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Episode 50 to the atomic number of tellurium, there are 52 weeks in a year, daylight savings is coming this weekend. So I am going to have sex on Saturday night for an hour in three minutes.


Go, Scott, I think you should try that again. There are 52 weeks in a year. No joke. When I was 52, I decided I was going to spend a lot more time alone and my partner said, that's selfish. And I said, no, it's not. It's for everyone else's safety.


Go, go, go. Welcome to the 50 second episode of the show and today's episode, we speak with Andrew Ross Sorkin, a columnist for The New York Times and co-anchor of CNBC Squawk Box. We discuss with Andrew the markets, SPAC’s and our economic recovery or lack thereof. I'm a huge fan of Andrew Ross Sorkin. I think there are well, there are a lot of people I look up to and think I would like their life. I would like their professional life.


And Andrew is one of them. He's recognized a tremendous amount of success, and relevance, writing. He gets his book made into movies, unlike the dog. But anyways, I'm a little bit jealous.


He's also a very lovely guy. I've gotten to know him and his wife a little bit, and they're both just an impressive, nice, thoughtful, humble people.


Anyways, enough enough of me puckering up for the Canadian Andrew Ross Sorkin, by the way. He claims he was born and raised in Manhattan.


Don't believe it. Don't believe it. OK, OK. What's happening? President Biden is expected to sign a roughly two trillion dollar covid relief package into law this week after the House of Representatives voted on the bill for a second time. The American rescue plan will be President Biden's first major piece of legislation. The relief package includes aid such as 4800 dollar stimulus checks to certain income groups. One hundred and thirty dollars billion for K through 12 schools. That's a little bit late, isn't it?


One hundred twenty three billion for covid-19 related policy and three hundred and sixty billion to state and local governments with 10 billion allocated for infrastructure projects. Everyone has got their hand in the kitty on this one six trillion dollars so far in stimulus, or as I like to call it, a hate crime against future generations. Yeah, maybe one trillion of it got to where it was supposed to go. But in a study released by CNBC, somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of young people who are already retail investors are granted.


They already invest in the market plan to put the majority of their stimulus into the market. Eighty five percent of people receiving stimulus claim they're not going to spend it, meaning the stimulus isn't getting to the right place. Again, continued loaves of bread and circuses for the poor such that we can pump most of it into the market where we we get that sugar high, that heroin habit of increasing stock prices, 90 percent of which goes to the top one percent.


Yay, relief. That's not relief. It's further income inequality. This relief package is less bad than the rest. They have lowered the income limits for which you could are eligible for stimulus. They are putting more of it towards what has probably been some of the most what will be some of the most everlasting or some of the most evergreen damage, and that is schools being closed. So hopefully we'll get more schools open. However, I think bailing out states is a bad idea.


I think a lot of states are out over their skis and that is slowly but surely they've been weaponized by special interest groups or their budgets have been weaponized by special interest groups. And the only way you can get elected is to promise to increase budgets or not have difficult conversations with unions. And I think of myself as a fairly pro labor guy. I'm a member of a union, the UAW a as a matter of fact, that is the union that you join at NYU Stern.


But anyways, look for the union label right here tattooed on my ass just because I'm fifty six and want to get a tattoo. So why not.


Or maybe I'm just going to nose ring anyway.


It's time for states and local governments to get their house in order. Specifically, it costs eleven times the amount to build a mile of subway in Manhattan, then it costs in France and France isn't exactly known as a model of economic efficiency. California has become ungovernable and the taxes are so high. And what is happening there is a giant sucking sound coming out of California, New York to Texas and Florida. Want to know who all of a sudden going to find a hankering for Texas and Florida?


Find the one thousand people sitting on top of the largest unrealized gains and they're going to decide that, hey, I have one hundred and thirty dollars billion unrealized gain. My name is Elon Musk. I'm all of a sudden decided I'm I'm going to get a cowboy hat and move to Austin or I'm going to break out the sunblock and move to to Miami. I don't think that's sustainable. And you're going to have to have some of these cities and states reckon with what has become an out of control cost structure.


The results in taxation for cities and what you end up with is California and New York that have essentially priced themselves out of the market where people are doing the math and are thinking, OK, I'm going to move to Florida and Texas who are, quite frankly, just more fiscally responsible. Now, there's a price there. The schools in my great state of Florida, the public schools are not very strong and you do pay for some of it in property taxes.


But there's a reckoning here. I think we're headed towards what I call a value accretion tax. What do I mean by that? What do I mean by that? This wealth tax that Senators Sanders and Warren are proposing? I don't think that works. I think once you get your capital beyond a certain once, in other words, you save that money, you're a wealthy person, you're not a wealthy person, and you've been taxed and you have a certain amount of wealth.


I think of that as private property. And if you start, Robin, hooding it, regardless of the intentions, you violate one of the. Pillars of the United States, and that is we have a lot of respect for private property and the government can't come in and nationalize your private property. And also also they don't tend to work when I say they wealth taxes. Why? Because wealthy people in the most mobile people in the world and if you institute a wealth tax in France, in the wealthiest man in Europe, Bernard, are no moves his residence from Paris to Belgium.


And then when we start instituting a wealth tax in this nation, I think you're going to find that the billionaires in the US are going to all of a sudden get a hankering for London or Singapore or Tokyo because they spend most of their lives on the road anyway. So I don't think it works where we should have done. What we should do, quite frankly, is just have a more equitable tax structure to begin with, and that is eliminate capital gains tax deduction.


Why on earth is the money you make from money taxed a lower rate than the money you make from Street Y? Because young people make their money with sweat and we want to transfer money and power from young people to old people, as we've always done. Why is mortgage tax interest or the interest on your mortgage tax deductible? Why? Because old people own homes anyways. We just need a more equitable tax structure and we need to begin thinking about if you aggregate one hundred and fifty billion dollars in wealth in California, leveraging their infrastructure, leveraging their great university system, specifically Cal State University of California, leveraging their roads, leveraging their infrastructure and their culture that the taxpayers have built up over a century, then you can't just take your hundred and fifty billion dollar gain and peace out and then go monetize it in a low tax state.


I think we're going to see some sort of value accretion or sort of mutual reciprocity among states coming our way.


And in other news, the CDC released its new guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals fully vaccinated. I mean, it's been two weeks after your second dose in a Tuto series like the Fizer A.M. Vaccines, or two weeks after a single dose vaccine such as the Johnson and Johnson one. The CDC says fully vaccinated people can gather indoors together without masks on. They also do not need to isolate or get tested if they've been exposed to the virus unless they develop symptoms.


Just about 10 percent of the US population is fully vaccinated, and President Biden expects there to be enough vaccines for every U.S. adult by the end of May. It's also actually a really encouraging number. A substantial number of people over the age of sixty five have been vaccinated.


So I think the CDC has lost a little bit of credibility. And that is I think they are trying to thread the needle, if you will, between ensuring that people don't get lazy or lax a cycle or that we fall behind the curve of discipline. And as a result, the curve explodes and we have more and more outbreaks.


You can understand the position around, but the notion of kind of their recommendations or their advice on how we should live our lives, in my opinion, has somewhat been disjointed from the reality of how most people are actually going to behave.


And so I think they need to get out ahead of the curve with announcements like this and not only acknowledge the best science, if you will, or what the prudent course of action is, but the reality of how people are behaving. For example, I went down to Miami last weekend and guess what? This is exciting news. There is no covid in Miami.


At least you wouldn't know there's cold in Miami. So the notion that they put out a release saying, OK, you've been fully vaccinated twice, you can get together in small gatherings without mass. Well, thanks for that, boss. I got to believe that most people like that are already doing that. I think the more exciting thing is, OK, if you're over the age of 65 and you've been fully vaccinated, maybe it's time you can see your grandkids again.


Maybe you can start returning to some sense of normalcy around your life. It just feels as if there has been a delta between CDC guidelines and how people are actually going to behave.


And I don't know how you thread the needle between those two things, but I'm not sure when you see announcements that it's OK for fully vaccinated people to not wear masks and get together in small gatherings like, well, something tells me they've already been doing that.


Netflix Netflix has rolled out fast laughs. Short video clips to highlight its comedy catalog fast laughs. Plays similar to tick tock or Instagram reels as the video clips play automatically and users can share the clips on other platforms, including WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.


Oh my gosh, Netflix, you fast follower, you little saucy minx. Netflix is taking cues from tick tock and what happens when a marketplace explodes in value. It's blood in the water. It attracts new entrants. It attracts sharks. Do you think that Apple would have brought back from the dead its Titan car project had the automobile market not exploded 700 billion dollars in value? Simply put, if all of a sudden the automobile market had not had not attracted 700 billion dollars in additional market capitalization, i.e. Tesla, I'm not sure Apple would have brought back or dug up the corpse of their car program.


And Tick-Tock is probably were two, three, four hundred billion dollars. And the short form video innovation, if you will, and Netflix says, I don't know, we can do that. We have a ton of access. We have a recurring revenue relationship with hundreds of millions of people. Well, maybe we should try this short form, it's sort of interesting that Kibbie got it so wrong, yet the format on top of an algorithm with original creators is probably going to be embraced or has been embraced by hundreds of millions of people.


And then Netflix is looking into this notion of short video clips. And it just reminds me of just how dead Twitter has been. All of this started the original gangster here was Vyn Don't get me started. Back to Netflix. Recent estimates suggest that the streaming giant's content budget could surpass nineteen billion dollars this year. That would be a 10 percent increase compared to the previous year. In addition, in addition, Nielsen reported that Netflix accounted for 34 percent of US streaming as of Q2.


Twenty twenty. Wow, one and three minutes streaming with all those options. And boom boom, it's Netflix. Netflix.


Gosh, what an incredible company. Right, by the way, by the way, Paramount. Plus, this is shows why the film industrial complex, specifically movie theaters and people wanting to grab their 100 million, 500 million billion in the movie theater is literally collapsing on itself. And that is paramount plus, which includes Lionel Messi, SpongeBob Square pants. Jean-Luc Picard, seventy two bucks a year for all of that, six bucks a month or or I can go to Alamo Drafthouse, which is a superior film experience, get a lazy boy, order a couple as a cop.


As for the dog and boom, that's seventy five bucks. Well, which one is better a year of Lionel Messi or Starship Commander Jean-Luc Picard? True story. Every year at Halloween, I dress up as the starship commander. Huge crowd pleaser, huge crowd pleaser. Anyway, that shows you why Alamo, why Alamo has recently declared bankruptcy. And that is the value you get from these streaming networks, the innovation in your living room versus the value you get in movie theaters.


And the innovation, i.e. pretty much none in theaters, is just absolutely klok. These guys in the face. And we're seeing a dispersion of content.


It is leapfrogging, it is frogging the traditional channels of distribution that were supported such that the film industrial complex or the health care industrial complex or the education industrial complex could grab their piece dispersion. Who are the frogs? Coursera is planning to go public. They're a frog. They're skipping. They're leaping over universities, ninety eight point six telemedicine. By the way, I'm an investor in ninety eight point six. They're leapfrogging hospitals and doctors offices, remote, anything.


Zoome Amazon.


They're leapfrogging HQ, right. They're going over every commercial real estate investment trusts and saying, I know. Let's go straight to know. We're going to see a lot of frogs. We're going to see a lot of dispersion and other interesting business development. Back to Twitter. Twitter is testing out Chapell tweets and looking for ways to better support commerce on the platform. TechCrunch reports. Remember them? TechCrunch. So Nyos, don't they feel Nyos or Knot's or OT's, whatever it is?


I think of Lindsay Lohan and TechCrunch anyways, that the Schappell tweets will include a shot button and integrate product details directly into the tweet, including the product, name, shop name and product pricing. Facebook's browsers had huge success with their Schappell, Instagram, Instagram markets, whatever it's called. So I think this is overdue. Do you get the sense do you get the sense?


And by the way, I spoke to a very senior Twitter executive a few nights ago. They always call me late at night as if somehow it's going to be discreet or off the record when they call me late at night.


And it is the dogs like a vault, the dogs like a vault. Right. Anyways, anyways, this individual said that the product development team at Twitter has never felt this much pressure. Well, it's about God damn time anyways. Let's hope the Twitter commands the space it occupies and continues to rule out innovation, including a shot button and who knows, maybe someday even an edit button. So Twitter finally, finally feeling the heat feed to the flame.


A product innovation. Let's do a fraction. Let's show a fraction of the moxie of the creativity of the innovation that the other platforms have demonstrated over the last decade. Twitter, we're counting on you t to the Twitter product development. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Our conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin.


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Welcome back. Here's our conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin, a columnist for The New York Times and co-anchor of CNBC Squawk Box. Andrew, where does this podcast find you? And I know it's Montreal. That's our big joke. You're Canadian. You can admit it here to me right now, Upper West Side of New York City.


And so I was in New York City, been to Montreal and only a handful of times, Formula One in June.


We're going, baby, because you and I are close friends. You don't know that yet, but you and I are close friends, so we go to one together. So when when we patched you in, you were emotional and you said that the reason you're emotional or tell us why you're feeling emotional. I was just watching virtually, I guess, in this new world, we're all living in a funeral for Vernon Jordan, who for those listeners don't know, was was a great civil rights activist turned businessman who did so many things for the black community over the last 40 years, 50 years, maybe even longer than that.


He's just passed away, 85 years old. And Ken Chennault, former CEO of American Express, was just talking about him. And Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox, was just speaking about someone that she described as her best friend. And it was so emotional. And to see such an outpouring of people and what he did for the black community in the in the business world was just so remarkable. He had been on the board of so many of these companies himself and was a mentor to so many, obviously worked side by side as an adviser to Bill Clinton, who was also participating in the funeral.


But what I didn't appreciate was. Fully, and I'd known Vernon for a long time and just he was magical. He was one of those people could own the room. And when you felt like when you were in the room with him, you know, you were his best friend, he would tell you these these stories. And he was just unbelievable guy. But I didn't appreciate or know how much he was behind the careers and the lives of so many of the black professionals who really did rise to the top and what he had done for them.


And that that to me was was something you always you always learn something new every day. And now that was that for me.


Yeah. I did not know Mr. Jordan, but yeah, there's been a tremendous outpouring. So let's let's try and get you out of this and let's pivot to the markets.


The other podcast you have. That's right. That's right.


So you always think of the markets as this organism that absorbs millions of data points and then spits back a number and you sort of absorb more points of light around the market than most people. And I'm just curious your sense.


So interest rates, what's going on in the markets when you look at the market right now, what do you think are the two or three things or themes or things people aren't talking about?


When you say, OK, if I had to describe some of the themes in the market right now, things that you're concerned about, things that you see that you think other people aren't saying, what's what's sort of the gestalt or the vibe of the market right now, according to Andrew Ross Sorkin?


To me, I'd say part of it is there's a A and this is not a new phenomenon in the market. But buy the rumor, sell the news. And I one of the things I wonder about is the market went on such a wild roller coaster ride this past year. You know, basically, I mean, it's a roller coaster because it wasn't going up and down. It was going up. A rocket ship like a rocket ship is. Right.


And, you know, here we are on the cusp, hopefully, of of going back to some semblance of normal, maybe in the next couple of months, at least the beginning of that. And all of a sudden, obviously, you're seeing interest rates rise, you're seeing the stock prices fall off. And what's so unique and interesting about that is, oddly enough, you investors always say they're looking at 12 months. They're looking at 18 months, 24 months from now.


And here they were making that bet a year ago, and people, by the way, of course, thought, what the hell is happening here? Unemployment's going through the roof at the same time, the market's going through the roof. How can these two things possibly be anyway? I think there's something very unique happening in that regard. So that's that's data point one for me, that that maybe now there's an expectation that a year or two or three from now, it may not be the roaring 20s, you know, Spanish Spanish flu.


There's another element that I'm fascinated by right now, which I can't get my head around, which is the individual investor, this feels very late nineteen nineties in terms of just the day trader, you know, active, active trader. But the other thing that I that's new almost feels like a political overlay. I don't know if you feel this way. It's like a freedom thing going on.


Well it's cast as a movement and I'm wondering how much of it is hype and how much of it is real. I don't. I can't. I can't. Disarticulated it, too.


So is it a movement and. No, but but when I say freedom, almost like people want to have the freedom, the access to be able to shoot the moon, to buy the lottery ticket, to play the game the way the professional, quote unquote plays the game. But what's so interesting to me about that is, you know, for so many years, it was drummed into my brain that my job as a journalist in part is to protect the small investor.


You know, I mean, that's, you know, protect the small investor at all costs. That's the whole thing. And so here we are in this moment where I'll go on TV or write a column or whatever or whatever and say, look, this is a problem like this whole GameStop thing. This is like cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, what you want and what you get back. From folks online on Twitter, on social media is stop trying to protect us, Sorkin, we don't want your protection.


And by the way, your protection, you're not protecting us. Yeah, you're protecting the man.


You're you're protecting your senior from the establishment. We don't buy your foe paternalism. You're in a steam room with Carl Icahn and Gordon Gekko protecting them. There's a there's totally a conspiracy against them.


And that, to me, is sort of a fascinating piece of it. And then the last piece, and maybe this is the sign that we are near a top, though, by the way, you know, Alan Greenspan famously talked about irrational exuberance and he was right. But it was nineteen nineties, two years early. It's probably three or four years earlier. So maybe we'll be having this conversation four years, four years from now, you'll be laughing at me.


The whole spaak phenomenon of these blank check companies makes no sense to me. It's that that makes no sense to me. Just it's a sign of craziness. And when anybody and their brother and whether they're a celebrity or they're this or that are getting involved in this stuff and also just getting involved in deals and they're not great deals. The the disclosure stuff is terrible. And and not enough people are blowing the whistle. And by the way, when you do blow the whistle, it's sort of like what I just said before.


They say, stop blowing the whistle. This is my access. Sorkin I want to access to this is like getting it. I'm getting on the ground floor of an IPO. Why are you complaining? Why are you giving Timothe Poly Hoppity a hard time? Because he won't disclose his fees. What is that? But let me ask you this.


All right? You're you're a big name. You you were say you were unencumbered by conflicts and a great operating group with great operators came to you and said, Spack is a great way to just raise capital and we're going to go find a company and media. Would you want to be a part of that? If you would called me 12 months ago, yeah, yeah, yes, yeah, maybe and if I thought you could be done, honestly, what I mean by honestly with proper disclosure, because I just think the documentation on icepacks today is gross.


But can you say more about that? Because I don't appreciate you mentioned fees not being disclosed. Can you say what is not being disclosed? Because I thought it was facts where they made all the disclosures in advance so that they could just add water. You're saying that's actually omitting certain disclosures?


What I'm saying is that I don't think that the average retail investor understands the various misalignments along the way with them. So when the spack is first, quote unquote, iPod, there's a group of investors behind it. You often see big names involved in some of the early when the Fastback first goes off. And those are brand names. But those brand names, by the way, that's a financial arbitrage play for them. They're not actually betting on anything happening.


They're literally betting that they can clip a coupon for the course of two years if no deal happens and that there's a option on the other side. If something magical happens, that's exactly what's happening and that's all that's happening. What I don't think people understand along the way is the sponsor. So if I was doing it or or you were doing it, Scott, you know, you would be collecting effectively 20 percent of the company if you successfully buy something.


So you take just just for purposes of demonstration. So you do a three hundred million dollars back. You raise money, you get 300 million dollars in cash. And the notion is you're going to put that three hundred million dollars to work and typically you do a pipe or some sort of debt financing so you can buy something for five, seven hundred million until you've collected you collected a minimum, typically 20 percent of the original SPAC, 20 percent of the three hundred million dollars is yours.


This is not pay for pay for performance. This is pay before performance.


This is like a banker you're going to accept you're getting 20 percent instead of seven percent for getting the company public. Right. And what's happening, though, my understanding is if you double or triple it up with debt, that 20 percent effectively goes to six percent. And then the targets, the sellers are getting wise to the fact that there's more sparks and there are good companies and they're asking the operating groups or the sparks to get that 20 percent back.


So the market is sort of the market's starting to get there, right. They're starting to be some harder negotiations. So that's the first piece. Then the second piece is the dispatch. When you go buy the company. Right. And you bring in these pipe investors, well, the pipe investors oftentimes are getting it. First of all, they get to look at the books, which you'd say is a good sign because it would be an endorsement of the situation.


But oftentimes they're getting it at a price that is purposely lower now, you know, not what I say, purposely lower than what it would otherwise be. Some people say that's the equivalent of what an IPO used to be anyway. Right. So you have to have that piece of it. But I also don't think people fully understand. You're seeing with probably half of the year with this this transaction around Virgin Galactic, these guys are not long term.


Sure. What do you mean when you sold it?


Entire state of the state, so to say, was not in this. You know, to be clear, he still has a stake through his yes. Is capital vehicle. But when you sell it, when you sell two hundred million dollars of stock and a company, I don't know about you, but it's just like there's no way to put lipstick on a pig here. That is not a great forward looking indicator when someone who knows the company really well decides to sell two hundred million dollars in stock.


I wonder if these things and I'm like you, I think Sparks will be here for a long, long time. But Sparks the spark index is going down and I think it's going to continue to go down. And I think we will likely see that moment as a watershed moment when the kind of king is back. And he was a visionary. He did it early. I give him a lot of credit for it.


Yeah, you kind of forwards the market, but when he sells two hundred million dollars of stock in a company, especially coming like Virgin Galactic, I think of Richard Branson as a visionary. I think Kamath is a visionary, but it's like, where's the engineer that's going to put people into space? You know, it just feels feels very vulnerable. What do you think the air's coming out or it feels like the air is coming out across the entire universe?


I think it's coming out.


You know, we saw this already start to happen with this. Every transaction that Michael Cline was involved in where the stock had raced up to fifty bucks and then, by the way, races up to fifty bucks because, you know, retail shareholders are expecting a deal with this company. And then he turns around and sells stock to the quote unquote institutions, the pipe investors at fifteen dollars. So the stock's trading at fifty bucks and they're getting and they see this I mean, like physically it's happening in front of this.


That's what's different than an IPO, that IPO. There's a little bit of a gamble, at least this is like you see where the stock is and you're getting to buy it at a massive discount. So I think that we're going to start to see.


Some compression on this, and I do think some of the big name people who've been doing this or have been trying to get into this business, it will become less and less attractive for them because the fee structure will get pushed down.


And when you look at the market, so you could also make the argument that the number of publicly traded company has been cut in half the last 30 years. So this is just regression to the mean where more companies are going to be publicly traded. But when you look at the market as a whole, do you say, all right, I feel uncomfortable with these frothy highs?


We probably got another two years. When you think about the stimulus, just pumping all of this sugar, this steroid into the market. I mean, look at twenty, twenty one and none of us have a crystal ball. But you see, you're closer to the you have your clothes.


I think that when you have to I mean, the stats are great example. You have 600 billion dollars chasing not six hundred billion dollars of worthy companies. And so there's an imbalance. What does that mean? I mean, the thing that I keep thinking about with all this is, you know, is there something systemic here? Right. Can this all unravel come undone in some terrible 2008 like way? I've been so scarred by that period in writing, too big to fail and all that.


And what I can't figure out is how that part of it happens, in large part because it doesn't feel yet that people are totally over leveraged, meaning I would say every financial crisis is there's only one thing behind every financial crisis, and that is debt. That's leverage. And you can have everybody doing terrible things. It doesn't matter as long as, you know, it's the debt is the mass lights, the fire. The thing we haven't that I haven't figured out and I don't know if anyone's figured out is, you know, we use the phrase too big to fail.


Back in the day, back in the day 2008, it was in the context of banks. Mm hmm.


Today, we use that phrase oftentimes in the context of municipalities, cities, states, Delta Airlines, Delta Airlines, but countries.


Yeah, and a crisis is a crisis of confidence. And so is there a moment at which somebody says, you know what, I don't think these people are good for the money anymore and the whole thing unwinds. And that's the part. I don't know when we see interest rates rising and but we're also, you know, it's happening across the world. So who knows? Who knows.


If you think about the correction in 2000 was we had pets', dotcom and cyber shop. Yep. Whose business model is buying Furbies for 60 bucks, selling them online for 20 bucks. And at one point they were worth a billion dollars. And then in 2008, it was the subprime crisis or subprime debt or mortgages.


If you had to pick one place where it starts here, I mean, everyone talks about stocks. I think the bubble is in the credit markets. I see companies that look like fairly mediocre, companies that are borrowing at five percent. And I look back, I go, you just need to go back seven years and much better. Companies went out of business and their bonds were at 12 percent.


I mean, it just seems, you know, high risk, low return.


But if you look at the corporate bond market. But the other thing that started to happen again is a little bit of the twenty six, seven. Thing in terms of some of the way those those bonds are structured, I mean, I think a lot of people thought the private equity industry would blow up in a financial crisis, and it didn't in large part because there were so many ratchets and other weirdo provisions and devices in the bonds themselves. So you can extend it, pretend for longer.


And I think you're starting to see that again with some of these some of these bond issuances where there's that opportunity will exist. So even if some of these companies do run into trouble, it doesn't all you know, the dominoes don't all fall at the same time, which is which to me is always the thing I worry about. Yes. Will there be companies that are going to go bankrupt? One hundred percent. Will there be a lot of them?


I'm sure. But will they be massive names? I don't know.


Yeah. So if you look at the market, it's really a story of tech and that is the market sands technology stocks has just done OK to even middling. And then there's a small handful of stocks that have basically dragged the entire market up and I think created a bit of an illusion that the entire market is doing really well. Do you see tech continuing to skyrocket or do you think there'll be a reversion in the old economy? Guys will have their moment.


And I mean, over the course of last couple of weeks, market's been up and up and down.


Well, compare kind of big tech and the rest of the market.


Life is relative, right? Do I think that they'll have their moment? Sure. But their moment, you know, I don't know how long live the moment will be. And I don't know, you know, if if you're going to see banks on a rocket ship the way Tesla was, I doubt that's going to happen. Do I think there'll be a reversion to the mean on some of the tech stocks? You'd have to think so. I mean, I just think come on.


I mean, has everybody not gotten their peloton already?


I mean, really and truly in the back?


Yeah, I use my Tesla to bring it home, you know. So, yes, I and by the way, I will continue to grow. It just won't grow as if it's going to go to the moon. So I imagine the tech will will struggle in terms of in the market. But I think they're still great businesses. I think Amazon's, you know, such a killer. Amazing business. Yeah. You know, having said that, you tell me what you think is going to happen if Washington and this new administration decides to break them up.


And by the way, maybe that'll be good for the market. Maybe they'll be good for these companies and their stock price ultimately. But you look at some of the names, whether it's Tim Wu or Lena Condit.


Exactly. To today, if they if they have their way and I don't know if they will, boy, would they take a sledgehammer to these companies.


Yeah, it's going to be it's going to be very interesting. And I would argue over there. So talk to us a little bit. Give us your your thoughts on crypto bitcoin cerium thoughts.


Oh, my God. You know. Let me just say I was I want to say to Brian Armstrong, I think I met Brian Armstrong. Brian Armstrong runs Coinbase. Mm hmm. Maybe in two thousand, 12 or 13, 13, I want to say. And I remember he he was explaining to me and I didn't really get it. I didn't understand. He said, OK, you know what? We'll set up an account with five bucks.


But the five bucks today, I think is probably worth one hundred something dollars. I don't know what it is, but and I didn't get it and I just didn't get it. I do think it's not a bad store value. I could see it being like gold if you if you believe in gold. Now, Warren Buffett will tell you you don't buy gold, gold, gold, stupid. And and it very well may be. I see it potentially as a store value, not as a currency.


I don't get the currency argument. You mentioned Coinbase. They're looking at going public, supposedly at 100 dollars billion market cap. I believe that's about 70 times revenues. And if it gets a pop, it could very well be worth more than Goldman Sachs Coinbase on the first day of trading. I don't know about you, but that just seems what's the term fucking Looney Tunes?


I don't look, I don't understand. And maybe I'm. But but that's the thing I've watched this thing go from, you know, whatever it was then. A thousand bucks. Two thousand bucks to where we are now. Fifty thousand. Fifty four thousand dollars. So there's part of this is what do I know? And there's part of me that thinks, OK, call me in a couple of years and we will be having a different conversation. But maybe it'll be two hundred thousand dollars.


Maybe it'll be a half a half a million dollars. Maybe it'll be a million dollars. I've literally talked to people who have tried to convince me that 10 million bucks a coin. And by the way, maybe if you play the gold story, that's what it is. Mm hmm. And I do. But I do think I don't if you feel this way, I think there's so many people, maybe they're boomers who now. Almost just there, just I don't know, it's just like I give up.


OK, I'm in I'm just I'm going to I I've I've been wrong thus far. Now, maybe I'm supposed to take the flyer, but isn't this one, you know, just when you think the train's leaving the station is not when you were supposed to jump on.


That's the problem. I thought it was overpriced at 19 and I thought, I don't want to have too much fear of missing out. So buy a few coins. And I did a podcast with Michael Saylor and speak to him. And within two minutes you just want to buy he has he just totally this guy is smarter than me and he's been right and right.


And I and I can't not buy things on sale. So I think, well, if it goes to fifteen or ten I'll buy in and out of fifty four. And I just can't, I just can't do it, do it.


I'm capable of doing it.


So I want to switch gears. You're you're a role model for me for a lot of reasons. But one I've optioned a lot of are a couple of my books for theatrical or original scripted television production. Except the difference between you and me is that yours get made.


So give us some insight into the Hollywood side. Oh, goodness. Canadian here. What would tell us about Hollywood and getting shit on film and what you've enjoyed about it, what it's like.


So I've, I, I've been blessed and I should tell you, I'm working on a new project right now with the great Jason Blum and Len Amato and HBO to put something on its feet around GameStop. So we'll see. We'll see where we land.


The original idea, I haven't heard, but let us. Yeah, by the way, I'm think you're involved in one, too, right? I went to Netflix, which means it's not going to happen to get that happened years.


Well, OK, so you're doing it.


Yeah, there's a lot there's there's a lot of room. There's a lot of room in the market. But let's talk about that. What's the theme? What's the story. What I mean. Well, that's a look at GameStop. What's the drama?


What gets what gets so many different Campo's Julia Roberts or you know, or I don't know Ed Norton involved in this.


Like, how do we make it dramatic? How does it. Oh my goodness. I think there's so much drama.


I mean, I think you could you could be you could take it from the hedge fund side. You could take it from the Robinhood side. You could take it from your side. I mean, there's this you could go find some other people who traded on top of this. I mean, I think there's just so it depends sort of how you how you play it. But I think there's so many different ways to make these stories great. And I think people oftentimes with financial stories, which is obviously the stories that I love, they get anxious about.


Can you put that on film? How does it work? You know, these guys, they're all supposed to be sitting in front of a computer screen all day. And I think both are too big to fail and billions. And hopefully this I think if if you make it about the people, if you make it about them at their story, there's so much drama in it. And even though there's some people who are going to be making billions of dollars, first of all, there's people making billions and losing billions of dollars.


And so I think the there's stakes in it. And I think it's always a personal story. And I think you realize that even these guys who have great titles on their business card, you know, they do put on their pants the same way we do. And if you can capture the emotion of what's going on during those those moments, I think there's a really interesting, really interesting story to be told. And I feel like I feel like too big to fail in a way sort of was able to to do that.


In large part. I think we all had sort of very two dimensional views of all of these people that we were reading about. I know I did. And I was writing about these people and I had. But then if you can get inside the room, if you can get the viewer inside the room, they can see what everybody's talking about and what they're saying. Everything becomes gray and kind of gray is where the magic is.


Gray is where the magic is. You are so sexy. Gray is where the magic is, is where the magic is. So I'm just I want to know the real Andrew Ross Sorkin.


Can you tell us can you give us a sense I would just love to know your day. Describe your average weekday. Take us through it.


Oh, man. OK, so pandemic has made things a little bit. I don't know better or worse. I'm not sure in terms of just how the day flows. There's less moving around, which I guess maybe better. Squash starts at 6:00. I'm usually up around four, four thirty.


I do that till about 9:00. It's about not about 9:00 to exactly 9:00. You're on for three hours, three hours. So that's real on TV.


I usually get out of the chair around 7:00 to go get another right before 7:00 to get another coffee if I can. But what are you doing. Dispenser machine.


What are you doing between four thirty and six. Are you researching stories or scripts.


No, no, no. Just, just getting ready for the show. I mean, look, so typically during the day I'm getting all sorts of notes and things from producers and I'm constantly back and forth with them about what we're doing. The next day we're going to be talking to and you know, which segments I'm going to lead. Maybe Joe or Becky's in each other's segments and we figure all that out. And so I've usually read most of the stuff before I go to sleep at night, I have to go to sources for information.


Is a Twitter is it is it the information? Is it like what are you reading? I mean, I'm. I read the information, I read Twitter, I go to the Drudge Report, obviously the New York Times and Deal book. I read, you know, the Journal and the left.


Do you get any of these lists like CNN? Five things are Morning Brew or any of them. I like Morning Brew. I actually give them a lot of credit. I read Brian Stelter, I Axios, I read Politico. Probably you're just absorbing it and just taking all that stuff in and then in the morning. You know, and it's changed actually over time. It used to be a lot of stuff would break it like midnight overnight newspaper, but now nobody holds anything back.


So there's probably less new news in the morning. But now I find myself on Twitter now a lot in the morning, trying to see what's happened overnight. I often I mean, I get you through the rest of the day, but I go to sleep typically at around nine, nine thirty. So I sort of miss sometimes it's going on a night. But but I but I should say, one of the things I'm doing, by the way, at four thirty five, five thirty is, you know, we published your book, the newsletter, which is my baby and something that I spend all my time on.


So oftentimes I'm slacking with the team. Jason Carrion, Michael Dilema said working in London. So they're up even earlier than I am. And so we're going over what's, you know, last minute changes, things like that in the newsletter, which is also, by the way, so selfishly very helpful to me for the show, because it's also like a way for me to read in and understand what's going on.


Yeah, that's the thing I love about writing, is it forces you to actually understand a topic somewhat so.


Exactly. So anyway, nine rolls around. In the old days after the show, we'd probably meet with producers and talk about. And the next day, today, these days I probably do it more on the phone and maybe some Zoom's a little bit, but not so much. Do you need to jump in on the phone today? I very proudly worked out for an hour, which I normally in the old days was not very good about. I tried to get better during the pandemic.


I don't know what you and then and then give us.


So how do you wind down? What do you what do you do after. So you do squawk box, then you do New York Times Deal book.


And then I was now in this pandemic world, the great part is I have three children. We all had dinner together, which is amazing. How old are your kids? And I've got a four year old into twin boys who are 10. Nice. So we've been having a ball together. I mean, that's been one of the great blessings of the crisis. And you're not allowed to serve the pandemic to say there's any blessings in it. But that has been like a meaningful one.


And just by the way, the idea that they can come in in the middle of the day now so that I feel like has totally changed us as a family, at least for me as a dad, just how much time we're all able to just be around each other. And that's been great.


How do you think it's impacted your marriage, both of you being home? Your wife's an information age worker as well, so.


Oh, OK. We're going to answer this question. You know this all. We're trying to be honest to the whole this whole podcast is honest, honest, honest. Mm hmm. In a way, I think we got so much closer, actually.


But I will also say there were like, you know, as I think with every marriage, especially when we're all together and just three kids when I was in Vietnam, I mean, that's not easy.


I mean, we can talk about the Hallmark Channel.


This not you know, I think there were there were there were jokes early on that that we were going to you know, some people said they were going to a lot of babies when the pandemic was over. And other people said that be a lot of divorces when it was over. And I'm sure they're probably both of those. I think I'm hoping we will buck the trends of both of those as well. And I think we will. But yeah, no, there was there were a lot of tough, tough times.


And I you know, there was there was periods where I was freaking out and there were periods when she was freaking out. The good news was we actually when we had our freakouts, they were at different times for the most part. So we weren't sure what.


What was Andrew Ross Sorkin freaking out about? What were the moments you were worried about? Were there about family with her, about work or about the. I think I like a routine, so when I think in the beginning, just the routine was gone, so so I had to sort of struggle to get the routine back to create a routine. And so I was just starting my my normal self, maybe not my best self at all times. So in the beginning of the pandemic, we weren't Connecticut.


We'd gone up to Connecticut and we had and I sort of figured out a nice rhythm up there. And then the school started again in the city. And I got back here. And my whole life has been about work and and seeing people for work, by the way. And I don't know if this is admit that I'm supposed to say that sucks and that's terrible, that my life revolves around work. I love my work. I don't know.


I have lots of misgivings about how I feel about all that. But I think coming back to the city and being and but sort of like doing what I do but not really being able to do it was like a bit of a mind f for me. And I think there were there were times there were people are also, you know, struggle with, you know, I think, by the way, the book business season was blasting off during this period.


Oddly enough, it's done really well. So but that also meant she was a crazy busy. I was crazy busy.


The kids were having a new thing, you know, and I'm sure you picked up your fair share of the slack, Andrew. Just like all men, just like all of us. I'm sure. You know what? Absolutely.


Put your shoulder down to say it here.


I never did enough. And she is Superwoman. So let's just put it on the record because she is so like you.


You had remarkable success at a very young age from these iconic institutions. Can you look when you look back like what are the learnings there? What what pieces of advice would you offer young women or men that got you? You know, how did you get so much so early? Is there any hack's or what advice would you give to your younger self or younger people? Younger listeners. So. First of all, unlucky, let's just start there, like truly, truly lucky if you don't acknowledge that there's luck involved in this.


I mean, I like to think I worked hard, but really, there's a lot of people who work hard in life and don't necessarily have some of these opportunities to some degree. I think I was naive. I was somebody who all I want to do is get my foot in the door. I was happy to get coffee for people and Xerox and Staple and I all I wanted to do was somehow become indispensable. That's why I used to say I just somehow figure out a way to make yourself, even if you're indispensability is getting somebody's coffee, but that they become dependent on you getting that coffee and that somehow the way you get the coffee is better than others.


Mm hmm.


And I think that I was I don't know if I was better getting the coffee, but I was always a. I always had ideas, I was always pitching, constantly pitching, pitching stories, pitching things that people could do, pitching business ideas. You know, I just I wanted to get stuff going. I still do that today. And so I think it's about getting yourself getting your foot in the door somehow and then just making yourself useful and trying at least, you know, I like to think not having a total ego about it, I would do anything, I mean, literally would do.


I still think that some of the most fun I ever had in my whole career was working for Stuart Elliott, who was the advertising columnist when I remember 18 years old. And I literally, you would like send me around New York City to, like, pick up stuff. And I was having a ball.


Let me. So as we wrap up here. So what would you like to do professionally in the next five years that you haven't done so far? I do think if you're really on say, you know, I just love to do I'd love to do this.


So what would be an indulgence for you professionally or something? What's a box that hasn't been checked for you?


So honestly, and I know this may sound crazy. I feel I genuinely feel blessed that I've got to do a lot of the things I've wanted to do. There's not much that I'm like desperate to go do. I would love to write more books. I'd love to, you know, put another film out there. I'd love to nail the column. I'd love to write a really great, you know, like investigative series or something in the paper that that's that's a box.


You know, I've written some some things. I did this project from guns to years ago then I think I hope I like to think move the needle a little bit. I'd love to try to do that again. You know, maybe I'll have to try my hand at a podcast like you and I keep.


It's like Bitcoin. I keep saying get in and you keep waiting. Right. Right. And here we are. And here we are. So last question. And it's the same question, but personally, what would you like to achieve over the next 10 to 15 years, just personally in terms of your own growth?


My own growth. I do think this whole pandemic, in a way, has made me reflect a lot on like what's actually important, and I do think, you know, I feel like I have some great relationships over the years that I developed friends and things in the world of journalism and business that I've been covering for all these years. But in the end, you know what? When when this gig is up, the gig will be up and who knows what's going to happen there.


Right. The families, the thing that's that's hopefully not going anywhere. And what I hope is I hope I can somehow develop these these amazing lasting relationships as a father and as a husband, not just when the kids are young, but I want I want to be one of those days. I don't know if I succeeded this where the kids actually love you later and want to hang out with you. Is that possible? I don't know. But boy, would I love to figure out how to how to be that person.


Andrew Ross Sorkin is a columnist for The New York Times and co-anchor of CNBC Squawk Box. He's also the founder and editor at large of Deal Book, an online daily financial report published by The Times and is also the best selling author of Too Big to Fail How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System and Themselves. He joins us from his home in Manhattan. Andrew, thanks for the time and space. Say thank you and hugs from Montreal.


We'll be right back.


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Welcome back, it's time for Office Hours, a part of the show where we answer your questions about the business world, big tech entrepreneurship and whatever else is on your mind. If you'd like to submit a question, please email a voice recording to officers at Section four dotcom. Question one. Brendan from New York. Go ahead, Brendan. Hey, Scott.


This is from New York. I'm calling to ask about Twitter. I know you've answered a lot of questions on this and you have a point of view around having them by CNN, which I think is a really interesting idea. What about having them by Reddit? It seems like we're where they're shifting to this interest craft, focused and ready design of interest based Subrata. You're going to have this perfect storm of, you know, an interest based feed kind of in real time time to the depth of conversation and engagement that you get on Reddit, both which would be highly monetized all over times in terms of audience.


So let's talk about whether it's realistic that Twitter could acquire Reddit. Its valuation most recently was six billion, which means that they probably have to buy it for ten because the people who invested it six don't want to get their money back. They want to make money. So this thing right now, because of that GameStop phenomenon and Wall Street bets, it's brought a ton of attention to read a ton of traffic. So it's probably 10 billion, which means an additional ten dollars billion issuance in stock and cash.


That is a 16 percent dilution for Twitter. So I like the way you're thinking, Brendan. A lot of traffic, probably a lot of opportunity to monetize. Could is it feels like, though.


I don't know. Does it feel like low calorie monetization, though? Because it feels right. It feels very advertising to me. It doesn't feel like the premium kind of product you can charge for. And look at it this way. Look at it this way. I think you could pick up CNN for somewhere between seven and 10 billion. Would you rather have CNN, which feels more premium and probably an easier point of differentiation to move towards subscription or paid subscription, whereas Reddit, I think, takes you more towards Android, and that is more clicks, more engagement, more traffic that you would monetize with advertising, because I'm not sure people think, oh, I'll start paying for access to credit information, but I like the way you're thinking.


I do think Twitter has to go vertical. I just wonder if Reddit takes them more towards an ad model as opposed to a subscription model. And I wonder if Reddit has become too expensive, if you will, for Twitter. But again, like the way you're thinking, and that's, I think, the way that Twitter should be thinking. And I think those types of questions should be discussed. Have a robust discussion at the board. Thank you, Brendan.


Question number two. Hello, Professor Galloway.


My name is Tyler. I'm a 2011 stern graduate coming to you from the Lower West Side of Manhattan, Kansas. I'm interested in getting your opinion on NFTE Arts and the opportunity to use it as an investment vehicle. At Stern, we learn that art was an asset class that is not correlated as well with the economy as other asset classes and during a recession can actually appreciate well, whereas other asset classes won't. Seems like enough art is blowing up these days.


Is this Bitcoin where Bitcoin was three years ago? Would you recommend going out and getting some pieces on Nifty Gateway or Open? See, how do you see this as an investment vehicle?


Tyler from the Little Apple, Manhattan, Kansas, always good to hear from a turned around. So Nettie's nonrefundable tokens, everything about Bitcoin. There's just certain concepts in certain people's names I can never remember. Wrap my head around. And there's something about the block chain and crypto that reminds me every day that certain parts of my brain are dying because I am barreling toward death.


That's another post or another podcast. But anyways, I have trouble understanding every component of the block chain and Nettie's are no different. My understanding amount of T's are non-functional tokens. Is it? It's a means of saying this, not even this art piece, but there's video of this art piece or this representation of this media in this medium are singular and there is no other. And that has the opportunity then or the values of a currency where two people decide it's worth something and it really just represents something that is a quote unquote, supposedly a store of value.


If two people agree that it's worth something, which is the definition of a currency or a fiat currency, NFTE, for me and I got everything I'm saying from a blog post from Seth Godin, the original gangster marketing thinker, I wonder or Seth wonders if people or artists are going to now spend more time trying to market their NFTE. So just as SPAC seem to be more a function of how well someone markets starts back as opposed to the underlying business, because these businesses are high growth, low profitability businesses that are all about the vision.


And I wonder if NFTE take that to the next level. Well, it's not about the art. It's about your ability to create hype or heat around this new construct or currency that sits on. Top of a piece of art, and I probably explained it incorrectly, and if I sound like I don't understand it. Trust your instincts. But the art world art is really incredible as an asset class. I think it's the best performing asset class for the last 30 or 40 years.


It just keeps going up because it's both a store of value and something you can consume the majority of things that are consumption, whether it's a Tesla or a private plane or a couch or, I don't know, things you buy that you really enjoy typically don't go up in value.


And we convince ourselves to spend more money than we should on a watch or a piece of jewelry. But typically speaking, there's not a very liquid market for them. Whereas when you buy a master, an old master, you buy a Damien Hirst, those things have exploded in value and people also get to enjoy them. And there's a big market emerging to securitize those assets and borrow against them. So the art market has just been a fantastic asset class for the last several decades and this is sitting on top of it.


This feels to me like something that is going to go crazy and get a ton of attention. And we're going to find weird pieces of art that have had an NFTE placed on top of them run up in value. And they'll be a lot of media and there'll be some famo and a lot of speculation. But this just to me, based on my boomer notion or preconception of asset values, this to me feels like something that doesn't end well. So some additional context.


In 2020, the market went up to triple to reach two hundred and fifty million dollars in February of this year alone, just in February. This gives you a sense of the heat that's coming in up to is the 10 most popular empty collectibles totalled roughly 400 million in sales volume, so 250 million dollars in adoptee's in 2020 and then just 10 in February garnered 400 million dollars mind blown. Thank you for the question. Question number three today, Scott Casey here.


I just turned 32 last week and graduated with my bachelor's degree ten years ago. I've been doing things in those years, like moving from Dallas to Chicago to Portland and going from project manager to square master to product manager. I did just cross the six figure salary mark as of last September, which was a huge milestone far from the trailer park I come from. But I still have a confused sense of self-worth. So I'm considering starting an MBA core classes online during covid till I feel I can go somewhere in person, maybe late twenty twenty two, but I'm not all in on the idea.


Do you have any kind of litmus tests for this decision, especially for a not as young person. And do you think the new administration could have an impact on tuition rates or something else. I'm not thinking of that should influence my decision, Casey.


So I get different flavors of this question almost every day from somebody. And first off, thirty two is young. It all feels relative because you're hanging out with people who are probably, you know, having kids or their parents are starting to die or there's things happening in your life that make you feel like you're not a kid any longer. But thirty two is very young. And the way to think about an MBA or anything else it's going to take a couple of years is you're going to be thirty four in two years no matter what.


The question isn't whether thirty four is too old to have an MBA. The question is at thirty four, would you rather be thirty four with two additional years of work experience or would you rather be thirty four with an MBA. So just sort of put the the age thing aside. There are several dimensions around this decision. One is simply put your existing, your existing gig, and that is you have senior level sponsorship. You're making six figures, which is good money.


Do you like it? Are you accelerating? Is your pay growing faster than inflation?


Are you getting more and more responsibility because there's a decent chance at your level if you were to leave, they would replace you with an MBA.


So you might be interviewing for the job you left after you get out of business school. Some other things to consider. Do you dislike the idea of going to business school? Do you need a break? Do you enjoy academia? Do you want to make a pivot? Business school, I've always thought, is sort of tailor made for what I call the elite and the aimless. And as someone who has their act together, as good, as ambitious, hard working, but wants to pivot or doesn't know what they want to do.


For me, it was a great kind of two year respite to sort of figure out what I wanted to do, because going into business school, all I knew was that I didn't want to continue to do investment banking, but had no idea what I wanted to do. And an MBA is a great place, a great way station to kind of figure it out for a couple of years. Also, the financial position you're in, I don't think it's worth I don't think an MBA is worth full freight unless you get into a top 20, even a top ten school.


Also also, I would let the market decide I would apply and then see where you get in, apply to several schools. If you get your heart set on one school, that's almost a guarantee that you're not going to get in. So apply to three, four, six schools, hopefully get into more than one and then play them off each other for financial aid and let the market decide and then sit down and say, OK, and sit down with some people you trust.


Here's my current opportunities. This is my seat right now. This is my financial situation. These are the schools I got into and this is the cost. So. Getting a full ride at Wharton is hard to turn down, getting absolutely no economic help and going to the business school at I'm not even going to name a second tier business school. I don't know. I don't know if that's even worth it unless you got nothing else going on and your parents are paying for it.


So there's several dimensions here. Your opportunity costs the brand of the school you get into, which still matters a hell of a lot, the financial aid you get. And also, just personally, personally, do you like the idea of going back to school for two years?


Part time MBA is also an option. I personally think a part time MBA is a difficult way to go. It's three years of working during the day and then going to school at night and your school sort of accommodating. But generally speaking, your work doesn't say, oh, you don't have to work as hard because you're going to school. Also, is there an opportunity for tuition remission among your current employer? If they really love you and want you to continue to thrive, maybe they'd be willing to pay for some of that part time MBA.


However, however, you're making one hundred thousand dollars, you're thirty two, which is very young. So at the end of the day, at the end of the day, Casey, you should take time to reflect on your blessings and your achievements. You are doing really well.


Thanks for the question, Casey. So Algebra of happiness, last week, I talked about the passing of our wonderful family member, Zoe, are four and a half year old Bucella, who brought us tremendous joy and happiness. And it was striking the outpouring of support and empathy that we received. Whenever you produce content, a podcast, a blog post, there's a certain X factor to it. And that is I've put out stuff that I thought was genius.


It was like a tree falling in the forest. No one seemed to give a damn. And then I put out other stuff that I thought, OK, this is good, but not great. And it results in a it gets it goes viral or you get a lot of response. This was something I felt I would say a little bit exposed or vulnerable around. And I thought, is this too personal? But almost more than anything I've talked about or written about, this got the probably the greatest or the largest response and also the most heartfelt response.


There's something about, I think, this pandemic and how much emotion we have all felt. And then people just relate to the the extraordinary relationship they have with their pets. And it felt like there was just this outpouring of empathy and emotion. And I received cards, video messages and really nice emails, comments. And I also received we're going to play for you and we're going to end our podcast on this, a poem from a guy named Michael in South Africa.


And actually, my dad asked me, he said, what's it like? We went out to lunch in San Diego several months ago and someone came up to me in the middle of our lunch and said, sorry to interrupt, I love your podcast. And my dad said, does that get old or how does that make you feel when people come up and speak to you or total strangers? So how does it feel? How does it feel when you get kind of random poems or when people send you very personal messages or if someone comes up and interrupts your lunch?


How does it feel? It feels wonderful. Thank you very much.


I really appreciate all the well wishes. And it was wonderful seeing all the pictures of visionless and other breeds from around the world and hearing stories about what a meaningful relationship people have had not only with their dog, but how the dog has been this fantastic vessel of love for their life and for their other family members.


So anyways, here is our here is Michael from South Africa who sent us a poem. Hey, Prof.


Gee, this is Michael from Johannesburg in South Africa. I always thought that when I finally got around to sending a voice note, it would have something to do with technology or marketing. But that's certainly not the case. This voice notes about something far more important. It's about dogs and poetry. And in particular, it's about Zoe. Your beautiful Vizsla is said no longer with you and your family. We used to live in California, and when we came back to South Africa in 2015, we brought back Miloje, our beautiful golden retriever, who, like Zoe, was an integral part of the family.


Sadly, a couple of months after we got back, we found out that Milo had bone cancer and we had to put him to sleep on the day that we put him to sleep. My wife posted this on Facebook and I wanted to share it with you and your family. For you, Zoe, so this is where we parked, my friend, and you'll run on around the bend going from side but not remind new pledges there, you'll surely find I will go on.


I'll find the strength life measures quality, not its length. One long embrace before you leave, share one last look. Before I grieve, there are others. That much is true. But they be they and they aren't. You and I fair, impartial or so I thought will remember. Well all you've taught your place. I'll hold you will be missed. The first stroke, the nose I kissed. And as you journey to your final rest, take with you this.


I loved you best. It said from Johannesburg for today, Prof. Gee, thanks for the show. Absolutely love it. And by the way, all dogs should be allowed on the couch.


Our producers are Caroline Chagrinned, Andrew Burrows, if you like what you heard, please follow, download and subscribe. Thanks for listening. We'll catch you next week with another episode of the show from Section four and the Westwood One podcast network.


I can't believe you got me to talk about all that good for you. I'm Oprah. So the crown is racist. Is that what you're trying to say anyways?