Friday's Fast Five: Week of 8.11
Moody’s downgrades 10 regional banks as crisis pressures persist (The Washington Post): Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service downgraded 10 regional banks and put six other lenders on notice that they are under review, the latest blow to an industry still reverberating from the March banking crisis that led three firms to collapse.
Welcome Aboard the Aquidaban, the Floating Jungle Supermarket (The New York Times): The Aquidaban has long attracted colorful characters as the only ferry in one of South America’s most remote stretches. For 44 years, the 130-foot white, wooden vessel has been the only regular ferry service to reach this deep into the Pantanal, traveling 500 miles up and down the Paraguay River Tuesdays to Sundays, delivering everything from dirt bikes to newborns. Its bottom level is a floating supermarket, with 10 vendors hawking produce, meat and sweets from the same benches they sleep on. The ship’s canteen is the only place where many communities can find a cold beer. Now it may disappear.
‘Barbie’ Surpasses $1 Billion Globally After 17 Days of Release (Variety): Greta Gerwig’s pink-coated fantasy comedy has surpassed $1 billion at the global box office, including $459 million in North America and $572 million internationally. This makes Gerwig the first-ever solo female filmmaker with a billion-dollar film. “Barbie” is hitting the coveted milestone after just 17 days of release, becoming the fastest Warner Bros. release (and eighth in the studio’s 100-year history) to join the $1 billion club. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” previously held that record at 19 days.
From Handbags to Classic Cars—the Value of Collectibles Is up 7% Annually (Penta): Novice collectors should focus their investing efforts on what brings them happiness amid wider economic uncertainty and unpredictable returns, according to Knight Frank’s Luxury Investment Index, released Tuesday. The index—which tracks 10 luxury collectibles: art, watches, jewelry, coins, wine, classic cars, colored diamonds, handbags, furniture, and rare whisky—found that as a whole, the value of these collectibles rose 7% in the 12 months to the end of June.
Local Malls, Stuck in ‘Death Spiral,’ Plunge in Value (Wall Street Journal): Valued by an appraiser at $153 million as recently as 2012, Crystal Mall sold in June for just over $9.5 million in a foreclosure auction. Crystal Mall’s cut-rate sales price shows how rapidly the value of America’s regional malls has deteriorated in recent years due to changing shopping habits, competition from other retail and the rise of online shopping.