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The consumption of plant-based meat as simply a novelty is a thing of the past. As new health and sustainability-conscious generation of people grow older and play a bigger role in the global economy, the demand for plant-based meat is quickly increasing. Concerns about the substantial greenhouse gas emissions produced by the meat industry, recognition of animal cruelty, and knowledge of the long-term health risks of traditional meat consumption are all contributing factors. In 2020, as more people embraced flexitarian, vegetarian, and vegan diets, the market value of plant-based meat worldwide grew to 6.67 billion dollars. This figure is estimated to steadily increase over the next few years and reach 16.7 billion in 2026.

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Following a post-pandemic period of expansionary monetary policy, stimulus checks, and economic growth, the U.S. economy has been confronted with a new stage of high inflation. The annual rate of inflation in the U.S. hit 6.2% last month, its highest rate in more than three decades. While this has been a recent concern, it’s important to note that 85% of countries in the world are experiencing higher inflation rates than usual. Perhaps most negatively affected by high inflation is Turkey; its inflation rate has reached roughly 20%, the second-highest in the world behind Argentina (52%).

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As technology continues to advance at an exponential rate and becomes increasingly intertwined with our daily lives, it should be no surprise that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are exploding in popularity and sales volumes. In fact, Global sales volumes of NFTs reached $10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, making an eightfold increase from the previous quarter. This magnitude of attention is eye-catching, to say the least, and it has businesses and individuals around the world taking action.

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Netflix has been considered the leader in the streaming market since its inception in the late 2000s, and its longevity of success is no mistake. While competition grows fiercer year after year and the U.S. streaming market becomes increasingly saturated, Netflix maintains the largest market share, and its success can be largely contributed to its international presence.

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While the holiday season is still a couple of months away, retail companies are preparing to face the looming pressures of the busiest stint of the year. Early predictions show an astounding 7-9% expected increase in retail sales and an 11-15% expected increase in E-commerce sales this holiday season, but companies are wildly unprepared for this increase in demand, as they are dealing with factory closures, shipping container shortages, and labor shortages.

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It’s no surprise that the effort to get the global economy back to its pre-pandemic efficacy would be quite challenging. The biggest current hurdle to that goal is what some are calling a global energy crisis. The supply of fossil fuels is struggling to catch up with recovering demand, causing energy prices to soar around the world, especially in the Northern Hemisphere as countries prepare for a cold winter. Many factors have contributed to this supply crunch, including European and Asian countries’ recent efforts to decarbonize the economy, lack of capital to natural gas drillers, and an unexpectedly low output from Russian energy suppliers like Gazprom.

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In the first eight months of 2021, global M&A activity has grossed $3.6 trillion, the highest mark at this point in the year since at least 1995, when Dealogic started keeping records. This unprecedented volume of activity has been aided by low interest rates, soaring stock prices, and executives’ ability to address the imperfections in their business exposed by the pandemic. The U.S. alone accounted for $2.14 trillion worth of M&A deals this year, while Europe and the Asia-Pacific accounted for $657 billion and $620 billion, respectively. This wave of deal-making has Wall Street setting records as well, as deal advisory revenue has reached new heights for multiple investment banks. It’s no surprise that Goldman Sachs is the best performing stock in the Dow this year, up 56%.

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Last week, the European Union released a draft of strict regulations regarding the creation and use of artificial intelligence (AI). This 108-page document of rules and regulations aims to ban or restrict multiple “unacceptable” uses of AI, which the European Commission deems as any AI system that is considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods, and rights of people. This includes the use of AI in a range of activities like hiring decisions, bank lending, school enrollment selections, court decisions, and facial recognition in public places. Although the EU’s proposal faces a long road before it becomes law, as it must be approved by both the European Council and European Parliament, it has profound implications for big tech and national governments around the world.

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Tulum, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, is known for its modern bohemian-style atmosphere, its beautiful beaches and cenotes, and its eco-friendly nature. Just a decade ago, Tulum was relatively untouched and undeveloped, but it is now one of the fastest-growing destinations in the world for both vacations and residency. A big reason for this is the developers’ strict commitment to preserving Tulum’s natural beauty by building highly sustainable and environmentally friendly infrastructures. These efforts have attracted some of the world’s best architecture firms and novel real estate investors alike.

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On March 27, 2021, foreign ministers from China and Iran signed a cooperation agreement that is expected to massively stimulate Iran’s economy, as well as deepen China’s presence in the middle east in general. The agreement promises around $400 billion of Chinese investments to be made in multiple Iranian economic sectors like banking, telecommunications, ports, railways, and health care and information technology. In exchange, China will receive a heavily discounted supply of Iranian oil for the next 25 years. Iran’s main contributors to these oil exports will likely be the government-owned National Petrochemical Company and National Iranian Oil Company.

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Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order that directs a review of supply chains that have been negatively affected due to the pandemic. The review is focused on four products—semiconductors, minerals and rare earths, pharmaceuticals, and advanced batteries. The goal of this executive order is to increase the domestic production of these products as well as increase imports from ally countries. The order mainly prioritized and placed heavy emphasis on semiconductors, as it included a $37 billion fund to dramatically increase semiconductor or “chip” manufacturing in the U.S.

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Electric vehicles have been around since the late 1800s, but they have only recently been discussed as the next big thing in the automotive industry. With increasing performance and technology improvements, government support, and lower production costs, electric vehicles are expected to have a huge impact on the industry in the coming decades.

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Xinjiang is an autonomous region of Northwest China, known for its vast deserts and mountains. Xinjiang is inhabited by several ethnicities, namely the Uyghur people of Turkish descent and the Han people of Chinese descent. The Uyghur and the Chinese have a long history of discord stemming from their religious differences, though it wasn’t suspected that there was severe oppression against the Uyghur people from the Han until early in 2020. It is now widely believed that the Chinese government has detained up to a million Uighurs over the past few years in “re-education camps.”

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Bitcoin, the digital currency created in 2009 by the mysterious pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto, was known by few people on earth at its inception and was priced at less than a thousandth of a cent. It has grown to a current price of around $36,000 and is now debated as either the future of money or a worthless asset. It is an extremely unique currency in the way that it is an entirely digital token with no physical backing. It was created with the intention and ability to be a peer-to-peer technology, meaning no central authority or government can control it, making it entirely decentralized. This aspect of decentralization, along with many other unique features, have led many to believe that bitcoin could revolutionize the global financial system.

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On October 7th, two of the U.S.’ largest tech companies squared off in the Supreme Court via teleconference. Since 2005, Oracle and Google have been battling over whether common interfaces between software programs can be protected by copyright. The specific interface in question, known as an application programming interface, or API, lets certain software programs “speak” to Java programs. When Google developed the Android Smartphone over a decade ago, it used Java’s API, and because Oracle now owns Java, Oracle believes it’s owed money—$9billion to be exact. This has led to what some consider the copyright case of the century.