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Tonight: GameStop stock is all fired up — again. Plus, the US Postal Service’s new vans look like ducks, and somehow Michael Bolton gets a financial news headline in 2021 … Let’s get into it.
LESS ZOOM, MORE PELOTONS!
Bankers, like the rest of us, are getting burned out. And because it’s not exactly on-brand for Wall Street folks to slow down, some CEOs are mandating it.
INTRODUCING “ZOOM-FREE” FRIDAYS
Jane Fraser, the first woman to run a major US bank, took the helm of Citi this month and is trying to save her staff from total burnout. On Tuesday, she told staff to avoid any internal Zoom meetings on Fridays, and encouraged them to take vacation.
“After listening to colleagues around the world,” Fraser wrote to staff, “it became apparent we need to combat the ‘Zoom fatigue’ that many of us feel, so I overcame my initial resistance to this idea.”
It’s not a total ban, of course — Citi employees may still be expected to attend internal audio-only calls and Zoom calls with clients. But the timing is notable. Last week, a group of Goldman Sachs junior analysts circulated horror stories of nearly 100-hour workweeks, declining mental health and instances of workplace abuse. Their report prompted CEO David Solomon to announce that the bank is speeding up hiring efforts and strengthening enforcement of its no-work-on-Saturday rule.
Fraser isn’t alone in promoting self-care in the cutthroat world of Wall Street.
The investment bank Jefferies is offering its employees the choice of a Peloton bike with a one-year subscription, a Mirror workout system or an Apple package that includes an Apple Watch, iPad and AirPods.
These efforts reflect a small but meaningful softening of Wall Street’s notoriously brutal work culture in response to unprecedented circumstances: Booming markets and seismic changes in the economy have created ample business — and stress — for investment banks over the past year. “It’s not a sign of weakness,” Fraser said. “We are all feeling the weariness.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“$3 gas will be the norm by Memorial Day. We’ve been trapped inside for a year. People want to get out of the house.”
— Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities
You may need to adjust your summer road trip budget. The national average price of gasoline has climbed for 47 straight days to nearly $2.89 per gallon, according to AAA. US drivers haven’t experienced a $3 average price per gallon since 2014. CNN Business’ Matt Egan explains what’s driving the increase (and spoiler alert: it’s not Biden’s fault).
RELATED: California Senators are pushing the Biden administration to set a date for the end of gasoline-powered cars in the United States.
Run away from your dysfunctional family. Move to California. Get a job at a tech startup. It’s the California Dream, and Prince Harry is living it.
The Duke of Sussex landed a new job in the leadership team at a coaching and mental health startup called BetterUp. His title? Chief impact officer. That’s basically the Silicon Valley equivalent of “His Royal Highness.”
At BetterUp, Harry is expected to have input into product strategy decisions and charitable contributions, and advocate publicly on topics related to mental health, according to the Wall Street Journal. CNN’s Max Foster and Stephanie Halasz have more.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
Yep, another NFT sale. For the bargain price of $2.9 million, a Malaysian CEO named Sina Estavi purchased the first-ever tweet, published in 2006. The tweet from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, aka @jack, says “just setting up my twttr.” Estavi, who runs the blockchain service Bridge Oracle, bought the non-fungible token using the cryptocurrency Ether. “This is not just a tweet! I think years later people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting,” he tweeted Monday.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON
Drying out: For the first time since Covid-19 began spreading across the United States, retail alcohol sales have fallen.
Love locked down: Weddings are coming back with a vengeance this year, according to the CEO of David’s Bridal.
On the mend: Janet Yellen and Jerome Powell, the two most powerful economic authorities in America, told lawmakers that although the US economy is bouncing back, there’s more work to be done.
Get a vaccine, get a donut: For the rest of this year, Krispy Kreme is giving out a free glazed doughnut to anyone showing a valid vaccination card.