Uber Cuts Jobs; Nobel Prize In Econ Announced; Smile Direct Club’s Bad Day

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On the heels of a new partnership with Cornershop, Uber announced that it is cutting 350 jobs impacting the UberEats division as well as performance marketing, advanced technologies, and recruiting teams. In a demonstration of capitalism at its finest, Uber shares finished the day up 3.3%.

Third time’s the charm

This isn’t the first time the ride-sharing company went all “you’re terminated” to worker bees since the company went public. Uber announced 400 job cuts in its marketing department in August and another 435 that affected its engineering team in September. “Sir, the dweebs in engineering have already built out the complex algorithms required to keep the platform running.” – Uber finance VP to Dara Khosrowshahi during cost-cutting brainstorm sesh

The latest round of layoffs is the smallest so far but still accounts for 1.5% of Uber’s total workforce, which sits at 22,263 per FactSet. All the moves have come amid investor pressure for the company to, believe it or not, make a profit.

The bottom line …

Even with today’s rise, Uber’s stock is still down 29% since inception. Not great.



*Sarah McLachlan starts singing*

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences aka The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to three economists (go figure) from *heavy Boston accent* MIT and Harvard (go figure) thanks to their antipoverty research. No word on if the economists began their careers as janitors at MIT but were exposed as misguided geniuses after solving difficult math problems after hours.

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, who are both professors at MIT (and are married), share this year’s prize with Michael Kremer, from Harvard, for their research that has ‘considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty’, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (read: the “Keepers of the Cup” for the Nobel Prize).

The three nerds took a new approach to fight poverty by splitting the issue into smaller and more manageable matters. By utilizing behavioral economics (WTF is that?) their research has helped improve education in India and Kenya and lifted vaccination rates around the world. Their work has the potential to impact hundreds of millions of people. What have you done lately?

Ironically enough the trios wildly impressive feats warrant a roughly $1M prize … which will be split between the three.

The bottom line …

Roughly 36% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, making it one of today’s most pressing global issues.




  • You’ll get nothing and like it. POTUS is ratcheting up the economic pressure on Turkey following the country’s attack on US-allied Kurdish forces in northeast Syria. Donny Trade Wars will impose sanctions on Turkish officials, increase steel tariffs to 50% (from 25%), stop ongoing trade negotiations … and send strongly worded tweets until Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plays nice in the sandbox. It’s worth noting that Trump’s recent decision to remove US troops from the Syrian border area likely opened the door for the Turkish offensive.


  • Free fallin’. Dennis Muilenburg is out as chairman of Boeing after that whole 737 Max debacle caused board members to lose faith. The company said Muilenburg will stay on as CEO, but without chairman duties, he’ll be able to focus on running the company. The first step will likely be getting regulators to sign off on 737 Maxs taking to the air again, considering the model has been denied flight since mid-March. In the meantime, David Calhoun will replace Muilenburg in a non-executive chair role. All of the responsibilities without the title. Sigh …


  • Dislike. Facebook’s Libra is running out of fans, as Booking Holdings has pulled out of the “Association.” Booking, which owns Priceline.com and Kayak.com, is the 7th company to withdraw from the project, joining Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal.


  • Blackout. Fortnite pissed off virgins, er, gamers on Sunday, taking the map of the world’s most popular game, and jamming it into a digital black hole, rendering the game unplayable. The move, part of Fortnite’s Season 10 live event, included erasing all content from all of Fortnite’s social channels, except for one Twitch stream of the black hole on Fortnite’s website. If nothing else, this PR move gave us some pretty awesome freak-out videos.


  • Nothing to smile about. Smile Direct Club got its teeth kicked in yesterday. Shares dropped 13% on Monday and hit a new low. The firm, which debuted at $23 when it went public in September, saw prices dip as low as $9.44, before closing at $9.70. The plunge came as California signed legislation that would knee-cap the startup’s direct to consumer model. The bill requires a dentist to review patients’ recent x-rays to provide orthodontics. Circumventing costly office visits was kinda SDC’s schtick … so this could certainly raise questions as to the company’s viability in CA at least.


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