Morning Brew Newsletter
Morning Brew Newsletter

Big split

Email sent: May 4, 2021 6:18am
AOL is getting sold again
May 04, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Daily Brew

TOGETHER WITH

Policygenius

Good morning. It’s May the Fourth, aka Star Wars Day, so we decided to have a little fun with this newsletter. Keep your eyes peeled. 

May the Brew be with you. 

MARKETS

Nasdaq

13,895.12

-0.48%

S&P

4,192.65

+0.27%

Dow

34,113.89

+0.71%

Bitcoin

$57,563.13

+1.70%

10-Year

1.608%

-1.7 bps

Ethereum

$3,299.39

+11.72%

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 4:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks, particularly those tied to economic "reopening" like retail, rose yesterday. Ether is the talk of the crypto world after blasting through all-time highs—the cryptocurrency has more than quadrupled in value this year.
  • Covid: Restrictions are falling by the day. Florida Gov. Ron Desantis suspended all local Covid-19 emergency orders enacted throughout the state, saying, "The fact is, we are no longer in a state of emergency." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said most capacity restrictions in NY and neighboring NJ will be lifted on May 19.

WEALTH

Bill and Melinda: Episode II

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak on stage duri...

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bill Gates doesn't tweet a lot, so when he fires one off you know it's a big deal. Yesterday, the business icon and his wife, Melinda, a legendary philanthropist, announced they were ending their marriage after 27 years. 

Bill and Melinda were the kind of couple you knew just by their first names. The two met in 1987 at Microsoft, which Bill cofounded, got married seven years later, and in 2000 launched the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to some accounts, it's the largest private foundation in the world, with more than $51 billion in assets. 

  • The foundation is dedicated to addressing global healthcare issues, improving early childhood education, and lifting people out of hunger and extreme poverty. 
  • It poured in more than $1 billion to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

What will happen with the foundation? In a joint statement, Bill and Melinda said they will "continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."

And the money?

More questions than answers. With a net worth of about $145 billion, Bill Gates is the fourth-richest person in the world. And he still owns almost 1.4% of Microsoft's outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, per FactSet data cited by CNBC.

  • Bill and Melinda have pledged to donate more than half of their fortune as part of the Giving Pledge, which they helped create with Warren Buffett in 2010.

Zoom out: Bill and Melinda are the second Seattle-area power couple to get divorced in recent years. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos split with his wife MacKenzie Scott in 2019 after 25 years of marriage. MacKenzie, who received a 4% stake in Amazon worth more than $36 billion, has since remarried and doubled down on philanthropic efforts during Covid-19. 

Bottom line: Bill and Melinda's split is a shocker, and because of their immense wealth and influence it'll certainly ripple through the highest business and philanthropic circles.

        

MEDIA

For AOL and Yahoo, a New Hope

An illustration of the yellow AOL running man logo headed into a dark doorway with a red "exit" sign pointing at it.

Francis Scialabba

Yesterday, Verizon set what seems to be its final away message in its media industry ambitions, announcing a deal to sell AOL and Yahoo for $5 billion to Apollo Global Management, the private equity giant recently in the spotlight after Leon Black stepped down as chairman in March. It wasn't a good investment for Verizon, which bought AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015 and Yahoo for $4.5 billion in 2017. 

  • The company has slowly been selling off its media assets over the last few years to focus on its core network business and the 5G rollout. This deal comes less than a year after Verizon sold HuffPost to BuzzFeed.

So what's Apollo getting? While most of us hear the names AOL and Yahoo and think, "Girl, you can't fix him," both platforms haven't exhausted their nine lives yet. Yahoo is still the 11th most popular website in the world, and 1.5 million actual human people pay AOL a monthly subscription fee for technical support and identity theft software.

Zoom out: Verizon's foray into media didn't work out, but fellow telecom AT&T will hope its recent purchase of HBO-owner Time Warner for $85.4 billion will look smarter in the history books.

+ While we're here: Check out the 10 biggest M&A flops in history.

        

CLIMATE

The Dark Side of Refrigeration

Hey Arnold clip, two hands in front of air conditioner

Giphy

If you've ever relied on a single window unit during a Washington, DC, summer, you know air conditioning systems are a little outdated. That's why yesterday the EPA proposed a new rule that would limit the production and importation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals used in air conditioning and refrigeration, by 85% over the next 15 years. Scientists have found that HFCs are significantly more powerful than CO2 in causing short-term global warming.

HFCs are the mall smoothies of chemicals. They were created as a healthier alternative to other pollutants in the ’80s, but now we know they're definitely not good for you. The EPA plans to wean companies off HFC reliance in the same way our parents got us to give up Jamba Juice: by slowly shrinking allowances. The rule could start limiting the production of HFCs as early as next year and force companies to quickly start developing alternatives.

Big picture: Over 12 states have proposed or adopted similar programs, but this is the first time the federal government is stepping in. The proposal could help the Biden administration achieve its goal to cut US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

        

SPONSORED BY POLICYGENIUS

Think Life Is Cool? Wait Until You Hear About Life INSURANCE

Sure, life is full of cool stuff. Trees. Ice cream. Beatboxing.

But using Policygenius to get more affordable life INSURANCE? Whew boy, talk about COOL. Policygenius makes it soooo easy to compare quotes from over a dozen top insurers all in one place.

The licensed experts at Policygenius work for you, not the insurance companies. And that explains why they help you save a REALLY COOL amount of money: $1300 or more per year.

Yeah, that ain’t a typo. When you use Policygenius to compare life insurance policies, you could save $1300 or more per year.

Plus Policygenius has earned thousands of 5-star reviews on Trustpilot and Google. THE COOLNESS just keeps coming!

Get started comparing affordable life insurance policies with Policygenius today.

GRAB BAG

Key Force Indicators

Ether one-year price chart, with data from May 3 2020 to May 3 2021. Ether, which powers the ethereum blockchain, hit an all-time high early this week

Ryan Duffy

Stat: Given the rise of ether and other cryptocurrencies, bitcoin now accounts for only ~46% of total crypto market value, compared to 70% at the beginning of the year.

Quote: "If the last year has taught us anything, it is that people are tired of the Warren Buffetts and Charlie Mungers of the world acting like they are the only oracles of investing."

Robinhood's response after the investing icons dissed the app at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting for taking advantage of the "gambling instincts of society."

Read: The first major interview with one of the most revered comedy writers of all time. (New Yorker)

        

FOOD

Tyson Strikes Back

Burger

Francis Scialabba

Tyson Foods just issued a direct challenge to plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat: a new line of plant-based burgers, bratwurst, Italian sausage, and ground "meat." And it didn't pick any old Monday to do it. 

Beyond Meat's third-generation burgers become available nationwide this week, packing more protein, less fat, and fewer calories than their cow-based inspiration.  

Table stakes are rising

Beyond Meat commands 22% of the alternative meat market, and up 'til now its biggest fights were 1) getting you to try a bite ~just for fun~ and 2) plant-based meat rival Impossible Foods. 

  • Last year, aided by an unusually good year for the grocery sector, those startups helped drive US plant-based meat sales up 45% to $1.4 billion, per the Good Food Institute and Plant Based Foods Association.

The no-meat frenzy has even made it to NYC fine dining: Eleven Madison Park, a three Michelin-star restaurant, said it will reopen next month with a 100% vegan menu. "If Eleven Madison Park is truly at the forefront of dining and culinary innovation, to me it’s crystal clear that this is the only place to go next," chef and owner Daniel Humm told the WSJ.

        

BREWING, WHAT ELSE IS

  • Robinhood collected $331 million in payment for order flow last quarter, up from $91 million in Q1 2020.
  • The Facebook Oversight Board will announce its decision on former President Trump's suspended account tomorrow morning.
  • Warren Buffett said that his successor at Berkshire Hathaway would likely be Vice Chairman Greg Abel.
  • Oktoberfest was canceled for the second straight year.

BREW'S BETS

Time to burn. Sakara’s new Metabolism Super Bar activates thermogenesis, which takes the body from “storage” mode to “burn” mode. With 12g protein and 0g added sugar, you can get sustained energy pre- and post-workout. Get 20% off with code MAYBREW.*

“Am I doing the right things with my dough to get the most out of life?” Facet Wealth CFP professionals are here to ensure your answer is an all-caps YES. To start working one-on-one with your dedicated Facet planner, visit Facet Wealth.*

Tech Tip Tuesday: Push to Kindle lets you send web articles to your Kindle for a better reading experience.

Four Star Wars activities for May the Fourth: 1) Convert any text into the iconic title crawl 2) watch these hilarious videos 3) read up on the state of the Galactic economy and 4) find out what's going on in space right now.

*This is sponsored advertising content

FROM THE CREW

Drivers: Not Wanted

Mock-ups of a Nuro robotic vehicle, TuSimple autonomous truck, and Amazon Prime Scout Robot

Francis Scialabba

The future is here, and it looks a lot like a taxi driving itself. That’s because autonomous vehicles are no longer the stuff of science fiction, as big money and big brains are putting the cars themselves in charge. Our colleagues at Emerging Tech Brew have put together Your Guide to Autonomous Vehicles that’s got an SUV trunk’s worth of data and reporting about what you can expect from cars that can drive themselves. 

Give the guide a read, but not while you’re driving—yet.

GAMES

Beyond Compare

They say you shouldn't compare yourself to others...but they never said you can't compare others to others. See if you can go 5/5 on these comparison questions.

1. Hotter pepper: Serrano or jalapeño 

2. Bigger market cap: Ford or Lyft

3. Longer river: Missouri or Mississippi

4. More website traffic: Yahoo or Pornhub

5. Taller athlete: Russell Westbrook or Cristiano Ronaldo

SHARE THE BREW

We think you should share the Brew. Not only is it a smart thing to do for your friends, it’s also the smartest way to get showered in free Brew swag and exclusive content. And also, friendly reminder to shower.

Click here to get free swag.

Your referral count: 1

Click to Share

Or copy & paste your referral link to others:
morningbrew.com/daily/r/?kid=91843ce5

ANSWER

  1. Serrano is hotter
  2. Ford has a bigger market cap
  3. Missouri is longer by a hair
  4. Yahoo has more traffic 
  5. Westbrook is taller by an inch
              

Written by Alex Hickey, Matty Merritt, and Neal Freyman

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

WANT MORE BREW?

  Marketing newsletter → Marketing Brew

  Business podcasts → Business Casual and Founder's Journal

ADVERTISE // CAREERS // SHOP

Update your email preferences or unsubscribe here.
View our privacy policy here.

Copyright © 2021 Morning Brew. All rights reserved.
22 W 19th St, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Other emails from Morning Brew Newsletter

Morning Brew Newsletter
May 16, 2021
That Hertz
Morning Brew Newsletter
May 15, 2021
The mask beat
Morning Brew Newsletter
May 14, 2021
Ethical concerns
Morning Brew Newsletter
May 14, 2021
Its electrolytes
Morning Brew Newsletter
May 14, 2021
Drifting
Morning Brew Newsletter
May 13, 2021
Box method