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A school shooting victim's protesting parents were hauled out of Congress by Capitol police last week. Now another mass shooting has left 3 adults and 3 more children dead.

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:51pm
Patricia Oliver, the mother of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., is argues with lawmakers during a hearing recess on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2023.
  • A Parkland victim's parents were taken out of Congress last week, days before another mass shooting.
  • Manuel and Patricia Oliver interrupted a House gun regulations committee hearing last Thursday.
  • 3 schoolchildren and 3 adults were killed at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday. 

The parents of a school shooting victim interrupted a Congressional gun regulations meeting last week, shouting at Republican lawmakers before being escorted out by Capitol police. Now, just days later, another mass shooting has left three schoolchildren and three adults dead in Nashville, Tennessee.

Manuel and Patricia Oliver, parents of 17-year-old Parkland, Florida, shooting victim Joaquin Oliver, attended a House committee hearing on gun regulations last Thursday, NBC reported. The two were removed after interrupting the hearing.

According to Politico, Patricia Oliver yelled, "You took away my son," at GOP Texas Representative Pat Fallon before Fallon and another Republican lawmaker called in Capitol police to remove her and Manuel Oliver. 

Video footage shared by Democrat Florida Representative Maxwell Frost shows Manuel Oliver being arrested by police in the hallway outside the committee hearing.

—Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@MaxwellFrostFL) March 23, 2023

Just days after the incident, another mass shooting has shaken the US. On Monday morning, a 28-year-old woman opened fire at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, killing three children and three adult staff members.

Victims included three 9-year-olds, identified by police as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, were also killed, according to Nashville police.

The suspect was armed with three weapons at the time of the shooting, including two assault rifles and one handgun, police said. 

The mass shooting marks the 129th recorded this year, according to Brady, a non-profit working to prevent gun violence. 


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I'm a 56-year-old laid-off IT worker looking for a job. I have a hunch I'm not having luck due to ageism. How do I prove it?

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:27pm
To prove age discrimination, you have to show that your age was the difference between being hired and not, as opposed to some other legitimate rationale.
  • This edition of Insider's work-advice column tackles the issue of ageism in hiring.
  • Research shows that those aged 50 and over have a harder time finding jobs than younger workers.
  • Here, an expert shares how people can prove they were discriminated against in hiring decisions.

I'm a 56-year-old IT specialist with a solid track record and résumé, and I've been unemployed for over a year. I estimate I've applied to more than 300 jobs. I'm not sure why I'm not getting them, but I suspect ageism has something to do with it.

In October, I was laid off from a major computer company, where I'd worked for five years, as part of a corporate realignment. Before that, I'd worked at another big tech company for 20 years.

I apply for every job for which I'm remotely qualified. And I've had exactly 31 interviews, most with frontline recruiters. I've been a finalist for a job a few times, but it's always gone to someone else, often decades younger.

I've lowered my expectations, and I'm still not having any luck. One company offered me a help-desk position for half the salary I was making. A recruiting coach suggested removing all dates from my résumé and hinted that I start dying my hair.

I see my age and experience as assets, and it bothers me that companies don't. I want to call them out on their prejudice. What can I do?

Ours is a youth-obsessed culture, and the workplace is no exception. A 2022 survey from the AARP of nearly 3,000 of its members found that roughly two-thirds of workers over the age of 50 said they believed older employees face age discrimination at work. AARP, the advocacy group, conducted the survey online and by phone.

And the current economic uncertainty, not to mention the seemingly never-ending parade of layoffs — especially in the tech industry — is most likely compounding the problem when it comes to hiring. Research indicates that after the Great Recession, which was more than a decade ago, it took older workers who were displaced about twice as long to find a new job as younger workers. What's more, older workers who were unemployed for six months or more had far worse outcomes in reemployment, including 59% who made less money than in their previous job.

To find out what you might do about it, I spoke with Ray Peeler, an associate legal counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that oversees enforcement of workplace-discrimination laws. He told me that when it comes to hiring discrimination, "The difficulty lies in not knowing who got selected, what differentiated that person from you, and whether or not you were more qualified for the role."

To make a claim in court under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, which covers workers ages 40 and older, Peeler said, you first have to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. These charges generally have to be filed within 180 or 300 days of an incident, depending on state and local laws. Last year, the EEOC resolved roughly 13,000 age-discrimination charges filed against employers. Of those cases, only 18% were found in favor of the employee.

To prove age discrimination, you have to show that your age was the difference between being hired and not, as opposed to some other legitimate rationale.

This is not easy to demonstrate — but it's not impossible, either. Maybe the frontline recruiter showed initial enthusiasm in your application but suddenly lost interest upon finding out how old you were. Or perhaps age was a factor in the company's screening software if it required you to provide age-related information, such as your high-school graduation year, that's not immediately relevant to the job.

If, during an interview process, you have an inkling that age discrimination is playing into the hiring manager's decision-making, Peeler advised keeping contemporaneous records of your conversations and interactions with people at the company, and information on who was selected for the job. In court, if you can show evidence that your age might have played a role in your not getting hired, Peeler said, "the employer would have to then explain why they made the decision they did."

I wish you luck in your job search. It sounds as if many companies would be lucky to have someone with your experience and tenacity.

This story was originally published on November 24, 2022.

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Elon Musk calls Bill Gates' understanding of AI 'limited'

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:25pm
Elon Musk took a dig at Bill Gates and his understanding of AI on Monday.
  • Elon Musk called Bill Gates' understanding of AI "limited" in a tweet on Monday.
  • Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019, about a year after Musk left its board.
  • Gates wrote a seven-page letter about the potential of AI last week.

Elon Musk took a dig at Bill Gates and his understanding of AI in a tweet on Monday.

"I remember the early meetings with Gates," Musk tweeted. "His understanding of AI was limited. Still is."

—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2023


Musk sent the tweet in response to another Twitter user's post about Gates' involvement in OpenAI and his overall bullish attitude towards AI.

In a blog post published last week, Gates wrote about how AI could transform the workforce, healthcare, and education. 

The Microsoft founder has been meeting with the OpenAI team since 2016, Gates wrote, and he met with them as recently as September. It is unclear whether that 2022 meeting was in his capacity as a part-time advisor to Microsoft. (Gates left Microsoft's board in 2020 after stepping down as CEO in 2000.)

Musk cofounded OpenAI as one of several Silicon Valley executives who pledged $1 billion to the company in 2015.

Musk left OpenAI's board of directors in 2018 and has been critical of the company ever since, particularly of its relationship with Microsoft. In February, the billionaire said OpenAI, which was initially founded as an open-sourced, nonprofit, has become "a closed source maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft."

Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019. The partnership allowed the company to license the AI technology. Since, Microsoft has announced plans to make a "multiyear, multibillion-dollar" investment in the company and has even launched a new version of its Bing search engine in collaboration with OpenAI.

But Gates was not always a big supporter of OpenAI. When Microsoft first looked into partnering with the firm, he expressed doubts about the company's technology, The Information reported. Sources familiar with the issue told the publication that the billionaire was "very engaged" in analyzing OpenAI's technology ahead of the 2019 partnership and that he was doubtful of AI's ability to understand and contextualize human speech. 

Musk, meanwhile, is "furious" over ChatGPT's immense popularity, per Semafor. The news outlet said that in early 2018, Sam Altman and other OpenAI cofounders rejected Musk's proposal to run the company on his own.

Musk and Gates have a longstanding rivalry. The two billionaires first started bickering in 2020 when they disagreed over the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. That same year, Musk said his "conversations with Gates have been underwhelming" after Gates said he decided to buy a Porsche Taycan instead of a Tesla. The Tesla CEO has also accused Gates of shorting the car company's stock and even gone so far as to poke fun at Gates' weight.

Musk and Gates did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication.

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Amazon Echo Show 5 vs. Echo Show 8: Which Alexa smart display should you buy?

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:09pm

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The Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 are Amazon's smallest smart displays, but they still have a lot of useful features.
  • The Echo Show 5 is Amazon's smallest smart display and works well as an alarm clock. 
  • With a bigger display and better speakers, the Echo Show 8 is a better smart home hub and entertainment device.
  • Both devices frequently go on sale, so we don't recommend paying full price.

If you're in the market for the best smart display with Alexa, you have four choices from Amazon: the Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, Echo Show 10, and Echo Show 15. For the uninitiated, the numbers roughly refer to the devices' screen sizes. 

The Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 are the smallest devices in Amazon's lineup, but they have some advantages over their larger siblings. While they have similarities, differences in screen and speaker sizes and camera resolution are the biggest considerations. 

That said, after spending two years with these devices, we can safely say the Echo Show 8 works best as a central smart home hub for high-traffic areas of your home, while the Echo Show 5 is better suited for the bedroom or office. Here's how the two compare. 

PricingThe Echo Show 8 is about $45 more than the Echo Show 5, and both often go on sale.

Amazon released the second-generation Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 in 2021, but they're still the most popular Alexa smart displays. Lucky for you, both devices frequently go on sale, so we don't recommend paying full price for either smart display. At full price, the Echo Show 5 costs $85, and the Echo Show 8 is usually priced at $130. 

Amazon is fond of offering deep discounts for its devices during sales events like Prime Day and Black Friday. We've seen the prices for both devices drop various times throughout the year. Amazon often discounts the Echo Show 8 by about 40%, making it about $10 cheaper than the Echo Show 5. If you can wait for a sale on the Echo Show 8, it's a great deal. 

Display size and speakers

Hulu is available on the Amazon Echo Show 8 but not the Echo Show 5.

While the Echo Show 8's 8-inch 1280 x 800 screen isn't a substitute for a TV, the device is still suitable for streaming video while you cook or clean. Its colors look vibrant and crisp, especially next to the Echo Show 5, which has a smaller 5.5-inch display with 960 x 480 resolution. 

You might be fine watching a TikTok video or two on the Echo Show 5, but you likely won't want to watch an entire episode. Also, vertical videos look especially cramped on the smaller display. 

The Echo Show 8's streaming services include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube. You can't watch Hulu on the Echo Show 5, and neither device supports Disney Plus, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, and other popular services. 

For casual listening, the Echo Show 5's single 4-watt speaker works fine, with similar audio quality to the fifth-gen Echo Dot. It lends itself to listening to news or podcasts, but things like music and sleep sounds become muddled when you're a few feet away, which is why it's best suited as a bedside companion. 

In contrast, the Echo Show 8's dual 2-inch speakers can fill a room, though it can't compare to devices built for music. You'll also be able to hear podcasts, news, and audiobooks clearly. 

Both the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show 8 have a good amount of options for either music or news, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Apple Music, and more. 

Camera and video calls

The Echo Show 5's camera (left) isn't as crisp as the Echo Show 8's (right).

While you can make video calls with the Echo Show 5, the 2-megapixel camera means the video quality isn't great. To get your face entirely on screen, you need to stand over a foot away. That would be fine if the screen were bigger than 5.5 inches. 

In terms of camera quality, the Echo Show 5 can't compete with the Echo Show 8, which houses a 13-megapixel camera that makes bright, crisp video calls. A wide angle and the auto-framing feature help keep you in frame as you chat. 

It's worth noting that both devices have a wedge shape that tilts the camera slightly up so it's harder to achieve a more flattering downward angle without a stand.  

Privacy and smart features  

It's easy to tell when both Echo Shows' cameras are shuttered and microphones are muted.

If privacy is a top concern (it should be), both devices have buttons for disabling the microphones. Each device's camera also has a privacy shutter. In addition to privacy options built into the hardware, both devices offer quick access to the Alexa Privacy Hub

Although Alexa records and keeps your requests by default, you can erase your query history in the Alexa app. You can ask either Echo Show to erase the recordings by saying "Alexa, delete everything I've said" or "Alexa, forget what I just said." 

If you're looking for a kid-friendly device, there is Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids edition that comes with the Amazon Kids mode enabled. But you can also set that mode on any Echo Show device. 

Software is more or less the same between the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8, so smart-home control is technically the same experience whichever device you buy. Echo devices are compatible with tons of smart home devices, and they work especially well with other Alexa devices. 

If you swipe right on the Echo Show 8's screen, it brings up a widget gallery. One of the options includes smart-home favorites. A shopping list, weather, calendar, and Alexa games are among the 30 or so other widgets. The Echo Show 5 lacks this capability. 

One place where the Echo Show 5 outshines the Echo Show 8 is as an alarm clock. Its face automatically dims more than the Show 8 at night, and it allows you to change the clockface for more customizability. The Echo Show 8's clock font is sometimes small, which might make it difficult to read from across the room. 

Echo Show 5 vs. 8: Specs


Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd gen)

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd gen)





5.8 (L) x 2.9 (W) x 3.4 (H) inches

7.9 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 5.4 (H) inches

Screen size

5.5 inches with 960 x 480 resolution

8 inches with 1200 x 800 resolution





Single 1.65-inch speaker, dual microphones

Two 2-inch speakers, dual microphones


MediaTek MT 8163

MediaTek MT 8183


Aux, Bluetooth, WiFi (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Aux, Bluetooth, WiFi (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

AI assistant



The bottom line

Both Echo Shows have a lot in common but the smaller version is better suited for an alarm clock, and the larger display works better for shows and music.

If you're looking for a smart display with Alexa that you can use to watch videos and to call up recipes in the kitchen, the Echo Show 8 is your best bet. It offers the best balance of screen size and sound quality for the price. It's also suitable for making video calls. 

For an alarm clock or a smart display that's going to live in a smaller space like a nightstand or office desk, the Echo Show 5 is a better choice. Although the screen is small, you'll still be able to check in on security cameras, see text messages, and watch the occasional video. It also automatically dims at night, making it better suited to a bedside table.  We recommend it as a secondary device to the Echo Show 8. 

Lastly, if you're interested in the idea of an Echo device for your nightstand, but don't love the idea of a screen, there's also the fifth-generation Echo Dot with Clock, which Amazon released in 2022. You won't get a smart display, but you will get a clock and a serviceable speaker. 

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Congressman who represents the Nashville district involved in deadly school shooting posted a gun-toting family photo for Christmas in 2021

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:01pm
Rep. Andy Ogle's 2021 Christmas card and Ogle.
  • Rep. Andy Ogles represents the Nashville district where a school shooting happened on Monday.
  • He offered his "thoughts and prayers" to families of the victims.
  • In 2021, he posted a Christmas message with a photo of his family holding guns.

A Tennessee lawmaker who on Monday offered his "thoughts and prayers" to families of the victims of a deadly school shooting in his district sent out a 2021 Christmas message featuring a photo of his gun-toting family.

Rep. Andy Ogles, a Republican from Nashville, posted a statement on Twitter in response to the shooting that killed three children and three staff members at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville serving preschool students through sixth graders.

The shooter, a 28-year-old woman, was killed by police. Victims included three 9-year-olds, identified by police as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, were also killed, according to Nashville police.

"My family and I are devastated by the tragedy that took place at The Covenant School in Nashville this morning," he wrote. "We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost."

Dozens of Twitter users, however, responded to Ogles' statement by reposting the Christmas photo of his family that he shared on Facebook in 2021.

"This response is offensive given your Christmas family photo," wrote Tweets for Democracy.

"Start by Apologizing for this," wrote another user.

Ogles' 2021 message with the family photo by the Christmas tree said: "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good," an apocryphal quote from George Washington.

A spokesperson for Ogles did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An Insider investigation in February found that Ogles, a far-right freshman rep, had embellished many aspects of his resume, including his history in law enforcement and his role in combating international sex trafficking.


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The downside risk to the stock market is the highest it's been in a year as earnings face pressure, Morgan Stanley's chief stock strategist says

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 3:01pm
  • Stocks are still set to see earnings pressure, and investors shouldn't be fooled by the tech rally, Morgan Stanley's Mike Wilson said.
  • Wilson said stocks now faced the highest downside risk in a year following the collapse of SVB.
  • Previously, he predicted the worst earnings recession since 2008 to strike the market.

The downside risk to the stock market is the highest it's been in a year, as firms are still set to battle earnings pressure amid tough economic conditions, according to Morgan Stanley's chief stock strategist Mike Wilson.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday, Wilson pushed back against bullish market commentators who are championing the current rally in tech stocks. Though some investors are finding shelter in the tech sector amid the banking fears, firms are still set to face earnings pressure, he warned, which the market hasn't yet fully priced in.

"The malinvestment was just so egregious and the overearning was even worse," he said of tech stocks' strong performance. "We think that risk for the equity market is elevated now more than it's been in the last 6-12 months."

Wilson has been bearish on stocks for months and previously sounded the alarm for the worst earnings recession since 2008 to hit the market. That's because the Fed is set to keep interest rates high throughout 2023 — which weighs on stocks through a higher cost of borrowing — and firms likely haven't cut costs enough yet to beat the headwinds, in his view. 

That's been worsened by the recent volatility stemming from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which has sparked fears of more bank contagion and raised the risk of recession.

"Given the events of the past few weeks, we think guidance is looking more and more unrealistic, and equity markets are at greater risk of pricing in much lower estimates ahead of any hard data changes," he said separately in a note on Monday.

The poor performance in low-quality and small-cap stocks indicates the final stretch of the bear market is around the corner, he added.

Previously, he described stocks as being in the "death zone" and predicted a 26% crash in stocks in the following months as the bear market comes to the end. His prognostications have been echoed by some other market bears, like "Dr. Doom" Nouriel Roubini, who predicted a 30% crash in stocks.

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A look into Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's life, career rise, and the controversies surrounding him

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:52pm
Mark Zuckerberg has led Facebook, now Meta, for nearly two decades.
  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg grew up outside of New York City and dropped out of Harvard after founding Facebook.
  • He's built it into a multibillion-dollar company while weathering numerous scandals and controversies.
  • Here's a look at his career rise, personal life, and controversies over the years.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has weathered success and controversy in equal parts over the past 19 years.

The millennial CEO is credited with creating a social network that has more monthly active users than any single country in the world has people, and his majority voting rights give him complete control of the company — which also means he's often the focal point of any backlash.

As it grew from a social network called Facebook to a metaverse company named Meta, the company that Zuckerberg built has weathered scandal after scandal even as it saw seemingly unstoppable growth. But things have shifted as user numbers stalled out last year for the first time, Zuckerberg's net worth plunged, and Meta announced layoffs affecting more than 21,000 people, marking the biggest cull in the company's history.

He's now worth $75.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the 13th richest person in the world. At the beginning of the 2022, Zuckerberg was worth $125 billion.

At the same time, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have poured billions into efforts to cure the world's diseases, amassed a sprawling real estate empire in Hawaii, and expanded their family to include three young daughters.

Here's a look at the timeline of Zuckerberg's career, from his early life in a New York suburb to his role as one of the most powerful CEOs in the world:

While he's now a titan of Silicon Valley, Mark Zuckerberg was raised in the quaint town of Dobbs Ferry, New York. He was born to Edward and Karen Zuckerberg, a dentist and psychiatrist, respectively. He has three siblings: Randi, Donna, and Arielle.New York City seen through the frozen Hudson River in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Source: New York Magazine

A precocious child, Mark at age 12 created a messaging program called "Zucknet" using Atari BASIC. He also coded computer games for his friends at a young age.

Source: New York Magazine

While attending high school at the renowned Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, he built an early music streaming platform, which both AOL and Microsoft showed interest in. Still a teen, he rejected offers for an acquisition or a job.

Source: New York Magazine


He wasn't just a computer nerd, though. Zuck loved the classics — "The Odyssey" and the like — and he became captain of his high school fencing team.Unfortunately, this isn't actually Zuckerberg fencing.

Source: The New Yorker

Soon after Zuckerberg started at Harvard University in 2002, he earned a reputation as a skilled developer. His first hit was "Face mash," a hot-or-not-style app that used the pictures of his classmates that he hacked from the school administration's dormitory ID files.Zuckerberg and Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes.

Source: The New Yorker

Zuckerberg met his now-wife, Priscilla Chan, at Harvard in 2003. Chan told Savannah Guthrie on "Today" that they met at a frat party thrown by Zuckerberg's fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi.Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg.

Source: Today

Zuckerberg started "The Facebook" with several friends out of his dorm room, and dropped out of school in 2005, after his sophomore year, to focus on the social network full-time.

Source: The New Yorker

Zuckerberg wasn't always the polished statesman he is now. In Facebook's early days, he carried business cards that read, "I'm CEO, B----."

Source: TechCrunch

Zuckerberg's company raised its $12.7 million Series A round of funding while he was barely of legal drinking age.In 2010, Time magazine named Zuckerberg "Person of the Year."

Source: Time

Not many tech CEOs get to see themselves immortalized on the big screen, but the 2010 movie "The Social Network" put a dramatized version of Facebook's founding story in theaters. The film earned eight Academy Award nominations, but Zuckerberg strongly maintains that many of its details are incorrect.Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg playing Sean Parker and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively.

Source: New York Magazine

Throughout Facebook's rise to greatness, Zuckerberg also spent his free time studying Chinese. By the fall of 2014, his Mandarin was so good that he managed to hold a 30-minute Q&A in the language.Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, delivers a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 22, 2016.

Source: Insider

Zuckerberg took Facebook public on May 18, 2012. The IPO raised $16 billion, making it the biggest tech IPO in history at the time. Zuckerberg became the 29th-richest person on the planet overnight.

Source: Insider

The day after Facebook went public, Zuckerberg and Chan got married. The relatively low-key event was actually a surprise wedding — guests thought they were celebrating Chan's medical school graduation.Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan embrace during a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative event in 2016.

Source: Insider, San Jose Mercury News


Zuckerberg designed Chan's ruby ring himself. Chan walked down the aisle with Beast, the couple's Hungarian Puli, who they adopted in 2011.A Hungarian Puli, though not Mark Zuckerberg's Beast.

Source: People, Insider

The two honeymooned in Italy, flying in on a private jet and staying at a five-star hotel, Portrait Suites, where rooms started at 800 euros per night. But they still kept it casual at times when looking for something to eat — paparazzi spotted the couple eating at McDonald's while overseas.A McDonald's in Italy.

Source: Insider

In 2015, Zuckerberg and Chan announced the birth of a baby girl named Max. "There is so much joy in our little family," Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.

Source: Insider

They also announced their plan to sell 99% of Zuckerberg's Facebook stock over time— worth about $45 billion at the time — to fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The initiative funnels money toward issues like personalized learning, curing diseases, and connecting people.

Source: Insider

Before announcing that new effort, Zuckerberg and Chan had committed $1.6 billion to philanthropic causes, including donations to the Centers for Disease Control and the San Francisco General Hospital, which was eventually renamed after Zuckerberg.

Sources: The Verge, Insider


In September 2016, Chan and Zuckerberg pledged $3 billion towards efforts to cure the world's diseases by the end of this century. "Can we help scientists to cure, prevent or manage all diseases within our children's lifetime?" Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. "I'm optimistic we can."

Sources: Insider, Facebook

In May 2017, Chan and Zuckerberg announced they had another baby on the way. They welcomed a second daughter, August, later that year.

Source: Insider

Zuckerberg is one of a very small group of people who is worth more billions of dollars than years he has lived. Still, he's far from flashy about it — the CEO famously wore only a hoodie or a gray t-shirt with jeans for over a decade, although he's switched it up in recent years.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Source: Insider

In 2014, when he was the third-richest man in the world, he bought a black Volkswagen GTI with a manual transmission, which cost around $30,000.

Sources: Insider, Forbes

However, he did reportedly pay for an Italian Pagani Huayra supercar around the same time.Mark Zuckerberg and a Pagani Huayra. Not Zuckerberg's actual car.

Source: Yahoo

Zuckerberg also likes to spend his money on privacy. In October 2014, he shelled out around $100 million for 700 acres of secluded land on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. He's since amassed a total of 1,500 acres, though his presence on the island remains controversial among locals.A beach in Kauai, Hawaii.

Source: Insider, Insider, Insider

In Palo Alto, California, Zuckerberg reportedly bought his 5,617-square-foot home for $7 million in 2011, and then spent an additional $45 million on the four houses and land around it for the sake of privacy.

Sources: InsiderSan Jose Mercury News 


He also bought a $10 million mansion in San Francisco, and then spent more than $1 million on remodeling and additions — like a $60,000 greenhouse — that took a year to build and reportedly disturbed neighbors in the process. He sold the property in 2022 for $31 million.Dolores Park in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood.

Source: SF Gate, Insider

Zuckerberg hasn't been afraid to spend his company's money either. Facebook made some major acquisitions in the 2010s, including $1 billion for Instagram, $19 billion for WhatsApp, and $2 billion for Oculus. Today, the company's family of apps are used by billions of people each month.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on stage at an Oculus developers conference in 2016.

Source: Insider

In May 2017, Zuckerberg returned to Harvard as its youngest commencement speaker ever. During his speech, Zuckerberg touched on a range of topics, including climate change, universal basic income, criminal justice reform, and "modernizing democracy" by allowing people to vote online. He also received an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.

Source: Insider

Zuckerberg frequently meets with high-profile figures and celebrities, including Snoop Dogg, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and former President Barack Obama.Zuckerberg with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Source: Facebook

Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Facebook was accused of spreading misinformation that led to Donald Trump's win. The CEO brushed off the claims: "Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook ... influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea."

Source: Insider

But about a year later, the first evidence of Facebook's role emerged. The company revealed that Russian parties spent around $100,000 on roughly 3,000 ads, and that 126 million Americans likely saw Russia-funded posts intended to sway them.Mark Zuckerberg looks glum during Congress grilling.

Sources: Insider, Reuters

Zuckerberg has always been passionate about political issues, but he kicked up his rhetoric significantly around the time that Trump was elected. However, he still worked behind the scenes to communicate with Trump, including attending private dinners at the White House.

Source: Insider

In 2017, Zuckerberg announced that his personal challenge for the year — an annual tradition of his since 2009 — was to visit every US state. The stops he made sparked speculation that he had plans to run for president one day, but he denied the rumors.

Source: Insider

In March 2018, data analytics company Cambridge Analytica was revealed to have harvested data from over 50 million Facebook users' profiles — a number Facebook later said was closer to 87 million — using it to target voters during the 2016 election. The group was hired by the Trump campaign.Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

Source: Insider

Zuckerberg was called on to appear in front of lawmakers in two testimonies that lasted five hours each. Zuckerberg left with a laundry list of requests for answers and action items.

Source: Insider

Facebook's stock tumbled in the months following the congressional hearings and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. At its lowest, its stock was down 18% from what it had been before the story broke.Zuckerberg arrives to testify for a hearing before Congress regarding the company’s use and protection of user data on April 10, 2018.

Source: Insider

Facebook also faced accusations in 2018 that its moderation efforts weren't adequate in stopping the proliferation of hate speech and disinformation on its network. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were cited as contributing to political violence and deliberate misinformation in Myanmar, India, Germany, the Philippines, Brazil, and more.

Sources: Reuters, Insider, Buzzfeed News

In September 2018, Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger abruptly announced they were leaving Facebook. It was later reported they had left amid "growing tensions" with Zuckerberg, and that the pair was fighting with Facebook leadership over Instagram's "autonomy."Instagram cofounders Mike Krieger, left, and Kevin Systrom.

Sources: Bloomberg, Insider

The departure of Instagram's cofounders was quickly followed with scathing remarks from WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, who detailed disagreements with Facebook executives over user privacy. Both WhatsApp cofounders had left the company earlier that year.WhatsApp cofounders Brian Acton and Jan Koum.

Source: Forbes, Washington Post

To add to an already scandal-ridden year, Facebook announced in September 2018 it had been hacked. Around 30 million users had their personal information compromised, making it the worst hack in Facebook's 15-year history.

Source: Insider

In 2019 and 2020, Facebook spent around $23 million on personal security for Zuckerberg and his family. In 2018, his security costs had nearly doubled in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Source: Insider, Insider

In October 2019, Zuckerberg was once again called on to testify in front of Congress — this time, about Facebook's plans for its Libra digital currency. Congressional members also grilled him on the company's content moderation practices and its lack of diversity.

Source: Insider

For 2020, Zuckerberg set a goal for the decade. "My goal for the next decade isn't to be liked but to be understood," Zuckerberg said. After the criticism it faced in dealing with political misinformation in 2016, the company geared up for a "tough year" with the 2020 presidential election.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Source: Insider

Zuckerberg testified before Congress yet again in 2020 — alongside Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, and Sundar Pichai — over matters of antitrust. Facebook was later hit with two antitrust suits that sought to break up the company.

Source: Insider

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Zuckerberg attempted to quash misinformation about the virus and vaccines on Facebook, hosted regular town halls with virus experts, and, through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, contributed millions to finding COVID-19 treatments.Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg.

Source: Insider, Insider, Insider

Early in 2021, following the violent insurrection at the US Capitol, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was suspending Trump indefinitely after he used the platform to "condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters." The company's Oversight Board later upheld Trump's ban, though Meta went on to reinstate his account in 2023, and Trump made his first post upon returning to the platform this March.

Source: Insider, Insider, Insider, Insider

Facebook experienced yet another major data breach in 2021. This time, 533 million Facebook users' phone numbers and personal data were leaked online.Mark Zuckerberg.

Source: Insider

Facebook announced in October 2021 that it would change its corporate name to Meta to reflect its ambition to become "metaverse first." The company began trading under the new stock ticker MVRS on December 1, 2021.Employees change the sign outside Meta's headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Source: Insider

In February 2022, Meta hit a new milestone, though not a positive one: Facebook's user numbers shrunk for the first time in its history, sending the stock plummeting.

Source: Insider

Zuckerberg's longtime second-in-command, COO Sheryl Sandberg, announced in June 2022 that she would leave the company. "Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life," she wrote on Facebook.Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg walk together at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference.

Source: Insider

In September 2022, Zuckerberg said he and Chan were expecting another child together, and in March 2023, he announced the birth of their third daughter, Aurelia. "You're such a little blessing," he wrote in an Instagram post.Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

Source: Insider, Instagram


Zuckerberg's wealth skyrocketed over the course of the last few years, but took a major hit in 2022. Though he started that year with a $125 billion fortune, it had dropped to $35.2 billion by November, making Zuckerberg the 29th-richest person in the world at the time.

Source: Bloomberg


Also in November, Zuckerberg announced Meta would lay off more than 11,000 people, roughly 13% of its workforce, in the biggest cull in the company's history.

Source: Insider

The layoffs were caused in part by overhiring during the pandemic tech boom. "At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth," he said at the time. "Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected."

Source: Insider

In the company's fourth-quarter earnings release in February 2023, Zuckerberg hinted more cuts could be coming when he said 2023 would be Meta's "year of efficiency." The following month, he confirmed those suspicions, announcing Meta would lay off 10,000 additional workers in a second round of job cuts.Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Paley Center For Media in 2019.

Source: Insider, Insider

Some Meta investors remain unhappy with Zuckerberg's metaverse plans, and shares of the company fell 24% after the company disclosed in October 2022 that it missed earnings targets. Zuckerberg said he intends to continue spending billions on building the metaverse.Mark Zuckerberg as an avatar during Connect 2022

Source: Insider

Meta announced a $40 billion stock buyback in February to appease shareholders as the company's business and revenue growth stalled. News of the buyback sent shares up 23%, and Zuckerberg consequently saw his net worth rise, gaining roughly $12 billion in a single day. Today, his net worth is around $75.8 billion, making him the 13th-richest person in the world.The Meta logo.

Source: Insider, TheStreet, Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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15 places to live that will save you money in inflationary America

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:33pm
Kayaker on Chattahoochee River.
  • Inflation is still high, even though the housing market has cooled some.
  • Cost of living varies by place. 
  • From South Texas to South Dakota, here are 15 places with the lowest cost of living in America.

If you want the best bang for your buck in your next move, look no further. 

The rankings and reviews site Niche just released its 2023 list of places with the lowest cost of living in America. 

Though inflation and the housing market have cooled some, the consumer price index rose 6% over the year in February, meaning everyday purchases like gas and groceries are still more expensive.

However, the increased cost of living hasn't hit the country equally across the board. Here are the 15 lowest cost of living places in the United States, many of which are in South Texas.

1. Heidelberg, TexasMcAllen, Texas.

Median Home Value: $45,200

Median Rent: $447

Median Household Income: $28,764

Niche gives the McAllen suburb of 2,011 residents an A+ for cost of living. With such cheap homes, 91% of households own instead of rent. Bordering Mexico at the southernmost tip of Texas, residents are overwhelmingly Hispanic. The weather and commute are also supposed to be quite good, though Niche gives the town a D for health and fitness. Residents also tend to be liberal but less educated: 51% have less than a high school education.

2. Chattahoochee, FloridaKayaker on Chattahoochee River.

Median Home Value: $64,500

Median Rent: $342

Median Household Income: $54,100

With an A+ cost of living but a B for housing, 43% of households rent in the 3,370-person rural Florida Panhandle town. But with its median income, it wouldn't take long to afford owning a house. On Lake Seminole with Georgia, Chattahoochee has lots of parks, and residents tend to be liberal. The town is 53% Black and 42% white. Niche also gave Chattahoochee a C- for crime and safety.

3. Pearl River, MississippiGolden Moon Hotel and Casino, part of the Pearl River Resort, is just outside the town of Pearl River in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Median Home Value: $56,000

Median Rent: $488

Median Household Income: $37,724

With just 3,884 residents in this reservation of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Niche says the conservative town is good for families. 77% of households own rather than rent. Though only 3% of residents have a bachelor's degree, the nearby public schools get an A- from Niche, making the town relatively good for families. Health and fitness get a D+ though.

4. Pine Ridge, South DakotaPine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

Median Home Value: $52,400

Median Rent: $502

Median Household Income: $43,073

In an Oglala Lakota Indian reservation on the border with Nebraska, 64% of households in the suburban-rural town rent. Though there are many families, Niche gives the public schools a D-. Health and fitness also get a D-, but the commute is apparently really good, with an A+ rating from Niche.


5. Dilley, Texas

Median Home Value: $84,000

Median Rent: $430

Median Household Income: $50,278

34% of households rent in the 3,404-person suburban-rural South Texas town. Niche gives the town an A- for jobs, many of which are based at Nix Community General Hospital. Right off of I-35, Dilley is between Laredo on the Mexico border and San Antonio to the northeast. 75% of residents are Hispanic.

With a swell of adults in their 20s and 30s, Dilley also leans liberal but gets a C for families and public schools. Niche gives the town a B- for crime and safety.

6. Sweet Home, ArkansasSweet Home is just south of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Median Home Value: $64,100

Median Rent: $536

Median Household Income: $68,508

80% of residents are Black in Sweet Home. With incomes just under the national average, the jobs in this small rural suburb of Little Rock get a B+ from Niche. Stock full of young professionals, 39% of households rent, the town leans liberal, and 45% of residents have some college or their associate's compared to 29% nationally. Still, Niche gives Sweet Home C's for schools and families.

7. Bridgeport, AlabamaChattanooga, Tennessee is just a short drive from Bridgeport.

Median Home Value: $68,100

Median Rent: $372

Median Household Income: $35,551

Home prices have 41% of households renting in the 2,316-person conservative town near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bridgeport public schools are above average, but only 8% of residents have their bachelor's degree. With a B for crime and safety, Niche gives the town a B for families. The town is in northeast Alabama, close to Tennessee and Georgia.

8. Muniz, TexasCity hall in McAllen, Texas.

Median Home Value: $85,600

Median Rent: $537

Median Household Income: $89,306

This small McAllen suburb is liberal and 95% Hispanic. With such high incomes, 82% of households own instead of rent. Though 42% of residents have some college or an associate's degree compared to 29% for the nation, Niche gives Muniz a C- for families and public schools. The weather is great, but health and fitness and outdoor activities get a D.


9. Diboll, Texas

Median Home Value: $83,000

Median Rent: $406

Median Household Income: $52,717

The 4,562-person East Texas town has a suburban-rural mix that's good for families. It boasts good weather, some top schools, and lower crime rates. 73% of households own rather than rent. Diboll has an ethnically diverse population (41% Hispanic, 29% white, 28% Black) with moderate politics. 

10. San Carlos, TexasFormer passenger train depot in McAllen, Texas.

Median Home Value: $63,200

Median Rent: $424

Median Household Income: $33,507

85% of households own in this McAllen suburb of 4,177. Located in South Texas close to the border with Mexico, San Carlos is 96% Hispanic. Despite above average schools, Niche gives the town a C for jobs and families.

11. Llano Grande, TexasRio Grande River between Texas and Mexico border towns of McAllen and Nuevo Progreso.

Median Home Value: $52,500

Median Rent: $465

Median Household Income: $28,900

This 2,103-person McAllen suburb is an affordable place to retire. While schools and families get a C+ from Niche, parks are plentiful and the cost of living is A+. 88% of households own their residence, more than a third of residents are over 65, and 87% of the population is Hispanic. Llano Grande is in South Texas.

12. Elm Creek, TexasRio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Median Home Value: $103,900

Median Rent: $581

Median Household Income: $90,568

Niche gives this liberal-leaning town of 3,902 a B+ for jobs. With a suburban-rural feel, 93% of households own rather than rent. Though the public schools are above average, only 8% of residents have a bachelor's degree. Close to the border with Mexico, Elm Creek is 94% Hispanic. The South Texas town is on the Rio Grande River right outside of Eagle Pass on the Mexico border.

13. Patton, PennsylvaniaJohnstown, Pennsylvania.

Median Home Value: $76,300

Median Rent: $428

Median Household Income: $56,563

26% of households rent in this small conservative town in central Pennsylvania north of Johnstown. With an A for safety and a B- for schools, Niche gives the sparsely suburban town a B+ for families. Almost half the town just has a high school education. It's also right next to Prince Gallitzin State Park.

14. Siesta Shores, Texas

Median Home Value: $57,000

Median Rent: $391

Median Household Income: $34,688

Despite a C+ for schools and C- for jobs, many families live in this small South Texas town right on the Rio Grande River. 25% of residents have their bachelor's compared to 21% nationally, and 89% are Hispanic. 31% of households rent in Siesta Shores, which has a suburban-rural feel.

15. Tornillo, TexasEl Paso, Texas.

Median Home Value: $81,400

Median Rent: $425

Median Household Income: $64,821

On the border with Mexico just south of El Paso, 97% of households own their residence in this small South Texas town. With C's for families and schools, 23% of the population is 65 or older, and half the population has less than a high school education compared to 11% nationally. Tornillo is also 99% Hispanic.

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The stock market rally is over as commercial real estate risks begin to compound, JPMorgan's chief market strategist says

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:31pm
  • The stock market rally is nearing its end as risks related to commercial real estate begin to rise, according to JPMorgan.
  • The bank believes the highs for the stock market have been made in 2023, with further downside ahead.
  • "CRE stresses appear to be compounding, amplified by banking shocks that could complicate their debt roll," JPMorgan said.

The stock market rally that began in mid-October and extended through the first quarter of 2023 is nearing its end, and it'll be downhill from here, according to JPMorgan chief global market strategist Marko Kolanovic.

In a Monday note, Kolanovic advised investors to stay defensive and not be tempted to buy the dip in stocks, as he thinks the peak in equity prices has already been made for the year. The S&P 500 is up about 4% year-to-date, and has been hovering around 4,000 for the past two months.

Driving Kolanovic's bearish view is a rise in risks associated with commercial real estate, which backs hundreds of billions of dollars of debt that is maturing over the next year that will need to be refinanced at higher interest rates. That could send shocks through the banking system, which has already been rocked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month.

"Commercial real estate stresses appear to be compounding, amplified by banking shocks that could complicate their debt roll," Kolanovic warned.

That, combined with multiple geopolitical crises, means the most vulnerable area of the stock market remains unprofitable companies that rely on raising cash via debt and equity sales to fund their business. 

Those are the same companies that have started 2023 with a sharp move higher. For example, Ark Invest's flagship ETF, which primarily invests in technology companies that often are not yet profitable, is up 20% year-to-date, far outpacing the Nasdaq 100's gain of about 16% over the same time period. 

"With the banking crisis lingering, higher uncertainty justifies a defensive stance," Kolanovic said, adding that economic forecasts still have "a long way to downshift to catch up with markets."

Kolanovic isn't the only one on Wall Street that's concerned about the sky-high debt pile that's coming due for commercial real estate. The sector has been hit hard by falling property values, falling rent prices, and still a sub-50% vacancy rate due to many employees still working from home. 

"Commercial real estate [is] widely seen as next shoe to drop as lending standards for CRE loans to tighten further," Bank of America's Michael Hartnett said last week.

And the weakness is showing up in asset prices. The iShares CMBS ETF, which tracks a portfolio of bonds backed by commercial mortgages, is trading well below the lows seen at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and is just 6% above its lowest levels since the inception of the fund in 2012. 

Meanwhile, shares of office REITs are trading at multi-year lows, with Boston Properties Group trading at its lowest level since 2009, down about 68% from its record high reached right before the pandemic began.

Whether that weakness spills over into the broader stock market remains to be seen, but Kolanovic isn't taking any chances as he leans more bearish towards stocks than he has in recent months. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

'The storm signals are flying': Evercore founder says the US is barreling towards a recession

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:17pm
Roger Altman.
  • Evercore founder Roger Altman says the odds of a recession are rising, he told CNBC on Monday.
  • Altman breaks down which indicators he's using to gauge economic health. 
  • "We could be heading into that kind of economic softness, and that might affect credit quality and banking health."

Roger Altman, the founder and chairman of Evercore, said the odds of the US going into a recession continue to rise as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates and markets react to global banking turmoil. 

"The storm signals are flying on that. I think you have to say to yourself the risks of recession have risen a lot. Partly because open market financial conditions have tightened," Altman told CNBC Monday, referring, in part, to the central bank's rate hikes. 

Although the banking sector is under tremendous stress, per Altman, contagion from the failure of Silicon Valley Bank is largely contained. However, the probability that US economy is barreling towards a recession continues to go up.

The Evercore exec is eyeing indicators such as a "sharply" inverted yield curve, which is when long-term interest rates are less than short-term ones. This is a common recession signal because it shows that bond investors may be moving money from short to long-term bonds, which reflects expectations for a decline in interest rates in the long term.

Altman also pointed to the federal fund futures contract, which shows market expectations for monetary policies. There's a "huge gap," Altman said, in where the market see rates going versus where the Fed does.

"[This] tells you that the market, at the moment, thinks that the economy will be so weak at year-end that the Fed will have to be cutting [rates]," he added, noting that the index of leading indicators and money supply data support his view. "We could be heading into that kind of economic softness, and that might affect credit quality and banking health."

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Angry Trump supporters have swamped the Manhattan DA's office with hundreds of calls spewing racial slurs and parroting Trump's rhetoric

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:08pm
Alvin Bragg; Donald Trump
  • The Manhattan attorney's office investigating Donald Trump has been "inundated" with calls from angry supporters.
  • The callers have been parroting Trump's rhetoric and hurling racial slurs against DA Alvin Bragg. 
  • In recent days, the Manhattan DA's office has been the victim of several death threats.

Since Donald Trump falsely predicted his New York arrest more than a week ago, the Manhattan district attorney's office investigating the former president has been completely "inundated" with angry callers parroting his rhetoric against the prosecutor and hurling racial slurs, Insider has learned. 

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has received more than 1,000 phone calls and emails from Trump supporters, including multiple death threats, as a potential indictment looms against Trump over allegations of a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, a source familiar with the matter told Insider. 

Callers have made "threatening" and "racially-charged" comments against Bragg — a Democrat and Manhattan's first Black district attorney — and, like Trump and other Republican backers, have accused the DA's office of carrying out a "witch-hunt" and the "political persecution" of Trump, Insider has learned. 

"These people are living, breathing mouthpieces" of Trump, a source said of the callers. 

Some callers have angrily repeated right-wing conspiracy theories amplified by Trump about Bragg being a "puppet" funded by billionaire Jewish philanthropist George Soros, while other callers have called Bragg the N-word, according to the source.

In recent days, the Manhattan DA's office has been the victim of several death threats — some directly about Bragg — in the form of calls, letters, social media posts, and emails, Insider has learned. 

Last Friday, an envelope of ultimately harmless white powder was sent to Bragg at the office building where the ongoing grand jury investigating Trump sits. The envelope reportedly contained a note addressed to Bragg that read: "ALVIN: I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!" 

The New York Police Department is still investigating and no arrests have been made yet, an NYPD spokeswoman told Insider on Monday. 

Trump claimed on his social media app, Truth Social, on March 18 that he would be arrested in the hush-money case on Tuesday of last week, but that did not happen. 

Trump has ramped up his attacks against Bragg and his office as a grand jury continues to investigate whether to indict Trump over his alleged role in indirectly paying Daniels $130,000 in the days before the 2016 election to keep quiet about an alleged affair.

In his social media posts, Trump has called on his backers to "protest" and "take our nation back," threatened "potential death & destruction" in response to a possible indictment against him and mocked calls for peaceful demonstrations. 

Last week, Trump called for Bragg's removal in a Truth Social post, described him as "a danger" to the country, and accused him in an all-caps rant of being a "SOROS BACKED ANIMAL WHO JUST DOESN'T CARE ABOUT RIGHT OR WRONG."


 In a since-deleted post, Trump also shared a photo of himself holding a baseball bat, ready to swing, next to Bragg.

Even Trump's own defense attorney admitted that the post was "ill-advised."

"I'm not his social media consultant," Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina told NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "I think that was an ill-advised post that one of his social media people put up, and he quickly took down when he realized the rhetoric and photo that was attached to it."

Meanwhile, Bragg said in an internal memo last Friday following reports about the envelope with white powder that some staffers have received "offensive or threatening phone calls or emails directly" to their desk lines and added that employees' safety "is our top priority."

"I am very sorry that you have had to endure these distressing disruptions to your workdays," Bragg wrote in the memo in which he praised staffers for their "strength and professionalism during this time."

The DA continued, "We will continue to apply the law evenly and fairly, which is what each of you does every single day."

Democratic New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat and community leaders on Monday held a press conference condemning the "Republican-backed racist, and hateful attacks targeting" Bragg

Espaillat said that members of the Republican party should call out Trump over his recent attacks and commentary. 

"For a so-called party of law and order, many of them are not behaving in that fashion," Espaillat said, adding, "We will not have another January 6th in New York City."

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Can tiny homes save California? 4 villages illustrate their potentials and pitfalls.

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 2:00pm
A shelter designed by Washington-based company Pallet, which has built tiny home villages throughout California for people experiencing homelessness.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom is dedicating $30 million to build 1,200 homes for homeless people.
  • It's part of a $1 billion effort to solve homelessness, but local programs show it's no easy task.
  • Here's how 4 local programs have fared throughout the state.

Sometimes the answer to big problems comes in tiny boxes, and California just made a $1 billion bet on that.

The state is set to use $30 million of that money to provide four cities with 1,200 tiny homes for an estimated 115,000  homeless residentsGov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this month. 

Some 200 units will be sent to San Jose, 500 to Los Angeles, 350 to Sacramento and 150 to San Diego, according to the state. These cities and other municipalities will accept the units as part of their efforts to meet the state's ambitious plan of reducing homelessness by 15% by 2025.

"The crisis of homelessness will never be solved without first solving the crisis of housing," Newsom said. "The two issues are inextricably linked." 

While this is the first time the state is providing this many tiny homes directly, the solution is not a new phenomenon.

California has allocated billions more over the past few years in an attempt to alleviate the states' housing shortage and eradicate street homelessness. Much of this money poured into cities and towns through local grants — and some cities used it to fund tiny home villages that build temporary shelters. On top of that, some cities have come up with funds on their own for the development of these small, but practical, homes. 

Local versions of this plan have garnered mixed reviews.

Those in favor say that these units are typically cheaper to build and are quickly erected, which help move the needle on the overall housing supply. They are also more private than traditional congregate shelters, which have long had a reputation as a somewhat dangerous option, especially as COVID swept through the nation in 2020.

Even the private sector has jumped in on the trend: in 2021, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state's former governor, donated 25 tiny homes to homeless veterans around the state, The New York Post reported. 

But others say that the housing is inherently temporary and funds should go towards more permanent options. Sometimes, unforeseen delays and extra costs delay projects, like one in Sacramento. 

Here is a list of some of the municipalities that have built tiny homes to solve this issue and how they have fared. 

Los AngelesTiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village in Los Angeles.

As of December, there were more people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles — the US' second largest metro after New York — than in any other American city, with an estimated 69,000 residents that are houseless. It is set to receive the lionshare of the 1,200 units from the state.

LA also has had a lot of experience with tiny home villages, which have been a proposed solution to the crisis since at least 2017. It's also home to the country's largest tiny home village for unhoused people, which was built in 2021. There are a total of 228 beds in the development across 117 units and it cost the city $5.1 million. 

The villages have been largely touted as a success. 

One Los Angeles lawmaker told the LA Times that there are fewer encampments and people have a clean, safe place to sleep. In terms of providing some housing with dignity, it met its goal. 

But the lawmaker also noted that there was a dearth of services that accompanied the housing development, and some residents had to be thrown out for breaking the rules.  In at least one case, a resident suffering from a mental health crisis turned violent.

Despite putting roofs over some heads, the city needs more than just the built environment to solve the issue of homelessness, the LATimes reported. A better solution for the city would be to build affordable, and more permanent housing, experts told Curbed. 

San Jose Gov. Gavin Newsom has made eradicating homelessness a top priority.

San Jose was quick to adopt tiny homes as temporary shelters, per the East Bay Times. As of 2022, it had four different villages with 397 units, according to Spotlight San Jose, a local news outlet. But when the city announced its plans to expand two sites and add more, residents opposed it, according to Spotlight's reporting. 

Residents had two issues with the proposal: for one, one of the sites was near a school — a location that they felt was inappropriate. They also wanted to preserve the land as open space, something they said was crucial to the health of the neighborhood. 

After intense backlash, the city axed the expansion, per Spotlight. People in the neighborhood asserted that there were better locations for the homes, but lawmakers and tiny home advocates believe residents will always push back on these projects.


The interior of ConnectHomes' Shelter 3, eight of which will be installed in Long Beach.

The first Sacramento tiny home village for temporary shelter is still in the works in South Sacramento.

The 100-unit project was budgeted at $7.6 million last year. Just like with the San Jose project, residents were not happy about its placement, CapRadio, a local news station reported. The city was able to move forward, anyway.

But as of early this month, delays and budget overruns were still nagging the project, according to CapRadio. Until the project is done, Sacramento is paying a half-a-million dollars for a security detail at the units. 

The state may have a solution to that. It's set to send tiny homes to cities already constructed, eliminating much of the cost and process for local governments.

San FranciscoConnectHomes' Shelter 3, one of the buildings that will be built in Long Beach.

Like most cities throughout the country, The City by the Bay has seen an uptick in homelessness since the pandemic. It — like many cities in California — has turned to tiny homes as temporary shelters for people living on the streets. 

In the South of Market neighborhood, the city funded a 79-unit village in March of 2022.  A year later, non-profit directors said that  it has been "transformative," for people who have stayed there, according to the San Francisco Examiner. 

The village is a hopeful sign of what some support from the state may be able to do. San Francisco is not set to receive any tiny homes from the state 

While the city is debating whether to add more of these villages to certain neighborhoods — like the Mission District — the price tag for each unit is about 10 times what it would be in other areas of the country, officials told the San Francisco Chronicle. 


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I almost lost $300,000 at Silicon Valley Bank. Here's why I think the fallout is going to hurt women of color trying to start businesses.

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:57pm
Mitch Gilbert, the founder of Oya Femtech Apparel, banked with SVB.
  • Startup founder Mitchella Gilbert almost lost $300,000 in the Silicon Valley Bank collapse. 
  • Today's uncertain banking market does not bode well for founders of color, they said.
  • Gilbert revealed how other founders of color can protect themselves amid banking uncertainty.

Switching business bank accounts from Silicon Valley Bank to Chase Bank was a to-do list item in Mitchella "Mitch" Gilbert's notebook prior to the fallout earlier this month. 

The startup founder knew it was time to diversify their capital for financial security. But they were too late. When Gilbert arrived at SXSW on March 10, they learned of the crash alongside their investors.  

"It was actually a really great way to learn that you potentially lost over $300,000," Gilbert told Insider, adding that they were happy to have investor support in such a tumultuous time. 

Gilbert, who is the cofounder and CEO of the femtech and athletic apparel company Oya, regained access to their funds on March 13, after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said it would protect depositors with funds in SVB. They transferred their funds to Chase Bank and plan on moving half of that money into First Women's Bank.

However, the experience has altered Gilbert's business mindset and financial plans, they said. 

"We're already in an economy that is having a detrimental effect on founders of color," Gilbert said, noting the decrease in venture capital investments in Black-owned businesses. "When you're adding in this additional volatility, those numbers are in no way going to get any better." 

Gilbert, who has raised $1.3 million in pre-seed VC, revealed how other founders can protect themselves amid banking uncertainty. This is an as-told-to story based on an interview with Gilbert that has been edited for length and clarity. 

SVB's detrimental impact on founders of color

I could have lost over $300,000, which would've cut my runway from 14 months of capital to about six months and drastically changed our strategy.

Payroll was the biggest concern: Even investors were texting us ensuring we knew how important it was to make payroll despite the news. 

I know multiple other founders who gave up additional equity that weekend for bridge capital (a interim form of financing a founder can use until permanent funds are available), negatively impacting their balance sheets. They were trying to do the right thing in order to pay employees but it was discouraging to see venture capitalists who were essentially acting like sharks and taking advantage of that need.

Many of the women who were impacted by SVB, specifically the Brown women, noticed how quickly our government reacted. It was this crazy feeling of "I think we'll get the money back because our government doesn't let rich white men fail."

Yet still, the uncertain banking market does not bode well for the future of investments in diverse founders. 

Founders need to find opportunities that will serve them

It's important that founders find opportunities that will protect them along the way. 

There's a lot of fear, sadness, and frustration right now. But I advise entrepreneurs to go after non-dilutive capital (funding that doesn't require the recipient to give up equity in the company), which can be won through business and pitch competitions. I also advise them to go after low-interest or interest-free loans. These alternative methods of generating money are especially important post-SVB-collapse and while speculation spreads about other banks.

I am excited about a new bank called First Women's Bank that opened in 2021. It was started by women to support underfunded entrepreneurs. When SVB closed, I was pushed toward FWB by my investors as the bank opened floods of accounts for other women founders and founders of color.

What that really means is that our community has just become that much tighter. We don't expect these other big groups to take care of us. So we have to band together and figure out how to take care of ourselves. 

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The latest US bank crisis is opening doors for China to assert global ascendancy, Yale economist says

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:51pm
Stephen Roach.
  • Volatility in the US banking system is an opportunity for China, Yale's Stephen Roach said.
  • In an op-ed for Project Syndicate, he pointed to weaknesses that were exposed from SVB's collapse.
  • "A rising China is taking dead aim at crisis-prone America," Roach said.

The latest bank crisis is opening doors for China to raise its standing in the world, according to Yale economist Stephen Roach.

He pointed to recent turmoil rocking the US banking sector, starting with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in early March, which raised fears about other regional banks

"For the past 20 years, a group within the senior ranks of the Chinese leadership has argued that America is in a state of permanent decline, providing an opening for China's global ascendancy. This view gained support in the aftermath of the US-made global financial crisis, and most assuredly will gain even more support as the SVB crisis hits a new segment of the US financial system," Roach said in an op-ed for Project Syndicate on Friday. "A rising China could hardly ask for more."

Though some experts say SVB's collapse was due to the bank's unique problems rather than a systemic issue, Roach believes the crisis is emblematic of deeper problems in the financial system.

The bank began its rapid descent after posting a lost on the sale of a bond portfolio. The Fed's aggressive rate hikes over the last year weighed heavily on bond prices, and the losses caused a rapid pullback in deposits that led SVB to its demise. 

Roach called the failure of SVB a sign that the US was "woefully unprepared" to deal with rising inflation and tighter monetary policy, adding that the Federal Reserve "blew it again" with their tightening cycle.

And while the Fed's bank stress tests are intended to improve risk-management strategies at large banks in event of a recession, the Fed has overlooked small regional banks in its supervision.

"That's precisely the point of the increasingly worrisome interplay between another US-made financial shock and a sharply escalating Sino-American cold war. A rising China is taking dead aim at crisis-prone America," Roach warned.

Other economists have also warned of the rising economic power of China. "Dr. Doom" economist Nouriel Roubini said the Chinese yuan could soon end dollar dominance.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Markets may be entering a 'lost decade' for global economic growth amid financial instability and high inflation, World Bank says

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:38pm
Grocery store worker stocking produce at Foodland.
  • The World Bank warned that the global economic growth could average 2.2% for the next decade, the lowest in 30 years. 
  • Reasons include lagging productivity and lasting repercussions of the pandemic, on top of a bank crisis. 
  • In a Monday report, the World Bank said the result "could be a lost decade in the making...for the whole world."

The next 10 years could bring the slowest rate of growth for the global economy in decades as financial instability and high inflation weigh on productivity, according to the World Bank.

In a Monday report, World Bank economists estimated that the global economy's potential growth rate could average 2.2% for the rest of the decade.

By comparison, in the early 2000s, that measure was 3.5%, and it was 2.6% for the most recent decade. 

Ongoing inflation pressures, financial uncertainty, and unfavorable demographics will all drag on growth, the economists wrote, adding that an aging population will weaken the labor force in advanced economies, and that international trade has also turned sluggish.

Furthermore, lingering repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a shock to human capital, will negatively impact growth.

The usual forces that drive economic trends are now retreating, which in turn impacts government policies, spending, and interest rates. A worsening bank crisis may also exacerbate growth constraints, the group said.

"The result could be a lost decade in the making—not just for some countries or regions as has occurred in the past—but for the whole world," the officials said.

Still, the authors of the World Bank report noted that potential GDP growth could be boosted as high as 2.9% if nations focus policy on growing labor supply, increasing productivity, and incentivizing investment. 

"All of these things will be curtailed because of weaker potential growth going forward," Ayhan Kose, the group's chief economist, told reporters Monday, per Axios. "The slowdown we're describing could be much sharper if another global financial crisis erupts, especially if that crisis is accompanied by a global recession."

Meanwhile, following January's annual Consumer Price Index reading of 6.4%, US inflation rose 6.0% year-over-year in February, in line with expectations. The Federal Reserve last Wednesday hiked interest rates for the ninth consecutive time with a 25-basis-point increase, smaller than the previous 50-basis-point move. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

OpenAI CEO says it's not 'a big dunk' that he fears super intelligent AI, and its risks are 'far beyond anything we're prepared for'

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:30pm
OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman has continued to express concerns about the potential for AI to cause harm, despite its "tremendous benefits."
  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said AI's risks include "disinformation problems or economic shocks."
  • Altman said he empathizes with people who are very afraid of advanced AI.
  • OpenAI has said it taught GPT-4 to avoid answering questions seeking "illicit advice."

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is still sounding the alarm about the potential dangers of advanced artificial intelligence, saying that despite its "tremendous benefits," he also fears the potentially unprecedented scope of its risks. 

His company — the creator behind hit generative AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E — is keeping that in mind and working to teach AI systems to avoid putting out harmful content, Altman said on tech researcher Lex Fridman's podcast, in an episode posted on Saturday. 

"I think it's weird when people think it's like a big dunk that I say, I'm a little bit afraid," Altman told Fridman. "And I think it'd be crazy not to be a little bit afraid, and I empathize with people who are a lot afraid."

"The current worries that I have are that there are going to be disinformation problems or economic shocks, or something else at a level far beyond anything we're prepared for," he added. "And that doesn't require superintelligence." 

As a hypothetical, he raised the possibility that large language models, known as LLMs, could influence the information and interactions social media users experience on their feeds. 

"How would we know if on Twitter, we were mostly having like LLMs direct whatever's flowing through that hive mind?" Altman said.

Twitter's CEO Elon Musk did not respond to Insider's emailed request for comment. Representatives for OpenAI did not respond to a request for comment beyond Mr. Altman's remarks on the podcast. 

OpenAI released its latest model GPT-4 this month, saying it was better than earlier versions at things like excelling in standardized tests like the bar exam for lawyers. The company also said the updated model is capable of understanding and commenting on images, and of teaching users by engaging with them like a tutor. 

Companies like Khan Academy, which provides online classes, are already tapping into the technology, using GPT-4 to build AI tools

But OpenAI has also been upfront about kinks that still need to be worked out with these types of large language models. AI models can "amplify biases and perpetuate stereotypes," according to a document by OpenAI explaining how it addressed some of GPT-4's risks. 

Because of this, the company tells users not to use its products where the stakes are more serious, like "high risk government decision making (e.g, law enforcement, criminal justice, migration and asylum), or for offering legal or health advice," according to the document.  

Meanwhile, the model is also learning to be more judicious about answering queries, according to Altman. 

"In the spirit of building in public and, and bringing society along gradually, we put something out, it's got flaws, we'll make better versions," Altman told Fridman. "But yes, the system is trying to learn questions that it shouldn't answer." 

For instance, an early version of GPT-4 had less of a filter about what it shouldn't say, according to OpenAI's document about its approach to AI safety. It was more inclined to answer questions about where to buy unlicensed guns, or about self-harm, whereas the version launched declined to answer those types of questions, according to OpenAI's document. 

"I think we, as OpenAI, have responsibility for the tools we put out into the world," Altman told Fridman. 

"There will be tremendous benefits, but, you know, tools do wonderful good and real bad," he added. "And we will minimize the bad and maximize the good."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Evolving Payments Purchasing Chain: How Digitization and Economic Pressures Are Changing the Ecosystem

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:30pm
  • Acquirers and processors are competing to enhance their value propositions
  • Card and automated clearing house (ACH) payment networks are dueling for volume
  • Issuers can lean on customer relationships and tranches of data to respond to innovation

Amid economic uncertainty, payments providers are making meaningful shifts to digitize and innovate as they continue to grow at a projected 8.3% compound annual growth rate worldwide between 2021 and 2026, per Boston Consulting Group. 

The changing economic landscape is leading to consolidation and a stronger focus on innovation. Both large and small players in the space can adapt their products to address current market needs and press on toward digitization. Although driving towards digitization increasingly becomes the industry standard, networks like Visa and Mastercard will likely keep raising swipe fees under the argument that these fees are integral to funding security, innovation, and credit card rewards systems. As an alternative to networks, we are seeing strong adoption of instant payments (which nearly a third of US retailers are exploring, per a June 2022 survey) and buy now, pay later (which we forecast more than 2 in 5 US digital buyers will leverage in 2023). 


The rise of digitization and noncard payment methods could pose a large threat to issuers' transaction-based revenues. In order to stay afloat, issuers will look to reap more value from existing customers. This should not prove to be a challenge anytime soon, as consumers in North America still trust banks more than fintech providers, according to a December 2021 Mastercard survey. However, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau makes moves to increase competition through regulation, consumers could find it easier to change banks in the future. To prevent a mass exodus, issuers will leverage customer data to create more personalized offerings. 


What is abundantly clear is that the diversification of the payments landscape paired with the threat of new regulation is creating more opportunities for the savvy consumer. In order to stay afloat, players must focus on the needs of their customers, convenience, and expanding their products to include more payment method options. Curious to learn more about the evolving payments purchasing chain? Click here to purchase this report directly from Insider Intelligence. Want more data? Click here to purchase The Payments Ecosystem collection.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Remote job options are dwindling

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:22pm
  • A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzes the state of telework in 2022.
  • The data finds that the percentage of businesses with little to no telework skyrocketed last year.
  • That comes as companies tighten their purse strings and try to claw back power from workers.

It's the end of a remote work era, as employers call their employees back into offices — and workers see their power dwindling.

According to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — which The Wall Street Journal recently reported on — 72.5% of private-sector establishments surveyed from August 1 to September 30, 2022 had little to no telework. That's a big leap from 2021, when just 60.1% of establishments surveyed from July to September 2021 reported little to no telework.

11.1% of these establishments had everyone teleworking all the time based on the August to September 2022 data. That's higher than the 10.3% share for July to September 2021.

The data helps showcase a vibe shift happening in the realm of work, as workers found themselves thrown from a hot labor market into one that's a bit more of a mixed bag. As mass layoffs sweep some sectors, companies are simultaneously asking for their workers to return. If 2021 was marked by the Great Resignation, and workers demanding and receiving more, 2022 was about employers trying to claw back some of their power — and part of that was making employees choose whether they wanted to come in or quit.

While companies in certain industries were more likely to have their workers teleworking rarely or never compared to other industries, like the accommodation and food services sector and the natural resources and mining sector, there are a few industries where being fully remote has been common. The following chart shows select industries and which ones among them have the highest share of establishments where people teleworked all the time.

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BLS data shows the information sector had a relatively high share of establishments where workers worked remotely all the time, at 42.2%.

After the pandemic forced millions of formerly in-person workers from the office into home offices, many found they never wanted to go back. Notably, some Gen Z and early career workers did find themselves craving in-person face time, as they found themselves graduating into a newly pandemic-shaped work world, although some were still willing to quit if forced into the office. Despite assertions from CEOs like Elon Musk that working from home leads to less productive workers, economists have said that's not the case.

But even as workers feel more productive, managers don't necessarily believe that they are — what Microsoft researchers call "productivity paranoia." That may be one driver behind the return to office, as firms find themselves under greater pressure to prove returns in a tough economic climate.

While remote options may seem to be dwindling, some experts Insider talked to say that remote work is going to continue to be prevalent. Prominent pushes against return-to-office mandates show that workers aren't willing to part with their new status quo.

"Remote work has been a huge and permanent change to how people work and live," Adam Ozimek, chief economist at the Economic Innovation Group, told Insider. "I don't think it's going anywhere."

Are you being asking to return to the office? Have you had to choose between returning to the office or losing your job? Are you a manager dealing with "productivity paranoia"? Reach out to these reporters at and

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The US may not be able to dodge recession as bank failures could lead to a credit crunch for small business, chief economist says

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:17pm
Banks have made access to credit harder since 2022.
  • The US is at greater risk of a recession because of a looming credit crunch for small business, Pantheon Macro's chief economist said. 
  • Access to credit was getting tight before this month's bank failures, and now a "further ratcheting" is in store.
  • He had thought the US economy could dodge a recession but that may be unlikely now, he said. 

The US economy appears firmly on the road to recession as small businesses will face higher hurdles to obtain credit in the wake of the first bank failures since 2008, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said  Monday.

Banks were already tightening access to credit after the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates last year to cool down the hottest inflationary environment in 40 years. 

Then came this month's collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Silvergate Bank. Regulators shuttered SVB and Signature to prevent a further run on deposits. 

Investors worried about the safety of their uninsured deposits have pushed $286 billion into money market funds since the bank failures.     

"[You] have deposits running away from banks and going at the money funds and you have bank management thinking, "Okay, how do we survive this now? Well, we probably don't do it by by lending," Ian Shepherdson,  chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in an CNBC interview on Monday. 

"So my guess is what we're going to see over the next few months is a further ratcheting up of lending standards," he said.

"In a modern banking-driven developed economy, when the flow of credit is squeezed, bad things happen to growth. So, I'm getting really nervous now that an economy that I thought was going to dodge recession - just -  is now at much greater risk of falling into one,"  said Shepherdson, who called the 2008 housing bubble.

A recession "could be quite severe" and Federal Reserve officials are still gauging the scope of likely contraction in the world's largest economy, he said. 

"[Bank] credit is the lifeblood for small businesses and most people work for small businesses. They drive a huge amount of economic activity, and they're really going to struggle," he said. 

Companies with fewer than 500 staff members make up 58% of the privately employed workforce in the US, Shepherdson wrote in a Pantheon Macro note published late last week, illustrating the importance of small businesses to economic activity. 

Strength in the labor market has fed the view that the US economy could stave off a recession or prevent a deeper downturn in economic activity. As of February, the job market had posted roughly two years of growth. Part of that time, the Fed's rate hikes have been working their way through the economy. The Fed has raised interest rates from zero to a range of 4.75%-5% since March 2022. 

"It's not like this comes out of a clear blue sky," Shepherdson said of a looming credit crunch.

"I've been watching these loan officer surveys from the Fed itself getting tighter and tighter and already getting up to levels that normally are consistent with a pretty unpleasant situation for business borrowers and then we get the bank failures on top," he said.

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I've directed music videos for Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Lil Wayne and more — the bigger the artist, the more stressful the job is

Mon, 03/27/2023 - 1:16pm
Hannah Lux Davis said that when she directed her first big budget video, the male artists were surprised to see her on set as the director.
  • Music video director Hannah Lux Davis grew up watching TRL and always loved music videos.
  • Today, Davis has made a name for herself as the go-to director for popular artists like Ariana Grande.
  • She says video budgets aren't what they seem — some artists have more money to spend than others.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Hannah Lux Davis, a film and video director based in Los Angeles. Her words have been edited for length and clarity.

I took out a student loan to pay for my first two official music videos. I flew a band I grew up with from Seattle to LA to film them.

I had to pay back that loan for awhile, but after film school, I was commissioned for an $800 video, then a $3,000 one, and so on until I was directing videos for some very well-known artists, like Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and many more.

I was a teen during the height of TRL, which really spurned my love of music videos 

While in film school, I knew that I probably wasn't going to be writing short films and trying to get into festivals — I wanted to direct immediately, and consistently — so the music video industry seemed like a great path for me.

I always loved music videos and was very passionate about them. I grew up watching MTV's music video show "TRL," and was inspired to be a director by music videos from Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, and Janet Jackson.

I directed Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next," "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" and "7 Rings" videos.

I used to think a show like TRL should still exist, but music visuals are just too on demand now with YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and the rest. There are still audiences who love to dissect whole videos, especially die-hard fans, but a lot of people only watch short clips on social media. That's really changed the way I approach the videos I direct.

One thing I do is change setups a lot. It's not about cutting back to the same setup over and over again throughout anymore, like you'd see in older videos. It has to feel like the video is always changing and giving something new. It's less about the subtleties now and more about making a big splash.

My first very well-known video was for a collab with Lil Wayne, Future, and Drake

I've done lots of big-budget videos, but I still always feel like I'm trying to get my next big one. The first video I did for an artist that everyone knew was the Lil Wayne video for "Love Me" in 2014, featuring Future and Drake. That was the first one that was like, "Okay, this is a big deal."

I was one of the first female music video directors to work with multiple Cash Money Records rappers together in one video. It was a big deal at the time because I remember the artists were a little taken aback that I was the director. They were like, "There's a girl directing."

Today it's expected and there are many female directors, which is amazing. But at that time, I was very nervous. I worked through it by approaching the job with a sort of naive confidence. I had a great team around me and I knew I had a lot of support. You really just have to fake it 'til you make it sometimes, and this was no exception.

Pitching for a music video is about selling how your vision can convey what the artist wants to sayI've also directed multiple videos for Demi Lovato, like "I Love Me" and "Cool for the Summer."

Video directing gigs always start with relationships and who I can reach out to. Directors can reach out to managers and artists directly and side-door the usual process more often today than when I first started out. I have a great rep who will get me in with video commissioners and with managers, too.

When I'm trying to get a video job, first I'll get the song, the parameters of what they're looking for, and what's called a video brief  — which includes the budget, the dates they're looking to shoot, and the type of video they're looking to make, whether it's a narrative, a performance video, or some sort of theme.

Once I have those things, I'll listen to the song over and over and over and try to come up with a concept I think feel feels right for that artist at that time in their career. When I have a good sense of what the artist wants, I'll put together a treatment, which is an eye-catching PDF with images and text that really sells my ideas. 

People don't realize how little time we have to make a video — and we often have a lot less money to work with than people think

It's insane how fast we work in the music video industry. Once you're awarded a job, you could possibly end up shooting it by the end of the week. Sometimes we have to start moving on the job before it's officially booked because there are permits, casting, and other things that need to happen really quickly. If we aren't awarded the job, then we just scrap what we're doing.

I think fans are maybe a bit more clued in to how money works in the music industry now, but it still seems like a lot of people think our budgets are bigger than what they really are. They assume some artists get more money for a video, so they're comparing their videos to other artists' videos. With Taylor Swift, for example — everybody knows that she'll spend a lot of money on a video, but not all artists can do that.

The scramble begins well before shoot day — shooting a music video is always chaotic

My role is to communicate to every single department what I want everything to look and feel like, from the way the actors look, what the lighting should look like, and what the inspiration and vibe should be. Sometimes it's tricky to explain things and find the right references to make sure everyone's on the same page, especially because we don't have a lot of time. 

The shoot date itself is always insane, no matter how well you plan — but to start, everything is very timed out, down to the minute. We usually have about 12 to 14 hours to make the video. Most videos are shot in a day; a really big budget video might take two days. Once everything is planned and we're set to go, I get to do my favorite part of the job — making sure the artist feels good, working with them on their performance, and helping them navigate the day and what's coming next.  

The most stressful videos are the ones with the higher stakes — the bigger the artist, the higher the stakes

Some of the more stressful projects for me have been the ones with the highest stakes. With Ariana Grande, we did the "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" and "7 Rings" videos together around Christmas of 2018 — and those just felt like a lot of pressure because it was four days of shooting two different videos.

It was a lot stacked onto itself, and the stakes are so high because she's such a well-known artist. At the same time, you're dealing with scheduling issues because Ariana was obviously very busy — plus there are story changes she'd want last minute, which really affects a lot of moving pieces.

My favorite part of the job is making sure the artist feels good and working with them on their performance.

Other videos that are a lot of pressure are the ones where you have multiple artists together in a collaboration, because it's always a moment when certain artists are on-screen together. As the director, you really want to make sure you're capitalizing on that moment. 

Being a music video director isn't for the faint of heart

I love my job, but you'd be crazy not to question your career path when you're under the stress and pressure that a music video director is often under. It's a really hard job — and I don't even mean because of the pressure you put on yourself. It's a very high stakes career because you have to create a video that's like that artists's baby — it's so important to them.

It can add up to be a lot because of the timelines and the demands of it all: it's constantly really late hours and it's a lot of work trying to think of ideas all the time. Creativity is a muscle you have to work — it's not a skill you can just call on if you're stagnant. 

If none of that scares you off, there are two big pieces of advice I have for anyone trying to break in or stay in music video directing.

1. Stay on top of networking with artists and managers. Keep in touch with people, but don't be annoying about it. People want to work with their friends and people they know — so being in position for that is really important. If you want to be in this industry, you really should be in LA or New York where everything's happening.

2. If you want to direct, you should really learn how to edit. That's how everything you shoot comes together. So much problem-solving happens in the editing room, so it's helpful as a director to understand that process while you're shooting.

Lastly, I think you have to check yourself — if you don't absolutely love this work or you're not crazy-obsessed with it, then you probably shouldn't be doing it. 

If you work in Hollywood and would like to share your story, email Eboni Boykin-Patterson at

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