Economics/Class Relations

Iguanas are falling from trees!

December 23, 2022
Hello, Insiders. I’m writing to you from my not-so-sunny homestate, Florida. It’s where my parents still live, and where we’re spending Christmas. It’s unusually cold here and getting colder fast. (Apparently so cold that iguanas are falling out of trees?)


While we intended to fly from New York today, dismal weather pushed our flight up by a day, and we made it on Thursday — after a super bumpy flight.


Anyway, there’s bad weather across the globe and it’s really messing up people’s plans. Maybe you’re one of those people? If so, venting can help. Send a note to about your holiday travel nightmare, and maybe we’ll publish it so others can commiserate. But here’s hoping you don’t have to — because travel was easy and you spent a warm, cozy weekend celebrating.


— Nicholas Carlson

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Behind a Wall Street headhunter’s rapid ascent lie accusations of harassment and abuse


Durlston Partners, a financial-services-headhunting firm, wooed employees with the promise of fast cash, epic parties, and an unbeatable culture. But some people who worked there say its founder, Vax Bahram, also created a culture of fear, made racist and sexist comments, and potentially violated UK pension requirements.


Seven former employees spoke with Insider about their experiences at Durlston. Themes that emerged from conversations with former employees, as well as court records, emails, and WhatsApp messages Insider reviewed, were grievances over the leadership and an extensive range of abusive, erratic, and often unprofessional behavior by Bahram.


Through his attorneys, Bahram denied this characterization, which he said is “divorced from reality.”


In a statement provided by the lawyers, he said: “Durlston has worked immensely hard to build an inclusive and professional company culture over many years. This story arises from a small number of former employees, some of whom are attempting to form a competitor firm, making false allegations against the company and its founder. This cynical tactic to discredit the company for commercial gain is unethical and bound to fail.”


Top reads

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images


  • We spoke to married women who used Ashley Madison to have affairs last Christmas. They don’t regret it, and they plan to do it again this year. The women we spoke to had experienced years of lackluster intimacy in their marriages, and their extramarital dalliances had reinvigorated them. Here’s what they said.
  • We ranked the 18 most popular TV shows of 2022. If you need recommendations over the holiday period, here’s how the critics scored the most-watched series. Highlights include the William Gibson adaptation “The Peripheral”, Amazon’s budget-busting “The Rings of Power” and Mike White’s “The White Lotus.” See the full ranking here.
  • Are you ready for the biggest American home-buying spree yet? Because Wall Street landlords are, and they’ve stockpiled as much as $110 billion for it — enough to add almost 400,000 homes to an already expansive inventory. Find out what they’re waiting for.
  • The renewed “Made in America” wave is going to make stuff more expensive. Many US companies are shifting some of their supply chains stateside — and while it could create more jobs, it could also force Americans to pay more for some products as a result. Here’s why.
  • A sports reporter was reassigned to cover the freezing weather — and he made sure viewers knew just how miserable he was. In a viral clip, Mark Woodley grumpily endured sub-zero temperatures while live on air: “The good news is I can still feel my face right now. The bad news is I kind of wish I couldn’t.” Watch the footage here.
Watch this
It takes a staff of 2,400 people working day and night to keep Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas sailing. From tiny cruise-ship kitchens, chefs whip up 30,000 meals a day. All waste onboard is dealt with in secret, crew-only areas of the ship. And the engine room and captain’s bridge work together to power and move the floating city. We go below deck on one of the world’s largest cruise ships.
Today’s team
This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Jordan Parker Erb, and Shona Ghosh. Get in touch:
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