Financial Daily Dose 10.18.2021 | Top Story: Hollywood Crew Union Reaches Deal to Avert Strike; Shows to Go On

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Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes “version of blue-collar workers—camera operators, makeup artists, prop makers, set dressers,” and their ilk—reached a “tentative agreement for a new three-year contact with film and television studios” that will avert a strike just hours before it was set to begin - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

The buzz around what could’ve been yet another big-name strike highlights that rise in recent months of a “new militancy” among unions to use the worker-friendly employment landscape to push management to address “lingering frustration over their hours, pay and concerns for their health as some have held front-line jobs through the Covid-19 pandemic” - WSJ and Bloomberg

Digital currency purveyor Tether has agreed to pay $41 million to the CFTC to resolve claims that “it misled the market about its namesake stablecoin being ‘fully backed’ by U.S. dollars.” While Tether sold its currency as having a 1 to 1 match with greenbacks, regulators alleged that it “relied on unregulated entities and third parties to hold the funds that comprised those reserves” – Law360

Tracking Instagram’s existential dilemma: how to appeal to and hang on to teenage users (you know, the very ones its internal studies show that the platform harms), the “pipeline” for future growth. So important is that market that in 2018, the company began devoting its entire marketing budget—some $390 million this year—to pursuing teen users, “largely through digital ads” - NYTimes

Not that Insta’s the only social media company with serious teen-centric problems - WSJ

Over at Roblox, by contrast, the issue for the booming gaming company is how to protect its core group of younger users even as it has expanded its older audience—and effort that “offers both a road map and a cautionary tale for other internet companies attempting the opposite: engaging with a younger audience” - NYTimes

And back at the Facebook mothership, Zuck and friends are making big promises about AI’s ability to remove “hate speech, violent images and other problem content” from the platform. Frontline company engineers, however, suggest the technology is not the panacea that’s being publicly portrayed - WSJ

China’s powerful Securities Regulatory Commission has given Goldman Sachs its approval to buy out Beijing Gao Hua Securities, Goldman’s local partner, allowing “the Wall Street firm to expand its operations in the country at a time when Beijing has made moves to open up its financial sector” - NYTimes and WSJ

Fresh off almost single-handedly taking down Ozy Media, the Times’ Ben Smith is diving deep into the workplace environment of Axel Springer, the new German parent company of Politico that has a, ahem, colorful history - NYTimes

Alibaba’s last stumbling block has nothing to do with Beijing, for a change, and is all about “growing competition” within the e-commerce market. Consumers are increasingly embracing “new ways of shopping that favor browsing and interaction over targeted product searches,” and that trend has left “Alibaba playing catch-up in some areas” - WSJ

Streetwise on whether a rise in productivity can play a role in easing the effects of longer-term inflation - WSJ

We’re always on the lookout for the long-term effects of 19 months of Covid in unlikely places. This weekend, we learned about what the pandemic’s meant for NYC’s luxury living, where some green space of one’s own is now considered nonnegotiable - NYTimes

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,

MDR

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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