Tonight: Elon Musk has declared himself the “Technoking of Tesla;” the US has a new most valuable startup; and if your stimulus check is “pending” in your bank account, you aren’t alone.
Nothing like waiting months for a stimulus check only to see it’s “pending” in your bank account. What, are the banks depositing the $1,400 with those paper rolls of pennies?
Big payments like this flow through the banking world via the ACH system, which is run by the Federal Reserve. When transactions are initiated, banks receive a notification indicating money is on the way. Hence, “pending.”
Fintechs like Chime, however, don’t wait for the money to actually arrive. They pay it out early, trusting that when the Fed says the money is coming, it’ll get there eventually.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I don’t have to choose between lifestyle and career. I get to do both now.”
YOU DOWN WITH NFT?
Non-fungible tokens are all the rage. So the CNN Business team decided to buy one.
Let’s break down that term:
- Non-fungible: meaning one of a kind, not interchangeable.
- Token: like a unit of currency.
NFTs can take different forms, but they are commonly used to buy and sell digital art. Last week, for example, a single JPG file by the artist Bleeple sold for $69.3 million.
BUYING AN NFT
Our team’s NFT, for the record, fit a decidedly more journalist-y budget, as my colleague Rishin Iyengar explains. After much deliberation, we chose a piece by Moscow-based digital artist Alexander Shelupinin called “Little Alien” — a shapeshifting, color-changing portrait of a hairless Sphynx cat. (The CNN Business team has a history with hairless cats, but that’s a story for another time.)
We bought it from a marketplace called Known Origin where it was listed by the artist for 0.01 ethereum, or $15 at the time. Thanks to a slight jump in ethereum prices since, it’s now worth a princely sum of $17.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
In a filing with his Musk’s least favorite regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla disclosed that its founder and CEO is adding the title of “Technoking of Tesla.” It also said that Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn had taken on the title of “Master of Coin.”
(Fully inspired, today I’m declaring myself Empress of Nightcap.)
The move is something of a middle finger to the SEC. Some background:
- Musk used to be the chairman of Tesla, but the SEC stripped him of that title in 2018 as part of a settlement.
- Reminder: The SEC is charged with, among other things, making sure heads of companies don’t mislead the public…
- And that’s exactly what Musk did when he tweeted “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share. In fact no such agreement existed.
- The SEC originally sought to strip Musk of his CEO title, too, but settled for having him pay a $20 million fine and give up “chairman.”
Musk has to occasionally fire off these innocuous billionaire-with-Peter-Pan-Syndrome moves to keep up his eccentric mad scientist routine. But there’s a reason to the madness: He needs shareholders to not panic when he does something even more alarming, like publicly dismissing measures to combat Covid-19 (which he’s called “fascist” and un-American.)
And if you look at Tesla’s share price, it seems to be working. Investors have driven Tesla shares up to make it one of the most valuable US companies of any kind — worth roughly as much as the world’s seven largest automakers combined.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON
- Rosalind Brewer assumed her new role as CEO of Walgreens, officially making her the only Black woman currently serving as the head of a Fortune 500 company and just the third in history to achieve the career milestone.
- Volkswagen plans to build six “gigafactories” in Europe by 2030 — a massive expansion of its battery production as it tries to gain an edge in the electric car market.
- Toys “R” Us is changing hands again, just two years after it went bankrupt.