Category Archives: News and Views

What’s Stripe’s deal? | TechCrunch

Stripe eyes exit, reportedly tried raising at a lower valuation The big news in fintech this week revolved around payments giant Stripe.

On January 26, my Equity Podcast co-host and overall amazingly talented reporter Natasha Mascarenhas and I teamed up to write about how Stripe had set a 12-month deadline for itself to go public, either through a direct listing or by pursuing a transaction on the private market, such as a fundraising event and a tender offer, according to sources familiar with the matter. The news, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, came as a surprise considering the rather dry public market activity in the tech world. Later that day, it also came to light that Stripe had reportedly approached investors about raising more capital — at least $2 billion — at a valuation of $55 billion to $60 billion.

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Southwest Develops Software Fix to Prevent Travel Meltdowns | Entrepreneur

Following its disastrous Christmas travel season, which saw the cancellation of 16,700 flights, Southwest Airlines is testing new software fixes — and facing an inquiry from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) for “unrealistic scheduling of flights.”

CNN reports that the airline’s existing software system will remain in place. However, changes stemming from Southwest’s review include a new command center team, telephone system improvements, and overall improved preparedness for inclement weather.

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Panic Disorder: Causes and Treatment for Panic Attacks | Live Science

Panic disorder is a mental health condition that causes sudden and repeated bouts of extreme fear that can last for several minutes or even longer. These episodes are referred to as panic attacks. The attacks are characterized by heightened feelings of disaster or of losing control, even when there is no immediate threat.

At first, the fear can be limited to a specific circumstance, such as getting in an elevator or driving over a bridge. That can lead to situational avoidance, according to the American Psychological Association(opens in new tab) (APA). As the disorder progresses, the person begins to fear not just the situation, but also the possibility of having an attack, and retreats from many daily activities.

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The California storms were great for wine | BBC News

For several days, Jason Haas and his employees at the Tablas Creek Vineyard couldn’t reach their vines.

The January storms that pummelled California washed out the roads and burst river banks, making even the simplest commute treacherous. Their tasting room closed for four days.

But even so, he was thrilled.

The atmospheric rivers that swept through California for two weeks caused an estimated $30bn (£24bn) in damage. Up and down the state, the torrents collapsed hillsides, uprooted trees, and washed out highways. At least 20 people died, and millions were under flood warnings.

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Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter over Rust shooting | BBC News

Actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter over the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on a film set when he fired a prop gun.

Mr Baldwin had been rehearsing a scene for the Western film Rust when the shooting happened at a ranch near Sante Fe, New Mexico in October 2021.

Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film’s armourer, will also be charged.

Lawyers for both said they intended to fight the charges in court.

Santa Fe’s District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the charges on Thursday, adding that they would be filed by the end of the month.

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Coinbase to lay off 20% of staff as crypto winter continues | CNN Business

The crypto winter is apparently not over yet. Coinbase announced Tuesday that it was laying off 950 people, about 20% of its staff. The job cuts come only a few months after another major round of layoffs. The crypto brokerage firm let 1,100 people go in June, about 18% of its headcount at the time.

Coinbase, like many other publicly traded and privately held crypto companies, has been hit hard by the massive plunge in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The price of bitcoin is hovering around $17,000 after peaking near $65,000 in late 2021.

Some crypto fans have been encouraged by the solid start for bitcoin so far in 2023. Bitcoin is up more than 4% since the start of the year, suggesting that crypto prices may have finally bottomed out.

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Fed Chair Powell: Bringing down inflation requires ‘measures that are not popular’ | CNN Business

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made his first public appearance of the year on Tuesday, stressing the importance of central bank independence and his commitment to bringing down inflation.

The painful rate hikes the Fed is implementing to tackle high prices don’t make officials particularly popular, Powell said during a panel discussion at an event hosted by Sweden’s central bank, the Sveriges Riksbank.

But, they are a necessary measure, he noted: “Price stability is the bedrock of a healthy economy and provides the public with immeasurable benefits over time. But restoring price stability when inflation is high can require measures that are not popular in the short term as we raise interest rates to slow the economy.”

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The SEC Is Expanding Oversight Into Private Companies | AllBusiness.com

When most of us think about the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), we think about a government agency designed to ensure public companies provide investors with accurate information, that employees who have access to “inside information” don’t trade on it, and that investment professionals don’t exploit, misinform or defraud the average investor on Main Street, USA. We certainly don’t think of the SEC as a means for broadly regulating private companies trying to raise capital, especially during a down economy many think is heading into recession.

President Ronald Reagan famously answered his rhetorical question of what are the nine most terrifying words in the English language as: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” While we can take that notion with a grain of salt, the truth of the matter is that the SEC is one of the most powerful government agencies you may know the least about, and under current leadership, it is seeking a dramatic increase in its oversight, regulatory demands, and enforcement among all American companies, including, more and more, privately held ones.

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IRS Delays $600 Threshold Rule for PayPal, Venmo, CashApp Users | Small Business Trends

The IRS is delaying implementation of a new rule that requires companies like PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp to report user transactions that eclipse a $600 threshold.

That unpopular new rule is part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan. It will require companies known as third-party settlement organizations (TPSOs) to send users who transact $600 or more in a year a Form 1099-K.

The rule was supposed to go into effect this year. However, in an update announced on Dec. 23, the IRS says that rule will not go into effect for the 2022 tax year. It was only a month ago that the IRS reminded taxpayers and businesses of the new $600 threshold rule.

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IRS Announces 2023 Mileage Reimbursement Rate | Small Biz Trends

2023 IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rate

For 2023 the IRS mileage reimbursement rates for businesses, individuals, and other organizations are as follows:

  • 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3 cents from the midyear increase setting the rate for the second half of 2022.
  • 22 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, consistent with the increased midyear rate set for the second half of 2022. 1
  • 4 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2022

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