Numlock News: July 26, 2022 • WWE, Mushroom Leather, Raises
By Walt Hickey
A Family Business Involving Undertakers
New York requires its cemeteries to be nonprofit, but that doesn’t stop some owners from extracting significant profits from their cemeteries. Pinelawn Memorial Park on Long Island has seen business boom, with the prices of a burial plot up as much as 47 percent, and the family who controls it pocketing a combined $3 million in 2020 at minimum. In addition to the prices of its graves, which can cost north of $30,000, they charge between $2,345 to $4,698 for a mandatory bronze plaque as well as a suite of other fees tacked on. This benefits the Locke family, which owns 51,964 of the 127,850 land shares that date back to the Roosevelt administration, which each paid out $13.65 in August 2019, $28 in August 2020, and then $20.70 in August 2021, a fascinating arrangement for what is again supposed to be nonprofit.
A Family Business Involving Undertaker
The WWE told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it found $14.6 million in previously unrecorded expenses that came from owner Vince McMahon, who is under investigation after reports of misconduct and subsequent payments to employees to cover it up. Though McMahon alone owns the overwhelming majority of the voting shares in the company, he announced his retirement in late June. Shares of WWE are up as a result of McMahon’s exit as it’s believed that this makes it likelier the company will be sold.
The U.S. Agriculture Department needs to quadruple the number of tree seedlings it obtains from nurseries as part of its programs to replant forests that have burned down due to wildfire, given the backlog of 4.1 million acres in need of planting. Last year the Forest Service planted 60,000 acres, but it plans to scale up to 400,000 acres a year, mostly in western states. This year alone 5.6 million acres have burned so far.
Matthew Brown, The Associated Press
A new report out of the University of Sydney paints a dire picture for the state of the country’s ecosystems, with the number of plant and animal species listed as threatened up from 1,774 species in 2016 to 1,918 in June 2021, an 8 percent increase over the time period. Since 2016 alone, the Great Barrier Reef has suffered four mass bleaching events, the bushfires of 2019 to 2020 dumped a ton of contaminants into the coastal estuaries, and fire season is only getting worse, with the season lasting eight months in New South Wales.
Emma Johnston, Ian Cresswell and Terri Janke, University of Sydney
Take The Money And Run
A new analysis out of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta found that as of June 2022 people who remained in their jobs over the previous three months increased their wages by 4.7 percent, while those who switched jobs got a raise of 6.4 percent. That’s the largest difference between the two values in the past two decades. All told, 47 million Americans have changed their jobs in the past year. The rate of wage growth seen in the past several months, among both stayers and switchers, is higher than seen in at least the past 17 years.
Julia Carpenter, The Wall Street Journal
The global luxury leather market is worth an estimated $78 billion this year, and given that enormous pile of money it stands to reason that alternative leather that doesn’t derive from cow hides could be a solid business. What once was hailed as “vegan leather” has had the Scooby gang rip off the mask to reveal “plastic,” which is also not great environmentally, hence renewed interest in the luxury space in leather alternatives that are actual alternatives. Enter mushroom leather from companies like MycoWorks and Bolt Threads, which derive their material from mushroom roots. Bolt’s fabric costs $25 a square foot, which is roughly on par with premium calf leather.
The latest estimate from the Colonial Pipeline spill in August of 2020 in a nature preserve in North Carolina now puts the spilled amount of gasoline at 2 million gallons, up from the company’s original estimate of 63,000 gallons. The company claims that it’s managed to suck three-quarters of the spill out of the ground after what is now believed to be an 18-day spill. The pipeline delivers 100 million gallons of fuel each day, connecting Houston to New York. It’s one of the largest onshore fuel spills in American history, and larger than any other recorded gasoline leaks from a U.S. pipeline.
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