What is the Champagne Sharks?

Champagne Sharks (05/27/2020)
  • Podcast – Champagne Sharks is a newish (2016-) podcast hosted by GenX Brooklyn-native attorney Trevor Beaulieu, or T and friends.
  • Topics – The Sharks focus on race, politics, social media and some pop-culture through the lense of educated and racially-aware black men in America.
  • Guests – The Sharks also host new guests knowledgable about relevant topics such as social media addiction, the rise of Trump and liberal hypocrisies.
  • Support – Listen to the Sharks regular and bonus ($5/mo) episodes on Patreon and YouTube.

How Are Some Landlords Mistreating Struggling Tenants During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

BuzzFeed (05/14/2020)
  • Sexual Harassment – As coronavirus shutdowns have resulted in job losses and missed rent payments, more renters are reporting landlords asking for sex in lieu of payment.
  • After Gail Savage (Indianapolis) told her landlord that she lost her bartender job and couldn’t pay rent until her stimulus check arrived, he asked if she could “stay all night” instead.
  • Uptick – Fair Housing Advocates report a 13% increase in landlord sexual harassment.
  • Why? – With evictions on hold, some landlords are using immoral methods to regain power.

Why Are Rats Becoming More Aggressive?

The New York Times (NYT) (05/24/2020)
  • Starving – The US Centers for Disease Control warned that rats are becoming more aggressive in their search for food.
  • Why? – Mass restaurant shutdowns (coronavirus) has significantly reduced vital food supply.
  • “Generations” of rats have lived off restaurants’ nightly trash.
  • Survival – Aggressive behavior has included traveling from cities and shopping centers to residential areas, searching for food during the day and even resorting to cannibalism.
  • Caution – The CDC recommends sealing household doors and keeping trash in tightly covered bins.

How Has Coronavirus Impacted US Oil Production?

Financial Times (05/22/2020)
  • 20% Decline – As of May 20th, US oil production has dropped by 2.3 million barrels/day from a March peak of 13.24 million (Wood Mackenzie).
  • Where? – The biggest declines were in Texas’ Permian Basin (-1.15 million barrels/day) and North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields.
  • Geopolitics – The decline almost equals recent production cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia, who Trump pressured to cut to push up prices.
  • Shale Factor – Shale oil extracted from rocks (60-70% US Oil Production) responds quickly to current prices (shale wells deplete rapidly).

Why Do Many Startups Fail?

Medium (03/24/2020)
  • Stubborn Founders – Many startups fail because founders continue with an original idea even after its proven to be flawed and refuse to pivot (tweak or change product or service) to something else.
  • “Founders fail themselves, long before they fail their startup”.
  • Ego Blow – Many founders would rather continue allocating time and resources to make a broken original idea successful.
  • Key Takeaway – A startup should be judged on the nature of the business idea and the founder(s) willingness to change.

A Brooklyn Hospital Mourns the Doctor Who Was ‘Our Jay-Z’

The New York Times (NYT) (05/18/2020)
  • Background – Dr James Mahoney (62), raised by a military father on Air Force bases, worked for almost 40 years as an intensive care physician, most recently at University Hospital of Brooklyn.
  • ‘Our Jay-Z’ – In addition to his medical genius, Dr Mahoney was known for being humble and mentoring aspiring black doctors.
  • Tragedy – Despite pleas to stay home, Dr Mahoney worked day and night at two hospitals treating corona patients before succumbing to the disease himself and dying (April 27th).

Why May Mass Transit Never Recover From Coronavirus?

Bloomberg (04/17/2020)
  • Problem – US transit systems (eg metro, bus, etc), already suffering from years of declining ridership, are facing financial catastrophe as coronavirus shutdowns have reduced revenues by 70-80%.
  • Losses – New York’s MTA estimates that its currently losing $142 million per week due to shutdowns.
  • Post- Crisis – Ridership may be slow to recover as people seek to avoid large groups.
  • Loyalty – 2.8 million essential workers make up 36% of America’s public transit riders.

How Did Kobe Bryant Change Sneakers?

GQ (01/29/2020)
  • Key Takeaway – Kobe set a trend by pushing for his signature Nikes to be low-tops.
  • Memorable Quote – “Kobe, a lifelong soccer fan, insisted on low-top sneakers inspired by that sport’s cleats”.
  • Article Rating – 10/10.

How is The Fed Responding to Coronavirus?

Bloomberg (04/16/2020)
  • US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has expanded lending beyond banks to combat the coronavirus economic crisis.
  • While Powell lacks formal economic training, his background (investment banking, private equity) give him insights on how to stimulate main street business activity.
  • After cutting interest rates to 0% in March, Powell asked the Treasury for permission to lend directly to private businesses and municipalities.
  • $454 billion of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus is earmarked for such lending.
  • Powell’s approach has earned praise from Trump and Democrats.

How Does Coronavirus Really Spread? (Pt 1)

Erin Bromage (Blog) (05/06/2020)
  • Expert – Erin Bromage, a University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth) immunology professor, clarifies how coronavirus COVID-19 is primarily transmitted.
  • Transmission – You need to be exposed to an infectious dose of the virus estimated as little as 1,000 SARS-CoV2 viral particles.
  • Examples – A single eye-rub or breath can contain 1,000 particles.
  • Coronavirus can also be transmitted via several 100 particle breaths.
  • Danger Zones – Most people have gotten infected in their own homes via sustained contact with household members.
  • Bathrooms are high-risk areas due to frequently touched surfaces.