📈 A new stock exchange in Texas

PLUS: Poppi soda is being sued for false advertising; CEO of Zoom sees AI clones as the future

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S&P 500: +1.18% 📈
Nasdaq: +1.96% 📈
Dow 30: +0.25% 📈
Russell 2000: +1.47% 📈

TOP STORY
📈 TXSE: The new Stock Exchange in Texas

📸 WSJ

A brand new stock exchange, the Texas Stock Exchange (TXSE), is being built to compete with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq (NASDAQ).

Nah, this can’t be real, can it? Well, the TXSE has already raised ~$120 million from major investors, including BlackRock and Citadel, and the exchange plans to file with the SEC later this year.

Oh sh*t, so this is official official.

💬  TXSE will start facilitating trades in 2025, and host its first listing in 2026.

💬 The NYSE has been around since 1792, while the Nasdaq has been around since 1971.

📸 100.7 KOOL FM

What’s the reason? The TXSE will aim to be more "CEO-friendly" and "anti-woke" than the NYSE, which has introduced new compliance costs, and Nasdaq, which has diversity initiatives that many companies are not fans of.

An anti-woke stock exchange, huh? Now we’ve seen everything.

But while this seems insane at a glance, the timing does make some sense.

Dozens of companies have been moving to states with more favorable regulatory and tax policies, like Texas.

The “Lone Star State” is actually home to the most Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., including Exxon Mobil, AT&T, and American Airlines, more than any other state.

💬 Elon Musk is in the process of trying to incorporate Tesla in Texas rather than Delaware.

So, this could really happen? Yes, it can. But, it ain't gonna be easy.

The issue is this isn’t the first time people have tried doing this, and past attempts have not done very well.

  • Other exchanges, like IEX and Cboe Global Markets, have tried to enter the stock-listings business, but they haven’t succeeded very far. 

  • The Long-Term Stock Exchange, which was approved by the SEC in 2019, has just two listings.

  • Another big challenge is obviously getting people to trade on your exchange.

TXSE hopes its influential backers, Citadel and BlackRock, can help, but the SEC's rules may actually come to the rescue.

💬 The Boston Stock Exchange, the Chicago Stock Exchange and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange are others that have been absorbed by the NYSE and Nasdaq.

💬 Both BlackRock and Citadel backed MEMX, which handles 2-3% of the stock market's volume.

Upstarts like TXSE benefit because large brokers (Goldman Sachs, for instance) must connect to every exchange, even those with small market shares, and pay for connections and data.

This means that TXSE will have immediate access to a broad network of traders and funds.

The initiative is actually pretty dope; even new exchanges get a chance to compete because big brokers are required to interact with them.

We still have a long way to go, but it seems we have a brand new stock exchange in town, ladies and gents.

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CONSUMER GOODS
🥤 Poppi soda is being sued for false advertising

Over the past few years, Poppi has become one of the fastest-growing drinks in the U.S.

The company reported $100 million in revenue last year and is growing faster than many other drink-makers, including fresh companies like Liquid Death and staples like Gatorade.

The main reason for its growth is that Poppi soda is seen as a healthy drink alternative.

The drink has low calories (25), low sugar count (5g), and gut-healthy ingredients like apple cider vinegar and inulin.

Hence their catchy motto, “Be Gut Happy. Be Gut Healthy.”

But while people have been quick to sip the delicious beverage, a class action lawsuit filed last week claims that soda is actually not so good for you.

The lawsuit points out that each can of Poppi contains just two grams of prebiotic fiber.

  • This means that to see any real benefits, one would need to drink four cans daily for three weeks straight.

  • And by that time, the sugar in each can would have already done enough “damage” to reverse the effects.

It seems as though we, unfortunately, haven’t cracked the healthy soda code just yet.

💬 Functional drinks, which supposedly help your body, make up 10% of all nonalcoholic drink sales in the U.S.

via Morning Brew

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
🤖 CEO of Zoom sees AI clones as the future

📸 Artturi Explores

During a recent interview with The Verge, Eric Yuan (Zoom's CEO) discussed his ambitious plans for Zoom, and we can’t tell if we’re more excited or freaked out.

Yuan envisions eventually having AI-powered "digital twins" to attend meetings on behalf of users so they can focus on more important tasks, like spending time with family.

  • Yuan's ultimate goal is to reduce the need for personal attendance in meetings.

  • By leveraging AI to manage emails, meetings, and other workplace tasks, he sees this as a real possibility.

  • We've already seen Google roll out features to streamline Gmail for users, so I guess Zoom's ambitions aren't super far-fetched.

But it's a lot easier said than done.

It's one thing for AI to write an email for someone, but creating a clone capable of mimicking a person's decisions and mannerisms requires a giant technological leap.

📉 Zoom ($ZM) stock is down -33.98% in the past 5 years.

How would it even work?

Well, I'm glad you asked. Yuan has the answer.

  • First, each Zoom user would have a personalized LLM (like GPT) that learns from their interactions, preferences, and behaviors.

  • The LLMs would be trained on the data they collect to mimic their communication style and decision-making processes.

That part sounds extremely difficult to execute, but these companies already know everything about us, so I'm sure it wouldn't be as hard to do as we think.

  • Next, the AI clones would acquire their new facial expressions, voices, and mannerisms through deepfake technology, which would create realistic 3D avatars of users.

Creepy AF.

AI clones would then be integrated into Zoom’s platform, allowing users to activate their digital twins to attend meetings and perform tasks on their behalf.

And don't worry about safety. The clones would be authenticated, and Zoom would use strong encryption and privacy policies to make sure user data isn't used to train third-party models without users’ consent.

I'm not sure if I’d feel comfortable having a freakin' clone of myself.

Would you do it?

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