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  • 🌊 The FDIC Has a… Partying Issue?

🌊 The FDIC Has a… Partying Issue?

ESPN bets the house… on betting, freed from prison for gaining too much weight? and Mike Tyson pigeon shops

Who would've thought the best entertainment on TV yesterday would be on C-SPAN? In an exchange you have to see to believe, Oklahoma Senator and ex-MMA fighter Markwayne Mullin challenged Teamsters union president Sean O'Brien to a fight during a Senate hearing. Mullin accepted, and all of a sudden the US Senate was about to become the Octagon. But before the proverbial gloves came off, Bernie Sanders stepped in and de-UFC’ed the situation.

If this depresses you, we offer the consolation that four members of Congress died from duels in the 1800s. So, in one sense, cage-fighting is… progress!

In today's edition:

  • ESPN bets the house… on betting

  • Freed from prison for gaining too much weight?

  • Mike Tyson pigeon shops

 🔑 Key Stories

Report: FDIC’s Party Culture

Former and current employees at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the regulator has a misogynistic and toxic work environment

  • The FDIC is a US government corporation that insures deposits at banks

  • Per the WSJ, female employees there are subjected to disparaging remarks. One claimed she received unsolicited nude photos from a male colleague; another said she was told to “just smile and make him feel good” after being given a negative performance review

  • The FDIC’s culture revolved around drinking, the report said, especially at a hotel where the FDIC houses employees. People reported employees throwing up in the elevator and urinating off the roof

Dig Deeper

  • On Tuesday, in response to the report, senators questioned FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg. “What the hell is going on at the FDIC?” asked one; another called the claims “very damning.” Gruenberg called them “disturbing” and “troubling” and said the FDIC has begun a “comprehensive review” of its culture to ensure workers feel “safe and secure”

Finland: Russia Funneling Migrants to Border

Finnish politicians accused Russia of funneling migrants to its border

  • Finland – which is a NATO country that borders Russia – received 91 asylum-seekers at its border between August 1 and November 12. Between Monday and Tuesday, it received 60 at its border with Russia. The migrants were primarily of Iraqi, Syrian, Yemeni, and Turkish origin

  • On Tuesday, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo accused Russia of orchestrating the surge. “It is clear that these people are helped and they are also being escorted or transported to the border by border guards,” he said

  • The crisis appears similar to a policy under which Belarus, a Russian ally, has transported undocumented migrants to its border with Poland

Dig Deeper

  • “Russian authorities have changed the way they work to allow travel to Finland despite a lack of documents, which is illegal entry,” Finland’s interior minister said on Tuesday. She said Finland will close crossings and take other steps to contain the surge

Israel Raids Hospital

Hours before Israel raided Gaza’s largest hospital, the White House endorsed its claim that Hamas is operating from in

  • Independent organizations have found that Hamas uses human shields by basing itself out of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals; Hamas denies that

  • On Tuesday, a White House official for the first time backed Israel’s claim that Hamas is fighting out of hospitals, although he said Israel shouldn’t bomb it

  • Then on Wednesday, Israel raided the Strip’s main hospital, Al-Shifa. It claims Hamas is running operations from bases in and below it; Hamas denies that

Dig Deeper

  • Israel called the Al-Shifa raid a "precise and targeted operation against Hamas” and said it had provided the hospital with “humanitarian aid.” Israel also said that it "notified the hospital's management ahead of the entry into the compound” and encouraged people to evacuate

  • Multiple sources claimed that Israeli tanks and soldiers stormed Al-Shifa and have taken control of the complex. In a statement, Hamas denied operating out of the hospital and said, “We hold [Israel] and President Biden wholly responsible for the assault on the [hospital]”

Inflation Cooling?

Prices rose 3.2% in October from a year earlier, lowering the odds of further interest rate hikes

  • Per data released Tuesday, prices rose 3.2% in October from a year earlier, down from September (3.7%). Core inflation – inflation minus fuel and food – was 4%, the lowest reading since Sept. 2021

  • Stocks rallied on the news, with the Dow up 1.43%, S&P up 1.91%, and Nasdaq up 2.37%

  • Investors widely interpreted the inflation report as meaning the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will decide not to raise interest rates further this year. Interest rates are at their highest in decades

Dig Deeper

  • Stocks rose largely due to increased confidence that the Fed is now done raising interest rates and that rate cuts could come as soon as spring 2024. When the Fed starts cutting rates, economic activity will likely accelerate

The Healthy Alternative to Sugary Sports Drinks

Electrolytes taste salty, but most popular electrolyte drinks taste sweet – because they contain loads of sugar

  • LMNT contains no sugar and three essential electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, and magnesium

  • LMNT’s formula is based on the electrolyte ratios that naturally occur in our bodies and help to regulate hydration by balancing fluids inside and outside your cells

  • Low electrolyte levels can lead to headaches, low energy, cramps, confusion, and worse

Dig Deeper

  • LMNT is offering Roca Riders a free sample pack with any purchase. That's comparable to eight bottles of sports drinks FREE with any order. This is a great way to try all eight flavors or share LMNT with a salty friend. You can try it totally risk-free. If you don’t like it, they’ll give you your money back – no questions asked. Get a free sample pack with any purchase!

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Justice on ice? Police arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter over ice hockey player Adam Johnson’s death. Johnson died from a skate-inflicted neck injury during a game last month

  • André 2023: Rapper André 3000 – half of the hip-hop duo Outkast – will release his first solo album, “New Blue Sun,” this Friday, marking his first full-length project since 2006

  • That mf is NOT real: YouTube will soon mandate creators label AI-generated content as such. Users will be able to request the removal of manipulated videos mimicking identifiable people

Wildcard

  • Lambshank Redemption: A 440-pound Italian man was released from prison on medical grounds after serving only a year of his 30-year murder sentence. The man weighed 260 pounds during his sentencing. His weight gain led a court to rule that imprisonment posed a health risk

  • “Twin-dergarten”: A Pennsylvania school district welcomed 17 sets of twins into its kindergarten classes this year, all graduating in the class of 2036

  • Move, seal, get out the way: A Tasmanian woman reported being late for work due to a ~1,300 lb seal named “Neil” lounging in her yard and blocking her car

  • These mats were made for walking: Fulton (the brand behind the world’s most comfortable insoles) launched their new product, ergonomic standing mats, great for kitchens, standing desks etc. Protect your joints, prevent fatigue, and find comfort all day - plus today only, Roca readers save 20%! Learn more*

    *sponsored by Fulton

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll:

In light of the inflation report and other economic data, will the US experience a recession within the next year?

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Today's Question:

What is the most useful invention from your lifetime?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Mike Tyson flew to this country to buy 100 pigeons.

Boxer, actor, and podcaster Mike Tyson is known for his love of pigeons.

Growing up in a broken family in a rough New York City neighborhood, he once said, “'I was fat and ugly and kids teased me all the time. The only joy I had was pigeons.”

“I've loved them since I was nine. They were my escape.”

Tyson has said the first fight he ever got in was over a pigeon. “The guy ripped the head off my pigeon. This was the first thing I ever loved in my life, the pigeon,” he said.

Tyson claims to have once knocked someone out for throwing away the remains of his favorite bird; on another occasion, he broke up with a girlfriend who allegedly killed and cooked one of his pigeons.

Poland has a history of breeding pigeons and by various counts has Europe’s largest pigeon-breeding community. Polish pigeons sell for up to $1,500 and are used to compete in international competitions, and earlier this year, Poland’s government added pigeon breeding to a list of the country’s “intangible national heritage.”

The customers of Polish pigeons apparently include Mike Tyson, who last week was spotted pigeon shopping in a Polish village.

A Polish Instagram page initially shared a photo of the boxer with an unnamed pigeon dealer, captioning it, “Mike Tyson came specially to Pitnica (next to Mikeom lara) to buy 100 pigeons from the local trader!”

“No one would have predicted such a turn of events today.” After some disbelief, various media outlets confirmed that Tyson was indeed in Pi Pitnica.

Another local outlet wrote, “From what we have established, not only Mike Tyson but also his friend from the US were in Piątnica.”

The outlet added that numerous veterinarians were in the village – population 1,800 – to vaccinate the pigeons for export to the US. For a pigeon-lover like Tyson, Poland is the place to go.

If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]!

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Have you ever had to freeze your credit?
Yes: 38%
 No: 62%

Yesterday's Question:

Yesterday’s questions were part of a “Roca Votes” Wrap: Should the IOC allow all countries to compete, regardless of politics? Should the IOC let the Russia/Belarus teams compete in the 2024 Olympics How about their individuals?

Aidan (18) from Napa, California: "I think the IOC shouldn’t bar any country from competing in the games regardless of their political actions, If the metric used is the actions the controlling government is committing on groups of people, the situation in Myanmar could constitute a ban from them competing as well, and this theory could extend onwards. It seems the IOC gets involved politically when its at the forefront of what western media draws its attention to, that being the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, and allowing Israel to continue to compete because of their western alignment and ties to powerful governments in europe and north america. It just seems out of place for the Olympics to be involved in international politics.”

Patricia from Virginia: "Olympic Athletes should be allowed to compete as AINs,  but definitely ban Russia other countries misbehaving. Putin shouldn’t years of training for these athletes. As a mom who has spent years taking kids to sports and seen their investments in training, I don’t believe athletes should suffer for the actions of an oligarch.”

Mo from Tallahassee: "Ban them. If their country starts killings in other countries (or their own) they should stay out of representing their country. The Olympics isn't individual athletes, but the team who represents the their country. Israel didn't start this conflict, Hamas did.”

Alice from Bragg Creek, Canada: “I think they should be allowed to participate. Banning them really does nothing. Russia isn't going to stop the war because their athletes aren't allowed to play. It only hurts the athletes who have spent their lives preparing”

Louise from Belgium: “I think, if countries are banned from participating, their athletes should still be able to compete. They didn't decide anything on the war
being started and can't do anything about it, so why punish them? And regarding banning countries in general, I understand why it's done, but wasn't the period of the games originally a time where all fighting ceased, and countries "fought" in another way, during that time, by letting their athletes compete with one another, following strict rules (and in a much more civilized way)? So shouldn't the Olympics be a time where especially fighting countries get to fight in a different way? Mabe there can be a rule that says they may only participate, if they observe a ceasefire in their war in the meantime, or something.”

🧠 Intermission

Happy Hump Day Roca! Thank you to all of you who have signed up for Roca premium so far. We love hearing your feedback. Today’s report continues with Max F hitchhiking in Pößneck. Enjoy!

—Max and Max

🌎 Roca Reports

In the last two weeks since we launched our premium newsletter Roca Reports, many of you have emailed us to request the option to get the on-the-ground reporting in The Current rather than a separate Saturday newsletter. Starting this week, we will grant your request and offer a premium section at the bottom of The Current. We hope you enjoy! All parts are located here if you subscribe today and want to catch up.

Hitchhiking out of the German town of Pößneck, the driver who picked us up – Chris – convinced us to stay. There was an AFD rally that night he said we wouldn’t want to miss.

Chris, 29, had been working in Australia when he decided to return to Pößneck, where he worked for the family business, renting and stocking vending machines. While doing that, he realized he didn’t love the coffee they were selling. That inspired him and two friends to open their own coffee roastery. 

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