ResearchThree Things (8/21)

Three Things (8/21)

Aug 21, 2023

"Research is creating new knowledge." - Neil Armstrong

Grand bankruptcy 

China Evergrande Group, the world’s most indebted property developer, filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy in New York. The proceedings will be one of the world’s largest and most complex debt restructurings in recent memory, amounting to over $19 billion. Evergrande noted that its sales were “at a standstill” after September 2021, when the company started to miss debt payments and creditors began to seize the company’s assets. 

The collapse of the Chinese real estate giant is revealing of instability that has been lurking around the edges of the economy since 2021. Difficulties surrounding financing new projects, and refinancing the old, will plague the real estate sector for years to come. We don’t expect Evergrande to be the only company susceptible to this structural insecurity.

Threads on web

Meta Platforms announced plans to launch a web version of their Twitter competitor, Threads, early this week. Users up until now have been able to see posts on the web but their access is limited, as the app has been mostly mobile first. The news can largely be considered an effort to revamp interest while adding a foundational piece to the platform’s engagement ecosystem. 

Despite the early success (150 million+ downloads worldwide), the usage of the app quickly fell off, with many users citing notable missing features. Adding web is certainly a step in the right direction but we wonder if it is going to be enough to bring users back to the app?

Space race to disaster

Russia’s first mission to the moon in nearly 50 years ended in a disaster as its unmanned Luna-25 spacecraft crashed while attempting to land on the unexplored south pole, Russian authorities said Sunday. The probe was launched on August 11th in an effort to beat India's space program to the same location. The moon’s south pole has long been targeted for exploration as a future area of human settlement, as experts believe there is potential for water. 

Although unsuccessful, the recent launches by Russia and India lean into a theme that has been building across public and private sectors: space exploration. The growing interest in space has resulted in over $230 billion in invested capital and we don’t expect this to slow down anytime soon. Contracts from governments are getting larger in scope and the future of the space economy is top of mind for many of the world’s superpowers.

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