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$118B Senate bill on Ukraine, Israel, border unveiled, but some Republicans declare it dead

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Top stories today:

  1. $118B Senate bill on Ukraine, Israel, border unveiled
  2. Powell: “give it some time and see the data” before cutting rates
  3. Vision Pro reviews: best-in-class but still early-stage product
  4. Elon again accused of drug use by WSJ
  5. Meta stock's +20% on Fri. increased market cap by record $196.8B

0. Data and calendar

All values as of 6 AM ET / 3 AM PT, other than S&P500 and NASDAQ close (4 PM ET / 1 PM PT).

All times are ET.

1. $118B Senate bill on Ukraine, Israel, border unveiled, but top Republicans declare it dead

House Speaker Johnson called it “dead on arrival,” supporting a $18B Israeli-only bill

2. Powell on CNBC: “give it some time and see the data” before cutting rates, likely not in March, but this year

  • He wants to be careful in rate cuts: “the prudent thing to do is to, is to just give it some time and see that the data continue to confirm that inflation is moving down to 2% in a sustainable way.”

  • “We wouldn’t wait to get to 2% [inflation] to cut rates.”

  • Doesn't think [commercial real estate crash] is likely: “I don’t think there’s much risk of a repeat of 2008.”

  • Debt is unsustainable “over the long term”: “effectively, we’re borrowing from future generations.”

  • “The U.S. has been the indispensable nation supporting and defending democracy, security arrangements, economic arrangements [—] I hope that continues.”

Markets price in rate cuts starting in May, reaching 4.00% - 4.25% by the end of the year


4. Vision Pro reviews point towards best-in-class but still early-stage product

Casey Neistat's review showed the Vision Pro being used throughout NYC:

The Vision Pro's frontal glass breaks after a 3-meter drop, but the device still works normally

5. Elon again accused of drug use by WSJ

  • Larry Ellison allegedly tried to help Elon: “Around the winter of 2022, Musk’s good friend and former Tesla board member, Ellison, urged him to come to his Hawaiian island to relax from work and dry out from the drugs, according to people familiar with the offer.”

  • Elon and his lawyer have repeatedly denied these claims, saying “If drugs actually helped improve my net productivity over time, I would definitely take them!” and “Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol.”

6. Meta stock's +20% Fri. performance increased market cap by record $196.8B

7. Hugging Face launches Chat Assistants, open-source alternative to GPTs

Assistants are essentially LLMs such as Mixtral or Llama with custom instructions/system prompts

8. B2B SaaS public valuations (EV/NTM) positively correlated to revenue growth (NTM)

9. Interesting videos, posts, and memes

10. Other headlines


  • Google Bard may be rebranded to Gemini this week.

  • Apple may buy Brighter AI to help with Vision Pro privacy.

  • MindStudio: start building AI apps in a single afternoon.*

  • GrowthSchool: free workshop on becoming a ChatGPT and AI genius (free for first 100).*



  • Yandex parent to sell Russian search engine for $5.2B.

  • Apple's self-driving car tech logged 450K miles in CA in 2023.

  • Reddit picks NYSE, not NASDAQ for IPO.

  • Joe Rogan gets Spotify deal worth as much as $250M.

  • Phil Schiller: alternative app stores “bring new risks.”

  • BetterHelp: professional online therapy to help you win at work.*

  • HubSpot: free CRM that the Bay Area Times team uses.*

  • Masterworks: invest in shares of paintings by Banksy and Picasso.*


Tech & law

  • China leveraging open-source RISC-V architecture for chips.

  • ByteDance, Shein expand U.S. lobbying efforts.

  • Apple's app store class action certified by judge.

  • AI lobbying in U.S. +185% to 450 organizations in 2023.



  • Boeing reworking 50 undelivered 737 MAX jets over misdrilled holes.

  • Iran used Lloyds, Santander UK to evade sanctions: FT.

  • India to review 28% tax on online gaming.


  • FTX estate seeks to sell 7.84% stake in Anthropic (worth est. $1.4B).

  • Genesis estate seeks to sell $1.6B in Grayscale trusts.

  • BitBoy: NYT profile on Ben Armstrong's downfall.

U.S. politics

  • Trump says he would impose tariffs on China, potentially 60%+.

  • Trump suggests Tim Scott, Kristi Noem as potential VP picks.

  • Haley raises $16.5M in Jan.

  • Biden wins SC primary with 96% of vote.

  • San Francisco reverses policy that banned algebra in 8th grade.


  • Bukele likely winner in El Salvador with 83% of vote.

  • Putin to visit Turkey soon (possibly next Mon.), in 1st visit to NATO country.

  • Zelensky calls for broad leadership changes, acknowledges stalemate.

  • Tucker Carlson spotted in Moscow for potential Putin interview.

  • U.S. strikes 36 Houthi targets in Yemen, intends further strikes.

  • U.S. retaliation killed 16 in Iraq, says government.

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