Economics/Class Relations

The world’s most powerful passports

January 21, 2023
Hello, Insiders. It’s Saturday! So you know what that means — time for a newsletter edition packed with fascinating reads for your day off.

Today we’re giving you a peek of what you might see if you spot the elusive green comet, sharing the story of a pro athlete who quit to trade Pokémon cards, and asking the big question: Is it time to start paying stay-at-home parents? We have that and some of your letters in a bit. First, the news.

— Nicholas Carlson

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The latest
  • Google, Amazon, and Microsoft layoffs will result in a “bloodbath” of 40,000 jobs lost. Inside Big Tech’s week from hell.
  • George Santos appears to have claimed he acted in “Hannah Montana” and with Uma Thurman in a movie she wasn’t actually in. More on that here.
  • Everyone billed Charlie Javice as a groundbreaking young entrepreneur, until JPMorgan Chase sued her for millions of dollars of fraud. Read more.

Weekend reads

Cooper Neill/Getty Images


  • “I quit the NFL to trade Pokémon cards.” The former Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Blake Martinez quit the NFL in November 2022 after selling a card for $672,000. He told Insider how he turned a childhood passion into a lucrative business. Read more.
  • Is it time to start paying stay-at-home parents? Stay-at-home parents are working as chefs, cleaners, and chauffeurs for the next generation of US workers — and they could make up to $185,000 a year if they were paid. Read the story.
  • Can you spot the AI narrator? Our reporter tried to guess if Apple’s new audiobooks were read by AI or a human. It was harder than you’d think — listen for yourself.
  • These are the 10 most powerful passports in the world. Japan ranked as No. 1 on a new list, with access to 193 countries. Singapore and South Korea tied for second place — and if you’re wondering, a US passport can access 186 countries. See the list here.
  • “I secretly work from the Canary Islands.” A stealthy remote worker tells us that constantly concealing his location from his boss can be exhausting — but he feels happier, healthier, and more productive. Here’s how he does it.
  • Organized retail thieves’ most-wanted list: A new survey reveals which items are most likely to be stolen from stores, from apparel and footwear to health and beauty products. See the list.
  • The world’s biggest plane has wings longer than a football field. The Stratolaunch Roc is made out of a composite of two Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets — and requires a runway that’s at least 12,000 feet long just to take off. See it for yourself here.
  • How to make your groceries last. Living five hours from the nearest grocery store, Hilary Messer-Barrow only shops every two months — so she had to master the art of stretching food a little further. Here are her seven top tips.
  • “Before dying of cancer, my husband froze his sperm. Now I’m having his baby.” Mariah Smith’s husband, Chris, died at age 27. They had planned on having children — even if he didn’t survive. Read her story here.
Take a look
Courtesy of Chris and Dawn Schur


Here’s a peek at the green comet. Comet ZTF is flying past Earth in late January and early February. Stunning photos show what you’ll see.
Watch this

Billions of people will be ringing in the Lunar New Year. Watch how people celebrate around the world.

Letters to the editor
Matt Turner, our business editor in chief, moderated a panel in Davos focused on how industries are using the metaverse. Here’s what you told us about where you think the metaverse could be helpful IRL:


  • “One problem for college students in accounting (and likely business in general) is that many have never seen how a business operates from the inside … Maybe virtual tours could be developed to give students that experience.” – Bill
  • “I see the metaverse as an extraordinary way to put security professionals in real-world scenarios, train them much more effectively, and get a substantial ROI from education models. Not to mention, millennials will take to it!” – Connie
  • “One of the applications I would like to see would be historical eras recreated where you could play a role within that era … My hope is that you have a much more visceral, emotional understanding of history than we do today.” – Eugene
Can’t get enough of Insider?

This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, and Jordan Parker Erb. Get in touch:

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