Hi, I’m Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Today’s Sunday edition. With the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, we’re witnessing the biggest bank collapse since the 2008 financial crisis. We’re diving into that and much more today.
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On the agenda today:
- Inside the colossal implosion of Silicon Valley Bank.
- The Justice Department investigated Jeffrey Epstein’s death. Then it went silent.
- The big problem with tiny-home startup Boxabl’s promise to revolutionize housing.
- The smartest minds on Wall Street share how to invest in new AI technologies.
Before we dive in: Insider’s Warehouse Nation series was recognized with a Best in Business Award from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW). The judges said: “‘Warehouse Nation’ exhibited explanatory journalism at its highest levels.” Check it out.
And up first today: Alison Brower, Insider’s LA bureau chief, explains whether the Oscars still matter in Hollywood.
This week’s dispatch
Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
It’s not just Chris Rock who’s hurting. The Slap still stings across Hollywood, and Academy Awards organizers are working hard to make sure tonight’s ceremony sparkles, Insider’s Alison Brower writes.
After last year’s TV audience rebounded 58% from a 2021 nadir, Academy brass and ABC are hoping for another surge, thanks to nominations for popular films like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” — though it’s the mind-bending indie “Everything Everywhere All at Once” that’s heavily favored for Best Picture.
But as the film industry reels from the decline of theatrical moviegoing, do these awards really matter? Hells, yeah. An Oscar is still a pinnacle achievement for filmmakers: There’s no better way to boost your profile (not to mention your quote).
And for the tech interlopers like Netflix and Amazon that have upended the industry over the past decade — including with their extravagant awards-campaign spending — a statuette says they’re part of the club.
Our predictions for who will win big at tonight’s show.
Silicon Valley Bank’s implosion
Silicon Valley Bank employees react to the bank’s collapse
Silicon Valley Bank had been a pillar of the startup ecosystem for four decades. It worked hard to foster cozy relationships with founders and investors, sponsoring lavish events, inviting VCs to its ski chalet, and taking chances on unproven companies.
But a disastrous decision to appease Wall Street and a Twitter-enabled bank run led to the bank being suddenly shut down by regulators. Now, hundreds of startups are facing a crippling cash crunch and an “extinction-level event” if no one buys the bank by tomorrow.
Read the inside story on what happened.
- Goldman Sachs tried to help SVB. It didn’t work. Here’s what happened.
- Who will step up to buy SVB? The white knight might be a bank outside Wall Street.
- Venture capitalists are blaming each other for triggering the disastrous collapse of Silicon Valley Bank
The DOJ’s silence on Epstein
New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File; Rebecca Zisser/Insider
On August 10, 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his jail cell where he was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. The Justice Department launched an investigation — but more than three years later, the office still hasn’t released its report.
In the information vacuum, conspiracy theories have proliferated about whether Epstein was killed to cover up for his powerful friends, like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Epstein’s brother, Mark, told Insider that he remains puzzled by the holdup — but he’s convinced his brother didn’t kill himself. He, as well as Epstein’s own accusers, want answers.
What we know about the Epstein investigation.
Tiny homes, big problems
Boxabl cofounders Paolo and Galiano Tiramani sitting on thrones in the desert.
In the bland world of construction technology, Boxabl is a sensation. Valued at $3 billion, the father-son startup has soared to fame for its 375-square-foot micro home — known as the Casita — that retails for just $60,000.
The Las Vegas company has attracted a 157,000-person waiting list, over $4 million of down payments, and endorsements from the likes of Elon Musk. But a lawsuit filed by a former executive, the company’s financial disclosures, and an investigation by Insider raise questions about whether Boxabl is a groundbreaking revolution — or a mirage in the Nevada desert.
- A tiny-home startup has attracted 160,000 customers, including Elon Musk. But disgruntled customers, an empty factory, and a tie to an alleged Iranian agent cloud its future.
How to invest in AI
ChatGPT has surged in popularity over recent months.
Ever since ChatGPT made its public debut in November, artificial intelligence has grabbed the spotlight and refused to let go. Hype surrounding AI has soared as companies begin incorporating the tech into their businesses and everyday people find their own uses.
That’s sent some stocks soaring, offering investors the opportunity to capitalize on the hype. Insider has been collecting research notes, interviewing analysts, and investigating which stocks will enjoy the biggest returns from the explosive growth of AI.
Wall Street analysts share their AI investing strategies.
- Capitalize on the $900 billion AI boom by buying these 20 top stock picks, according to Bank of America
- Credit Suisse shares 6 stocks it’s labeling as ‘top picks’ as their exposure to AI development opens them up to new revenue streams
This week’s quote:
“You have every right to lay me off. That’s totally fair and fine. But usually people are told when that happens. Maybe with a letter or something.”
- Former Twitter director Haraldur Thorleifsson, who got into a public spat with Elon Musk over his employment status at the company
More of this week’s top reads:
- Keith Rabois says Big Tech over-hired thousands of employees who do “fake work.”
- An Amazon HR executive hints at rehiring employees who were laid off.
- Remote workers who bought homes hours away from their offices are being called back.
- Millennials are in an economic quagmire that could stick through retirement.
- There’s a battle for people brewing — and Florida is winning.
- The top six stocks if you want to invest in the ChatGPT-driven AI boom.
- How universities became giant piggy banks for hedge-fund billionaires.
- The war against TikTok is a distraction from how poorly the US protects your data.
Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Dave Smith and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.