Welcome back. It’s Dan DeFrancesco checking in from NYC.
Today we’ve got stories on a retail giant stepping its toe into buy now, pay later; how to get lunch with a billionaire, and what life is for two guys who have the money and power to do whatever they want.
But first, we are going to hear more from Sam Bankman-Fried this week, even if you think we’ve already heard quite enough from him.
1. SBF goes to Washington (virtually).
Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who said he once considered himself a “model CEO,” tweeted last week that he would testify before tomorrow’s House Financial Services committee hearing focused on his firm’s blowup.
Committee members may not get any more clarity than Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times or George Stephanopoulos of “Good Morning America” did when they recently grilled him. As Insider’s Sindhu Sundar noted on Friday, SBF had indicated on his Twitter thread that there could be questions that he might not be able to answer fully. “I still do not have access to much of my data — professional or personal,” he tweeted.
FTX’s new CEO, John J. Ray III, who oversaw the bankruptcy of Enron, will testify in the first part of the hearing. In FTX’s November 11 bankruptcy filing, Ray said: “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.”
In other news:
2. Walmart is reportedly rolling out its own version of buy now, play later. The retail giant is leaning on One, the fintech it backs, to launch the feature. Read more about Walmart’s plans to get into the BNPL game.
3. More CEOs are cracking down on what they see as underperforming employees. Residential brokerage Compass is the latest, with its CEO telling managers to identify “poor performers” and “move them out.” CEO Robert Reffkin’s internal memo was shared with Insider.
4. Would you like to go to lunch with Bill Ackman? A private lunch with the billionaire is on the table if you’re willing to pony up the cash. It’s part of a charity auction to raise money for New York healthcare workers, police, firefighters, and military veterans, and the Pershing Square CEO has pledged to match the winning amount. But hurry up, the auction ends today.
5. The bank behind FTX. Silvergate Capital Corp. built a business catering to crypto companies like Coinbase, Gemini, and FTX. But in the wake of the crypto exchange’s blowup, regulators are interested in taking a deeper look at the bank, Bloomberg reports. Here’s why people are concerned.
6. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, these are the best 15 states to do it in. From startup tax credits to fewer licensing restrictions, these states are your best bet. And if you’re looking for some backing, these five founders shared tips on how to pitch venture investors.
7. Vanguard is out on an initiative to fight climate change. The withdrawal of the world’s largest mutual fund manager from the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative could have some big knock-on effects. Here’s why.
8. What do you do when you’ve already done it all? Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have accomplished what the vast majority of people can only dream of doing. So what do you do next? From private islands to flying cars, inside the wild lives of Page and Brin.
9. There’s flying private, and then there is this. We got a peak inside an Airbus A320neo airliner that is being retrofitted into one of the most luxurious private jets you’ll ever see. Take a peak inside.
10. JetBlue and American just announced 11 new routes as part of a new partnership. Break out that TrueBlue or AAdvantage number and start planning your next adventure. Here’s a rundown of all the new routes.