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“What I learned in 2021.”

Let’s end our week with something fun! Every year, Tom Whitwell shares a year-end list of “52 things I learned in 20xx”. On Wednesday, he released his 52 things I learned in 2021 list.

You should definitely go check that list out when you have time, because there’s some interesting stuff there. But for the time-crunched among you, I’ve collected a few of my favorite pieces to share in today’s installment of Apex Money.

China’s ‘lipstick brother’ livestream has record $2 billion day. [BNN Bloomberg] — “China’s Li Jiaqi, a top livestream salesman widely known as the ‘lipstick brother’, sold $1.9 billion in goods on the first day of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s annual shopping festival, as the country’s consumers splash out despite an economic slowdown.”

South African students are selling school wi-fi passwords for lunch money. [Rest of World] — “In theory, Wi-Fi at schools across South Africa, like at Thabo’s, is meant for students and their teachers. But many from the poor households dotted around schools feel the free Wi-Fi offered to students should be opened up for households too. While household poverty in South Africa’s townships encourages students like Thabo to leak Wi-Fi passwords for cash, on the other end of the transaction is a desperate need for cheap internet access.”

Daughters, managerial decisions, and gender inequality. [Maddalena Ronchi] — “We find that women’s relative earnings and employment increase by 4.4% and 2.9% respectively following the birth of the manager’s first daughter. These effects are driven by an increase in managers’ propensity to replace male workers by hiring women with comparable education, hours worked, and earnings. In line with managers’ ability to substitute men with comparable women, we do not detect any significant effect on firm performance.”

The differential impact of major life events on cognitive and affective wellbeing. [SSM – Population Health] — “We evaluated the individual and conditional impact of eighteen major life-events, and compared their effects on affective and cognitive wellbeing…Several commonly cited events had little, if any, independent effect on wellbeing (promotion, being fired, friends passing), whilst others had profound impacts regardless of co-occurring events (e.g., financial loss, death of partner, childbirth). No life events had overall positive effects on both types of wellbeing, but separation, injury/illnesses and monetary losses caused negative impacts on both, which did not display hedonic adaptation.”

And to close things out for the week? Well, here’s a fun McDonald’s training video from 1970. I love it.

I worked at McDonald’s during my junior year of high school. People think I’m joking when I say this but I’m not: That McDonald’s gig was probably my favorite job I ever had. We were a good crew, and we had a good manager. We were good, and we knew it. We took pride in doing well, and our store was the top McDonald’s in the state. Ah, good memories.

Okay, that’s it for now. Jim will be back next week — assuming he’s home from his Bahamas vacation. I’ll have more fun stuff for you in ten days. Take care!