Economics/Class Relations

The wild lives of Google’s founders

Spriha Srivastava, December 12, 2022


Hello, Insiders. This is Spriha Srivastava, filling in for Nicholas Carlson. I’m Insider’s London bureau chief and international executive editor.


It’s that time of the year again where journalists are flooded with 2023 outlook emails — and the forecast for next year seems like a mixed bag. For the first time in 20 years, Wall Street expects a flat year for stocks, amid fears of a looming recession and soaring inflation levels.


However, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seems to have calmed some nerves by saying that as long as there are no further shocks, inflation is set to slow significantly in the coming year even if there’s no recession.


For now, market watchers will be keeping a close eye on fresh inflation numbers released on Tuesday.


Let’s take a look at today’s top stories.

The latest
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The big story
Getty; Marianne Ayala/Insider
The party animal and the island-hopping hermit: Inside the lavish, secretive, post-Google lives of Sergey Brin and Larry Page.


After stepping down from Google in 2019, the tech titans — two of the richest men in the world — found themselves suddenly on their own, free of corporate oversight and shareholder demands.


So how have they used their newfound freedom? A look inside their worlds reveals two strikingly different empires.


Brin is a philanthropist who maintains a bustling social calendar — earlier this year, he swung by Burning Man — and has drawn tabloid attention for his recent divorce. Page shuns the spotlight and secretly runs a California farm that provides vegetables and herbs to a Michelin-starred restaurant.


Both enjoy the tropical life. Page has added to his portfolio of private islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific, while Brin has built an entire “Fly Fleet” of yachts, as it’s known in Brinworld.


And at their core, the former partners share a single overriding similarity: They rely on a tangled web of businesses to help minimize their tax obligations, protect them from liability, and shield their wealth from public view.


Inside their wild post-Google lives.

Top reads
Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock; David Papazian/Shutterstock
  • New year, new decor: Interior designers share 2023’s upcoming and disappearing trends. What’s out: shades of gray, massive lighting fixtures, and floating shelves. As for what’s on the rise, that’s zellige-tiles, unexpected colors, accent walls, and more. See the full list here.
  • Five reasons to applaud the smart, speedy jury that convicted the Trump Organization of tax fraud. A jury convicted the company of 17 tax-fraud counts, exposing Trump to a possible $1.6 million fine. They had to navigate (so many!) spreadsheets, do a ton of math, and put aside any personal feelings about Trump. Read the full story.
  • Compass CEO Robert Reffkin told his leadership team to step up managing out poor performers.” Writing in an email, Reffkin warned senior leadership: “if you don’t, you are not performing.” Compass employees have spoken with Insider about the message, saying the memo is “a real stain on the organization.” You can read the full memo here.
  • How to live in NYC on $100 a month. Comedian Frankie Hoy lasted 31 days on just $100, documenting his journey on TikTok. Cutting food and beverage expenses was his biggest challenge, but he thinks others can have similar success. Here’s how he did it.
  • “I stayed in a Boeing 747 jet converted into a hotel — it was the coolest place I’ve ever slept.” Insider’s Taylor Rains stayed at the Jumbo Stay hotel in Sweden. It features hostel-style dorms, a cockpit suite, and rooms in the wheel well and engines — see inside.
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Today’s team
This edition was curated by Spriha Srivastava, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Shona Ghosh, and Nathan Rennolds. Get in touch:
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