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June 5, 2024

The Appetizer


  • The spelling of the winning word that seventh grader Bruhat Soma got correct to win the 96th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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

  • 2,500: The estimated number of marauding wild monkeys in a town in Thailand. Authorities are fighting back, using trickery and ripe tropical fruit to lure them into cages.
  • 7 billion: The number of hot dogs Americans are expected to eat between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That comes out to 818 hot dogs per second.
  • $12.9 million: The minimum net worth needed to join Monaco’s richest 1%, the highest in the world, according to research from Knight Frank. The U.S. figure is $5.8 million.
  • $15.6 billion: The expected global sales of zero-alcohol beer in 2024, up from $13.2 billion in 2023.
  • 25%: The percentage of Americans who said they used a BNPL (buy now, pay later) service in the last 12 months.

Dig In
It’s All About the Benjamins

We Americans like to spend like there’s no tomorrow, and we pay for pretty much everything with the almighty U.S. dollar (USD). Go anywhere in the world and everyone will know Benjamin Franklin (the guy on the $100 dollar bill).

This is one example of the USD’s status as the world’s reserve currency, in other words, the most popular and trusted type of money many countries like to use and save.

However, that doesn’t mean other countries and currencies aren’t eyeing the throne. In recent years, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and other nations have been promoting the use of national or alternative currencies, particularly the Chinese yuan (CNY).

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves – the dollar has been the top dog since World War II, and we believe the USD is still in a strong position. However, technological innovation and trends in the BRICS countries, especially China, could shake things up down the road.

To learn more about the USD as a reserve currency, check out Sight|Lines.

Weekly Specials

Orcas have been going after boats for the last four years. Scientists have a new idea why: They are bored.

It seems like everyone is unhappy about the late night sessions at the French Open, but no one wants to do anything about it. Novak Djokovic wrapped up a five-set win just after 3 a.m. on Sunday. Will coffee replace champagne next year?

Everyone talks about the “good ol’ days,” but those days of fun are actually at a different time period for everyone. A recent poll showed the average person said that the “best decade” was whenever they were 11 and their parents knew the correct answer to any question.

The newest “trend” of 2024 is getting a sweat while being surrounded by animals. The newest class on this list is piglet yoga, where you can downward dog next to a baby pig. This is one trend that we failed to capture in our long-term themes.

Corporate Lunch

Heineken unveiled The Boring Phone, a “dumb” phone with no social media that encourages consumers to get off their devices and enjoy the real world.

The U.S. box office is expected to have its worst Memorial Day weekend since 1995. We can blame enjoying the real world for this one.

Porsche showed off its first-ever hybrid 911 sports car that boasts a torquey 2.9-second 0-60 mph.

Golden Goose, the luxury shoe brand known for selling sneakers with a lot of character, is reportedly making plans for an IPO in Milan at a €3.3 billion valuation.

Activist hedge fund Elliott Investment Management took a $2.5 billion stake in Texas Instruments, hoping to kindly encourage the company to improve free cash flow. Management might run the numbers on their TI-83 graphing calculators first.

T-Mobile is planning to acquire most of U.S. Cellular for $4.4 billion. Did you guys know that T-Mobile’s parent company is a German company, Deutsche Telekom AG? News to me, moving on.

TikTok may be banned by January, but in the meantime that won’t stop the presidential candidates from “using every tool available to speak directly with the American people …”

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