Daily Dozen | Forbes: FTX Recovers $5B; Wall Street’s Ode To Tesla; Nationwide Flight Pause

Some Google contractors prevailed in their months of protests against what they called “poverty wages” when they received hourly raises for the first time. Shares of luxury goods giant LVMH, headed by the world’s richest person Bernard Arnault, jumped Wednesday after he announced a company shakeup. Plus, some economists are starting to think the inverted yield curve is flashing a false recession warning.

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In The News Today

  • President Joe Biden’s aides reportedly found a second batch of government records, including some classified documents, at another location, though details remain unclear on where exactly that is. The discovery comes after an initial set of about 10 classified documents were reportedly found in early November at Biden’s former office on the Penn Biden Center campus in Washington.
  • Universal Parks & Resorts is expanding its portfolio with new theme parks in Las Vegas and on the outskirts of Dallas as the company competes with Disney.

Top Take-Aways

Sam Bankman Fried’s bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has so far recovered north of $5 billion in cash, easily sellable digital assets and other liquid holdings, and is reportedly working to liquidate another $4.6 billion in less convertible assets by “book value.” It’s a step toward settling its debts, which include $3.1 billion owed to FTX’s 50 largest creditors and another $5 billion-plus to customers and smaller creditors.

After months of protesting what they called “poverty wages,” thousands of Google contractors responsible for rating the quality of search results will get hourly raises for the first time ever. It’s a welcome bump, but workers argue they are still making less than Google’s other contractors.

A nationwide, overnight outage of the Federal Aviation Administration’s critical Notice to Air Missions system grounded all domestic U.S. flights for several hours Wednesday morning. By 9:55 a.m. ET, there were more than 4,900 delays, with 867 flight cancellations.

Despite a 65% drop in Tesla stock value last year, investors seemingly just can’t quit backing Elon Musk, even as the controversy follows the CEO. Now Wall Street expects Tesla stock to double in 2023, according to FactSet; squint hard and you can see the reasons why stock pickers still think the electric vehicle manufacturer is something warm to come home to amid a stormy market.

Shares of Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. parent LVMH jumped Wednesday morning after CEO Bernard Arnault, the world’s richest person, announced his daughter Delphine Arnault will run the company’s second-biggest fashion brand, Christian Dior Couture. More: Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment surged and then slipped Wednesday as unsubstantiated rumors of its sale to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund swirled and were later swatted down.

Economists are increasingly speculating that the current months-long inverted yield curve could be flashing a false recession warning, particularly as the labor market and consumer spending remain strong enough to bolster the economy. Further “complicating” the yield curve’s doomsday signal: the Federal Reserve’s aggressive economic tightening campaign driving up short-term rates and expectations of lower inflation pushing down longer-term yields.

Today’s Must-Read

JP Morgan Says Startup Founder Used Millions Of Fake Customers To Dupe It Into An Acquisition

The financial giant is suing the founder of a Mark Rowan-backed startup it acquired, claiming the fintech, Frank, had sold the financial giant on a “lie.”

In Case You Missed It

Butter Payments, a tech startup that looks to mitigate accidental subscription churn for companies like Microsoft, Dropbox and Scribd, has completed a $21.5 million Series A funding round from Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Atomic. Interestingly enough, the company is finding its footing at a time when others are grappling with an economy that’s putting a dent on their bottom lines. “There is no one majority reason why payments fail,” founder and CEO Vijay Menon says. “That’s why our business succeeds.”

Tips You Can Trust

  • Put the pen down and step away from your lists of New Year’s resolutions and pros and cons for 2023 career decisions. Writing out the pluses and minuses to accepting a new job or quitting to start a business may seem like a good idea, but one expert cautions the practice is actually a “bias amplifier.” Here’s how to use the word “unless” to create an out for your goals and resolutions, so you can better achieve them.
  • When the Secure Act 2.0 was signed into law on December 29, it ushered in major changes to tax law, including multiple Roth IRA-related retirement changes. From required catch-up contributions after age 50 to penalty-free rollovers from 529 college savings plans, here are the updates you should know about.

Must-Watch Video

Sex Scandals Don’t Seem To Be Helping The NFL’s Goal Of Attracting More Women Fans

The NFL says it wants to welcome more female fans, but ever since 2015 the number of women viewers has declined. That could in part be due to recurrent scandals, Forbes Senior Writer Jabari Young explains, such as allegations of rampant sexual misconduct and exploitation of women in the Washington Commanders workplace and more than two dozen women accusing Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. “Women were always at the focal point of those headlines and the negativity around them,” Young adds.

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