Tinder trouble, Turkish crisis and the new man at the top of country music

Planet Business: Also this week, liveable cities and the ‘Reed Hastings rule’

Turkish businessmen heed a call to sell dollar and euro savings in support of the lira. Photograph: Umit Bektas/Reuters

Turkish businessmen heed a call to sell dollar and euro savings in support of the lira. Photograph: Umit Bektas/Reuters

 

In numbers: Cheating allegations

10

Group of current and former top executives of dating app Tinder who are suing Tinder’s parent company IAC and its subsidiary Match Group, accusing them of undervaluing it and cheating them out of billions of dollars of stock options.

$2 billion

Damages of at least this sum are being sought by the 10, who claim IAC and Match created a “false picture” of Tinder’s financial condition – as opposed to the false pictures of users’ physical conditions found on the app itself.

$1 billion

Amount paid out to date in equity compensation to Tinder’s co-founders and early employees by IAC and Match, who describe the new legal action as “meritless”. Kiss and make up?

Image of the week: Lira support

It has since rebounded, but the Turkish lira ended last week in meltdown, sinking to all-time lows against the dollar after concerns for its economy spiralled and a row with the US deepened. These businessmen, pictured in Ankara on Tuesday holding dollars in front of a currency exchange office, are responding to political calls on Turks to sell their dollar and euro savings in support of the embattled lira. “If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out,” Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier said. “If there are euros, take these out.” The crisis has led to fears of economic contagion, as some euro-zone banks are exposed to Turkish assets.

Photograph: Umit Bektas/Reuters

The lexicon: Reed Hastings rule

Reed Hastings is the chief executive of Netflix, but the “Reed Hastings rule” is not his rule. It is the informal name bestowed by Wall Street on some rather vague guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the wake of a 2012 Facebook post by Hastings about Netflix usage crossing one billion hours in a single month. The SEC then advised that executives could only disclose market-moving information on social media if they have also alerted investors that they’re doing so. The issue has been in the news lately because Tesla boss Elon Musk has been spouting off on Twitter about taking Tesla private, prompting both a temporary suspension of its shares last week and a re-opening of the debate about whether it’s appropriate for CEOs to be tweeting any sensitive information at all.

Getting to know: Luke Bryan

Whether or not you already know the name Luke Bryan will probably depend on which side of the country music cultural divide you fall. But Bryan’s star has risen substantially – and so has his bank balance. The Nashville-based singer has topped the Forbes list of the highest paid country music stars in the year to June 2018, dethroning “king of country” Garth Brooks in the process. The Georgia-born Bryan (42) raked in $52 million from a worldwide tour and endorsements, including Chevrolet, with his new role as a judge on American Idol also proving helpful. Bryan, who owns a venue in Nashville with eight bars, two restaurants and four stages for live entertainment, has had hits including Country Girl (Shake It for Me) and Huntin’, Fishin’ & Lovin’ and his headgear of choice is a baseball cap.

A woman enjoying a public garden in Vienna, Austria, ranked the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
A woman enjoying a public garden in Vienna, Austria, ranked the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

The list: Improving cities

The Economist Intelligence Unit has published its annual Global Liveability Index and this time the title of world’s most pleasant city went somewhere other than Melbourne, Australia, which had been on a seven-year winning streak. But which cities actually improved their rankings?

1. Vienna. Now the world’s most liveable city thanks to a better security score, the Austrian capital is an urban paradise of green spaces and decent public transport.

2. Manchester. The most liveable city in the UK jumped 16 places to the 35th spot after it “showed resilience” in the wake of the 2016 bomb at the Manchester Arena.

3. Paris. Likewise, the now 19th-ranked French capital is judged to have recovered from the terrorist attacks of the recent years.

4. Osaka. The Japanese city is now reckoned to be the world’s third most liveable behind Vienna and second-ranked Melbourne thanks to better public transport and a decline in its crime rates.

5. Dublin. The city is now in 41st spot, up from 43rd, which is sure to make all the difference to everybody struggling to find a house in it.