I knew you were trouble...
T-Swift ticket nightmare, TFSA limits and Twitter in shambles
Good morning. On Friday, Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced ex-Theranos founder and the inspiration for many last-minute Halloween costumes, was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for bamboozling investors about the promises of her blood testing start-up.
A number of documents were revealed throughout her federal criminal fraud case, which began last August, including her rigorous morning routine.
In this edition:
🐦 Chaotic app
💰 New limits
🎟 Get in line
— Vindhya Kolluru, Editor
Is it too early to say #RIPTwitter?
Since acquiring Twitter on October 28, Elon Musk has rendered the blue check mark useless, introduced a redundant gray check mark, fired over 3,500 workers, and even resurrected Donald Trump’s account which was suspended due to a risk of inciting violence. Oh, he's also tweeting questionable memes in the midst of all this.
The breakdown: Elon Musk, the richest person in the world and co-founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX decided he wanted to also run a social media platform. But things at Twitter HQ took a turn (possibly for the worse) the moment he stepped into office.
- Soon after taking over Twitter in a whopping US$44 billion deal, Elon Musk began to lay off a significant number of employees. It’s reported that he laid off half of the company, or roughly 3,700 workers.
- On November 10, Musk said that he expects all employees to spend a minimum of 40 hours per week in the office. Musk later reversed this rule after Twitter was sued for violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
- If that wasn’t enough stress on his staff, Musk told the remaining workers they had to commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter or leave the company by 5 p.m. on November 17. And of course, hundreds of employees left.
The result of his actions? A staffing crisis like no other. Engineers working on key systems have left, leaving Twitter vulnerable to problems and not enough staff to fix them. The significant shortage in staff also means that platform cannot tackle misinformation, fake accounts and online harassment like it used to. So, no one knows for sure if Twitter will shut down soon but there is a high possibility that multiple things can go wrong, and the recovery may take longer than usual for Twitter.
Is there a method to the madness? You've probably wondered if Musk has a strategy for whatever's going on with the company right now. In the past, Musk has mentioned he's made plans “but these things are always wrong, so I just didn’t bother with business plans after that.” In other words, it's likely that his Twitter strategy is to just wing it 🤷🏻♂️
— Harsimran Kaur Garcha
Let's talk about your TFSA
A tiny bit of good news for Canadians, amidst this dumpster fire of a week — yes we’re looking at you, Elon.
TFSA refresher: The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was introduced in 2009 after the financial crisis to provide another savings (and investment!) account option for Canadians aside from the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
- Post-tax dollars are contributed and can be used to purchase a variety of investment options like stocks or bonds within the account. Any income, like interest or dividends, can be withdrawn tax-free. For short-term savings goals like education and travel, it’s a great option.
What does this mean for me? In 2023, you’ll be able to contribute $6,500, an increase of $500 from last year. Since you can carry forward unused space, your total contribution limit is based on when you became eligible to hold a TFSA and how much you have contributed in the past. To find out your limit you can use a calculator like this one.
The bottom line: Although just 10% of Canadians max out their TFSAs, the limit increase is a good incentive to stash away extra cash during these rocky economic times. Whether you’re trying to battle inflation, build an emergency fund or save for your next vacay (which, let's be real, we could all use one rn), regular TFSA contributions can help you achieve your short-term or long-term financial goals.
— Sabrina Dotsch
The T-Swift ticket nightmare
If you were one of the Swifties who magically got tix to the "Karma" singer perform live, consider yourself lucky.
Catch up: Last Tuesday, Ticketmaster's website crashed when diehard Swifties tried to secure tickets to the star's Eras Tour, her first concert tour since 2018. Despite claims that Ticketmaster was aware of how much demand there would be for tickets, technical glitches botched the presale for the upcoming Eras Tour, angering fans.
- While 2.4 million people got their hands on tickets in a single day (a record for Ticketmaster) and only 15% of fans had issues with the platform, the platform eventually cancelled ticket sales for the general public on Friday, sparking even more frustration.
What now? The bad blood that ensued over T-Swift concert tickets comes a few months after the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into the owner of Ticketmaster, Live Nation Entertainment for abusing its power in the music ticket sales industry.
I knew you were trouble when you walked in: For years, fans and politicians have accused Ticketmaster of dominating the ticket sales industry, which some say has allowed the platform to inflate prices and let bots gobble up tickets without repercussions. Rampant issues on Ticketmaster have forced fans to go to resale platforms for tickets, which are often far more pricey.
- Resale tickets for the Eras Tour on platforms like Vivid Seats and Stubhub are fetching over US$20,000.
Big picture: Don't underestimate the power of Swifties. It's not just the Justice Department getting involved, lawmakers in Tennessee are now investigating Ticketmaster's crash and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called on Live Nation to be broken up.
— Vindhya Kolluru
Other things we read and we liked
😴 What's so bad about falling asleep to TV?
😪 So about Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen's questionable charity...
📚 BookTok, or the corner of TikTok populated with Colleen Hoover fans, has one glaring issue.
🔮 We love Katie Hawkins-Gaar's take on cultivating hope when it feels like there is none.
⭐️ Friday Things dives into the long-term impact of child stardom (hint: it's not good).
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