Intelligence

Recession could send boutique fitness brands running

Last week’s inverted yield curve have more and more analysts warning about a looming recession, and fitness brands could be left struggling to keep up, according to CNBC. Why? Boutique studios like SoulCycle, Pure Barre, and others come with a premium price and tough to justify in a difficult economy,

“Consumers are going to be dropping that from their budget. It’s the easiest thing to cut, but gyms will try to up their experience to make people stay with the trainers they know and love,” McCall Gosselin, Planet Fitness’ vice president of PR and communications, said in a statement.

Powell In A Precarious Position

Nobody said being the Fed’s chairman was an easy gig. However, Jerome Powell, the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, is in a particularly tough situation as he must balance the needs of the global markets while also dealing with criticism from President Trump, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Powell is expected to speak soon at the annual central bank conference, which may offer some insight as to the direction of the Federal Reserve. Former Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the President cannot fire Powell, but only time will tell.

ARod & JLo’s Homerun Investment

Her love may not cost a thing, but JLo’s putting a hefty price tag on the fintech app Acorns, writes the Wall Street Journal. She and husband/former Yankees player Alex Rodriguez just invested in the micro-investing platform — an unusual move for both the celebrity and fintech world. Stardom aside, the investments raise a larger conversation about financial technology brands’ commitment to marketing and using celebrities as a tool for such.

Blackrock Bets On Authentic Brands

Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager has paid $875 million for a stake in Authentic Brands, a celebrity and clothing licensing group that owns valuable intellectual property such as the brand rights to Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali.

Authentic Brands, according to CNBC, is also a majority stakeholder in the clothing retail company Nine West, and owns the Sports Illustrated magazine brand, as well. Blackrock will now own a controlling stake in Authentic Brands. This is seen as part of a larger push into private equity. Authentic Brands licenses over 50 brands that generate over $9 billion in annual sales.

Robots: Love ’em or loathe ’em

AI — it’s all anybody seems to be talking about these days (us included). Our Chief Economist Milton Ezrati looks at how robots are changing the workforce, influencing the political landscape, and are — whether we like it or not — here to stay, in our latest blog post.