Trees, US Inflation, and Bad Bunny
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Where are the world’s trees?
US inflation broke a record last month
Bad Bunny is breaking all records
Make sure you check out the comment of the week at the bottom!
Latin America is Earth's largest lung. With 978M green hectares, the region contains around 30% of the world's trees (1T). Over half of that area is located in Brazil as part of the Amazon rainforest. However, the Amazon has lost 17% of its biome cover in the last 50 years.
According to data by Plant-for-the-Planet, an NGO leading a global movement to restore forest ecosystems, there are 3T trees in the world today, and there's room for an additional trillion. Why do we want more trees? In short, trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, enriching the soil with carbon as they grow.
Trees are one of the most effective tools we can use to help cut down on carbon emissions. And, there's more. Reforestation helps improve local water quality, reduces erosion, and helps avoid the loss of plants and animals—especially for a region home to over 10% of the world's species and 350 ethnic groups.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the average price change over time of a basic basket of consumer goods and services, otherwise known as inflation.
During the pandemic, central banks across the world lowered their interest rates and printed large sums of cash to stimulate the economy. Interest rates neared 0%, and governments distributed stimulus checks across developed countries. Since people were at home and not spending much, their savings increased significantly. All these factors caused the supply of money to grow and its value to decline.
Additionally, as factories closed down and trade slowed, the supply of goods was affected, which caused an increase in prices. To top it all off, the invasion of Ukraine and the West's response to impose tariffs on Russia caused a spike in oil prices and other commodities. Although not one thing can be blamed for causing inflation, a combination of all these circumstances has likely contributed to it. According to the most recent data, inflation in the US reached 9.1% in June, a figure not seen in four decades.
So, what are most countries doing to battle inflation? The universally preferred mechanism to control it is raising interest rates via central banks, which almost every country is currently doing. When rates increase, borrowing becomes more expensive (which can lead to an economic slowdown). However, this is a way to tighten the money supply and increase the purchasing power of a currency again. Additionally, Mexico's government stopped charging consumers the "IEPS tax" on gas, which has worked similarly to a subsidy and has helped the country's inflation to stay lower.
The FED will announce new interest rate metrics today, and Mexico's Banxico is scheduled to follow up on Aug 11.
Bad Bunny used to bag groceries to pay for school. Today, he’s the world’s most profitable touring artist.
Benito Martinez was born to a lower-middle-class family in Puerto Rico. Son to a truck driver and a teacher, he was interested in music from a very young age. Growing up, Puerto Rican Reggaeton began to hit the mainstream, and Benito loved it. He went from singing in his local church’s choir to quitting at age 13 to write his own songs using the low-cost recording software Fruity Loops. Benito would then try his mixtapes with friends at school. He also had a peculiar fashion sense, sometimes wearing his mom’s clothes to create unique and colorful outfits.
A few years later, Benito worked bagging groceries to afford his way through college at the University of Puerto Rico. In his spare time, he continued to record music and upload it to SoundCloud as Bad Bunny, with no particular goal other than enjoying the creative process and getting better. One day, he returned home from work and saw that one of his singles, which he wrote and recorded entirely on his own, went viral around the island and ended up getting 1M+ listens in one week. Shortly after, in 2016, the local label Hear This Music signed the young artist. Bad Bunny then catapulted into fame with professional YouTube video productions alongside top Latin artists.
Bad Bunny recalls a concert in Rome in his early days when he realized that people who didn’t speak Spanish were into his music. Indeed, his albums are now global sensations, breaking so many records that he may be on his way to becoming LatAm’s most famous artist in history. He was Spotify’s most streamed artist in the world in 2020 and 2021 and released the first-ever All-Spanish album to top Billboard’s Top 200 chart.
This year, he’s already breaking another record: his tour has generated an estimated $120M so far, way more than any other artist. For perspective, the only Latin artists’ tours who have come closer since 2010 are Aventura at $24M, Luis Miguel at $44M, and Shakira at $40M. Bad Bunny tops them all, combined, in just the first half of a year. Whether you like his music or not, Bad Bunny is a force to be reckoned with by bringing Spanish music to the masses like no one else has.
Realize Latin America’s Potential 🚀
Hand-selected job opportunities based on what we know about our audience
This week’s opportunity:
Plant-for-the-Planet 🌳 has 6 open positions in Mexico, including Project Advisor, Ecologist, Strategic Director, and Web Designer. Join their mission and help plant 1 trillion trees! Apply here.
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That’s all for this week 👋
Here’s the comment of the week in response to our Life Expectancy vs. Healthcare chart on Reddit:
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