🌎 Size matters

Plus: Are IPOs back?

A Burger King Whopper hamburger is displayed still partially wrapped
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

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Burger King can’t ignore customers’ beef with the size of its Whoppers. A US federal judge gave the go ahead to parts of a class-action lawsuit accusing the fast food giant of exaggerating the size of its signature burgers.

The White House announced the first 10 drugs to face price renegotiations. Those chosen are among the most common drugs to be prescribed under Medicare.


Farmers Insurance is laying off approximately 11% of its workforce. The job cuts follow the insurer’s decision to end new applications in California.

Canada is warning LGBTQ tourists about visiting the US. An updated version of a travel advisory urged travelers to be aware of local laws and policies in certain states.


Once more, but with profit!

Image for article titled 🌎 Size matters
Graphic: Michelle Cheng

The companies filing to go public this year look a little different from their counterparts in 2021 and 2022: They’re actually profitable.

In the last 18 months, the IPO market has tightened after its pandemic boom. Companies suddenly started feeling pressure from investors to show evidence of sustainable growth amid market uncertainty and recession fears. And rising interest rates made borrowing more expensive, compressing the time horizon for startups to turn profitable.


But is the IPO window actually opening up? Michelle Cheng is here to explain why it’s too soon to tell.

Tesla. Toyota. VinFast?

When Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast started trading on Nasdaq on Aug. 15, its valuation rose above legacy carmakers Ford and General Motors. Earlier this week, its market cap neared $200 billion, becoming the world’s third-most valuable automaker behind Tesla and Toyota. Even after suffering a 44% stock plunge yesterday (Aug. 29), which brought the market cap down to about $107 billion, Vinfast held on to that third spot.


Analysts say there aren’t any real numbers to back up Vinfast’s lofty valuation—but even though its business isn’t in the black, there are some makings of future success in there, if you look closely:

🕴 A deep-pocketed backer in parent company Vingroup, spearheaded by Vietnam’s richest man Pham Nhat Vuong


🇻🇳 A rapidly rising economy as its home base

🏭 The growing opportunity to replace China as the world’s factory

💰 The prospect of securing additional investment from sovereign wealth funds and other investors in the next 18 months or so


Ticketmaster’s problems are only getting worse

Last year, Taylor Swift and her many, many fans watched, aghast, as tickets for her Eras tour sold out in seconds, then popped up on third-party resellers at absurd prices. Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticketing company, has yet to fix its scalper problem.


Now, the issue has expanded beyond the world of already pricey concerts to movie premieres. Tickets to the Toronto International Film Festival, featuring the premiere of Hayao Miyazaki’s long-awaited The Boy and the Heron, are now available on third-party resellers for hundreds of dollars (both Canadian and US).

Ananya Bhattacharya looks into the call to reevaluate the decades-old merger that created a ticketing monopoly.


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Surprising discoveries

Brides in one Chinese county get a cash reward if they’re younger than 25. It’s part of an incentive to up the birth rate.


Tuna is to cat taste buds as sugar is to ours. Scientists proved what cat owners already knew, but why cats evolved to crave this particular type of umami taste is still a mystery.

Vaccine skepticism has spread to pet owners. As dogs are responsible for 99% of rabies cases globally, that’s pretty scary.


Rome says it’s tackling the Colosseum’s rat problem. To be fair, they’re flourishing because an influx of humans is leaving an influx of garbage.

AI-written mushroom foraging books should not be trusted. And they’re popping up on Amazon like poisonous fungi.


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