Economics/Class Relations

Why everything costs so much

May 2, 2023
Hello, Insiders. Josée Rose, executive editor for business, here. Price hikes have been a part of life for a while. Anyone who has reached for a carton of eggs, filled up their tank with gas, or tried to buy pretty much anything has felt the sting of inflation over the past few years.


Many of the problems that helped trigger the upward price spiral have eased, but prices are still high and getting higher. And data is increasingly pointing to one culprit: corporate profit hoarding. That’s today’s big story.


What’s on tap:

— Josée Rose


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Musk, Hollywood, & US Navy

  • Elon Musk has chopped Twitter down to about 1,000 employees. Twitter’s workforce is down to its lowest level in years. More here.
  • Hollywood writers have voted to strike after their contract expired at midnight on Monday. What that means for your favorite TV shows.
  • The US Navy is beginning the tricky process of taking apart a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier — for only the second time in its history. Read more.

Why prices are up

Nick Little for Insider


It’s becoming clear that corporate greed is screwing over the US economy.

The economy has been through the ringer over the past three years. But now, things are getting back to normal: wage hikes are cooling, supply chains are fixed, and costs are finally coming down.

There is one thing that is still high: corporate profits. The biggest corporations that make up the S&P 500 notched a record year for profits in 2022, according to data from the market analytics firm FactSet, and profit margins are still historically elevated.

If inflation is the Scooby-Doo villain running amok, Insider’s Juliana Kaplan writes, the “monster” underneath the mask is companies realizing that they can get away with charging more and more.


Airbnb scam, private jets, & more

Getty; Marianne Ayala/Insider


  • For nearly a year, strangers kept arriving at an LA man’s home, thinking it was their Airbnb. But the Airbnb they sought was a mile away in a different city. It turns out he was caught up in a larger web of “bait and switch” scams. Read more.
  • Five ways JPMorgan stands to win from buying First Republic Bank. The US’s largest bank just got bigger. JPMorgan will now gain a stronger foothold in Silicon Valley, among other strategic benefits. Here’s why it’s a great deal for JPMorgan.
  • Leadership lessons from Bill Gates. Chris Williams, a former VP of HR at Microsoft, worked closely with Gates for years. He shared the top three lessons that the Microsoft founder taught him, including to dig for answers. Check out all his favorites here.
  • Banks are admitting they have a problem with bad real-estate debt. Lenders, including major banks, are stowing away tens of billions of dollars to guard against loan losses — and it could spur a cash crunch for some banks. Read more.
  • A CEO bought ChatGPT Plus for all his employees — and productivity improved. Akash Nigam, the founder of Genies, is spending $2,400 a month on ChatGPT Plus accounts for all of his employees as part of an experiment to save time and money. So far, the results are good.
  • The average flier helps offset the cost of private-jet travel. The ultra-wealthy only pay jet-fuel tax when flying private, while commercial flyers must pay a tax on every ticket equivalent to 7.5% of the fare price, a new report shows. How average fliers are subsidizing private flights.
  • The Hollywood writers’ strike puts Apple TV+ in a precarious position. Despite having hits like “Ted Lasso,” Apple TV+ has a much smaller library compared to Netflix and Disney+. That could mean it’s about to lose a lot of subscribers. More on its strike strife here.

Met Gala

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images


All the looks celebrities wore for the 2023 Met Gala. The theme and dress code for the event this year paid tribute to the late designer Karl Lagerfeld. From Dua Lipa and Penélope Cruz in archival Chanel to Gisele Bündchen in a floor-length fur coat, here’s what celebrities wore.

So Expensive

Modern art is expensive. From completely white canvases to simple, abstract colors, these seemingly basic works can cost you millions. So what makes their price so high and how can they possibly be worth this much money? Watch now.

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This edition was curated by Josée Rose, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Diamond Naga Siu, Bob Bryan, and J.R. Stacey. Get in touch:

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