Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of stories from Insider from Business co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.
Read on for a breakdown of the biggest stories of the past week, the inside track on a COVID vaccine loophole, and insight into Instagram’s mysterious algorithm.
Read time: 5 minutes.
It’s hard to find words to describe the past week.
I watched with horror as pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday. Since then, videos like this one and stories like this one have made it clear that the siege on the Capitol may have been worse than it looked in real time.
There are growing calls for President Trump to resign, while Democrats could move on impeachment proceedings next week. A majority of Americans believe Trump should be removed before Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to a new poll.
Meanwhile, Apple, Google, and Amazon Web Services have removed social-media network Parler from their platforms after Twitter and Facebook suspended Trump’s accounts.
Below is a sampling of the latest news and commentary, a breakdown of how the business world has reacted, and an analysis of what Democratic control of both the House and Senate will mean for markets, real-estate, clean energy, and more.
Here’s a breakdown of how the business world reacted.
And here’s a breakdown of the impact of a Democratic sweep:
COVID vaccine loophole
From Kimberly Leonard:
Only a small subset of people in the US, including nursing home residents and healthcare workers, are eligible to receive the scarce coronavirus vaccine right now. Almost everyone else is supposed to wait their turn, which could be months away.
But there’s a loophole, and you don’t have to be a celebrity, a billionaire, or plot some devious trick to find it.
It turns out that on some days healthcare facilities across the US, including hospitals and pharmacies, find themselves with leftover vaccines that could be discarded if not used quickly. Sometimes healthcare workers don’t show up for their vaccine appointments, or some nursing home residents turn down the shot, leaving facilities stranded with already thawed shots that have a short shelf life.
The choice then becomes to either toss them in the trash or offer the scarce shots — which right now are the best promise for digging the world out of the deadly pandemic — to whoever else can take them right away.
Read the full story here:
Instagram’s mysterious algorithm
From Sydney Bradley:
Instagram has in recent months privately shared specific guidance with some creators about how frequently to post on the platform and what types of posts could help them boost their follower counts and engagement rates.
Three creators told Business Insider that they’d been contacted by Instagram in the past three months and had either met with a representative one on one or participated in a workshop where they were given such advice. They all said Instagram recommended a high volume of posts and that they use the entire suite of Instagram products: in-feed posts, Stories, Reels, and IGTV videos.
This guidance offered a rare glimpse by Instagram into how influencers can grow on the platform and into how its mysterious algorithm works. But it was made available only to certain creators behind closed doors. Instagram has not shared this advice publicly and declined to comment on any specifics.
Read the full story here:
BONUS: Stock picks from the pros
The stock market continued its climb this week, even as pro-Trump insurrectionists violently stormed the Capitol. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high on Wednesday, drawing a sharp contrast with events in Washington, DC.
Our investing team had plenty of recommendations from investment pros this week to help our subscribers make informed decisions. Here’s a sampling:
Here are some headlines from the past two weeks that you might have missed.
Google once stood for ‘Don’t be evil.’ Insiders describe how it spiraled into a culture of mistrust that helped build a union aiming to keep management in check.
VCs predict that ‘proptech,’ a hybrid work model, and San Francisco’s comeback are the tech trends to watch in 2021
Goldman Sachs’ Sam Britton expects more ‘dream deals’ like Salesforce-Slack in 2021, and reveals the next hot M&A ideas
Amazon is quietly building a new Alexa device to help you sleep better
Biotech investor Brad Loncar shares 10 predictions for 2021, including a more than 30% drop for gene-editing stocks, a $3 billion acquisition by Vertex, and a new big threat to society
Inside Haven’s downfall: How Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and Warren Buffett set their healthcare venture up for failure
A Rivian VP reveals the 5 key traits the Amazon-backed startup looks for in job candidates
The 8 digital health startups to watch that are changing healthcare in 2021
Inside JCPenney’s messy 6-month bankruptcy saga: How infighting and egos almost destroyed the company’s shot at coming out of bankruptcy alive