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NETFLIX CAN’T CHILL
Netflix announced that it has signed Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, to a deal worth a reported $300M. That $300M will be paid out to Murphy over the next 5 years to create original series and movies for Netflix.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has brought in a ringer. Just last year the home of Orange is the New Black ponied up to woo Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Comic book juggernaut, Mark Millar, is also on Netflix’s deep bench.
Netflix’s latest move comes as competition for talent heats up with 21st Century Fox, who was acquired by Disney at the end of last year. Murphy was expected to re-sign with Fox, but appears to have been made an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Just when you were reaching the end of your Netflix ‘To watch,’ queue, they pull you right back in. Glee not your cup of tea? Too bad, because Ryan Murphy made American Horror Story too. Apparently, this guy’s mind only works in the extremes.”
DIABETES: THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
[*Debbie Downer sound*] More than 29M Americans have diabetes and 86M more have pre-diabetes. The silver lining? The FDA recently approved a mobile app that will help track blood sugar and insulin dosage.
A company called Glooko (see what they did there?!) is one of the top digital diabetes companies in the game. They have created an app that allows doctors to monitor and update suggested dosages of insulin. The app records and tracks results directly from glucose monitors and provides analysis for both the patient and doctor.
Like diets, and New Year’s resolutions, humans suck at sticking to their insulin plans. As a result, it’s difficult for patients and physicians to measure the effectiveness of regimens. Hence the demand for Wilford Brimley’s favorite app.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Shout-out to the people who named the company Glooko. Looks fake and then you say it, and it’s like ‘touche’. Seriously though, getting approved by the FDA is a huge step for any company creating health care apps.”
A GAME OF INCHES
Want to get economist’s respective undergarments in a bunch? Tell them the Consumer Price Index jumped 0.5% vs. an expected 0.3% increase in January. That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday.
And the largest monthly increase since 2005 wasn’t the only figure sending shivers down the spines of the pocket-protected poindexters. In the 12 months to January prices rose 2.1% vs. an expected 1.9%. For reference, the Fed’s target inflation is 2%.
The Consumer Price Index, or “CPI,” measures what Americans are paying for goods (except gas and food) and is the preferred barometer of inflation for the kind of people who have Alan Greenspan quotes hanging in their office.
So why does it matter? The Fed uses the index to help set interest rates and control inflation. And why does all that matter? Because interest rate uncertainty and inflation fears cause market volatility (see: Dow’s largest single-day point drop last week).
Water Cooler Talking Point: “If CPI has one redeeming quality it’s that you can watch it in real-time. Notice an increase in the price of Netflix? Congrats, you just witnessed a CPI component. See exactly zero percent change in movie tickets prices? Yup, you guessed it, CPI component hard at work.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Wells Fargo is selling off its subsidiary in Puerto Rico for $1.7B. Wells Fargo is making the sale as its auto lending business took a nosedive on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
- Amazon partners with Bank of America for its merchant lending program. In 2017 the program loaned over $1B to Amazon partners.
- Sam’s Club is adding free shipping in an effort to compete with Amazon. It’s also adding an online membership option similar to Prime. Sam’s Club is just missing is a music streaming service that no one uses.
- YouTube TV added a handful of stations to its streaming offering while raising the price just $5 per month. New channels include stations run by the MLB and the NBA. They could raise the price another $150/month with no improvement to service and it would still be a better deal than Comcast.
- Madden NFL game play will be coming to ESPN and DisneyXD starting February 2nd.
- US indices were up yesterday:
- DOW: +1.03%
- S&P 500: +1.34%
- NASDAQ: +1.86%
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MONEY CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS
You know what they say: everyone’s got their price. And according to “science” the ideal individual income for humankind to optimize life satisfaction is $95k per year. So the next time someone asks what the meaning of life is you’ll have an answer: to earn $95k per year and not a penny more.
The psychologists with entirely too much time and research funding on their hands polled 1.7M people in 164 countries cross-referencing incomes and satisfaction to determine the exact amount of money that can buy happiness.