🗽 NYC’s Airbn-ban

Wednesday, September 6, 2023 by Snacks
Full house (Alex Segre/UCG/Getty Images)

Full house (Alex Segre/UCG/Getty Images)

Full house (Alex Segre/UCG/Getty Images)

Full house (Alex Segre/UCG/Getty Images)

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
34,642 (-0.56%)
S&P 500
4,497 (-0.42%)
14,021 (-0.08%)
$25,724 (-0.36%)

Hey Snackers,

There’s a new coin worth $23M, and we’re not talking crypto: this 8-pound gold coin honors the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The Crown (not the Netflix show) is embedded with 6.4K diamonds, so hopefully it won’t be mistaken for pocket change. 

Stocks were down yesterday after the long weekend (relatable). Energy companies surged after oil prices rose, and investors feared pricier pumps could fuel more inflation. Meanwhile, more evidence of an economic slowdown in China could be bad news for the rest of the world.


1. NYC cracks down on short-term rentals, threatening platforms like Airbnb

Checkin’ my Marriott points… Short-term rentals in the Big Apple could become as rare as a one-bedroom for less than $3K. Starting this week, hosts must register to rent their places for stays under 30 days. To qualify, they have to live at the rental property during stays and are limited to two guests. Up till now, lots of short-term rentals (STRs) operated under the radar because the city wasn't monitoring listings. Now that registration is necessary, platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo could see more slammed doors.

  • Locked out: Last month a New York judge dismissed an Airbnb lawsuit that argued the new legislation is a "de facto ban" against its biz.

  • Open house: Airbnb made $85M from short-term rentals in NYC last year, a city official said, though Airbnb disputed that figure. More than half of that revenue reportedly came from illegal listings (think: owner not present). Over half of hosts have multiple listings.

When all your neighbors host on Airbnb… NYC officials are trying to curb a housing shortage that’s driven rent prices to record levels (short-term rentals are exacerbating the housing affordability problem). While STRs give travelers more options, they can disturb neighbors (picture: college parties). Meanwhile, some property owners depend on income from spare bedrooms or empty apartments to make ends meet, and STR restrictions may prevent them from cashing in on their extra space.


Short-term backlash is a long-term trend… Gotham is just one of many cities trying to curb STRs. A few examples: Dallas began limiting STRs to specific neighborhoods in June, eliminating nearly half of its listings. Memphis requires STR licenses as of this year. LA’s short-term-rental listings have plunged 70%+ since the city cracked down on its rental laws in 2020.


2. Disney and Spectrum’s ESPN fight could be the straw that breaks cable’s back

ESPN access revoked… Disney and Spectrum parent Charter Communications are in a heated dispute over how much Charter should pay for Disney’s content. Disney recently pulled its channels (including cable lifeline ESPN) from Charter after their old deal expired, leaving 15M viewers without a way to watch sporting events like the US Open and college football. With the NFL season kicking off, both sides are doubling down.

  • The holdup: streaming. Charter wants Disney’s streamers (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) included in its deal as a bundle, since Disney has made its biggest content offerings available on those platforms. Disney said no.

  • At stake: Charter could lose viewers — ESPN alone made up over half of its top telecasts in the past year. Disney could lose big $$: TV viewers last year generated $28B for the Mouse House. Charter pays Disney $2.2B/year in programming costs.

  • Tense: Disney urged frustrated Spectrum customers to consider its Hulu with Live TV offering, while Charter offered users a discounted Fubo subscription rate.

Cord-cutting intensifies… Pay-TV services (including cable) lost another 1.7M+ US subscribers last quarter (-200K for Charter). Unable to snare streaming dollars, some companies are calling it quits on cable entirely. Charter says it’s reached a “point of indifference” on staying in TV and may focus on products like broadband internet. Smaller providers like Wow and Frontier have already cut TV service, offering YouTube TV instead. If a major player like Charter made the move, rivals like Comcast and Dish could follow.


Everyone wants a bigger slice of streaming… Charter is so determined to get Disney’s streamers included in the deal that it’s willing to lose huge channels like ESPN and ABC. At the same time, thousands of writers and actors are striking for better pay from streamers (the scribes have been out of work for 125+ days). And streamers themselves want a bigger slice of their own pie, hiking prices with their sights set on profitability.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Cut: Warner Bros. Discovery shaved $300M to $500M off its earnings forecast, assuming the production-halting Hollywood strikes continue. “Dune: Part Two” and other releases have been delayed. 

  • Pumped: Gas prices hit a decade-plus seasonal high after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they’ll continue cutting oil production through December. The move could drive up inflation and cause political backlash. 

  • Brake: A United Auto Workers strike against the Big 3 carmakers (GM, Ford, and Dodge maker Stellantis) looks more likely. The 150K-member union’s contract expires on September 14, and it’s calling for a 46% pay raise. 

  • Muscle: SoftBank-owned chipmaker Arm is seeking a $52B+ valuation in its IPO. Arm’s customers include tech titans like Apple, Google, and Nvidia, but its sales have cooled recently despite a boost from the AI buzz. 

  • B2S: Back-to-school season's in full swing, but there may not be enough teachers. Schools are struggling to fill vacancies as public-education employment lags behind 2019 levels and teacher pay remains low.

Snack Fact of the Day

Ozempic and Wegovy maker Novo Nordisk became Europe’s most valuable company


  • Fed Beige Book report

  • Earnings expected from American Eagle, C3.AI, ChargePoint, Dave & Buster’s, Express, and GameStop

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Apple, Comcast, Disney, GM, Google, and Nvidia

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