- $1: The amount Elon Musk is charging new X users as a test in the Philippines and New Zealand
- 63: The number of buses filled with migrants that arrived in Chicago this week
- 7.92%: The percentage rates on 30-year fixed mortgage; the highest level in 23 years
- $92.8M: The amount “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” made at the box office opening weekend
- $12: The cost of Netflix’s basic plan after raising subscription prices this month
- 668: The number of employees LinkedIn will lay off in the second round of layoffs this year
Never Underestimate New Hampshire
New Hampshire was the center of the political universe last weekend as GOP presidential candidates gathered for the GOP First-In-The-Nation Summit. With less than 100 days until the Iowa caucuses catalyze the nomination process, candidates continue to vie for attention in the Granite State; and overall, they remain optimistic in their efforts.
Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters last weekend that “New Hampshire is so wide open.” North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum says his strategy is to “put in the work” – similar to his tactic for securing the Governor’s mansion and building his technology company. But many voters aren’t convinced. Tom Harvell, a New Hampshire voter, told USA Today: “I don’t know if there is anything they can do, which is extremely sad. So many people are entranced with Trump.”
Some candidates are experiencing success in the state. In an October USA Today poll, Nikki Haley secured second place (19%) in New Hampshire, ahead of DeSantis (10%). Yet, former President Trump is still seeing good numbers, with a September CNN poll showing him at 39%. When asked about the Trump campaign’s strategy, his senior advisor in New Hampshire said, “the best thing they can do is endorse Trump and give up.”
Giving up is unlikely to happen, though, since history tells us anything can happen in New Hampshire. In the 2000 cycle, GOP front-runner George W. Bush led the polls in New Hampshire with 45% of the vote compared to Senator John McCain’s 12%, but when it came to actual voting, the story was different. McCain beat Bush in the New Hampshire primary 49% to 30% – largely riding the backs of moderate and independent voters. Can another McCain emerge to triumph over Trump? Only time will tell.
A Louisiana Upset
Republican Jeff Landry trampled a field of opponents last Saturday in the boot state’s gubernatorial primary election, flipping the seat and securing a GOP lock in Louisiana. Landry secured 52% of voter support. His opponents, Shawn Wilson (D) and Stephen Waguespack (R) respectively received 25.9% and 5.9% of the vote.
Landry, who served as the state’s attorney general, is a staunch Trump supporter. He campaigned on a platform of firm social conservatism and has made a name for himself by clashing with President Biden’s policies that limit oil and gas production, as well as his opposition of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The Republican spent two years representing Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District in Washington D.C., served 11 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard, and was a police officer and sheriff’s deputy.
Louisiana’s voting system differs from many U.S. states – thus the unique October election. Established in 1975, their “jungle primary” is held in the month of October, and all candidates for an office run together in one election. If one candidate receives the majority of the vote (over 50%), they win the election outright. If not, the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, enter a run-off election in November. Louisiana is one of only five states to hold an election in an odd-number year, and one of only 18 states that holds separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor, often resulting in pairs from different parties.
Once Landry takes office, Louisiana will join the ranks of 26 other states controlled by Republican governors.
Arkansas Becomes First State to Oust Chinese Company Over National Security Concerns
Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. New Hampshire boasts of their first-in-the-nation primary. This week, Arkansas became the first state to force out a Chinese company that owned 160 acres of farmland, citing national security concerns. Through legislation passed earlier this year, Governor Sarah Sanders ordered the company, Chinese-owned subsidiary Syngenta, to sell the farmland within two years. The company must also pay a $280,000 fine within 30 days for neglecting to disclose foreign ownership of the site (the company was purchased by ChemChina in 2017).
The issue of foreign companies owning farmland has echoed in statehouse debates across the country. At least eight states have laws in place to prohibit the purchasing of farmland by foreign entities. Why? Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders says seeds are technology. “Chinese-owned state corps filter that technology back to their homeland, stealing American research and telling our enemies how to target American farms,” she said in a press conference this week.
Syngenta does not agree and expressed disappointment in the decision, calling it “shortsighted.” The company owns about 1,500 acres of U.S. agricultural land that they say is used for research, development and regulatory trials on products used by U.S. farmers.
AI is Revolutionizing the Science Lab
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing research, and it could be the future of making scientific discoveries more efficient and cost-effective. Many researchers are already taking advantage of the advancement of AI by using it to streamline processes, such as vaccine research, modeling potential proteins for scientists to test, or even inventing certain types of batteries.
Last week, the U.S. National Academies met to discuss AI’s potential for changing science – and like the rest of the world – sought to build parameters for the increasingly complex technology. Yolanda Gil, an AI expert who attended the event, said she sees a future where AI and humans can collaborate to find solutions for complex problems like climate change and disease. “There’s not enough humans to do all this work,” she says.
In the world of science and research, AI streamlines the age-old process of trial and error, expediting processes for scientists. The technology is less prone to error and can make complicated processes more manageable.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. AI is essentially useless in new fields since it models results from previous studies and research. Additionally, compared to traditional research, AI focuses more on learning patterns, which could lead the technology astray when learning new things. AI has had issues with bias since it can only act on the information given.
Cricket Returns to the Olympics — and the World Cheers!
On Monday, cricket fans across the globe cheered as their favorite sport was welcomed back to the Olympics games. With over 2.8 billion fans, cricket is deemed the world’s second most popular sport (behind soccer) yet was last acknowledged as an Olympic sport in 1900. After two years of work to bring cricket back to the worldwide competition, the International Olympic Committee hopes to see the game reach new audiences.
Cricket is extremely popular in Southeast Asia – especially in India where the sport is followed and revered to the level of a religion. Sachin Tendulkar, a former captain of India’s national team, wrote on X: “This marks the dawn of a new era for cricket as it will be a golden opportunity to foster inclusivity and showcase new talent from emerging cricketing nations.”
Other sports added to the 2028 Olympics include baseball, softball, lacrosse, flag football, and squash, with the last two having never been in the Olympics. The 2028 summer games will be held in Los Angeles.
MBAs Struggle to Find Jobs
At this time two years ago, second-year MBA candidates were locking in jobs for postgraduation the following spring or leveraging offers in order to land in a premier corporate job. This year is different. Many companies are holding on hiring and spending less time recruiting on college campuses. EY, Amazon, and Boston Consulting Group are reportedly rethinking their hiring strategies and pausing for a clearer picture of next year’s business climate.
This leaves many students in the lurch – many of whom enrolled during the corporate hiring spree of 2021 and 2022 with sweet salaries and big bonuses to match. At the time, wages in business and management rose 3.9% – the fastest pace on record since 2003 for this category of work. But times have changed, and companies in technology, finance, and consulting, which recruit 70% of some top business school grads, are slow-rolling their intake. Why? Some businesses have over-hired in recent years. Other corporate efforts revolve around adding staff in highly specific locations (some international). And many are waiting to see what next year’s economy brings.
With the real GDP expected to fall to 0.8 percent in 2024, businesses are holding their cards close to their chest. As for M.B.A.s, most will land on their feet. And consultancies that previously had to battle giants like Amazon and EY, may strike gold with newly-minted business school graduates.
See you next week!