September 1, 2021

US's Trillion Dollar Disaster in Afghanistan ๐Ÿ˜”

Mesh Lakhani Headshot
Mesh Lakhani

Hey All,

Welcome to Talk Money Weekly - where I cut through the noise and curate the best money-related topics from the web.

We're back from our summer break with two new episodes and a whole lotta Twitter hot takes.

On to the newsletter...


Markets & Business

TMW#20: US's Trillion-Dollar Disaster in Afghanistan

Lots of mixed thoughts on this one. There was no easy way out. The situation is pretty terrible on all fronts- humanitarian, defense, international policy, and economic. Given this is a business podcast, we dive into the money side of what's going on in Afghanistan- past, present, and future.

Millions of people are at risk under Taliban rule. People have no access to cash. Food prices are soaring and everyone is trying to survive. The US, Europe, Russia, Pakistan, India, and China are all on edge. One simply cannot ignore the rise of a more powerful Taliban, now with organization, power, and money. They are a business empire- controlling an opium trade, sitting on billions of dollars of minerals, and pose a physical threat to all neighbors.

I interview my sister Leone Lakhani, a journalist covering the region with CNN and TRT for the last 20 years. Listen here.



Fashioning a Business with Molly Howard

Is there a direct line from finance to fashion? Molly Howard, co-founder of the womenโ€™s fashion line La Ligne, shares her journey from the banking side of the retail industry to starting and running a successful, buzzy company.

Molly was featured in our narrative episode on the retail industry. If you haven't listened to that one yet, listen here!

Airbnb Steps Up For Afghanistan

This is what you want to see- private businesses step up when causes matter to them. The worst part of this tweet? People criticizing all the people in the US Airbnb doesn't help. Why is it always a fucking competition in this country? It's one way or the other.

Millions of people are displaced and those who are lucky to get out, have nowhere to live. This is just one of the many reasons why I love private companies- when they do good...they move really quickly. It sets a great example.

Non Profits Are Just as Shady

When you're a non-profit, you're constantly fundraising from philanthropists and co. You're using that money to run the non-profit, to pay for employees etc. You still need the talent to manage these non-profits! Talent costs money! Talent is people...people are greedy.

When it comes to hospitals, there's a lot of money at stake. I have a doctor friend who says that so many doctors are leaving and quitting because they aren't being paid well enough, and are constantly being put at risk (COVID, etc.). This is all while the bosses sit in their offices collecting the big checks.

Are NFTs Bad for Ethereum?

We're going through NFT mania right now. Digital art pieces, known as NFTs, are being sold for record prices. The famous Crypto Punks NFTs cross $1B in sales. Now, all the rage is Bored Ape Yacht Club- a digital image of ย Celebrities are launching their own NFTs. The shit is everywhere.

The innovation and tech behind this is pretty cool. Think of NFTs not as a "non-fungible token" (how nerdy is that??), but as a "certificate of authenticity." My good friend Phil Toronto told me that, and we'll be releasing our interview together next week.

Just like art, picking is hard. Just like startup investing, picking is hard. 90% are duds, but the gems turn into something big. So right now, we have folks who are grabbing whatever money they can and we have folks who are chasing. Primarily, NFTs are built on the Ethereum blockchain, and that's how they keep their "authenticity" so they cannot be replicated or corrupted. In order to purchase an NFT, you purchase it with Ethereum or ETH. The price of 1 ETH is $3,688. Some NFTs are selling for 80 ETH and higher.

In theory, this should drive the price of Ethereum higher. This was similar to ICO mania a few years back. Mania created chasing, which inflated prices, projects then failed and we saw a collapse in ICOs, which directly affected Ethereum (that's what ICOs were built on).

I'm not sure where we are in the NFT cycle, but I know if I bought some today, I'd be bandwagoning and/or chasing. I don't know enough. So, I'm sitting on the sidelines and watching. That said, I think the overall innovation in NFTs and what they can REALLY do (besides art), is really really interesting. Tune into our episode next week on this subject.

There's No Batman in San Francisco

LOL. Not athletic enough is my guess.

That's all the news from this past week!

If you haven't already subscribed to my podcast, Talk Money, do so here. New episode next Wednesday!

Want to chat? Tweet me at @meshlakhani. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, subscribe here for updates!

Past Email Newsletters