Trump is indicted, but markets don't care

Top stories today: 1) Trump is indicted, but markets still see him as the GOP frontrunner, 2) Press Secretary is asked about AI doomerism, and 3) Twitter's algorithm to be open-sourced today, as revenue from Top 10 advertisers fall 89%.

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Top stories today: 1) Trump is indicted, but markets still see him as the GOP frontrunner, 2) Press Secretary is asked about AI doomerism, and 3) Twitter's algorithm to be open-sourced today, as revenue from Top 10 advertisers fall 89%.

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. Trump is indicted, but markets don't care

One of the many AI-generated Trump arrested photos that circulated online.

  • Charges are not yet public, but are expected to be related to business fraud connected to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and potentially others. - CNN

  • Trump is expected to appear in court on Tuesday. Most white-collar arrests include frontal handcuffs, something he told advisers he wants, to turn the arrest into a "spectacle." - The Guardian

Trump responded in an expected Trump fashion

DeSantis said Florida would not assist with a potential extradition, but Trump is expected to surrender

Betting markets didn't move, pricing Trump as a 56% favorite for the GOP nomination, from 50% one month ago

These charges are generally weak; Georgia and Jan. 6 cases are stronger

  • Usually, falsifying documents is a misdemeanor, with no prison sentence.

    • Prosecutors will have to prove malicious intent in the falsification, in connection with another crime (in this case, not declaring the hush money as a campaign contribution).

    • Counter-point: Michael Cohen, Trump's attorney, was sentenced to 3 years for similar crimes, although that was in federal court.

Trump's Georgia election and Jan. 6 cases are stronger

  • Trump has worse cases to worry about: - Axios

    • Georgia election, where there's audio evidence that he asked officials to "find" him votes.

    • Jan 6. riots, where he could charged with incitement and obstruction of an official proceeding.

Trials could be delayed until after the election

  • Watch our for polls to see how this affects Trump's chances. We expect a short-term hit to his polling numbers, especially with independents. Longer-term, he's still the GOP favorite, and would be a slight underdog vs. Biden.

2. Press Secretary asked about AI killing everyone

AI doomerism reaches the mainstream, and Chief Doomer Eliezer Yudkowsky is not optimistic:

Yudkowsky went on Lex Fridman to discuss the topic

We are more worried about AI underperforming expectations

DALL-E illustration of "AI being used to cure diseases and prolong human lifespan."

  • Where are the cures for heart disease and Alzheimer's? So far, we have only seen 1-to-n applications of AI, i.e., it helps humans scale things that already exist. Nothing that AI has done in terms of science and technology is a new discovery or invention -- only new chess and poker moves. We hope that changes soon, but we are not optimistic that it will, at least for the next few years.

In related news, an FTC complaint was filed against OpenAI 

FTC complaint, submitted by CAIDP.

  • By the Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP), one of the signatories of yesterday's Pause AI letter. The complaint asks the FTC to halt any commercial deployment of GPT models. - The Verge, Complaint

    • We are extremely skeptical of governments saving us from AI doomerism, even if future AGIs do in fact seek to kill humanity. Any solution to AGI alignment will come from brilliant engineers, not "pauses" to Western-led AI (especially since China and other adversaries will never respect these requests).

3. Elon Musk says Twitter's algorithm to be open-sourced today

  • Likely just parts of the recommendation engine algorithm. We expect Elon to overpromise and underdeliver here, as is typical with his "open" promises. For example, Elon had promised that "going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes." Many other promises have been broken -- a nice compilation of them was made by CNN.

4. Twitter's revenue from Top 10 advertisers falls 89%

Read more: Bloomberg.

In line with Twitter's overall revenue dropping by $1.5B

  • A $1.5B revenue drop would mean $3.7B in yearly revenue, given Twitter's revenue pre-Musk was running at $5.2B. For Q4 2022, revenue was $1.025B, or $4.1B annualized. For Q1 2023, the company hopes to generate $0.732B, a 39% yearly drop. - The Information

Meanwhile, Twitter is increasing its push of $1,000/mo Verified organizations

While the NYT and many other organizations say they will refuse to pay, even if it means losing their checkmark

Twitter is expected to exempt its top 500 advertisers and 10K most-followed organizations from having to pay

  • "Twitter also plans to charge organizations $1,000 a month to be verified, but will make exceptions for its top 500 advertisers and for the 10,000 most-followed organizations that have been previously verified, according to an internal document seen by The Times. All accounts that purchase check marks will be reviewed to make sure they are not impersonating someone, according to the document." - NYT

Twitter competitor T2 is trying to lure users about losing legacy checkmark

  • We see no significant features that threaten Twitter's lead in text-based social networking. - Engadget

5. Average Wall Street bonus falls 26% to $176K

It's the worst yearly fall since 2018

6. Block responds to Hindenburg report, says 44M out of 51M monthly users are verified

  • And verified accounts represented 97% of Cash Apps inflows in December 2022. This contrasts with last week's Hindenburg Research report, which claimed that former Block employees said 40% to 75% of accounts were fake or fraudulent. - Reuters, Block

    • Yes, OK... but how come Hindenburg got a card for Donald J. Trump? Block's response is clearly incomplete. - The Verge

Block stock was unchanged in the pre-market

It is now only down 5% vs its pre-Hindenburg pricing, after dropping 22%:

7. Other headlines


  • Apple's VR headset announcement might be delayed to end-of-year, after WWDC.

  • Midjourney AI stops free trial, blaming influx of new users.

  • IGN's E3 conference is canceled as Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation wouldn't attend.

  • Buzzfeed publishing articles fully written by AI.

  • India seeking to spend up to $120M on less controversial Pegasus-like spyware.


  • Kashkari signals 25 bps hike, unclear whether SVB collapse would bring down inflation.

  • GOP Senator introduces bill to break up mega ad companies like Google and Meta.

  • Apple reverses $502M patent case against VirnetX on U.S. appeals court.


  • Ledger raises $108M as extension of $1.4B valuation round.

  • FTX emails out customers with their provisional account balances.

  • SBF pleads not guilty to new charges during NY court appearance.

  • 3AC founders ordered to respond to U.S. subpoena in 2 weeks, appear in BVI court in May; they're both in Dubai.

  • Cross River Bank, others turn down crypto clients as government clamps down.

  • Sushi Swap CEO says he longer feels "inspired" after U.S. crackdown.

  • Tron founder Sun reportedly lost diplomatic immunity after 2022 Granada elections.

Washington and more

  • Jared Kushner gets $200M+ from UAE, Qatar.

  • White House playing down the importance of Taiwan President's visit.

  • Japan restricting exports of semiconductors, in an anti-China move.

  • Sweden's bid to join NATO blocked by Turkey and Hungary.

8. Interesting tweets, memes, and images

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