif., also required masks in public places and businesses. Ventura, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties have issued advisories strongly urging people to wear masks indoors.
What’s Next: A preliminary study published Tuesday said
Johnson & Johnson’s
coronavirus vaccine is much less effective against the Delta variant, and that recipients may need a second shot. Earlier studies by J&J said a single dose was effective against the variant even eight months later.
—Janet H. Cho
Daimler Says Chip Shortages Will Hit Mercedes Sales
the German car maker, said Wednesday that the global shortage in semiconductors will lead to lower
car sales in the second half of the 2021 and well into 2022, even as it confirmed its revenue and profit guidance for this year.
- Chief Executive Ola Källenius said in a call with analysts that the lack of chips was “a fixable problem,” but that the company had little visibility at the moment on how the current situation could be corrected.
- Group car sales in the second quarter increased by 27% worldwide, 54% in Europe and only 5.8% in China. It expects sales for the year to be in line with the 2020 level.
- Net profit in the second quarter stood at €3.6 billion ($4.2 billion) compared to a €2 billion loss in the same period last year.
- Daimler, like other European car makers, cut back production earlier this year in light of the semiconductor shortages. And it is braced for higher prices for steel and other metals in the coming months.
What’s Next: Källenius said that “improving supply visibility” had become a top priority for the group. But the company expects the chip shortages to be less severe in 2022 than this year.
Every Time a Rocket Launches a Billionaire Gets His Space Wings
founder Jeff Bezos became the second billionaire to reach space on Tuesday, blasting off with three passengers from the West Texas desert. His New Shepard rocket took the crew capsule to 66 miles above Earth. The capsule returned to the ground 10 minutes later.
The world’s richest man got his astronaut wings nine days after
Richard Branson reached the outer edge of space in his own spacecraft, setting the competition for commercial space tourism in motion. Tesla’s Elon Musk is also in the mix through his SpaceX rocket company.
- Bezos’ Blue Origin opened ticket sales for future flights, and has made nearly $100 million in sales, though no details on pricing were given. Two more crewed missions on the reusable rocket are planned this year.
- Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 and now employs more than 3,500 people at facilities in Florida, California and other locations. It is also working on a reusable rocket intended for orbital journeys.
- After stepping down as Amazon CEO earlier this month, Bezos said he intends to split his time between Blue Origin, in which he has invested $1 billion annually in recent years, and his climate change-focused Bezos Earth Fund.
What’s Next: Investors have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into space startups and publicly traded companies, and Morgan Stanley forecasts the space industry could reach revenue of $1 trillion by 2040.
Chipotle, United Airlines Report Upbeat Earnings
Earnings season heated up with mostly upbeat reports from
Chipotle Mexican Grill,
- Chipotle beat earnings and revenue expectations, while restaurant-level operating margins at 24.5% were the company’s highest since the third quarter of 2015. The company has held on to digital sales despite dining rooms reopening.
- Though Netflix’s subscriber growth outlook came in lower than analysts expected, investors seemed more interested in commentary about the company’s plans to launch game streaming on mobile devices.
- United reported better-than-expected second-quarter sales. For the third quarter, the airline expects capacity to be down 26% from the third quarter in 2019. Investors can hear more during its earnings call scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EDT.
Jonathan Kanter Nominated to Head Justice Department’s Antitrust Division
President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced plans to nominate Jonathan Kanter to run the Justice Department’s antitrust division. If confirmed, he would join Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan as one of the top U.S. antitrust officials. The FTC and Justice Department enforce antitrust laws together.
- Kanter has been a “leading advocate and expert” in promoting antitrust enforcement, the White House said. He has also represented Microsoft, Yelp and others that claim they have been harmed by the actions of Alphabet’s Google.
- The DOJ filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google last year, saying it uses exclusionary agreements and other tactics to preserve a monopoly for its flagship search engine and related advertising business, The Wall Street Journal reported. Google has denied the allegations.
- If confirmed, one of Kanter’s first responsibilities will be examining the federal guidelines for reviewing mergers, following Biden’s recent executive order encouraging the FTC to promote competitive markets. He would also oversee an ongoing probe into Apple and its App Store policies.
- In 2020, Kanter praised a House report that found that Google, Apple, Amazon.com and Facebook all hold monopoly power, saying: “We have laws. Those laws are in place. Let’s enforce them. Let’s enforce them regularly with vigor, with passion, creativity and meaning.”
What’s Next: Kanter must be confirmed to the role by the Senate. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, said in a statement that Kanter’s “deep legal experience and history of advocating for aggressive action make him an excellent choice.”
—Janet H. Cho
My aunt passed away last month at the age of 92. One of her nieces and her husband took it upon themselves to become her main caregiver after my uncle died five and half years ago. My aunt and uncle listed this niece as executor in both of their original wills.
This niece had access to their finances, and acted as their real-estate agent when my aunt sold her home to move in with this niece after my uncle died.
Our aunt and uncle had no children, and had both drawn up wills in 2003 that listed their 15 nieces and nephews from both sides of their families as heirs. Four nieces and nephews on my uncle’s side, and 11 on my aunt’s side.
Both families never interacted with each other. However, when my uncle began having health issues, this niece became very proactive in being our aunt and uncle’s sole caregiver. She would always decline my offers to help her. Even so, I was able to develop and maintain a friendly relationship with this niece and her husband.
I recently discovered after my aunt’s passing that my niece changed my aunt’s will five months after my uncle died, listing her as the sole heir in the will she submitted to the probate court. Our aunt, 87, was under doctor’s care at the time with developing signs of dementia, and still grieving the loss of her husband of 67 years of marriage.
My aunt and uncle were house rich and cash poor with an estimated net worth of $400,000. My uncle was the main breadwinner throughout their marriage.
I have spoken to my three cousins on our uncle’s side of the family and also contacted a few estate attorneys and we concluded that contesting a probated will would be expensive, and time-consuming, and an emotional strain with no guarantee that we would be successful in court.
Given this, I would like to try writing this niece a heartfelt letter, asking her to reflect on her actions when she cut us all out of our aunt’s will, and to reconsider distributing to all of the nieces and nephews in both families as our aunt and uncle’s earlier wills originally intended.
What do you believe is my best course of action?
—Disappointed Family Representative
Read The Moneyist’s response here.
—Newsletter edited by Liz Moyer, Stacy Ozol, Mary Romano, Camilla Imperiali, Rupert Steiner, Steve Goldstein, Callum Keown