🌊 Sam Bankman-FREED

SBF posts $250M bail, Denver's insane temp drop, and 20 Questions!

Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, or another holiday, we hope you have a wonderful weekend. Next week, we'll be counting down your favorite Wraps of the year based on your feedback. As Mariah Carey once said, "All I want for Christmas is unbiased news." Thank you all for the incredible year ❤️🌊

And one final note: We're thrilled to say that we've won this year's Otto Award, the most valuable communications prize for startups. A panel of judges selected Roca out of nearly 1,000 applicants for our exceptional use of storytelling to grow our company. So once again, thanks to all of YOU who have helped us turn Roca from a dream into something real.

In today's edition:

🔑 Key Stories

SBF Associates Plead Guilty

2 of Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) top associates pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges

  • SBF co-founded FTX and Alameda Research, 2 firms that dealt in cryptocurrency. Both reached valuations in the billions, making SBF one of the world’s richest men, before collapsing last month amid fraud allegations

  • Wednesday, 2 SBF associates pleaded guilty to FTX-related fraud charges. One was Alameda’s CEO and SBF’s ex-girlfriend; the other was an FTX co-founder

  • Their charges are similar to those faced by SBF, whom Bahama's police arrested and extradited to the US. On Thursday, SBF was released on $250M bail

Dig Deeper

  • The bail deal requires SBF to surrender his passport and submit to monitoring at his parent's house in California. His parents — both Stanford professors — co-signed the bail agreement. SBF has not entered a formal plea yet

Bird Flu Driving Record Egg Prices

A bird flu outbreak has killed 40M hens in the US, driving the price of eggs to record highs

  • Bird flu is a strain of influenza that can quickly kill chickens and turkeys. Bird-to-human transfer is rare but can cause illness or death

  • Poultry companies have been killing entire flocks once cases are detected to prevent the virus’ spread. The outbreak — the deadliest in US history — has caused the US hen population to fall ~5% this year

  • That has driven egg prices to record highs: On average, a dozen eggs now costs ~$4.70, the most ever, per research firm Urner Barry and government data

Dig Deeper

Senate Passes Spending Bill

The Senate passed a $1.7T funding bill on Thursday

  • The bill funds government operations until next September. If not signed by Friday, the government would enter a partial shutdown. The House must now vote on it

  • The bill allocates $858B to defense spending, $772B to domestic programs, and $45B for Ukraine. The Senate passed it with a 68-29 vote

  • Among many things, the bill bans TikTok on government devices and updates the election result certification process. It excludes immigration reform, pandemic aid, and larger child tax credits (tax cuts for parents)

  • If the House passes it, President Biden will finalize it

Dig Deeper

  • The bill modifies the 1887 Electoral Count Act by specifying that the vice president has a purely ceremonial role in certifying the result of the presidential election. This attempts to close a loophole that may have enabled the January 6 chaos

Japan Reviving Nuclear Energy

  • In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami caused the partial meltdown of several reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP). After, Japan announced it would phase out nuclear power

  • Before 2011, 54 NPPs generated ⅓ of Japan’s energy; after, officials idled or shut down all but 9 NPPs. Japan now heavily relies on coal, oil, and gas

  • This year, fluctuating oil and gas prices have caused Japan’s energy bills to soar. On Thursday, Japan approved a plan to revive existing NPPs, extend the life of aging ones, and invest in new high-tech ones

Dig Deeper

Russia Considers ISS Rescue

  • Russia, the US, and other countries jointly own and operate the ISS. It is the largest man-made satellite and has been continuously occupied for 22+ years

  • On December 14, 2 Russian astronauts were preparing for a spacewalk when ground controllers noticed a large leak from the spacecraft that is supposed to bring 3 astronauts back from the ISS this March

  • Russia & the US are now working to determine if a new spacecraft must be sent up to rescue them. It would be the first time that has ever been done

Dig Deeper

  • The head of Russia's space agency praised the US for its help in resolving the issue. "You set an example for the whole world on how to work together in the most challenging and difficult situation. Let many politicians learn from you," he said to the US team

Banff Adventure Package

  • We’ve partnered with our good friends at Dollar Flight Club and other brands to offer an adventure package to Roca Readers

  • Banff is a resort town in the province of Alberta, Canada, located within Banff National Park, which is famous for its lakes and mountains

  • One lucky winner will receive flight cash and 3 nights for up to 4 people to stay at any of Basecamp Resorts locations

  • There are no strings attached: All these brands are just looking to generate awareness and are funding the giveaway to do so. Enter here! Everyone who enters gets a special something extra from Dollar Flight club, too...

🍿 Popcorn


  • Nice work, Schrader: The DEA says it seized enough fentanyl in 2022 to kill every person in the country. Agents seized 10,000 pounds of the dangerous drug

  • Where's wall-do? Arizona has agreed to dismantle its wall of shipping containers on the Mexico border. Administration officials claimed its construction was illegal

  • Netflix and Snookie? Netflix has announced it will build a $900M production facility in Jersey Shore, NJ. The move is expected to bring thousands of jobs


  • Kiss my glass: Glass barriers protect St. Mark's Basilica in Venice from flooding. It used to sit on one of Venice's highest points but now it's on one of the lowest

  • Polar plunge: Denver saw a 75-degree temperature drop from Wednesday's high to Thursday's low. Temps plummeted to minus 24 degrees on Thursday

  • Way of Aging: James Cameron said he wants to avoid the "Stranger Things effect" – where characters that are supposed to be in high school "look 27" – in his Avatar movies

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Question:

Today's Poll:

I prefer...

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

Every Friday, we ask the Roca readers 20 questions, then feature our favorite answers the following week.

We have a special, festive, holiday-infused 20 Questions today. Once again it is "this or that" version, where we provide 20 pairs and you choose the one you prefer. Next week we will include the proportions of votes per prompt.

Fun fact: Our first 20 Questions went out 2 years ago this week. It received 2 responses. Now, we get hundreds or even thousands times that.

Thank you all for being our Christmas miracle 💕

So here's the link. Have an AMAZING Christmas weekend!

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

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Better wrapping method?

Wrapping paper ✂️ : 62.08%

Gift box/bag 🎁 : 37.92%

Yesterday's Question:

What is the best gift you've ever received?

Valerie from Chicago: My greatest gift received was charity coverage for my cancer treatments through Loyola Hospital in Maywood IL. If anyone is ever trying to decide where to send donations that really make an impact, consider contacting your local hospital about donating to a worthy cause. My three children would be motherless if it was not for the kindness of strangers…I am now cancer free!

Shane from Kentucky: A handwritten letter from my daughter letting me know how much she loved me and the things I did through the year that made her life better. Everything I have on Earth is for sale but not that letter.

Dani from Illinois: The BEST Christmas present I have EVER received is my baby boy, who was in the NICU, came home to us on Christmas Eve. That was the absolute best Christmas I have ever had!!

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

1. Go a week without wearing deodorant 83.8%, Go a week without brushing your teeth 16.3%

2. Wear shoes a size too large 92.4%, Wear shoes half a size too small 7.6%

3. Eat broccoli with your eggs 64.3%, Eat cabbage with your pasta 35.7%

4. Be 2 feet taller 56.6%, Be a foot shorter 43.4%

5. Have to live barefoot 79.1%, Have to live without showering 20.9%

6. Wake up remembering who everyone else is but not who you are 60.5%, Wake up remembering who you are but no remembering who anyone else is 39.5%

7. Live in the blue people Avatar world 54.5%, Live in the air bender Avatar world 45.5%

8. Never be able to send a text message again 56.7%, Never be able to make a phone call again 43.3%

9. Have your team win the Super Bowl/whatever league your care most about 70.9%, Have your country win the World Cup 21.9%

10. Listen to the same album on repeat for a month 72.8%, Listen to the same song on repeat for a week 27.2

11. Sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl 50.5, Race Usain Bolt in the halftime show 49.5%

12. Listen to "YMCA" every time you get in the car 69.2%, Replace your mouthwash with olive oil 30.8%

13. Go a week without eating solid food 54.1%, Go a week without taking a warm shower 45.9%

14. Dye your hair pink 78.6%, Get a tattoo on your neck 21.4%

15. Put a "Keanu Reeves 2024" sign in your front yard 65.8%, Put a car dealership inflatable man in your front yard 34.2%

16. Wear your clothes inside out for a month 69.3%, Wear a Harry Potter costume for a month 30.7%

17. Have your pet be able to speak to you 80.7%, Be able to speak to your pet 19.3%

18. Make your ringtone the O'Reilly AutoParts jingle 67.7%, Make your ringtone "Baby Shark" 32.3%

19. Sleep with a human-sized Plankton stuffed animal 83.7%, Drink a cup of marinara sauce every morning 16.3%

20. Sing like Adele 55.2%, Cook like Guy Fieri 44.8%

🧠 Final Thoughts

We hope you all have wonderful, peaceful, and pleasant Christmas weekends. Spread that yuletide joy far and wide, and don't forget to put a QR code to sign up for Roca in your loved ones' stockings!

We'll be off Monday but back on Tuesday. See you then, and happy holidays!

Max and Max