🗞️The Wrap: Money Printers
Welcome to the newly proclaimed kangaroo market. We look at the town who didn’t need J Powell to print their own money, how rubber gloves made a handful of Malaysians billionaires and the game’s biggest disruptors. Read on.
A US town has said F to the Fed and turned on their own money printer. Tenino, Washington has established their own currency for its ~1800 residents, a development reported by The Hustle. The shutdown left many without the ability to pay for groceries.
Mayor Fournier turned on the printing presses and divvied out newly minted tender among those worst hit by the crisis; up to $300 per month in $25 bills is allocated to residents. The currency is backed by a US$10k cash reserve the council has set aside. Business owners can then redeem the Tenino bills for cash. Why not just give out the cash? Quite simply, Amazon doesn’t accept these bills. Tenino is able to keep spending within the local economy.
It’s nothing new for Tenino. A century ago the town became renowned for adopting the exact same approach to stimulate their local economy. In fact, it’s nothing particularly new anywhere. The Hustle reported that similar initiatives have taken place in cities from Italy to Brazil. Read about it in more detail here.
We’ve just passed the decade of disruption; Spotify, Uber, Afterpay are all names that have made it big on the market. CNBC published their list of 50 top disruptors; here are a few names to remember once they IPO in a few years time.
Stripe: #1 on this list, the Stripe team has a licence to a money printer. “Developer friendly” payment processing software collects 2.9% AND US$0.30c on every transaction. Used by the likes of Amazon and Shopify, it’s easy to see why it has an estimated value of US$36b
Eat JUST: “Egg without the Chicken”. This food-tech start up produces a bean based alternative to eggs. They claim the eggs taste like chicken eggs with all the physical properties (can be poached, scrambled etc.). Having sold 40million units so far, they’re probably right.
Grab: One of many new “Super Apps”. It’s like Uber for everything…including Uber. Transportation, food delivery, hotel bookings, payments, insurance all in the one place. Popular in South East Asia.
Cheaply made, disposable and sold in bulk; few products are as low value as rubber gloves. This is true unless you’re selling billions of them. Since the start of the pandemic, Malaysia has become home to four new billionaires as their rubber glove businesses went gangbusters.
Producing 65% of the global rubber glove supply, Malaysian companies naturally benefited once the world’s populations started leaving the house with a second skin. The four biggest producers have all seen their stock price climb between 97% and 395%. Interestingly, according to Bloomberg, many of these producers originally set up shop in the 80s in response to the AIDS epidemic. Three decades later, their savviness is again doing its part to keep the world sanitary.
It’s a kind reminder that you don’t have to reinvent Facebook or the auto-industry to make a fortune. How about the environmental impact of hundreds of billions of rubber gloves a year though.
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