Since launching The Hustle 6 months ago we realized something big: the world is full of a ton of misleading crap content. People like you and me have to sift through hundreds of headlines just to figure out what’s going on in the world and what it means. That’s why we created this site...to create our own original content that wasn’t, you know, crap.
But over the past few months we also realized we needed to do more. While spending 14 days on LSD is a worthy read, we were missing out on current events.
Because of that, today we’re launching a daily email that explains the most important stuff going on in the world of business, tech, and culture and what it means to young, ambitious professionals like yourself.
This daily email will be like your smart, good-looking and no bullsh*t internet friend summarizing the big news stories over a cup of overpriced coffee or whatever you people drink these days.
We’ll still be creating the original content you know us for and will put those stories in the daily email. Don’t you worry ‘bout that. But we’ll also spend each morning sifting through the news so you don’t have to waste hours on your bloated Facebook feed. Now you can do better stuff with your time, like browse Instagram.
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Let’s do this,
Sam, co-founder of The Hustle
PS: We’ll also be live streaming our daily editorial meetings on Facebook so you can tell us what you think we should cover. Like our Facebook page to see when those happen. Get you some.
We got a leak on our hands
Last year an anonymous source sent a German newspaper millions of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama law firm that sets up shell companies to help wealthy individuals and companies hide their wealth.
Yesterday, those documents were made public in what Edward Snowden called the biggest leak ever.
What’s the problem? Aren’t shell companies legal?
Yes. In fact, up to 8% of the world’s wealth is held in “offshore tax havens” like Panama and the British Virgin Islands. Firms like Mossack Fonseca legally create anonymous shell companies to help clients maintain privacy. For example, Apple, has a shell company called SixtyEight Research to help keep their electric car plans under wraps. And lots of celebrities use shell companies when buying real estate since those transactions are generally public record.
This leak just revealed a whole lot of corruption
While most shell companies are set up for corporations, the leaked documents revealed hundreds of world leaders are hiding money in offshore accounts. And this is, well, kind of shady.
For example, Vladimir Putin appears to control $2 billion worth of offshore, nontaxable assets. The president of China, soccer star Lionel Messi, Jackie Chan and many drug cartels were also mentioned in the documents.
And get this: the Prime Minister of Iceland may be forced to resign after the leaked documents prove he secretly owned the debt of failed Icelandic banks while he was involved in negotiating their fate. Conflict of interest much?
But no Americans were named...
Details on this whole thing are still coming out, but so far the most significant takeaway is how far the world’s wealthiest people have gone to evade taxes...and how the most powerful nations allow it to happen. Additionally, the documents suspiciously do not include any Americans, prompting the German paper to tweet that ‘don’t worry, more info is coming soon.’
Dis gon be good.
Tesla Model 3: Car or spaceship?
It only took Tesla 36 hours to sell 276,000 Model 3 cars via pre-orders. Customers paid a $1,000 deposit to reserve a car, meaning Tesla did $276 million in deposits alone. And with a $35,000 price tag, that’s over $10 billion if all those deposits become sales...all for a car that won’t be ready for another couple years.
But wait there’s more...
During the media event for the Model 3 last week, the steering wheel in the car looked, well, normal. But on Sunday night, Elon Musk tweeted that it’s not the version that will be in the final car, saying the Model 3’s steering controls will “feel like a spaceship.”
In other words, it’s possible we’ll have 270,000 driverless cars very, very soon.
Richard Branson just got rich(er)
Early this morning, Alaska Airlines announced that it’s buying Virgin America for $2.6 billion. The merger will form the fifth-largest carrier in the U.S.
But Branson ain’t very happy
Virgin America customers are extremely loyal to Richard Branson’s airline, which is known for its great customer service, quirky staff, and club-like atmo. So, any buyout - even by another airline praised for its customer service - won’t sit well with frequent customers.
In fact, it doesn’t appear to be sitting well with Branson himself. In a letter he wrote on the company’s website, he refers to consolidation as a “trend that sadly cannot be stopped” and says there was “nothing he could do” to stop the merger from taking place.
Poor guy. But I’m sure the ocean breeze on his private island will, at the very least, help dry his tears.
France just got into a war...
France just passed a new law that says that tobacco shops must sell cigarettes in plain, logo-free packaging by the end of the year. As you can guess, the goal is to decrease cigarette usage by making cigarettes seem less appealing to adolescents.
Australia for the win
France is the second country to take this type of action. Australia passed a similar law in 2012 and deemed it a “remarkable success.”
Predictably, the tobacco industry is fighting back. Their arguments aren’t even worth sharing (why can’t we keep making billions killing people?!), but the packaging companies do make one legitimate point. They claim that branded cigarettes have long acted as a deterrent to counterfeiting, so this new regulation will lead to a thriving black market.
But considering smoking kills about 73,000 French people a day, I’d say it’s worth the risk. Apparently, so do the UK and Ireland, who plan on following suit soon.
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