May 21, 2021


  • Top 50 companies by value added $4.5 trillion of market capitalization in 2020.
    • Represent 28% of global GDP vs >5% in 1990
  • Median profits rose 18.2% in 2020 vs 6.9% increase in 1990.
  • Median tax rates 17.4% in 2020 vs 35.5% in 1990.
  • Top 50 firms have cash equivalent of 3.55x money spent on fixed assets (capital expenditures).
  • In 1990, there were no Chinese businesses in the top 50, now there are 8.
    • European businesses were 15 in 1990 and now 7
  • In 1990, only 2 technology companies were in the top vs 21 in 2020.
  • 2020 only 1 fossil fuel company in top 50 (Saudi Aramco)
  • Top 10 in 1990: IBM, EXXON, GE, Altria, Toyota, Bristol, Merck, BP, Walmart, Coca-Cola.
  • Top 10 in 2020: Apple, Aramco, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Tencent, Tesla, Alibaba, Berkshire Hathaway.


  • US Securities and Exchange Commission is pushing for more regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Fed Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, says the Fed needs to play a leading role in developing international standards for cryptocurrencies.
  • US treasury says all crypto transfers over $10,000 need to be reported to the IRS.
  • Tiff Macklem, Bank of Canada Governor, says crypto assets are an ‘emerging vulnerability’.


  • Taiwan is rationing water because of a persistent drought.
  • ‘Recycled wastewater’ sometimes known as ‘toilet-to-tap’ is becoming the single most important element of a drought-proof water supply.
    • Some residents of Orange County, California have been drinking recycled wastewater for years.


  • New York State is launching “Vax & Scratch” providing a free scratch lottery ticket ($5 million prizes) to citizens getting their first Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
    • 51% of all New Yorkers have received at least 1 dose and 43% are fully vaccinated
  • EU agreed to allow fully vaccinated visitors from UK and US.


  • Germany will allow some driver-less vehicles on public roads next year; will need a human that is able to shut it down in case of issues, either by sitting inside it or remote access.
  • President Biden ordered his administration to create a strategy to quantify the risks climate change pose to both public and private financial assets.
  • A seat on Jeff Bezos’ rocket is going for $2.2 million and counting…so far more than 5,200 bidders. Flight is expected to launch on July 20, 2021.