Cryptocurrencies, gold internship and right to nap … 10 anecdotes to shine during your holiday meals

Le Figaro reviews some amazing little stories from economic life to share with your loved ones.

# 1. Jeff Bezos invested $ 42 million in building a clock

42 million dollars is the pharaonic sum spent by Jeff Bezos for the construction of a clock of more than 60 meters high supposed to be able to function without human intervention for 10,000 years. Funding from the founder of Amazon was mainly used for parts construction and installation work. It is indeed hidden in the hollow of a mountain, in West Texas. This project aims to question humanity on the long-term goals of civilization.

# 2. There are more than 10,810 cryptocurrencies

The CoinMarketCap platform has no less than 10,810 cryptocurrencies, compared to nearly 2,000 in 2018. As a reminder, a cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that operates independently of banks and governments and does not have a physical medium such as coins or tickets. These new electronic currencies use blockchain technology to transfer the ownership of cryptos between their different owners.

The creation of a cryptocurrency can be more or less complex, depending on the direction taken by its creators. While some cryptocurrencies called “ corner “Are backed by their own blockchain, others called” token »Use existing blockchains. For example, the Ethereum coin is based on its own blockchain, which is also borrowed by “tokenSuch as Shiba Inu Token. The number of new cryptocurrencies has exploded in part thanks to the growing interest in them. Several leading companies have indeed launched cryptocurrency-related services such as Paypal with its cryptocurrency payment service.

These new electronic currencies use blockchain technology to transfer the ownership of cryptos between their different owners. ARND WIEGMANN / REUTERS

# 3. Highest Paid Intern in the World is at NVIDIA

With $ 8,811 per month, the conditions for hiring an internship at NVIDIA, an American company specializing in the design of computer hardware and software, will leave many students dreaming. Note that interns paid at such a salary level are already graduates. According to data published by Glassdoor, it is closely followed by Facebook, which offers a salary of $ 8,023 and gives the possibility to its future interns to work remotely. In third position, we find LinkedIn, the benchmark professional social network with a salary of $ 8,009 per month. The majority of companies that pay their interns the best are in the tech, finance and energy sectors.

# 4. Auchan, a name to appear in the first places of the directory

In 1961, Gérard Mulliez opened his first store in Roubaix in an abandoned 600 square meter factory in the heart of the “Haut-Champs“. Name which will become the brand of the company, to allow Auchan to be in first position in the pages of directories. In 1967, the brand’s first hypermarket opened with a sales area of ​​3,500 square meters, in Roucq, in the north of France. Over the years, the group has opened other stores, mainly in the North and in the Paris region. In 1981, the brand was exported and then established itself in Spain under the name Alcampo … “in the field”! The group is present today in 13 countries for a turnover of 31 billion euros.

# 5. Nintendo, initially a card game seller

Originally ” Nintendo Koppai », This company founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889, produced traditional Japanese playing cards. But over the years, the playing cards market reached its saturation point. In 1965, Japanese households lost interest in the company’s flagship products. Severely in debt, Nintendo has great difficulty in keeping afloat and begins to diversify into the electronic toys industry. It was from the 1970s that the company launched into video games, a market in which it would become one of the mastodons with a turnover today exceeding 13 billion euros.

# 6. Exchange a paperclip for a house

Kyle MacDonald is a 26-year-old Canadian who, in 2005, had a crazy idea: to succeed in swapping the slightly damaged red paperclip in front of him, thanks to a series of successive exchanges, for a house, says Romain. Treffel in his book “50 economic anecdotes to surprise your audience” *. The young man gives himself a year to achieve this feat. He then places ads on the Craigslist site, hoping to trade his paperclip for something of a higher value. Each exchange gives rise to a report on his blog which relates the meeting with the other party. The paperclip is first exchanged for a pen in the shape of a fish, then a carved doorknob, then a barbecue followed by an electric generator. The latter is then exchanged for a beer pump, then a snowmobile, a van, a contract with a record company to record a mock-up, a year of free rental in Phoenix, etc.

Over time, the media began to follow this crazy bet, so that a community of fans was born around Kyle. The young man takes advantage of this dynamic to carry out even more profitable exchanges, until what looks like a big mistake: an afternoon with the star of hard rock Alice Cooper against a snow globe … But this ball is exchanged for a collector actor for a role in a film, which role is exchanged for a freshly renovated house (three bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathroom) valued at $ 50,000 in the town of Kipling, in the province of Saskatchewan in Canada.

The house that Kyle MacDonald managed to barter for a red paperclip, thanks to a series of successive exchanges. Credit: Shutterstock

# 7. Nike, Greek symbol

Founded in 1964, the famous sports brand chose as its name “ Nike To refer to Nike, the Greek goddess of victory who was able to move at high speed thanks to her wings. The famous comma-shaped logo was bought for just $ 35. In 1983, the company chose to thank the creator of the logo, Carolyn Davidson, with a diamond ring engraved with her famous comma and 500 shares of the prestigious firm.

# 8. A story of color blindness

Founded in 2004, the legendary social network Facebook is not without its blue and white colors. But do you know why Facebook is colored blue? The answer can be found quite simply in Mark Zuckerberg’s color blindness: blue is the color he sees best. But the Facebook group, which now owns many applications such as Instagram and Whatsapp, has chosen to change its name and virtual universe to become Meta. The mythical social network will however remain Facebook, with its famous blue color.

SEE ALSO – Facebook changes its name, and becomes “Meta”

# 9. Cigarettes as a bargaining chip

As inflation became widespread during World War II, American cigarettes became a bargaining chip. As the mark had lost almost all exchange value, the Germans had recourse to substitutes, recalls Romain Treffel’s book *. They notably returned to the cigarette, one of the classic currencies of yesteryear, with the difference that it was now perfectly standardized and in this respect comparable to a real coin. Cigarettes have been a very effective currency for two reasons. First of all, it was extremely difficult to counterfeit due to the standardization of production, unlike the non-standardized tobacco of the past, the quality of which could be questionable. Then, the cigarette conceals, as a medium of exchange, a self-regulating principle of its value. Indeed, it is hoarded, as economists say – that is to say set aside as a means of exchange – but when this is no longer possible, it is then smoked or offered to a dependent friend, which has the effect of reducing the quantity of money in circulation, and therefore of preventing inflation.

# 10. In China, the right to a nap is enshrined in the constitution

In China, article 43 of the Constitution provides that “workers in the People’s Republic have the right to rest“. Even at work, lunch is almost always followed by a nap, lasting fifteen to thirty minutes. A moment they call the “shui wu jiao», Literally«midday sleep“.
In the Middle Kingdom, an employee who works too much is not a good thing in the long run as it means that he will eventually no longer be efficient, so it is necessary that he rest to recover and resume his job. work even more efficiently.

A parking attendant taking a nap during lunch time in Beijing. Credit: NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP

* “50 economic anecdotes to surprise your audience”, by Romain Treffel, Sonorilon editions, 29 € 99.

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