For millions of listeners around the world, lo-fi music streams have become a popular background soundtrack to everyday lives, including yours truly. When wrangling with words for much of the day, I enjoy having a YouTube stream up for distraction-free music without lyrics.
My colleague Conor Murray has an explainer with everything you need to know about why lo-fi music has taken off. Lofi Girl’s channel is a good place to start; their “synthwave” stream is a new one I like.
Federal officials are reportedly in “urgent” meetings over a rescue for First Republic Bank, after the lender’s worse-than-expected earnings report this week raised fears it could be the third major bank to collapse this year. Reuters reports that the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC have met with several financial companies on a “lifeline” for the bank.
Gap, Dropbox and Lyft each announced plans to eliminate hundreds of jobs yesterday, joining 3M, Disney and Tyson Food in making major cuts this week. Forbes tracked at least 136,000 layoffs in the first quarter, more than the previous two quarters combined.
BUSINESS + FINANCE
The Dow saw its best day in months Thursday, with Meta leading a rally largely driven by a handful of mega-cap stocks. It was the Dow and S&P’s largest gain since January 6 and the Nasdaq’s best day since February 2.
WEALTH + ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Billionaire Harbor Freight founder and CEO Eric Smidt built his fortune selling $40 drills and other discount tools, but when he heard high schools were dropping vocational classes like construction and auto repair, he wanted to help. His company’s charitable foundation donated $6 million over the past five years—directly to skilled-trade teachers at public high schools. “Our students are not bound for college, and that’s okay,” a teacher said.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg became $10.3 billion richer after his company’s stock rally yesterday, more than doubling his net worth from six months ago. Investors’ faith in the social platform appears to have mostly returned after Zuckerberg’s push into augmented and virtual reality, which has cost the company roughly $20 billion in less than two years.
TECH + INNOVATION
Twitter has fully complied with 83% of government and courts’ requests to remove or alter content since Elon Musk bought the company, up from 51% before he took over. The majority of recent requests have come from foreign governments, such as India, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Germany.
Vingroup and its billionaire founder Pham Nhat Vuong are injecting $2.5 billion in fresh capital into electric vehicle maker VinFast to help accelerate their expansion across North America and Europe, and directly take on Tesla. Vuong, who is Vietnam’s richest person, will put up $1 billion of his personal wealth as VinFast prepares to launch its IPO in the U.S. later this year.
SCIENCE + HEALTHCARE
Research on a new treatment for pancreatic cancer is showing promising results by combining radiation and immunotherapy. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any group of cancers. “I’ve never been more hopeful about the possibility of improving the survival rate for this disease,” the study’s lead author said.
You may have heard of Ozempic or Wegovy, the obesity drugs proving to be both hyped hits and essential medicines tackling a key public health problem. Eli Lilly said it will push for fast-tracked FDA approval of a third diabetes drug, marketed as Mounjaro, for weight loss after promising clinical trial results. Early findings suggest it could be more powerful than others on the market.
SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT
Churchill Downs is known for being home to the Kentucky Derby, but beyond hosting the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” how do they make money the rest of the year? Increasingly, casinos, which brought in more first quarter revenue than horse racing. 15 years ago, just 13% of the company’s annual revenue came from casinos; last year it was up to 42%.
TRAVEL + LIFESTYLE
Remember the thousands of flight cancellations, endless lines and lost baggage nightmares from last year? Experts warn it could be even worse in 2023. The TSA expects summer air travel volumes to surpass pre-pandemic levels, and industry experts are warning that many of the problems that led to last year’s meltdown have not been resolved.
TRENDS + EXPLAINERS
If you keep hearing “debt ceiling” and you don’t know what it is, or you don’t understand why the House GOP’s just-passed budget is considered dead-on-arrival (same goes for President Biden’s budget), here’s a rundown of four ideas on the table, and the issues plaguing them.
One of bitcoin’s biggest technical challenges is scalability—it can only process a relatively small number of transactions compared to the volume Visa or American Express can handle. Enter the Lightning Network, a secondary network on top of the bitcoin blockchain that allows for near-instant, low-cost transactions, even for those without internet access.
DAILY COVER STORY
TOPLINE Americans love products that make their lives easier, like anti-stain fabrics that allow water to bead up and roll off, especially for expensive, hard-to-clean items like furniture. But such performance fabrics are often made with PFAS, a group of chemicals that come with a heavy cost to human health and to the environment.
Four states have passed legislation or regulations governing the use of PFAS in textiles in furniture and home furnishings, and another six have legislation pending. California’s outright ban on PFAS in children’s products goes into effect on July 1, while a broader ban on PFAS in textiles in the state begins January 1, 2025.
With the deadlines looming, American textile mills, furniture manufacturers and retailers are scrambling to get PFAS out of their products, though questions are swirling about low-cost, imported goods.
WHY IT MATTERS “These ‘forever chemicals’ are everywhere chemicals — they’re in rain jackets, waterproof shoes, firefighting foam, semiconductors and food packaging — and taking them out of our products won’t get them out of our water supply,” says Amy Feldman, Forbes Senior Editor. “But given how ubiquitous they are, it’s important to start somewhere. And state legislators and regulators have figured that Americans’ living rooms might be a good place to try.”
FACTS AND COMMENTS
First Republic Bank customers pulled $100 billion in deposits out of the bank in the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank failure, suggesting the need for increased FDIC protection:
$40,000: FDIC guarantee back in 1974, equivalent to $260,000 today after inflation.
$250,000: Current FDIC guarantee, set by President George W. Bush in 2008.
$1 million: This threshold would cover more than 90% of business and commercial accounts in U.S. banks.
STRATEGY AND SUCCESS
Schools have quantified learning with the “credit hour”—or time spent in a classroom—going all the way back to 1906. But skill-based hiring is on the rise, with companies like Google and IBM dropping college degree requirements, and the Carnegie Foundation (the very think tank that invented credit hours) is now researching project-based assessments to measure students’ ability.
There’s a new Covid strain XBB.1.18, nicknamed “Arcturus,” that is quickly spreading across the U.S. Which symptom of the subvariant is particularly present in children?
B. Pink eye
D. Muscle aches
Check if you got it right here.
ACROSS THE NEWSROOM
The Forbes Cloud 100 recognizes the leading privately-held cloud companies in the world. Know a company that deserves a spot? Submissions for the eighth annual list are now open through May 12.
BEYOND THE NEWSROOM
- Forbes Vetted is out with Your Top-To-Bottom Spring Cleaning Toolkit this week for anyone gearing up for a deep cleaning. Backed by a library of expert-researched cleaning content, it’s the ultimate tidying toolkit for every room in the house.
- The 2023 Forbes Future Of Work Summit will take place in New York and virtually on June 1. Here, we’ll explore the forthcoming impact of artificial intelligence, shifting dynamics between workers and employers, and more. Sign up to stay tuned for updates.
- The Forbes Iconoclast Summit will convene the world’s most iconic visionaries, financial titans, pioneering technologists, and key executives for high-level conversations on the most critical issues impacting our economy and markets today. Join us in New York City on June 12.
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