🌊 Wall Street Moving to Texas?

Plus: Molly gets dumped by the FDA...

Today we remember D-Day. And this amazing Twitter moment.

In January, a sports reporter mocked the NFL’s decision to cancel a Buffalo Bills game because of a blizzard, tweeting, “Did we cancel D-Day because of a little rough weather? No. Play the damn game.”

It turns out… they did cancel D-Day because of a little rough weather. The invasion was supposed to take place on June 5th, but Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to postpone it to a day with clearer skies. By the way, it was a young Irish clerk named Maureen Sweeney who gave the data that helped Eisenhower make that call. If it were my local weatherman providing the forecast, Europe would look very different today. Well done, Maureen.

🤠 New stock exchange in...Texas?

🚨 Epoch Times a money-laundering scheme?

💏 Tokyo government launching a dating app

–Max and Max

KEY STORY

New Stock Exchange

A new stock exchange in Texas is trying to compete with those in New York

  • New York City’s two stock exchanges are by far the world’s largest, and the US has no other major stock exchanges. Companies that trade on an exchange are subject to its rules

  • An investor group that includes BlackRock and Citadel, two of the world’s most powerful financial firms, has now raised $120M to create a new exchange in Texas, alleging that the rules on the New York exchanges have become too onerous

  • The news comes as US companies increasingly move south: Texas is now home to more of the US’ 500 most valuable companies than any other state

Dig Deeper

  • Twenty global stock exchanges have companies collectively worth $1T or more. The two in New York City – the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq – host companies worth $25T and $22T, respectively. The next-closest exchange – Euronext, which operates in various European countries – is worth $7.2T

  • The exchange will be digital with a “presence” in Dallas. It seeks to begin facilitating trades in 2025

KEY STORY

Epoch Times Fraud

Prosecutors charged the chief financial officer of conservative outlet The Epoch Times with fraud over an alleged $67M money laundering scheme

  • The New York-based outlet is associated with the Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual movement that some have called a cult. It has conservative values, opposes China’s government, and supports Donald Trump

    Per an indictment, the outlet’s CFO allegedly led a “transnational scheme” to launder at least $67M of stolen money and then claim it as legitimate revenue, which prosecutors claim coincided with an explosion in the outlet’s revenue. CFO Bill Guan pleaded not guilty

Dig Deeper

  • The Falun Gong, which is banned in China as “heretical,” is led by a spiritual leader who is said to be able to levitate and walk through walls

  • The spiritual movement also owns the performing arts company Shen Yun

  • Guan faces up to 80 years in prison. The Epoch Times said in a statement that it intends to “fully cooperate” with the investigation

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Dig Deeper

KEY STORY

MDMA Not Safe?

An advisory panel to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled overwhelmingly that the benefits of MDMA-assisted therapy don’t outweigh its risks

  • MDMA – “Ecstasy” or “Molly” – is outlawed in the US, but studies have suggested that alongside counseling, it may be effective at treating PTSD. Earlier this year, a small pharmaceutical company applied for FDA approval for MDMA-assisted therapy

  • On Tuesday, nine of 11 experts on an FDA-convened panel said they didn’t find the data convincing that the therapy is an effective PTSD treatment, while ten of 11 said its benefits don’t outweigh its risks. The FDA doesn’t have to accept the panel’s ruling, but usually does

Dig Deeper

  • While some of the experts called the treatment promising, many said the company’s data lacked key pieces of information, such as the drug’s side-effects and potential for abuse

  • “While we are disappointed in the vote, we are committed to continuing to collaborate with the FDA with their ongoing review,” the pharmaceutical company’s CEO said. “There is an urgent need for new, effective and accessible therapies to address this unmet need for those living with PTSD”

KEY STORY

Vice 2.0?

Vice appointed Shane Smith, one of its co-founders, its new editor-in-chief

  • Smith co-founded Vice in 1994 and helped grow it from an underground magazine to arguably the world’s hottest upcoming news company, worth $5.7B at its peak. He was subsequently blamed for its collapse, which culminated last year in Vice’s bankruptcy and sale to a group of investors

  • Vice has now named Smith the editor-in-chief and put him in charge of its shows and documentaries, beginning with a podcast that will feature talk-show host Bill Maher and will examine bias in the media

Dig Deeper

  • Smith told The Wall Street Journal that he is returning to Vice because it is his “baby”

  • He also said that he and other Vice executives “went too fast” and got “addicted to the money,” but claimed that what really killed the company was the Big Tech-driven collapse of the ad market

RUNDOWN
Some Quick Stories for the Office

🚀 Boeing’s Starliner completed its first manned launch on Wednesday, carrying two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Boeing has been competing with SpaceX to produce a spacecraft that NASA can use to carry astronauts into space, but its project fell years behind schedule

🇱🇧 The Lebanese military shot and captured a gunman who attacked the US embassy in Lebanon. Local media reported that the man wore a black vest that read “Islamic State” in Arabic

🚗 New York’s governor “indefinitely” paused the implementation of New York City’s long-awaited congestion pricing plan. The plan – which would have charged most people entering Manhattan $15 – was an effort to reduce congestion and pollution while increasing funds for public transit

🍁 Canada became the first country in the G7, an organization including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, to cut its interest rates

👴 The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled, “Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping.” The article, based on interviews with 45 Democratic and Republican officials, claimed that in private meetings, Biden, 81, mixed up basic concepts, relied on notes for simple points, and was at times impossible to understand. The White House said it was “surprising” the WSJ ran the piece, alleging it used the “same false claims [that Republicans have] spouted on Fox News for years”

COMMUNITY

Poll of the Day

Today's Poll:

Good investment opportunities are rare, so when shifting between the realm of possible investments, which source are you most likely to trust?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

🇺🇸 Special D-Day Question of the Day: Today is the anniversary of D-Day. Would the US, UK, and Canada be willing to make the same sacrifices in a similar situation today?

Email [email protected] with your answer!

Responses to this week’s question below: What gives you the most hope for society?

Suggested by Max from Illinois

I am from Sulphur, Oklahoma where we had an F4 tornado destroy our downtown area and several blocks of housing earlier this spring. The Red Cross was here immediately and worked with a local church to provide housing for those in need of shelter. Several organizations provided food to workers helping with clean-up and those who had no homes at no cost for at least 10 days. Our Expo center received so many donations of clothing, house hold supplies, food and water it had to turn some away because there was no more room and redirected them to other communities who suffered the same fate as we did. There were so many workers ready to help the homeless lean and repair if possible their homes. The generosity was overwhelming. Now, you don’t hear of these selfless acts on any major media platforms, but instead you hear all the awful news.

Gail from Oklahoma

I think the thing that gives me the most hope for the future is animals; case and point my boss who came into the studio today with a bottle baby kitten that he rescued. He regularly does this kind of thing, a man who has seen war and the worst things humans can do to one another... and still animals can bring that kindness out. People still care enough to give animals a chance... People still care. Perhaps not always about one another the ways they should, but there's hope in the fact caring isn't a forgotten thing.

Andi from Idaho

What gives me hope for society is that people genuinely want/will help out others regardless of their views on politics or religion. Once you get off the internet and apply things to real life situations, interactions between real people are a lot different than what we see from the media in day to day life .

Keegan from Montana

POPCORN
Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 Government Tinder: The Tokyo government will launch its own dating app as early as this summer. The effort is intended to boost Japan’s national birth rate, which hit a record low in 2023

💰 Bounty = hunted: A rare 3.75-inch “Star Wars” Boba Fett action figure was auctioned for a record-breaking $525,000, making it the world’s most valuable vintage toy

🧐 WHAT’S IN THE BAG?! A court dismissed a Minneapolis juror after she reported that a woman dropped a bag of $120,000 in cash at her home with a promise of more if she’ll acquit

🦞 Yeah, buoy! Rapper Flavor Flav ordered the entire Red Lobster menu in an effort to help the restaurant chain stay in business after it recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

🏐 Air Bud: Ex-NBA player Chase Budinger, 36, will debut as a beach volleyball player at the upcoming Paris Olympics. He retired from professional basketball in 2018 to pursue beach volleyball

ROCA WRAP
A Noble Lie?

Roca co-founder Max F recently took a reporting trip to West Africa. This is a dispatch from Senegal, one of the countries he visited.

Auschwitz, the Killing Fields of Cambodia: A handful of places draw visitors to see how inhumane humans can be.

Gorée Island is one of those places.

The dilapidated colonial town a few miles off the coast of Dakar – the capital of Senegal – was, according to the UN, “from the 15th to the 19th century…the largest slave-trading center on the African coast.”

It was a “first stop for some 20 million African slaves destined for ships moored in the deep waters off Goree's rocky shores,” writes CBS.

Today, visitors can tour slave holding cells, including the “House of Slaves,” and look through the “Door of No Return,” the last view millions of slaves allegedly had before being shipped across the Atlantic, a journey on which countless people died.

So devastating are the lessons of Gorée that its visitors include Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, and Presidents W. Bush, Clinton, and Obama.

Except most historians now say the story isn’t true.

In 1996, a writer published a story challenging the Gorée narrative in Le Monde, one of France’s main newspapers.

He argued that historical evidence showed no more than 500 slaves were traded through Gorée yearly, a fraction of the hundreds of thousands that had formerly been believed.

The report sparked outrage in Senegal, which convened academics who claimed to have disproved the Le Monde report and accused it of “falsifying” history.

Further debate ensued, though, and in the following years a new consensus formed: Gorée was a transit point for some 33,000 slaves – still terrible, but .17% of the 20M figure the world had regurgitated.

Analysis has since shown that Senegal’s government had tasked a historian with turning Gorée into a slave memorial and tourist attraction, and then marketing it around the world, particularly to African Americans.

Yet today, much of the world ignores this new historical consensus: If you Google it, you’ll find a CNN article that says Gorée was “once the center of the West African slave trade.” UNESCO – the UN division dedicated to preserving landmarks – says the same, as do the guides at the island.

Outside of Senegal, people defend the false Gorée narrative as a noble lie.

“The House of Slaves holds a huge amount of symbolic value as a 'place of memory,' a testimony to a not-so-savory part of global history,” wrote one University of Chicago historian who verified the “myth.”

“Turning the question of international slavery into a statistical exercise is not the most useful way to think about it,” he adds.

Others would say historians, the media, and institutions like UNESCO shouldn’t be creating myths, regardless of how noble.

To my guide, a man in his 40s named Mamadou, it was simpler: The myth leads to business, and the business gives him a job.

If you would like to share any thoughts, please reply to this email!

EDITOR’S NOTE
Final Thoughts

Gail from Oklahoma’s answer really put us in our feels last night. It’s a great reminder that the news reflects a narrow (and ugly) sliver of reality. We remember going down to Florida during Hurricane Ian and being blown away by the sacrifice and selflessness of locals and rescue workers. It’s really incredible what people will do for each other.

We look forward to reading your answers to the D-Day question!

–Max and Max