In the guest chair:
This morning, Dana had the pleasure of hosting three very successful guests. Dani Cushion, CMO at Cardlytics discussed the data around the most common New Year’s resolution: Getting in Shape. Cardlytics® is a purchase-based data intelligence platform that makes all advertising better. They partner with major financial institutions, including Bank of America, Lloyds Banking Group and FIS, to provide Card-Linked Loyalty programs, which deliver significant savings to customers and revenue to banks, securely and without any personally identifiable information ever leaving the bank.
- U.S. and European Union sanctions on Iran were finally lifted on Saturday, restoring the country’s access to the world’s markets. Iran has been preparing for months and could possibly return to the top ranks of global oil producers. Crude prices have been tanking for months, dropping to below $30 a barrel and a flood of new oil from Iran could push them even lower very soon.
- SpaceX had a mostly successful mission on Sunday. They just didn’t stick the landing. The rocket was not a total loss but it did come down hard and lost it’s balance on the dismount. The company admittedly got the hard parts right, reducing its speed from about six times the speed of sound and getting the rocket steered to its new landing platform in the middle of the ocean, but according to Elon Musk, the locking mechanism on one leg didn’t latch “so it tipped over after landing.”
- A prominent bitcoin developer has labeled the currency a failed experiment, widening the rift over an arcane but critical technical issue that has divided the community for nearly a year. “The fundamentals are broken, and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long-term trend should probably be downwards,” developer Mike Hearn wrote on the blogging platform Medium. “I will no longer be taking part in bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.” The fuss is about the size limitations on the blocks in the blockchain which are currently limited to one megabyte. Apologies if you almost fell asleep just then.
- Ready to bet on horse races here in Georgia? A group of Georgia horse racing enthusiasts has hired the architects of the new Braves stadium to design a racetrack that would serve as the focal point for a huge new metro Atlanta mixed-use development. But first we’d need a constitutional amendment to legalize pari-mutuel betting – which is in the works. Dean Reeves, president of the Georgia Horseracing Coalition and owner of Mucho Macho Man, the thoroughbred that won the 2013 Breeder’s Cup Classic in Santa Anita Park in California says people in Georgia want this. We shall see. No location has been selected yet, but organizers are saying they want to be in one of the 5 counties that make up the metro Atlanta area.
- A $140 million project with a 12-story office building and a redeveloped Kroger is set to rise along the Atlanta Beltline, next to Ponce City Market in the spot where “Murder Kroger” is now. Dana is sure Kroger would like to get rid of that nickname!
- Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores and eliminating 16,000 jobs across the globe, including seven stores in Georgia. According to the Wall Street Journal, the closures in Georgia are Walmart Express stores in Alma, Ashburn, Donalsonville, Ellaville, Lakeland, Pearson and Pelham. None here in metro Atlanta. Walmart says they have to actively manage their portfolio of assets, and that most stores that are closing are within 10 miles of another store. They also note that they will open 300 new stores this year as well.
For other events and appearances, check out Dana’s event calendar: http://danabarrett.com/events/.