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March 27, 2024

The Appetizer

“It’s probably safe for a while.”

  • Richard Galanti, recently retired Costco CFO, when asked about the fate of the $1.50 hot dog-soda combo. Inflation-proof!

Now, on to the numbers. Drum roll, please …

  • 64%: The percentage of American sports fans aged 18-29 who support a sports team outside of the city they live in.
  • $495,000: The cost of world’s most expensive meal. The meal includes a six-hour journey in a space balloon, billing it “the first stratospheric dining experience,” and will be limited to six guests.
  • 282: The number of banking institutions out of 4,000 U.S. banks with both high levels of commercial real estate exposure and large unrealized losses from higher rates, according to consulting firm Klaros Group.
  • 67 miles: The height that former U.S. President Ronald Reagan said a trillion-dollar stack of $1,000 bills would be.
  • 272,000 cubic feet: The cargo bay volume (enough to hold three Olympic swimming pools) of a new planned airplane by Colorado-based startup Radia, making it the biggest aircraft in aviation history.

Dig In
Sneaker Wars

By now your basketball bracket is probably in shambles. Let’s trade in those busted brackets for a different kind of showdown: the battle of the sneakers.

Last year, 58% of our interns said Nike was their preferred athletic footwear brand. But how does this stack up to overall market share? While newbies like On Running and HOKA have been giving it their all, Nike controls 28.2% of the global footwear market based on Stifel estimates. Adidas trails at 11.5%, and spots 3 to 10, it’s anyone’s game, with no company having more than 5% market share.

You can witness Nike’s dominance at this year’s NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament. Nike and Jordan sponsor 62% of the teams, including every number 1 through 3 seed. Basically Nike is hoping for as few upsets as possible.

Nike’s basketball leadership is old news, but their latest dive into soccer is causing a stir. After 77 years under Adidas, the German Football Association (DFB) shook things up by signing Nike as their sponsor starting in 2027. So far this move hasn’t scored points with German fans and politicians.

For now, Nike seems to be leading the pack, but the real test will come when we survey this year’s interns. Stay tuned for the ultimate showdown!

Weekly Specials

Paris brought back its famous waiters race. Two hundred of the crème de la crème of wait staff competed in a two-kilometer race while carrying a tray laden with a cup of coffee, a glass of water, and a croissant. Absolutely no spillage or eating was permitted.

After 17 years of playing it cool, the Bank of Japan finally raised rates. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Federal Reserve kept its rate policy unchanged, but the famous “dot plot” shows it expects to cut rates three times this year.

Finland may not typically evoke feelings of “happiness” but it was just ranked the happiest country in the world. The main reason? People have a strong sense of community and relatedness and do good deeds for other people. If you’re wondering, the U.S. fell off the top 20 to Number 23 this year.

Northrop Grumman’s lunar railroad got the nod from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (aka DARPA) to keep working on the idea of a moon-based railway system. This doesn’t mean we will have trains on the moon in the next decade, it just means we might have a plan to do so.

Corporate Lunch

Gucci sales fell 20% in Q1 as consumers tighten their $500 belts.

Chipotle announced a 50-for-1 stock split, the first in the company’s history. Now I’m hungry.

Boeing’s CEO and other executives will depart amid turbulence at the aircraft manufacturer.

Intel has been awarded $8.5 billion for U.S. chip plant construction. I wonder if the government ever uses those giant cardboard checks like the lottery does.

Unilever plans to spin off its beloved ice cream brand, Ben and Jerry’s. They must be on a vegan kick.

Nvidia unveiled its newest cutting-edge chip, Blackwell. How many Chrome tabs do you think you could have open with that bad boy?

Dell implemented a return-to-office mandate with the stipulation that remote employees are no longer eligible for promotions.

All 20-ounce Coca-Cola bottles are now made of 100% recycled plastic. The company estimates this will reduce the amount of plastic bottles polluting the earth by two billion.

Nordstrom shares popped over 10% on speculation the retailer is trying to go private. A similar deal fell through in 2018.

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