March 7, 2023

Top stories today: 1) Microsoft launches CRM copilot, 2) Hubspot has its ChatSpot AI, 3) Google publishes PaLM-E 562B parameter paper, 4) FTX advisors ask for $34M+, 5) FTX 2.0 is being studied, and 6) FTX is suing Grayscale/GBTC, who is in court today vs the SEC (7).

Hi, and welcome to today's Bay Area Times daily newsletter. Top stories today: 1) Microsoft launches CRM copilot, 2) Hubspot has its ChatSpot AI, 3) Google publishes PaLM-E 562B parameter paper, 4) FTX advisors ask for $34M+, 5) FTX 2.0 is being studied, and 6) FTX is suing Grayscale/GBTC, who is in court today vs the SEC (7).

0. Data and calendar

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

All times are ET.

1. Microsoft launches Copilot for its ERP/CRM Dynamics 365

  • Summarizing meeting notes, action items, follow-up dates, draft emails, marketing text, chatbot: they are likely building on top of ChatGPT to integrate AI into its ERP/CRM software, Dynamics 365. - Microsoft, Techcrunch

  • Limited release, requires waitlist application. Meaning that the software still spits a lot of lousy content.

  • More info on March 16: Microsoft will host The Future of Work with AI, with CEO Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro, VP. - LinkedIn

2. Competitor Hubspot announces

  • Integration between Hubspot, ChatGPT, DALL-E 2, and Google Docs. Allows for users to use CRM via a chat interface, in natural language. - Hubspot

  • In public alpha: also requires a waitlist application.

  • We expect many more AI integrations in top software: AI, like mobile, is a feature that every software will integrate over the next months and years.

3. Google launches paper on PaLM-E, multimodal language model

  • Only a paper and demo, no product or source code released. As is usual per Google. - Github, paper

  • We expect this to be integrated into Google Search and Bard over time, although Google has signaled that this process will be gradual.

4. FTX advisors ask for $34M + expenses for January

  • Including other employees, it could easily balloon to $500M+/year. Given liquid assets of $6B and a bankruptcy process that could take years, lawyers and advisors could end up getting the majority of FTX assets, if things continue like this.

5. FTX 2.0 launch is being studied by FTX lawyers

Nothing confirmed, but Sullivan & Cromwell is billing hours for meetings related to "FTX Newco task force":

6. FTX is suing Grayscale for GBTC high fees, lack of redemptions

  • FTX affiliate Alameda says that their approximately $290M worth of GBTC would be worth $550M if Grayscale allowed for redemptions. FTX also mentioned the $1.3B in fees extracted by Grayscale over the past two years. The lawsuit is in the Court of Chancery in Delaware. - Press release, The Block

7. Meanwhile, Grayscale will be heard today in the DC Court of Appeals

  • Grayscale v. SEC, brought against the regulator for rejecting the conversion of GBTC into an ETF (meanwhile, the SEC allowed for BTC futures ETFs).

  • 9:30 AM ET.

  • Decision is expected in 3-6 months.

  • The SEC tends to win these cases, but there might be surprises and new case law here. - The Block

8. Twitter down again, for a few minutes 

  • Team of 1 engineer made wrong change to API: the single engineer had been staffed on the project of removing free access to Twitter's API, and made a "bad configuration change", according to an employee. - Platformer

  • We expect outage events to go down, not up. In contrast to what the doomers are saying, Elon has a track record of being an outstanding manager, so he will likely learn from these outages and reposition his team to avoid future ones.

Elon is accompanied by 2 bodyguards even to the bathroom

  • A fun fact from a BBC hit piece: bodyguards are "bulky", "tall", like they're from a "Hollywood movie." - Business Insider

9. Tech layoffs roundup: Meta, Atlassian, more

  • Meta to lay off thousands more this week.

  • Atlassian to dismiss 500, 5% of company.

  • SiriusXM laying off 475 employees, 8% of company.

  • Embark Trucks lays off 70%, exploring liquidation of self-driving truck assets.

  • Airbnb cutting back 30% of recruiting staff, 0.4% of total employee count.

10. Salaries for CS majors expected to drop 4% after tech layoffs

11. Amazon Ads analysis: fastest growing company, larger than newspapers, high margin

Amazing series of slides from Ben Adams.

Fastest growing company in ad revenue, outpacing historic media giants

Amazon's ad revenue is larger than all newspapers combined

Amazon's ads segment likely has higher operating income than retail

We strongly recommend checking out the full post here.

12. Xi escalates rhetoric against the U.S.

  • Unusually mentioning the U.S. in remarks during an annual legislative session in Beijing: "Western countries—led by the U.S.—have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedentedly severe challenges to our country’s development." - WSJ, Reuters

  • The reported English version didn't mention the U.S., though: "[Fellow officials should] have the courage to fight as the country faces profound and complex changes in both the domestic and international landscape."

  • China's new foreign minister made similar remarks: "If the U.S. does not hit the brake but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation." - CNBC

  • Cold War risk low but increasing, nudged decoupling most likely scenario. We expect the U.S. government to pass new laws and rules discouraging U.S. businesses to make investments in China. Naturally, they will shift investments to other countries in Asia and the Americas, such as India, Vietnam, and Mexico.

13. Tucker Carlson suggests Jan. 6 was a peaceful riot in new video

  • Edited video still shows vandalism, violence: Carlson claims the new footage, edited from the 44K hours that McCarthy provided him, paints a better picture of the protesters. But it misses the point: even if some protesters were non-violent, just entering the Capitol without permission is already gross lawlessness. - CNN

  • Why is it so hard for Republicans to admit the riot was bad? Because they cannot criticize Trump, otherwise they will be shunned and mocked by the former President, who is poised to again win the GOP Presidential nomination.

14. Other headlines


  • Stripe raising $3.5B to cover taxes; net revenue is 0.38% of $816B GMV, $3.2B, vs Adyen's 0.17%.

  • Weight Watchers buying Ozempic-seller Sequence for $106M.

  • Google Docs' new design starting rollout.

  • Phind launches: AI search engine for developers.

  • TikTok lobbying EU stakeholders claiming user data is safe.

  • Social media to require parental consent in Utah.

  • Abound raises £500M for direct-to-consumer loans in the UK.

  • Outlook for Mac now free to use.

  • Google CEO defends shared desk policy, only 35% utilized 4+ days/week.

  • Alternatives to statins are picking up steam: Nexletol, Nexlizet, colchine.

  • Doordash interview: VP of analytics and data science Jessica Lachs.

  • Vinod Khosla says talking directly to founders better than sitting on boards.

  • H5N1 virus reaches 58M farmed birds in the U.S.; government exploring vaccination.


  • Australian Fed raises rates by 25 bps to 3.6%, highest level in more than a decade.

  • Debt ceiling worries increase in financial markets, data shows.

  • Washington Post launches On the Record game, seeks to compete with NYT's Wordle.

  • Newsom says CA will cut ties with Walgreens after abortion pill halt in 20 states.

  • Estonia proposes cutting the $60 cap on Russian oil to $30.

  • China denies Mark Mobius' claim that it is restricting cash flows.

  • Pokerstars owners to pay $4M to settle U.S. allegations over Russian bribes.


  • Yuga Labs raises $16.5M for Bitcoin NFT collection TwelveFold.

  • Government appeals FTX Judge's decision not to grant $100M+ examiner.

  • Voyager bankruptcy judge dissatisfied with SEC's objection to Binance.US deal.

Washington and more

  • Mike Pence files a motion asking judge to block Jan 6 federal grand jury subpoena.

  • Hope Hicks met with Manhattan district attorney's office on Trump pornstar case.

  • Biden thinking about returning to practice of detaining migrant families at border.

  • Vivek Ramaswamy says consultant offered $100K price tag for CPAC straw poll boost.

  • Trump claims he will cut Education Dept. if elected, copying Vivek.

  • Haley (+7) and DeSantis (+8) have better favorability than Trump (-9) and Pence (-13).

  • UK to deport all undocumented migrants seeking asylum coming in on boats.

  • France faces huge protests over increasing retirement age from 62 to 64.

  • Belarus court sentences opposition leader to 15 years.

  • Israeli protests against Netanyahu's judicial overhaul reach the military.

15. Interesting tweets, memes, and videos

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