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06.24.16 | 5:28 am

Here’s all the latest news on Brexit

Most of it isn't pretty:

Global markets remain down, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down about 460 points, or 2.5%, and the Nasdaq down more than 3%. Gold prices, on the other hand, are up about 4.5%, and bitcoin prices have risen 2.8%.

• The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed down more than 7 percent, in the worst one-day European stock drop since 2008, MarketWatch reports. London markets closed down for the day as well, with the FTSE 100 index down 2.76%. 

Central banks around the world have taken steps to calm markets, with the Federal Reserve saying it's "prepared to provide dollar liquidity" and the Bank of England and European Central Bank issuing similar statements.

• Hopes that the U.K. government could somehow avert or delay the nation's exit from the European Union seem to have dimmed, with EU Parliament President Martin Schulz calling for the U.K. to leave as soon as possible, The Guardian reports.

Donald Trump, visiting Scotland, has praised the referendum result, which onetime rival Ted Cruz called "a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to D.C." Hillary Clinton has expressed concern about the impact on working families around the globe.

• Former London mayor, and prominent Brexit supporter, Boris Johnson could be a serious candidate to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, MarketWatch reports.

Economists, known for supporting free trade agreements in general, have generally come out against Brexit so far.

• In a possible sign that voters didn't fully understand Brexit's meaning, "What is the EU?" has become the second-most-Googled post-Brexit question in the U.K.

Scotland, which voted 62% to 38% to stay within the EU, may seek to secede from the U.K. in order to do so, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says, according to the BBC.

Spain, which has long claimed sovereignty over Gibraltar and is a major trading partner of the U.K. island territory, has proposed a joint sovereignty agreement after more than 95% of the territory voted to stay in the EU, the BBC reports

• While prominent banks like HSBC and JPMorgan Chase had warned Brexit would lead to reduced staffing in London, they've been less open about their plans as they reassure workers after the vote.

This post has been updated. The original post was published this morning at 5:28am EST.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for the referendum, has announced his resignation. He will stay in office until October when a new head of the Tory government will be selected.

David Cameron has not yet invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which begins the official steps of leaving the EU. Cameron has said it will be up to his successor to invoke Article 50.

The White House has acknowledged that President Obama has been briefed on the referendum vote and they "expect the President will have an opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Cameron over the course of the next day, and we will release further comment as soon as appropriate, reports USA Today." 

• With a majority in Scotland having voted to remain in the EU in the U.K. referendum, Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, now says that a second Scottish independence referendum is "highly likely". Earlier she said: "The vote makes clear the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union."

• Scotland might not be the only one to leave the U.K. Sinn Fein has announced it wants a vote on Irish reunification in the wake of a Brexit. If Northern Ireland reunifies with Ireland, it will stay part of the EU. A statement from the party said: "The British government has forfeited any mandate to represent economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland"

• It's not just David Cameron who will soon be out of a job. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could face a leadership challenge as well. Many people blame his lackluster Remain efforts for the reason that Labour voters didn't turn out in droves to support the Remain camp.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has tried to reassure the markets by announcing it will make an extra £250 billion available to the banks to try to help steady the markets.

• Speaking of the markets, at the time of this writing the FTSE 100 is down almost 5%, wiping over £100 billion off the market.

• The FTSE 250 is down 11.4%—its worst drop ever.

• Germany's DAX has fallen 7.5%.

• France's CAC 40 is down 9%.

 Italian and Spanish markets are plunging more than 11%.

Japan's Nikkei is having its worst day in 5 years with the Japanese market falling an astonishing 8% so far.

The British pound has hit a 30-year low against the US dollar.

• In a matter of hours after the referendum result was announced, the U.K. has slipped from being the 5th-largest economy in the world, to being the 6th largest. France has now surpassed it.

Leave campaigner and former London Mayor Boris Johnson left his house this morning under heavy police protection with protesters shouting "shame" at him for leading the U.K. to leave the EU:

• Bank and homebuilder stocks are taking the biggest hit, due to the belief that the British economy is in free-fall.

• A number of economists suggest that the U.K. will now enter a recession.

On social media, there is an outpouring of anger by young people towards their own parents and grandparents:

With Londoners overwhelmingly voting to stay in the EU, many are now taking to social media to demand that the capital secede from the U.K. so it can stay part of the EU.

[Image: Bill Smith]

02.24.17 | 3:05 pm

SoFi banks $500 million in new funding

Social Finance, or SoFi, confirmed on Friday that it has raised $500 million in new funding. Silver Lake, a private equity firm, led the round, with participation from GPI Capital and SoftBank. 

The new round boosts SoFi's valuation by roughly 15%, CEO Mike Cagney told Axios. The company last raised capital in September 2015 at a valuation of $3.5-$4 billion. 

SoFi, which launched as a solution for refinancing student loans, has since added personal loans, mortgages, and investing to its portfolio of products. Cagney plans to take the company public, but has not yet disclosed a timeline for doing so. 

02.24.17 | 3:01 pm

Now the White House is blocking some media outlets from press briefings

To say the writing is on the walls would be an understatement at this point: The White House just blocked a number of major news organizations—including CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, and BuzzFeed—from attending an off-camera briefing. The Hill, which was also blocked, reports that conservative outlets like Breitbart News were allowed to enter, as were other mainstream outlets, including CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox. At least two outlets, Time magazine and AP, boycotted the briefing in a show of protest.

 

02.24.17 | 1:16 pm

Movies that star women are a better return on investment, says study

Big-budget, special effects-laden blockbusters tend to feature male leads, but that doesn't mean they make bigger profits. That's according to a new box-office analysis of more than 2,100 movies from the online investment company Wealthsimple. The Canadian startup found that movies featuring women in the starring role generated a 176% median return on investment, significantly higher than movies starring men, which saw a 127% median return on investment. The reason is not because male-driven blockbusters don't make money, but that they generally cost more to make—what with all those explosions and CGI monsters and all. Wealthsimple's study makes for an interesting pre-Oscar read. Check out the full report here.

  [Image: Wealthsimple]

02.24.17 | 11:55 am

The pot industry is not happy with Trump’s White House

After press secretary Sean Spicer indicated yesterday that the DOJ will ramp up enforcement of federal marijuana laws, pot industry reps lit up with ire. Per Bloomberg, here's a comment from Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech Corp:

"Today's news coming out of the administration regarding the adult use of cannabis is, of course, disappointing. We have hoped and still hope that the federal government will respect states' rights in the same manner they have on several other issues."  

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational pot use, giving rise to an industry that's expected to hit $50 billion by 2026. Read the full story here.

02.24.17 | 11:00 am

Don’t disbelieve the hype: VR hardware sales expected to hit $3.6 billion this year

Virtual reality isn't yet fully mainstream, and during Facebook's recent fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg urged investors to be patient with the technology's growth to profitability. But according to SuperData Research, it's certainly increased compared to last year.

In a report issued today, the research firm found that VR hardware sales will hit $3.6 billion in 2017, up 142% over 2016. In addition, virtual reality software and services sales will grow by nearly a billion dollars over last year. All told, the industry will move 21 million premium headsets.

02.24.17 | 9:17 am

You may soon be able to rent Hollywood movies a lot earlier—but there’s a catch

The major Hollywood studios have been working with cinema owners to shrink the traditional release window and allow consumers to rent movies on-demand in as little as 17 days after they hit theaters. But here's the rub: Early rentals will cost a lot more money—up to $50 a pop, according to a report from Variety. Theater chains have been resistant to the idea of shorter release windows, insisting it would eat into their bottom line. The standard window is 90 days from theatrical release to the home market. Read the full story here.   

[Photo: Flickr user laurariumartín.]

02.24.17 | 9:11 am

J.C. Penney is closing up to 140 stores

In another blow to brick-and-mortar retail, J.C. Penney said today it will close up to 140 stores over the next few months, about 14% of its locations. The retailer reported lower-than-expected holiday sales, down 0.7% for the fourth quarter. The company joins other retailers, including Macy's and Kmart, that have been plagued by store closures attributed in part to the rise of online shopping. Read more from Reuters.

02.24.17 | 8:18 am

Nasty Gal is bankrupt and everybody is asking why

Nasty Gal, the edgy vintage-inspired clothing store founded by Sophia Amoruso, is about to be sold for $20 million to British online store Boohoo.com. This comes after the company filed for Chapter 11 in November. 

Everybody is now trying to figure out exactly what went wrong, given that the brand went from a humble eBay store to a $100 million company in six years, then tumbled back down again. 

The dominant thesis is that Nasty Gal spent too much on advertising and plush new headquarters, but never acquired a loyal customer base, partly because product quality wasn't high. The brand was also deeply tied to Amoruso and suffered when she stepped down as CEO in 2015.

Read more in the L.A. Times.

 [Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Nasty Gal]

02.24.17 | 8:11 am

Introducing Instagram-worthy vitamins

Would you take your vitamins if they came in a pretty packet with your name on it? 

It's one of the selling points of Care/of, a newly launched online vitamin brand founded by Craig Elbert, who previously led marketing at Bonobos. The brand is hoping to disrupt the traditional vitamin industry, which are usually purchased at drug stores or speciality retailers like GNC, which recently announced it was closing 4,400 stores and revamping its pricing system.

Care/of tries to simplify the sometimes overwhelming process of buying vitamins by asking customers to take a survey online, then sending a personalized daily supplement pack to them every month. The company has also paid careful attention to design in everything from the website to the packaging, which is another way it stands out from a typical vitamin brand. 

02.24.17 | 7:04 am

Over 100 female Uber engineers told CEO Travis Kalanick there is a “systemic problem” of workplace sexism

The "Lady Eng" group meeting with Kalanick lasted more than an hour on Thursday, where the allegations of rampant sexual harassment and sexism in Uber's workplace culture were the sole topic, reports BuzzFeed. As one female engineer told Kalanick:

"I think that we should kind of address the elephant in the room . . . which is that everyone who's in these rooms now . . . believes that there is a systemic problem here. We wouldn't be here if we didn't. I do not think that we need [Eric Holder's] help in admitting to ourselves as a company that we have a systemic problem."

02.24.17 | 6:01 am

Apple is investigating a report that an iPhone 7 Plus exploded

The last thing the company wants is a Galaxy Note 7 situation on its hands. Apple says they should know more in a week, reports Mashable.

02.24.17 | 6:00 am

Facebook Reactions: the first year in stats

One year ago today, Facebook responded to one of the biggest requests among users by letting them respond to posts with a wider gamut of reactions than the classic—but often insufficent—Like. Now the company is celebrating the first anniversary of these more expressive Facebook Reactions by sharing some factoids:

• Users have shared 300 billion Reactions so far, or more than 800 million a day.

• The Love Reaction is most popular, beating out ones that express laughter, surprise, anger, and sadness.

• Users shared the most Reactions on Christmas 2016 (with Love being the top one that day).

• The countries where Reactions are most popular include Mexico, Chile, Suriname, Greece, and Paraguay (the U.S. is #7).