Bloomberg canceled Prof Scott Galloway’s TV show after he joked about his sex life in a video, topless, in a hard hat

A screenshot of Prof. Galloway's promotional video for Bloomberg, in which he stands topless and with a miner's hat and pickax
A screenshot of Prof. Galloway’s promotional video for Bloomberg

  • Professor Scott Galloway will no longer make a show with Bloomberg, The Daily Beast reported.
  • The cancellation comes a couple of weeks after a strange, lewd promo video was posted and deleted.
  • The NYU professor is known for his sharp takes on the world of business and tech.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bloomberg TV decided not shelve a planned show with popular academic Professor Scott Galloway after he posted a lewd video online, according to the Daily Beast.

Galloway, who is professor of marketing at NYU Stern, is known for his outspoken takes on business, many of which he has published on Insider.

In April, Bloomberg announced he would have a primetime streaming show with the Bloomberg’s Quicktake service, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Bloomberg confirmed to the Beast that the show had been axed, describing the move as a “mutual decision.” Galloway declined to comment to the Beast, and neither he nor Bloomberg immediately responded to Insider’s inquiries.

On July 2, Galloway appeared in a promotional video that was quickly deleted, but was spotted by New York Times media reporter Katie Robertson, who posted it quizzically. “This deleted video gives some … insight into what to expect?”

In the video, Galloway strides out topless to the tune of Lee Dorsey’s 1966 hit “Working in the Coal Mine,” and proceeds to make some sexually-charged jokes.

“The man of your dreams is here, if your dreams included the Village People meets a 47-year-old Jewish academic with erectile dysfunction who’s on testosterone,” he said.

Next he noted that he’s “in construction in addition to academia” as an apparent segue into construction jokes.

“I like to bring construction into my sex life. I’m a big fan of one-night stands. I call it the ‘nut and bolt.’ Anyway, bitcoin, b—–s. Here we go!” he said.

The words “CUE OUR INTRO” appear on screen at the end, suggesting this was not a finished product.

Robertson, the media reporter, said in a second tweet: “I’m reliably told people all over the Bloomberg office are playing this video right now.”

Galloway, who also hosts the “Pivot” podcast with tech journalist Kara Swisher, has something of rock-star status as a business commentator. Last year, GQ framed him as a “business guru for people who aren’t interested in business.”

His most recently skewered Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson’s forays into space in commentary on MSNBC.

Bezos and Branson’s billionaire’s space race “reflects something a little weird, quite frankly, a little unhealthy about our society,” he said.

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Chinese ride-hailing company Didi became a retail favorite on its first day of trading

didi dirver
Reuters/Jason Lee

  • Didi has become a retail-investor favorite on its first day of trading, Fidelity data show.
  • The stock topped retail buys in Exela Technologies and AMC Entertainment.
  • Shares of the Chinese ride-hailing company surged as much as 28% during its IPO Wednesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Chinese ride-hailing company Didi has already become a retail-trader favorite in its first day on the public markets, Bloomberg first reported.

According to data from Fidelity, Didi shares ranked number one among retail traders Wednesday, while Exela Technologies, which has seen heightened interest from Reddit investors this week, was second, and well-known meme-stock AMC Entertainment was third.

Didi had more than 32,000 buy orders as of 3:15 p.m. in New York, compared to Exela and AMC, which each had about a third of that, the data showed.

Didi’s debut is the second largest among Chinese companies, after e-commerce giant Alibaba’s initial public offering in 2014. The shares soared as much as 28% in their first day of trading, giving Didi an approximate $86 billion valuation, Markets Insider reported.

The valuation makes Didi the second largest ride-hailing app in the world after Uber, which is valued at $93 billion.

Rumors about a potential IPO spread for several years before the company eventually filed its prospectus earlier this month, Fortune reported. Among Didi’s largest shareholders are investment firm SoftBank, which has a 21.5% stake, Uber, which has a 12.8% stake, and Tencent, which has a 6.8% stake, Fortune said.

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Peloton pops 8% as company announces corporate wellness program and pushes into wearables market

Peloton LA

Peloton climbed 8% Tuesday after it announced it would offer discounted products and services through a new corporate wellness program.

The stock received a second wind on a Bloomberg report that said the company was making a push into the wearables market.

Tuesday morning, Peloton announced a corporate wellness program that gives employees discounted access to its fitness content, bikes, and treadmills. The pitch to companies is that providing Peloton products to employees will be good for team building. Inaugural corporate partners include Samsung, SAP, and Wayfair.

The pre-market announcement gave Peloton’s shares a 5% pop within a half hour of the opening bell.

Around midday, Bloomberg then reported that the company was mounting a venture into the wearable device market with a Bluetooth heart-rate armband, citing updates to the source code in the Peloton iPhone and iPad apps.

According to Bloomberg, the Peloton Heart Rate Monitor will strap to a user’s arm to capture precise data on their workout. The company already sells another product by the same name which straps to a user’s chest.

Peloton didn’t respond to the Bloomberg report, but shares immediately jumped an additional 2% on the news. The stock built on its gains throughout the trading day, and closed at $117.17, up 8.4%.

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The father of El Salvador’s Bitcoin Beach received an anonymous donation of a cryptocurrency fortune – now the local economy runs on it

bitcoin payment el salvador people buying
Jose Cabezas/Reuters

  • Michael Peterson became the so-called Father of Bitcoin Beach, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
  • Thanks to an anonymous donation, Peterson helped El Zonte widely adopt the currency.
  • Lawmakers in El Salvador have since voted to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

47-year-old Michael Peterson fell in love with El Zonte, a Pacific-coast beach in El Salvador, 17 years ago when he visited for a surfing trip.

The town grew on him, and he and his family started splitting their time between their home in California and El Salvador, where they supported missionary groups and small development projects through their Evangelical Christian church.

That church put him into an unlikely scenario that transformed El Zonte into Bitcoin Beach, and made Peterson its father figure.

A June 16 Bloomberg Businessweek article, titled “Bitcoin Beach: What Happened When an El Salvador Surf Town Went Full Crypto,” documented how Peterson helped convert El Zonte’s payments to cryptocurrency. Now, nearly all of the town’s households and four dozen local businesses use Bitcoin.

“It’s crazy how fast Bitcoin has caught on,” Peterson told Bloomberg reporter Ezra Fieser. Peterson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for the story.

The concept came about in 2019 when an anonymous Californian offered to donate his Bitcoin fortune to El Zonte to create a local economy run on the cryptocurrency. Peterson was introduced to the donor, who remains unknown, through church.

At first, Peterson thought it sounded like a scam, Bloomberg said, but then the thought of transforming El Zonte made him rethink.

“It allows everybody from the poorest to the richest to participate on the same playing field,” he told Bloomberg.

Adopting ‘magic internet money’

Already having a long-standing relationship with the community helped Peterson get locals to adopt the idea, he said in a CoinDesk podcast on June 11.

“When I told them, ‘Hey, we’re gonna start using this magic internet money, and we’re gonna [get] stores to accept it, we’re gonna get people to start taking their salaries in it,’ they just kind of looked at me like, ‘OK, Mike,'” he said on the podcast.

The experiment really took off when El Salvador’s tourism industry struggled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Peterson gave hundreds of local families about $35 in Bitcoin each month through an app created for small crypto transactions. El Zonte stores wanted in on the currency, so Peterson launched the Bitcoin Beach Wallet in September.

Now, Bitcoin has become the norm.

Thanks in part to the El Zonte experiment, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a currency. It then asked the World Bank for help implementing the cryptocurrency as a legal tender, but was swiftly rejected.

Because of the “crazy amount of interest” since the currency was legally adopted, Peterson is planning on helping other towns across the country mimic the El Zonte experiment.

“For a lot of these people, this is the first time they felt hope that they can build a future in El Salvador, that they’re not going to have to follow the path of their parents to sneak into the US illegally and work in some dead-end job. They can build a business based on bitcoin,” Peterson said on the CoinDesk podcast. “It really opens up the world to them.”

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GameStop is headed for inclusion in a large-cap stock index after its dizzying surge to record heights – but AMC will miss out with its spike coming after the deadline

gamestop store
John Minchillo/AP

  • GameStop could be listed alongside Amazon and Microsoft if included on the Russell 1000 Index.
  • AMC missed the May 7 cutoff to reach a capitalization higher than $7.3 billion.
  • The stocks have ballooned to the largest on the Russell 2000 Index thanks to retail traders.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GameStop could be one of the newest stocks on a list of the 1,000 largest companies thanks to the army of retail traders that have pushed the share price to dizzying highs.

But AMC Entertainment might have just missed the cutoff.

To be included in the Russell 1,000 Index – a group of the largest US stocks – a company should be worth at least $5.2 billion by May 7, according to a chart from FTSE Russell, which creates the indexes.

That puts retail-trader icon GameStop, which was worth about $12 billion as of the market close on May 7, in the running to be included. Being added to the index means GameStop would stand alongside behemoths like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.

But movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment, which led the lastest round of meme-stock mania over the last few weeks, missed the deadline to be included. The company was worth $4.3 billion as of the May 7 market-close. A couple weeks later, retail traders – mobilized on social media investing platforms like Reddit’s Wall Street Bets – forced a record rally in the stock. The company was worth $28.3 billion on Wednesday.

Another 56 stocks alongside GameStop will likely join the reorganized Russell 1000 Index when it’s officially reconstituted after the market close on June 25, Bloomberg reported, citing research from Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

GameStop and AMC are currently listed on the Russell 2000 and have ballooned to the highest-valued stocks as a result of their meme-stock status, according to Bloomberg data.

Catherine Yoshimoto, FTSE Russell director of product management, said in a June 4 press release there has been a “resurgence in market capitalizations of small cap companies in the Russell 2000 reflecting the overall bounce back of US equity markets following the COVID-19 recession in early 2020.”

Meme stocks, many of which are small- to mid-cap companies, came into the spotlight earlier this year when retail traders drove a record rally in GameStop to squeeze short sellers. Other companies, such as BlackBerry, AMC, and Nokia, also skyrocketed. Since then, more companies have been added to the meme-stock bucket as retail traders continue to drive volatility in fan favorites.

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A Danish biotech stock surged 1,387% during US trading hours for no apparent reason amid chatter that it’s getting the meme-stock treatment

Science research in laboratory
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

  • Orphazyme, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based biotech company, surged 1,387% in US trading Thursday.
  • The small biotech firm said it wasn’t aware of any material changes to the company.
  • Orphazyme was the eighth most-mentioned stock on Reddit’s Wall Street Bets Thursday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of a small Denmark biotechnology company surged as much as 1,387% in US trading hours Thursday as chatter about the stock jumped on Reddit’s Wall Street Bets.

Orphazyme, which is researching treatment for rare diseases, closed the day 302% higher in the US. In Denmark Friday it continued to rally as much as 88%, according to Bloomberg data.

On Thursday, the stock had about 450 mentions on the Wall Street Bets subreddit, making it the eighth-most mentioned company for the day, Quiver Quantitative data show. By comparison, AMC Entertainment had about 1,400 mentions and came in second.

Even so, the stock fell out of popularity on the subreddit Friday. On another thread, r/Stocks, several Redditors, confused at the stock move, questioned if it was a hedge-fund pump and dump. The company’s American Depository Shares fell more than 50% in early morning trading Friday.

In a statement about the share surge, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based company said it’s not aware of any material change in its programs, finances, or operations that would explain the stock move.

“Investors who purchase the company’s ADS or shares may lose a significant portion of their investments if the price of such securities subsequently declines,” the statement said.

Per Hansen, an investment economist at Nordnet in Copenhagen, told Bloomberg there’s not a logical explanation for the move, adding that GameStop and AMC aren’t the only culprits of “strange, sudden, and inexplicable” price developments.

Meme stocks have seen a surge of interest in recent weeks amid renewed interest in movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment. As of June 9, retail traders had poured $1.27 billion into meme stocks over two weeks, matching the GameStop-craze inflows from earlier this year.

This time around, the frenzy has expanded from meme-stock classics like GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry, and extended to new and often lesser-known names, like e-commerce company ContextLogic, which was the most talked about stock Thursday, and iron-ore mining company Cleveland Cliffs.

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Wall Street brokers are reportedly limiting short bets against meme stocks by hedge funds

AMC Entertainment
  • Major Wall Street brokers are tightening rules over who can bet against meme stocks that are popular with retail traders, according to Bloomberg.
  • Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Jefferies Financial are among the firms that have adjusted risk controls.
  • Jefferies Prime Brokerage will no longer offer custody on naked options in AMC Entertainment, GameStop, and MicroVision, the report said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Some of Wall Street’s largest brokers are quietly tightening rules on who can bet against meme stocks popular among retail traders in an effort to protect themselves against the fallout from sharp price surges and falls, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Firms that have adjusted risk controls at their prime-brokerage operations include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Jefferies Financial Group, the Friday report said, citing people familiar with discussions about internal policy decisions.

With the adjustments, some hedge funds and other institutional investors now face higher collateral requirements or are limited from shorting certain stocks.

Jefferies Prime Brokerage will no longer offer custody on naked options in AMC Entertainment, GameStop, and MicroVision, the firm told clients in a memo seen by Bloomberg News. Naked options allow investors to short a stock without owning the underlying securities. Jefferies will not permit short sales of those securities and other stocks may be added to its list.

The changes come during a new wave of rallies among so-called meme stocks including AMC GameStop as retail investors on social media sites such as Reddit’s Wall Streets Bets forum band together to force short squeezes on hedge funds that betting shares of the companies will fall. AMC has been the key focus of the latest rally, similar to GameStop’s role during a trending frenzy in January.

It’s not unusual for banks to make risk-control adjustments as market conditions change, the report noted.

A number of brokerages have been looking over their risk controls after some large prime brokers in March were forced to liquidate at a discount the multibillion-dollar portfolio of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management. The family office collapsed after making wrong-way bets on media and technology companies. Bank of America and Citigroup were not hurt by the Archegos matter, Bloomberg said.

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How an unemployed day-trader burned by both GameStop and dogecoin ended up owning 20 billion units of a cryptocurrency known as ASS coin

GettyImages 1299388486
Dogecoin is a ‘meme’ cryptocurrency, seemingly created as a joke

  • 38-year-old Eric Hackney put $500 into a cryptocurrency called Australian Safe Shepherd, which is more commonly known as ASS coin, Bloomberg reported.
  • He now owns 20 billion units of the altcoin.
  • Hackney invested in ASS coin after losing money on GameStop and missing out on gains in dogecoin, both social media favorites.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One millennial investor vowed to “never again” miss out on gains from hyped-up cryptocurrencies. One $500 investment later, he’s now the proud owner of 20 billion units of Australian Safe Shepherd, also known as ASS coin, Bloomberg reported.

In the article, titled “$ASS Coin Billionaire: Tales From the Fringe of the Crypto Craze,” Bloomberg reporters detailed the wild ride of 38-year-old Eric Hackney, who opted to play the financial markets on the Robinhood app after losing his job during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of work for $9 an hour.

The article described him as a “thrill-seeking amateur, goaded on by social media.” Social media platforms have become a key part of the boom in retail trading, as a recent survey showed one in five investors has used Reddit to help them make an investment decision.

Hackney, a former bar tender from Tampa, Florida, said he was part of the GameStop craze earlier this year in which an army of Reddit retail traders caused the stock to skyrocket, squeezing short sellers. As for his investment in the stock, he told Bloomberg he “was up and then, in a blink, he wasn’t.”

He invested in dogecoin, at one point, too. Dogecoin, which twisted and turned this past week amid broader market volatility, started as a social media joke about a popular meme and has since turned into a well-known altcoin.

In January, Hackney bought dogecoin at 4 cents, and the currency immediately doubled. But he couldn’t stand the wild price swings and sold his position, only to see it rocket to 70 cents earlier this month.

At that point, he vowed to never let that happen to him again, Bloomberg wrote. That’s when he put $500 into ASS coin.

Read more: 7 crypto heavyweights told us what’s behind the sudden sell-off that erased over $400 billion from the market in just 24 hours – and whether now is the time to ‘buy the dip’

Altcoins have taken hold of retail investors recently. Instead of the well-known bitcoin, many are investing in alternatives like dogecoin, litecoin, and safemoon, among others.

Earlier this week, Barstool sports founder Dave Portnoy, calling the alternatives “sh*tcoins,” invested $40,000 in Safemoon, which launched in March.

Cryptocurrency linked-stocks plummeted this week amid massive sell-offs in bitcoin and ethereum. Analysts have warned against investing in alternative cryptocurrencies, though, saying the social-media driven coins are unregulated and highly volatile.

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How media companies are returning to the office

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for April 15. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

First, a reminder to sign up for our event about the future of digital advertising on April 22 at 2 PM EST/11 PM PST with The Trade Desk, R/GA, The Washington Post, and Mars.

If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here for your daily insider’s guide to advertising and media.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Drop me a line at LJohnson@insider.com or on Twitter at @LaurenJohnson.


Fred Ryan washington post
Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan speaks during a 2019 Pulitzer Prize announcement ceremony in the Post office.

Media companies including Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and ViacomCBS detail their return-to-office plans as workers push for flexibility after the pandemic

Read the story.


homeland

Showtime insiders worry it will struggle against big-spending rivals like Netflix if it doesn’t broaden its appeal or shake up its strategy

Read the story.


IPG Phillipe Krakowsky

How a quiet, behind-the-scenes fixer became CEO of the fourth-biggest advertising company – and how he plans to keep its momentum going

Read the story.


More stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! You can reach me in the meantime at LJohnson@insider.com and subscribe to this daily email here.

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Nuance leaps 18% on Microsoft’s deal to acquire the AI speech-technology software maker

Satya Nadella

  • Nuance Communications shares shot up 18% on Monday on a deal by Microsoft to buy the company in a $19.7 billion deal.
  • Microsoft plans to buy the speech-recognition software maker for $56 a share and the deal will include Nuance’s net debt.
  • Microsoft shares were slightly higher as the new trading week got underway.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Nuance Communications shares surged 18% during Monday’s session following a deal under which Microsoft will purchase the AI speech-recognition software maker for $19.7 billion in cash, with the price to include Nuance’s net debt.

Microsoft, in a joint statement, said it will buy Nuance for $56 a share, which is a 23% premium to Nuance’s closing price on Friday at $45.58. Bloomberg reported late Sunday that the two companies were in talks, citing sources who asked not to be identified. An agreement with Nuance would be Microsoft’s largest since it purchased professional networking site LinkedIn in 2016.

Nuance climbed 18% to $53.93 as regular-session trading got underway. The stock during pre-market trade climbed by as much as 31%. Meanwhile, Microsoft shares edged up 0.1% to $255.97 as Wall Street’s new trading week kicked off.

Nuance and Microsoft have been working together since 2019, focusing on Nuance’s products that allow clinicians to capture patient discussions and integrate them into electronic health records. Microsoft said the deal will double its total addressable market in the healthcare provider space to nearly $500 billion.

“AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the statement.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year 2021 and has been unanimously approved by the boards of both Nuance and Microsoft. Nuance’s CEO Mark Benjamin will remain in his role.

“For Nadella & Co., this is the right acquisition at the right time with Microsoft doubling down on its healthcare initiatives over the coming years,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a Monday note in which he called the Nuance deal a “strategic no brainer” for Microsoft. Wedbush lowered its 12-month price target on Nuance to $56 from $65 to reflect the deal but maintained its outperform rating.

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