📈 Some MBAs are no match for inflation - The Hustle
The Hustle

📈 Some MBAs are no match for inflation

Plus: Scrolling Star Wars, feedback tips for leaders, a good tweet, and more.

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Boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather lived up to his nickname by upgrading his Rolls-Royce limo, which now sports mink rugs and a 45-inch TV. Total cost: $180k — enough to field a full baseball lineup of Kia Souls.

In today’s email:

  • Deposit slip: Breaking down Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse.
  • Business school: Do MBA salaries beat inflation?
  • Digits: Instant Pots, an expensive mile, and more.
  • Around the Web: A cool movie graphic, feedback tips, a surprise guest, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast for a quick-hitting news rundown to start your week. We’re zippin’ through bank collapses, business school, Instant Pots, and a whole lot more.

The big idea

Silicon Valley Bank is toast. Who else risks getting burned?

Will the collapse of this startup-favored firm launch another banking meltdown? Looking like a no… so far.
Jacob Cohen

Nothing like a restful weekend of watching #BankCrash trend. Many questions surrounding the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank, a staple in the startup world, can’t be answered yet.

SVB collapsed hard — and fast — last week when insolvency fears sent investors and clients racing to pull out their money. Federal regulators stepped in, assuring depositors they could access their funds again starting today.

Let’s start to unpack this thing

SVB goes down as the second-biggest bank failure in US history, per The Wall Street Journal. (RIP, WaMu.) But this isn’t a 2008 rerun, experts caution.

What’s different? A healthier economy, with the big banks still looking strong. Plus, SVB carried unique vulnerabilities. Leaning on a roster of venture-backed clients, they faced downwind effects from VC’s increasingly rough year.

Other non-diversified banks will sweat, but major systemic cracks haven’t materialized (yet). The immediate focus: tamping down panic that could lead to a run on any other firms.

And all this means what, exactly?

Economic journalist Noah Smith summed up this moment as “one more shoe dropping in the slow deflation of the Second Tech Boom.”

This week will reveal much more. As the story remains volatile, there are very few clear takeaways right now. But we do know of some winners so far:

  • FDIC limit awareness: Having more than $250k? Good problem to have. Having it all in one account? Risky.
  • Subpoena enthusiasts: Some SVB execs cashed out with questionable timing. Last-gasp bonuses were dispersed. Scrutiny lovers are in for a great week.

On the other hand, it’s surely not a great week ahead for:

  • VC. Some VCs described “sheer panic,” per Fortune. Adding to the uncertainty: SVB was a prominent lender and investor for leading firms.
  • The person who wipes the egg off Jim Cramer’s face.

A comeback story for the ages: Vinyl sales topped CD sales in 2022, something that hasn’t happened in 35 years. Maybe there’s hope for you yet, cassette tapes.


Absolutely not: Hidden Valley Ranch and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream will sell ranch-dressing-flavored pints at Walmart stores nationwide between March 20-28.

Heads up: The FDA approved Zavzpret, Pfizer’s first-of-its-kind nasal spray for migraines. It’s expected to hit pharmacies in July.

Disney is reducing available nights at its Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel as occupancy slumps. It is, after all, ~$4.8k+ for a two-night stay.

Meta is working on a decentralized platform for sharing text updates, which sure sounds a lot like a decentralized Twitter.

Speaking of, Twitter is offering researchers access to its API, starting at $42k/mo. Pre-Musk, this data was free.

Wow: Saudi Arabia’s Aramco reported a record profit of $161.1B in 2022, up 46.5% YoY and nearly 3x that of oil rival Exxon Mobil.

Scream VI opened to a franchise-best $44.5m domestically over the weekend, seizing 32% of Saturday’s theater foot traffic and bumping Creed III to second place.

Grammarly is launching GrammarlyGo in April. The AI tool is designed to help users improve their tone, generate outlines, and overcome writer’s block.

Code-switching means changing how you talk, dress, or act at work to fit in with the dominant culture. It can have some negative consequences, so here’s how to avoid it.

Olivia Heller

The MBA vs inflation

Tech layoffs could mean more potential applicants.
Jacob Cohen

With 128k+ layoffs and counting in the tech industry this year, business schools — weathering a 25% dip in domestic applications — are hoping to scoop up some of this talent.

  • Some programs are waiving requirements for standardized test scores for people who were recently laid off. Others are tossing application fees.

Yet the economic downturn isn’t as bad as 2008, and inflation has complicated the picture. Can an MBA salary beat the rising cost of living?

It depends on how you use it

Per data collected by Bloomberg, in 2022, the median salary gain between students’ pre-MBA jobs and their first job after graduation was $85k. Between 2018 and 2022, the median growth in MBA earnings was 28.1%, compared to 18.7% for all US workers and 17.6% inflation.

MBA graduates who went into consulting and technology, ~50% of grads, fared the best in terms of scoring median salaries that have outpaced inflation. Of course, the tech sector isn’t exactly thriving right now.

And it’s important to note — despite being “masters” of business, MBAs aren’t immune from inflation.

Between 2018 and 2022, around half of new MBA grads entered fields where the median growth in compensation did not keep pace with inflation.

Free Resource

Five cover letter templates for job hunters

When searching for work, you’re up against the world.

That’s why the cover letter is crucial. It’s a chance to first-impress, sell your story, and explain why you make it rain.

A tip from us — don’t overthink the structure. Use these five timeless templates to break the ice on writing introductions.

Focused, fill-in-the-blank cover letter samples:

  • Standard template
  • Entry-level template
  • Data-driven template
  • Referral template
  • Skimmable template

Play some Mad Libs. Make ’em sob. Godspeed.

Five classic cover letters →

Digits: Instant Pots, a really expensive mile, and more news numbers

Plus: China’s box office, luxury home sales, and a workforce downtrend.
Jacob Cohen

1) Trending down: The number of executive administrative assistants in the US. Between 2000 and 2021, the count dropped 63% from 1.37m to 508k. By 2031, the number is expected to drop another 20% to 404.4k.

2) The price tag on New York City’s 1.5-mile Second Avenue Subway extension to East Harlem is now expected to be $7.7B, up $800m from previous estimates, making it one of the most expensive per-mile railroad expansions in human history.

3) So far, the biggest movie of 2023 is 71-year-old Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s Full River Red, with the blockbuster raking in $670.3m so far in China. This week, it’s coming to 150 theaters in the US and Canada.

4) It’s rough out there. Per estimates from Redfin, US sales of luxury homes in the three months ending Jan. 31 were down 44.6% YoY, and non-luxury sales were down 37.5%. In Miami, luxury sales dropped 68.7%.

5) Instant Pot’s pop: Sales of the kitchen gadget reached a steaming-hot $758m in 2020, but cooled 50% to $344m in 2022. Instant Brands now has ~1.9k+ employees after cutting 15% of its staff.


🎥 On this day: In 1991, Paris Is Burning debuted in NYC. The award-winning documentary explores the city’s drag balls, voguing, and queer culture. 

🔫 That’s cool: Star Wars IV: A New Hope as a scrolling graphic.

🎧Tune in: The Another Bite crew jumped back in the tank to revisit an at-home fitness startup, a slow-fashion business, and iceless coolers.

🤓 How to: Solicit honest feedback as a leader.

🐈 Aww: And now, a surprise musical guest.


Nah, that can’t be it. (Link)

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Editing by: Mark “Definitely not MBA material” Dent.

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