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🎄 Tough holidays for Wall Street

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The Hustle

It’s holiday gimmick season! So far, we’ve got Mountain Dew’s fruitcake-flavored soda, and Pilk (i.e., a mix of Pepsi and milk).

In today’s email:

  • LinkedIn: The bots are invading.
  • Chart: What are bonuses looking like?
  • Digits: Jeans, screens, and other news numbers.
  • Around the web: An online art gallery, a disastrous game, a cute obstacle course, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear about the electrification of America’s school buses, Waze’s U-turn, Avatar’s big hopes for China, and more.

The big idea
robot writing

How LinkedIn’s handling its bots

Is nothing sacred? Meta and Twitter get a lot of flak about bogus profiles, but bots have invaded LinkedIn, too.

LinkedIn removed 21m+ fake accounts between January and June — a ~28% increase compared to the previous six months, per CNBC. It also booted 87m+ scams and spam content.

For reference, LinkedIn claims 875m+ real users.

What do fake profiles do?

Try to swindle people out of money or data. According to experts, malicious accounts:

  • Lure people to other websites — perhaps with fake career opportunities — where they collect info
  • Trick people into crypto or financial scams

Why it matters

Just as romance scammers target people looking for love, LinkedIn scammers prey on people looking for work or opportunities — something bound to increase amid widespread layoffs.

Scammers benefit from LinkedIn’s professional nature and gain trust through profiles connected to respected businesses.

In August, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said of the 7k LinkedIn profiles that claimed to work for him, only ~50 did. Other fakers claimed to work for Apple and SpaceX.

What’s LinkedIn’s plan?

A security expert told CNBC that verifying identities would help, but it would also make it more difficult for real people to set up accounts.

Instead, LinkedIn now:

  • Uses AI to detect and remove bad content, and checks for AI-generated profile pics
  • Shows users when profiles were created and if they have verified contact info
  • Warns users about suspicious messages

So, stay frosty, folks — and enjoy these tips for avoiding scammers.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Need some used office gear? Twitter put a bunch of surplus office supplies up for auction, including bicycle-powered chargers, a giant “@” symbol, and an industrial gyro broiler.


Toys R Us released 10k NFTs, which holders can use to earn coins to exchange for toys, events, and other perks.

Apple will no longer ban employees from discussing harassment and discrimination in the workplace after reviewing its NDAs.

OpenAI is working on a way to “watermark” ChatGPT’s AI-generated text. One area that could prove critical: homework.

Getir, the Turkish grocery deliverer, acquired German competitor Gorillas. The deal reportedly valued Gorillas at $1.2B, and Getir at $10B.

Twin sisters were awarded $1.5m over allegations that they cheated on their med school exams. Their answers were similar, but an expert witness testified that’s usually true of twins.

Microsoft acquired Lumenisity, a British startup that makes high-speed cables for data centers and internet service providers.

California is considering a proposal that would give some Black residents $223.2k in reparations in an effort to reduce the wealth gap between Black and white Californians.

Chickenflation: Chicken sandwiches are taking over the world, and getting pricey. This one-minute clip breaks down why.


You don’t have to be a natural-born leader to excel as top dog — but it takes work. We unpacked 11 powerful leadership traits you can use to rise to the top.

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Wall Street pay
Singdhi Sokpo

What are bonuses looking like this holiday season?

As the economy teeters with uncertainty, it looks like people’s chances for a generous year-end bonus are teetering with it.

This year, 27% of companies across a range of sectors will not be awarding bonuses, up from 23% last year, per The Wall Street Journal.

Among those awarding bonuses:

  • Lowe’s plans to spend $200m on bonuses for hourly workers.
  • The Venetian Resort Las Vegas is giving $1.5k to all workers.
  • New York-based printing company Sticker Mule is giving employees $1k bonuses to help weather inflation, despite its modest year.

On Wall Street, though, with bankers coming off a record 2021 that saw wildly inflated levels of activity, bonus pools could be as much as 40% lower.

Notably, in 2021, New York City securities workers got their biggest bonus payouts since 2006, averaging $257.5k.

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Free Resource

ROI tracking sheets for brands, affiliates, and influencers

The goal: Mutually profitable partnerships, and bountiful marketing buckets.

The issue: Managing each one individually, and all of them as a whole.

The fix: Smart spreadsheets to keep all stakeholders aligned and crucial metrics tidy. These will help everybody make data-driven decisions.

Spreadsheets for easily interpreting data:

  • Tracking templates for brands, affiliates, and influencers
  • Complete with cell functions and automatic graphs
  • Examples of each template in action

For auditing campaigns, amplifying ROI, and exuding professionalism.

Profit-tracking templates →

Digits: Jeans, screens, and more news numbers

1) On the off chance a pair of really old jeans wind up in your possession, don’t dispose of them — a pair recovered from a 19th-century shipwreck recently sold for $95k. Earlier this year, a pair found in an abandoned mine sold for $87k.

2) Amid covid restrictions and tense geopolitics, Disney is banking hard on Chinese moviegoers to see the upcoming Avatar sequel. Today, there are 82k+ movie screens in China, up from ~5.7k in 2010 when the original film earned $202.6m there.

3) An auction for wind development off the coast of California saw companies bid a combined $757.1m on 373.3k acres. At ~$2k per acre, the price tag was far less than New York and New Jersey’s ~$9k per-acre price.

4) Streaming has a churn problem: In Q3, while premium US streaming services including Apple TV+ and  Discovery added a combined 37.2m subscribers, they lost 32m.

5) Calculating a new route: Since Google’s $1.1B acquisition of Waze in 2013, the app has operated as a standalone brand. Likely in a move to drive efficiencies, Google is now moving Waze’s 500+ employees over to its Geo organization, which includes Maps, Earth, and Street View.

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🖊️ On this day: In 1980, Armand Hammer bought one of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks for $5.1m+ at auction. It contained ~300 notes and drawings from ~1508.

🎨 That’s cool: An online art gallery that showcases new pieces daily.

🎧 Podcast: Join Creators Are Brands’ Tom Boyd and “side hustle king” Travis Brown to find out how to validate your digital product (before you make it).

💫 Cure boredom: A game that lets you simulate asteroids crashing into Earth, then calculates the impact, including crater size.

🐾 Aww: And now, an obstacle course.

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