Currency chaos, Snapchat shares, donations galore. 11 – 18 November: What just happened?
Katy Perry and Mike Pence himself (apparently) are cashing out for Planned Parenthood, as India's currency goes haywire. Here's our review of the news over the past seven days.
Sorry India, that’s not money anymore
Indian President Narendra Modi declared that India's two biggest bills, the 500 and 1000 rupee, no longer counted as legal currency as of November 9th. A week later, this is still causing havoc across the country. There's a huge amount of 'black' or fake money circulating in the Indian economy, so the idea was if they just made 80% of notes invalid and started afresh, they could get millions of people back into the banking system using registered funds and keep a closer eye on them. But it’s gotten messy, with giant lines at banks and not nearly enough new
to go around in the meantime. The BBC has the full story here.
Mike Pence gives 20,000 donations to Planned Parenthood. Wait, what?
Fearful for what will happen to government funding on issues like climate change and abortion when Donald Trump becomes president in a few months’ time, Americans unhappy with the election result are donating left right and center to causes they’re concerned won’t be protected under a Trump administration. From the American Civil Liberties Union to the Council for Islam-American Relations, millions of dollars have been pledged in the last week. One of the biggest winners has been Planned Parenthood, a reproductive health organization, who received $10,000 from Katy Perry alone. Some are even making tongue-in-cheek donations in VP-elect Mike Pence’s name – he’s now allegedly given over 20,000 unique donations to the organization.
Oh snap! Snapchat's going public
Snapchat, the app that lets you send secret disappearing photos, is preparing to start selling shares of itself to the public for the first time (called an initial public offering, or IPO). IPOs are a big deal in the tech world, as they allow smallish companies to raise big league money literally overnight—Snapchat is expected to sell $25 billion worth of shares. Obviously a lot of investors think it's going to keep growing as a company so want to get their share before the price goes up. See the Wall Street Journal for details.
(Not so) super moon. Okay, this isn’t economics, but it’s hilarious: where most of the world was treated to dramatic views of the supermoon this week, cloudier areas made do the old fashioned way: taping a tortilla to the window.
A battle is brewing in the US over whether people should be able to watch porn in restaurants and cafes. The Porn Free Wifi campaign is trying to get companies that offer public wifi to limit access to porn sites. They’ve already got Starbucks and McDonald’s signed on, and are eyeing other popular chains. But critics say that basically no one actually watches porn at McDonald's, so all the filters will do is cut access to unrelated things, like Economy articles that use the word “porn” five times in one paragraph. Just what America needed, something new to fight about!