Monday, 5 June 2023

[Post 798] Is Artificial Intelligence Friend Or Foe At The Workplace? | Money Mind | AI


Is AI friend or foe at the workplace?

[Post 797] Yishun: Singapore’s Weirdest Neighbourhood, Or Misunderstood? | On The Red Dot | Full Episode


Yishun has gone viral on social media for all the wrong reasons! Aside from all the bizarre occurrences that have been associated with that northern town, Yishun has also “played host” to several high-profile crime cases, like the notable Yishun Triple Murders of 2008. No wonder “weird” and “dangerous” are adjectives that readily come to mind at the very mention of Yishun! 

But look beyond its tainted reputation and a very different Yishun takes shape; one held together by strong roots, and uplifted by a kampung spirit that is easily detected amongst its residents! 

Yishun is like that oddball friend we all have. We would tease him for being weird, but jump to his defense when he is misunderstood. And even though he behaves badly sometimes, we secretly appreciate his quirks and uniqueness, because deep down inside, he is just an honest-to-goodness kampung boy whom his friends pledge fierce loyalty to.

Sunday, 4 June 2023

[Post 796] How Virtual Layoffs Became The New Normal For Workplaces


The rise of remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic has now brought about the rise of the virtual layoff.

Last November, Meta laid off 11,000 workers, and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, delivered the news over a remote video call. In April, McDonald’s temporarily shut down its corporate offices and fired hundreds of employees virtually.

Meta declined to send a statement, but a company’s spokesperson noted that the company has multiple locations in the world and cannot do all layoffs in person.

The practice is leading to a public debate over layoff etiquette — whether giving employees the bad news is more dignified than locking them out of their email accounts overnight.

“McDonald’s is teaching a master class in layoffs,” Jessica Kriegel, chief scientist of workplace culture at Culture Partners, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in April. “If I were getting laid off, I’d want to be laid off at home, not at the office.”

McDonald’s declined to comment.

Critics of the remote layoff trend say it lacks empathy and only favors the employer.
“It’s lazy leadership,” said Nicholas Whitaker, former Google employee and chief well-being officer and coach for tech workers. “We’re talking about thousands of people’s lives that have been turned upside down. And it’s one of the most, you know, impactful moments in somebody’s career to be let go or to be laid off. It lacks humanity, an ethical and a moral component.”

[Post 795] Who Actually Pays For Credit Card Rewards?


About 90% of all credit card spending is on rewards cards like Delta SkyMiles, Chase Sapphire Preferred or American Express Platinum. And these cards are hugely popular for a reason: you can earn cash back, upgrades on flights and many other perks. In 2019, about $35 billion in rewards was handed out to customers around the country. But how are banks paying for it all? A majority comes from interest earned from low-income consumers who revolve balances on a monthly basis. The rest is from merchant fees and things like annual, over-the-limit or foreign transaction fees. Some economists claim there's an annual redistribution of more than $15 billion from less to more educated, poorer to richer and high to low minority areas - widening existing disparities.

Saturday, 3 June 2023

[Post 794] Fires, Short Sellers and an EV Recall: Inside Lordstown Motors’ Decline | WSJ


Lordstown Motors was once in the race against Rivian, Ford and others to build America’s first electric pickup truck. It acquired a factory from GM and a vehicle design from Workhorse but still struggled to manufacture its Endurance EV as it grappled with vehicle fires, short seller reports and recalls.

After selling its namesake factory to Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, it has now turned to a reverse stock split in hopes of avoiding filing for bankruptcy protection.

WSJ’s George Downs explores the rise of Lordstown and the factors that went into the EV company’s decline. 

[Post 793] The $1.2 Billion Vinyl Industry's Rise, Fall and Rebirth, Explained | WSJ


Vinyl record sales hit $1.2 billion in 2022, outselling CDs for the first time since 1987. In today’s digital music era, streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music offer listeners hundreds of millions of songs instantly through their phones. So why does the demand for vinyl records continue to rise?

WSJ tracks the life, death and rebirth of vinyl with Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and industry experts.

Friday, 2 June 2023

[Post 792] How Biden Could Bypass Congress to Avoid a Default | WSJ


If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by early June, the U.S. could default on its debt for the first time in history. But there are three things President Biden could do without Congress to avoid a default. 

They have been called “highly risky” and a “gimmick” by people like Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. But experts argue they’re worth looking at because they might be better than defaulting. President Biden is even seriously considering one of them. 

WSJ explains how the trillion dollar coin, premium bonds and the 14th Amendment could be used to avoid a default.