The week that was 18 February 2021

We're out of lockdown! Google and News Corp signing a deal, Elton John and Michael Caine encouraging vaccination, and plastic recycling feature in this week's wrap-up.

Auckland and Melbourne out of lockdown

Best news of the week. We’re all very pleased to see both Auckland and Melbourne come out of lockdown this week. Stay safe everyone. This piece of graffiti shared on Twitter certainly captures the mood.

News Corp agrees deal with Google

The Guardian reports that Google and News Corp have signed a multi-year partnership that will lead to the search engine paying for journalism from news sites around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, the Times and the Australian.

The deal, which involves News Corp receiving “significant payments” to feature the company’s news outlets in Google’s News Showcase product, will last for three years, and comes with a number of other investments from Google, including “meaningful investments in video journalism” and the development of a subscription platform.

This is significant news and precedent for newspapers and media around the world.

Elton John and Michael Caine encourage vaccinations

The NHS in the UK have enlisted an all-star cast of Sir Elton John and Sir Michael Caine in a light-hearted campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Turning waste plastic into bricks

Materials engineer Nzambi Matee has started a company in her native country, Kenya, manufacturing paving bricks made from plastic waste and sand that are cheaper, stronger, and more durable than concrete or similar bricks. For her efforts, Matee was named a Young Champion of the Earth by the United Nations.

Hedge fund turns to reddit for sentiment forecaster

In the wake of the GameStop saga, New York-based quantitative hedge fund Cindicator Capital is advertising for an active member of the wallstreetbets subreddit community to join the firm as a sentiment trader with a £200,000 pay packet on offer.

Cindicator Capital is looking to get ahead of the game by plucking someone with memes and Reddit experience to report back on the febrile mood of the community.

"With a combination of our qualitative approach to measuring market moods and your ‘street-smarts’, you’ll actively manage our internal multi-million corporate treasury," states the ad. "Then you’ll turn the resulting insights into new features, products, and trading strategies for clients."

Applicants must be an active member of r/wallstreetbets with an account age of >365 days and karma of over 1000 with a "refined taste for memes and free from any mainstream financial brainwash". The successful candidate will spend most of their time on reddit, Discord chats, and Twitter to feel the pulse of the tens of millions of retail traders.

A pandemic, a snowstorm and a bored guy

Enjoy your weekend.