Economics/Class Relations

Millennials’ economic quagmire

March 8, 2023
Hello, Insiders. Happy International Women’s Day. This week, I’m focusing my notes on COVID-19, three years on. Up today: masks. They’re annoying. They’re partisan. And do they actually work to keep people healthy?

A new gold-standard review of mask studies suggests we don’t know that much about how well masks work. This finding caused a media frenzy — but as health correspondent Hilary Brueck reports, don’t be fooled.

When worn diligently by people, masks can be a good tool for blocking viruses. But they’re no silver bullet, and let’s be honest: No one can wear their mask all the time. Read her full report for more. But now, the news.

— Nicholas Carlson


In today’s edition

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Russian pipeline, Fox News, & more

  • A pro-Ukrainian group blew up a controversial Russian gas pipeline, but it’s unclear who sent them, reports say. Find out more.
  • Private messages show what Fox News hosts and employees really thought about the network’s coverage. The messages show Tucker Carlson said he hated Trump “passionately.” Read them here.
  • An Amazon HR exec floats the idea of rehiring some employees the company laid off. Amazon’s Ian Wilson said re-staffing has been “top of mind.” More here.

Schools and pools of money

Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider


Universities have become giant piggy banks for hedge-fund billionaires.

In January, the University of California system — one of the largest public-university systems in the world — made a $4 billion investment in one of the world’s largest real-estate funds.

In fact, universities across the country have invested in or bought up real estate. Some large public colleges have even teamed up with private developers to build and lease “innovation districts” (hubs of office buildings and retail shops) on school property — instead of using the space for classes or student housing.

Billionaire donors and money managers are shifting the focus of these institutions from providing students an effective education to sustaining a profit-generating, investor-enriching investment machine.


TikTok finluencers, Salesforce, & more

Tanja Ivanova/Getty Images


  • Britain’s startup ecosystem dominates VC funding — but it boasts one of Europe’s worst gender pay gaps. Women earn 81 cents for every euro that men earn at European startups, a new report has found, while the lack of representation in senior roles continues to cement the boys club reputation. Get the full story.
  • TikTok’s finance influencers are selling the idea that you can become a “recession millionaire.” The idea is that if the US economy stumbles, the stock market might fall with it. And if you play your cards right, they say, you might be able to get rich by opportunistically buying stocks on the dip. Here’s what they’re saying.
  • Millennials in their 30s are sitting in an economic quagmire. They’re in a tough spot: accumulating debt, struggling to get back to work, and waiting (and waiting) to buy their first home. These economic factors could stick with them through retirement. More here.
  • Salesforce employees criticize Benioff for cutting bonuses and bowing to activist investor pressure. Salesforce reduced an annual cash bonus meant to show “gratitude” to employees by 30%. Read more.
  • A couple is turning a 120-year-old church into a dream home. Gunther and his wife Anastasiia purchased the church for $320,000 in 2017. The couple lives there with their three children — and estimate they’ll spend close to $90,000 on projects. Check it out.
  • Are left handed people more creative? Brain scans reveal why these individuals might be wired differently. Here’s what experts are saying.
  • A YouTuber charged a non-Tesla EV at a Supercharger and it “descended into chaos.” Marques Brownlee took his Rivian R1T to a charging station that had just been opened to non-Teslas. He said the issue could erode Tesla’s advantage. More here.

A hurricane-proof tiny home

These tiny homes are seeing a boom in sales. Utah-based Wheelhaus is building luxurious prefab tiny homes on wheels starting at almost $150,000. The company has seen a rise in sales as people seek out more affordable homes. Take a look around its most popular unit: the hurricane-proof, 400-square-foot Wedge.

Food wars


US vs. UK movie-theater food. From calorie count to portion sizes, we wanted to find all the differences between AMC in the US and Odeon in the UK. Insider’s Joe Avella and Harry Kersh walk you through the full comparison. Watch it here.


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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, and Jack Robert Stacey. Get in touch:

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