The Chicago Journal

Elon Musk Takes a Swipe at YouTube’s Policies on Twitter

The founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk recently called out a number of scammers through a contemporary format loved by millions: memes. 

Musk’s comments came out a day after he threatened to revoke his $44 billion Twitter bid following the company’s decision not let him conduct an independent review of all scam and bot accounts on the social media platform.

His follow-up tweet was a Spongebob meme that targeted YouTube for not moderating enough spam ads.

His criticism should come as no surprise, given that he has been vocal about his anti-bot and spam sentiments on Twitter.

Elon Musk has shared his desire to privatize the company, and he wants it so that free speech can continue on the platform. He plans to conduct maintenance to reduce the fake accounts on Twitter.

The number of spam accounts on social media platforms is a point for debate, but it’s clear that there has been an increase over time. Twitter maintains only 5% of users are spam or bot accounts while Musk and many others claim it is more.

YouTube has a policy that bans uploading suspicious content that takes them out of the site/app and into a site full of fake advertisements.

The company’s advertising policy is to ensure that the advertisements are legitimate, but it seems like there will always be people trying their luck. As of late, many have succeeded.

Mr. Beast, a popular YouTuber with millions of fans, shared Elon Musk’s sentiments.

“I’ve gotten fake ads of me giving away money at least a thousand times and feel bad for the hundreds of thousands of people that have been scammed,” the YouTuber replied to Musk’s tweet. “I’ve been screaming at them for forever to figure this out.”

Elon Musk has been frustrated with Twitter lately. He wants to acquire the social media platform but the deal is currently on hold. However, he is not giving up hope.


Elon Musk Voices YouTube Frustration With a Spongebob Meme on Twitter

Americans’ Wealth Takes a Hit from Stock Market Collapse

America’s wealth took a massive dip thanks to the stock market’s continuous downward spiral.

The Federal Reserve Bank’s data on Thursday revealed that the net worth of households and non-profit organizations dropped in Q1, from $0.5 trillion to just over $149.3 trillion dollars. This is a notable turnaround compared with gains starting in mid-2020 when prices for homes went up, as well as equity stocks, doing well after being sold at higher rates.

The recent stock market movement reflects a sharp decline in the value of corporate equities, with $3 trillion lost from directly and indirectly held stocks. As a result, the holdings have a total value of $43.6 trillion.

The US stock market is in turmoil and there’s no sign of it letting up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell nearly 5% within the first three months, while the Nasdaq composite index plummeted nearly 9%. This makes this quarter one for all time lows since 2020 when the pandemic struck.

Read also: Shift in Grocery Shopping Habits Can Be Attributed to Soaring Food Price

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most significant factors behind this economic downturn, but it’s not the sole factor. Oil prices have skyrocketed as well; inflation continues its upward trend with each passing day, and there were even some interest rate hikes by The Federal Reserve which might’ve had an effect on things too! In addition, Russia began their invasion into Ukraine,complicating matters further.

The Federal Reserve has released data that shows the rise in real estate values was a contributor to the stock market crashes, reaching a $1.7 trillion increase. The consistent high rate of personal savings also contributed to the decline.

The household net worth to disposable income ratio continues to be near its record high.  In addition, this figure is much higher than before pandemic levels were reached during 2019.

However, the Fed revealed the strong growth in home mortgages and consumer credit, leading to an annual pace of 8.3%.

Home prices continue to rise, mortgage debt increases by 8.6%. Americans are taking out more credit cards and auto loans in a bid for financial security, leading consumer credit to increase by 8.7%.

Read also: Stock Futures Yield Little Progress Following Monday Reports


Stock Market Among Other Factors to a Wealth Decline in Early 2022

Dave Clark to Bring Two Decades of Experience to Flexport

It’s been reported that Amazon CEO, Dave Clark is joining Flexport as their new CEO. This move comes shortly after he announced his resignation from Amazon. Speculations were running high regarding what project or position would be next for him but it seems like we have our answer now.

Flexport’s founder and CEO Ryan Peterson will transition into an executive chairman role in March 2023, while Clark takes over for him as head of the company on September 1 this year.

With no successor to Clark named, Amazon will be providing an update on their search. CEO Andy Jassy shared that they will provide more information in the coming weeks.

Dave Clark will be joining Flexport to help the company fulfill its mission. He’s been with Amazon for over 20 years, working on building out their warehouse network from a few facilities into an expansive footprint that touches nearly every corner of America.

Clark played an important role in Amazon’s transportation arm, which has now produced fleets of planes and trucks that are decreasing reliance on outside carriers like UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.

The former CEO, who reported to Andy Jassy, was among the most important executives in this company. The last few years have presented him with plenty of challenges especially as it struggles to manage increased demands from pandemic-stricken cities.

Clark was drawn to Flexport’s mission of integrating technology and solving global supply chain issues by providing a more efficient way for businesses around the world.

“It is for all the reasons above and countless more that I am looking forward into transitioning into the role of CEO at Flexport in September,” said Clark. “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with an incredible team who are building a customer-first, rocket ship of a company focused on architecting and building solutions for the most complicated supply chain problems through world-class technology for the physical world.”

Flexport founder, Ryan Peterson expressed his enthusiasm for the addition of a figure like Dave Clark.

“Over the last two decades, Dave helped scale Amazon into the technology and supply chain juggernaut it is today,” he said. “He is a builder and an entrepreneur at heart, with the leadership experience that will shepherd Flexport into the most exciting phase of our journey.”


Dave Clark to Take the Helm of CEO for Flexport in September

Wealth Assistants Offers Service that Helps Clients Experience a Financial Breakthrough in Amazon

The pandemic has made it difficult to grow one’s financial assets. However, it is also because of the pandemic that building real wealth became more accessible than ever, so long as people knew the proper steps. With the help of the right financial partners, people would be able to make the best financial decisions that would grow their money. That is what Ryan Carroll, founder of Wealth Assistants, firmly believes. 

Ryan Carroll is a twenty-six-year-old businessman who founded Wealth Assistants in late 2021 because people need more money, and they need it quicker than ever before due to inflation being at an all-time high. The company Wealth Assistants is a modern-day wealth management service helping people build a well-diversified portfolio of cash-flowing assets that are 99% managed by their operational teams. The company operates efficiently through its “DFY” or “done-for-you” services. This marker means investors get to make entirely passive income without worrying about personally getting involved in all the operations of the businesses they’re investing in. 

Wealth Assistants’ primary investment vehicle is for its holders via Amazon stores, where investors get to own an Amazon store that is completely managed for them by the Wealth Assistants team. Ryan has a seven-figure Amazon operations team of over five hundred people. The goal with owning an Amazon store is to get a new stream of entirely passive income greater than ten thousand dollars a month and exit the business for a three to five multiple. 

On top of that, Wealth Assistants has funding partners which allow investors to use “Other People’s Money” at 0% interest rates when obtaining these new cash-flowing Amazon stores.

Ryan Carroll skipped the traditional “go to college” to get a nine-to-five job and instead went down his path leading him to sell products online at a young age. He now has seven years of ecommerce experience to date. Moreover, millions of dollars in sold products have led him to establish Wealth Assistants, which focuses on bringing emerging assets to investors with cash flow greater than traditional assets.

As Wealth Assistants grow their network and gather momentum for a bigger market under Ryan’s leadership, they are looking at helping men ages 40 to 65 who consider themselves as sophisticated inventors aiming to diversify their portfolio and nine-to-five workers that want to start investing or planning for retirement.

What makes Wealth Assistants stand out in the saturated industry is their moneyback guarantee. Specifically with Amazon, if their investors do not at least break even in year one on their investment, the company will pay them back the difference. “This brings peace of mind for our investors as it de-risks the investment and guarantees them success. We have this in place solely due to our confidence in being able to build profitable Amazon stores for our clients,” says Ryan.

Ryan realized that bringing in investors and having them fund the business startups would help them expand their ecommerce portfolio quicker, which also adds overall significant evaluation for the company. “Wealth Assistants is a win-win for our partners with their guaranteed revenue and our company valuation.” 

Meta Labs Agency Acquires Logan Paul’s “404 Error,” Paving the Way for Aspirants Across the Globe

The dawn of non-fungible tokens has transformed the crypto and blockchain space into one of the world’s most progressive industries today. As a matter of fact, NFTs have completely changed how individuals and entities intend to reach success. Moreover, these digital assets have prompted creatives and visionaries worldwide to be more innovative, paving the way for multiple groundbreaking discoveries. One of those gaining traction in the financial landscape is Meta Labs Agency. Behind this emerging powerhouse is the ever-brilliant Travis Bott. 

When YouTuber and NFT enthusiast Logan Paul announced that he would be auctioning “404 Error,” which is one of the items in his esteemed original collection, collectors and enthusiasts made sure to never miss out on the opportunity of owning such a valuable piece. The bid registered over 25 ETH or USD 44,000 and was eventually awarded to Travis Bott and his company MetaLab Agency, selling for 165 ETH or $300,000. 

The NFT “404 Error” shows one of Logan Paul’s polaroid images that was said to be taken during one of his trips to Puerto Rico. The piece comes from the 99 Originals collection, which consists of 99 polaroid images personally taken by the YouTuber himself. On top of that, it is also one of an exclusive collection of mints that aims to create a group of DAO members who will be supporting art ventures and web 3.0 projects. 

“We want Meta Labs to be a hub for NFT lovers that seek support as we traverse new grounds together,” Travis Bott shared. “We believe in supporting each other and the importance of high utility and high-value propositions for the community in all of the NFT projects are associated with.”

Since its inception, Meta Labs Agency has established itself as a reputable NFT development firm known for making world-class blockchain solutions, dApps, and NFT collectibles. The company’s highly-acclaimed collection, Meta Bounty Hunters, features 8,888 two-dimensional digital art pieces that took inspiration from the Star Wars franchise. These digital tokens are designed to look like “strong and fearless” galactic bounty hunters that are ready to protect civilizations, form alliances, and conquer the galaxy. 

“My ultimate goal is to do mastermind retreats with members, fund independent movies and upcoming artists, strategically invest in special projects, donate to various philanthropic organizations, throw insane events, and honestly anything else our members want to do,” Logan Paul revealed on the Originals’ official website. “I think this is the perfect intersection of tech, art, culture, and community. This project will be my biggest endeavor to date, and I can’t wait to foster a group of people who will make an everlasting impact in a revolutionary space,” he further explained.

Acquiring Logan Paul’s “404 Error” may have allowed Meta Labs Agency to gain traction, but Travis Bott believes this milestone is just the beginning. With over 150 projects under its current slate, the firm hopes to take on many more in the future. At the heart of its innovative efforts lies an incredible sense of community and growth. 

Shift in Grocery Shopping Habits Can Be Attributed to Soaring Food Price

The world is facing an unparalleled crisis as a result of the ever-increasing food prices. As if it wasn’t enough, there will soon be disruptions in international farming communities adding even more headaches

BMO and Ipsos held a quarterly survey and found that 42% of adults changed their grocery shopping habits to avoid big brands, instead opting to go for cheaper, essential items.

People also prefer to eat at home instead of dining out. 46% of those surveyed said they would rather do so to spend less.

The factors that have caused food prices to rise are high energy costs and the Russian invasion. Additionally, every day this past week, gas prices reached record highs with AAA reporting a national average cost for gasoline at $4.85 on Sunday morning. Diesel also experienced increases during these same days reaching $5.64 per gallon.

The farmers’ reliance on gas made it difficult for them to utilize equipment and transport goods.

“By the economics textbook, higher costs work themselves up through the supply side of the market and raise prices,” said American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist Roger Cryan. “The prices are especially high right now because of the sudden lack of access to Black Sea grain, but if these energy prices stay high in the long run, then they will entirely work their way into food prices.”

A significant amount of these increases can be attributed to the invasion by Russia, which led many countries into an exporting crisis as they lost access or became unable to produce certain crops due their volatile situation there.

“Ukraine is one of the largest wheat producers and suppliers, so wheat is definitely under pressure,” said agriculture professor and Research Economist for Center for Global Trade Analysis Maksym Chepeliev. “Corn as well, because apart from the fact that Ukraine is a large corn producer and supplier that needs to be replaced, there have been issues with droughts in South America and also the U.S. that kind of reduced the corn supply, and China is demanding more corn, and that is pushing the global corn market.”

The recent avian flu outbreaks have led to soaring egg prices. Additionally, Florida’s oranges yield fell due to a bacterial infection affecting crops.

The food industry is predicting that prices for groceries and other foods will continue to rise. It’s not clear when they’ll come down again, but it seems inevitable since 40-year high levels of inflation have been sustained so far this year alone.

Summit of the Americas to Open with Biden’s Economic Agendas, Not Trade Agreements

The Summit of the Americas will be a crucial opportunity for President Joe Biden to sell his economic agenda. However, trade agreements are not on this list and may have been conveniently left out.

The President will present a proposal aimed at mobilizing new investments, facilitating inclusive trade and strengthening supply chains. The plan also promotes decarbonization by updating the “social contract” between governments with their people in mind.

“The overall objective is to build our economies from the bottom up and the middle out by building on the foundation established by our free trade agreements with the region to better address the inequality and lack of economic opportunity and equity,” shared a senior administration official.

In an effort to heal wounds after public speculation about who would be invited, the partnership will also address several other initiatives including economic engagement rather than the domestic issues that was earlier speculated.

Mexican PresidentAndrés Manuel López Obrador has revealed he will not be attending the 2022 Summit of the Americas after the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

During the summit, Biden’s administration will seek to improve ties with its southern neighbors to discuss immigration, climate change, and the growing economic and political influence of its geopolitical rival, China. However, Biden’s proposal may not satisfy Latin American countries’ desire to gain more trade access to the United States.

“I really worry America has sort of walked away from our engagement in Central and Latin America, and I think it’s going to take a deliberate, concerted effort to re-engage,” said House Ways and Means Committee’s member and free trade vocal supporter Rep. Kevin Brady. “I don’t see that happening at the Americas summit, principally because the whole world knows the president’s not interested in enforceable trade agreements that can help boost investment in two-way trade.”

Throughout the three-day summit, Biden will discuss the economic agenda, health initiatives, climate change, food security, and migration.

Defense Production Act Invoked, Brings Criticism to Biden’s Administration

President Joe Biden used his executive power on Monday to expedite solar panel production, drawing criticism from both journalists and Republicans who questioned why he would use special powers. However, renewable energy advocates were thrilled about the announcement that accelerated domestic technology.

It is not clear if the decision will have any near-time effect and it’s possible that this was just an unrelated coincidence.  The timing may be connected to record high fuel prices, but the White House did not address concerns over spikes at gas stations.

The White House has announced that it will be gathering key stakeholders to discuss the steps needed in order to maximize these dual-use technologies.

Reporter Edward Lawrence asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the rationale for invoking the DPA. “What’s the real emergency in the solar industry for the Defense Production Act?” he asked at the regular briefing.

“The president, when he takes the Defense Production Act, it’s to make sure that he’s delivering for the American people. It is an important tool that he has used a couple of times and has been incredibly effective,” replied Jean-Pierre. “He is invoking the Defense Production Act to rapidly expand domestic production of solar panel parts, building insulation, heat pumps, and more.”

The press secretary told reporters that Biden “is putting the full force of the federal government’s purchasing power behind supporting American clean energy manufacturers, and he is providing US solar employers the short-term stability they need to build clean energy projects and deliver more affordable energy.”

“These actions do not apply to any materials imported from China,” she said of the import issue. “Import duties will remain in place on solar cells and panels from China or Taiwan.”

The Biden Administration failed to specify a national defense reason for the announcement despite answering questions.

Joe Biden was vice president during an administration that pushed for solar energy production. This led to the Solyndra scandal, where they unsuccessfully tried getting federal loan guarantees due to their politics-related company going bankrupt after receiving $535 million in funding,

The Defense Production Act has been used by the previous administration to force businesses into making ventilators and test swabs early in pandemic. Biden recently invoked it, sparking speculation that he would speed up production of baby formula if there are shortages.

Biden’s decision has caused Democrats to express their disapproval, which could influence corporate behavior through the threat of action.

Stock Futures Yield Little Progress Following Monday Reports

Investors are on edge as the market remains volatile following an initially calm Monday. The stock futures took another dip with investors waiting for crucial inflation data that will come out later this week, which could provide some insight into how economic conditions may be changing key perceptions about future interest rate hikes.

Futures were heavily influenced by the outlook for stocks in America. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% along with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100, each taking a dip below their current values.

The markets closed with small gains yesterday as the three stock market indexes ended slightly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 16 points, which is less than 0.1% higher from its open price and jumped 300 points earlier in trading before that day’s end.

Indexes were on a tear this morning, with the 10-year Treasury yield spiking to 3% and indexing itself for its highest level in over 30 days.

Investors are eagerly awaiting any sign that the recent volatility in stocks may be coming to an end. The blackout period on Monday means there will not be any economic data releases or earnings reports from major companies, but some investors believe this could give way for a bear market rally if it proves long enough without significant news causing another sell-off again soon after prevention of further gains.

The President at Yardeni Research, a sell-side consultancy that provides global investment and business strategy services said: 

“Since the beginning of the year, we’re seeing an altitude sickness when you look at the valuation multiple,” he shared. “To a large extent, clearly, with the benefit of hindsight, the market was overvalued. A lot of that was in the negative cap seat, big-cap names, related companies. I think we’ve seen a tremendous correction in that area. And now the question is whether the market can accept the kind of earnings expectations that analysts are delivering and whether those expectations will be correct.”

Investors will be paying close attention to company earnings this week. For example, Cracker Barrel is scheduled to release its results on Tuesday along with JM Smucker and United Natural Foods.

Investors are eagerly awaiting this month’s consumer price index reading to see if inflation has peaked. The number will be released on Friday, and some experts believe it could provide us with an indication as far as where prices may go from here in terms of growth rates or levels for the economy overall.

The Philippines to Receive a Major Boost in Internet Service With Elon Musk’s Starlink

Image Source: Rappler

In an effort to help those less fortunate, Elon Musk has announced that he will be providing Philippines residents with high-speed internet service through his company’s satellites. This is a great development for both the Filipino people and investors in this emerging market as it presents new opportunities where there were none before.

Starlink, a satellite internet service that has been approved by the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for registration as Value-Added Service. This new form of high speed and reliable access to information is expected to provide an alternative in contrast with existing providers who have garnered bad reputation due their expensive prices or lackluster services–especially when it comes down to how they treat customers nowadays . The company behind this innovative idea? SpaceX; Elon Musk’s private space enterprise.

The National Transmission Company (NTC) has welcomed Starlink’s recent registration as it allows the company to start offering internet access services in months ahead. The regulator also said that their VAS license “allows them direct access into satellite systems,” which means they can build and operate broadband facilities for downloadable content like movies or songs online.

Quisumbing Torres, Bien’s law firm in the Philippines and counsel for SpaceX Elon Musk’s Starlink project expressed their gratitude towards The NTC for its effort to accelerate VAS License processing.

“We would like to thank the NTC for issuing Starlink’s VAS license 30 minutes after we submitted our application with complete requirements,” said Marquez. “This shows the government’s seriousness in addressing the connectivity needs of our countrymen in unserved and underserved areas. This will also prepare us in the event of natural disasters and calamities.”

Starlink has arrived in the Philippines, providing a new option for consumers as our country continues to suffer from poor internet services. The first Southeast Asian country that will offer their service is also set out as an example of what they hope other areas can achieve with these innovative low-orbit satellites.

In a world where internet service is increasingly becoming a priority, many people have been looking for an alternative to traditional cable providers. One company that has come up with the solution? Starlink! This new satellite network offers high-speed downloading speeds between 100 MBPS and 200 Mbps along side low latency connections which make it perfect not just gamers but also those who need quick access in business or education settings alike.