IPO-M-G

It’s unicorn season on Wall Street! Lyft kicked off its IPO roadshow on Monday, Levi Strauss returned to the public markets on Thursday (after a 34-year hiatus), and many others are waiting in the wings. Among the most anticipated: Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest, WeWork and others. Investor appetite, so far, is looking strong. Amateurs want in, if only for hype purposes (Who cares if Lyft lost a billion dollars last year?! So what if it may never turn a profit!), and while institutions tend to be more informed and thus more rational, they don’t want to miss out on the excitement, either.

KALE, NO

Each year, we get a snapshot of pesticide use in America when the ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen’ lists from the Environmental Working Group come out. And while it’s much of the same ‘ole, same ‘ole in terms of which foods made what lists for 2019, there is one notable takeaway and it’s about…kale. The USDA, which remarkably had not looked at this leafy green in nearly a decade despite its growing popularity among the health-conscious (Helllloooo?), found it to be…dirty. Real dirty. Third dirtiest when it comes to pesticide contamination, right behind strawberries and spinach. Nutritionists are blowing this off, but the findings may inspire you to opt out (or at the very least, go organic): Over 92% of kale samples contained two or more pesticide residues. Some had up to 18. Even scarier: the most frequently detected pesticide, found on nearly 60% of the samples, was DCPA, which has long been classified as a possible human carcinogen.

MARCH MADNESS

Selection Sunday, which now seems like forever ago, is in the rearview mirror, meaning that your favorite three weeks of the year, Bruce, is happening…now! Yup, March Madness, the championship tournament for the NCAA’s Division I men’s basketball, is officially underway. Granted, we’re busy with Mrs. Maisel (currently in the Catskills) and don’t historically tune in until the championship game, but we did place our bets…as did some 47 million Americans, to the tune of a combined $8.5 billion ($4.6 billion of wagers from 40 million people betting w/friends, colleagues through brackets; the remaining $3.9 billion mostly by way of illegal offshore websites and bookies). Go…Virginia?