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Friday's Fast Five: Week of 9.8

The housing market is stuck: Americans can't afford homes, investors aren't buying property (Markets Insider): Low inventory, high mortgage rates, and high prices have put the housing market into a state of unaffordability that's weighing on house hunters, current homeowners, and even real estate investors. 

Bengals QB Joe Burrow becomes NFL’s highest-paid player with $275 million deal (AP News): Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow became the highest-paid player in the NFL on Thursday, agreeing to a five-year, $275 million contract extension. The deal, which will pay Burrow an average of $55 million a year, puts him ahead of other top quarterbacks in the league who signed new contracts in the offseason.

Spotify’s $1 Billion Podcast Bet Turns Into a Serial Drama (The Wall Street Journal): Spotify spent more than $1 billion to build a podcasting empire. It struck splashy deals with Kim Kardashian, the Obamas and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The bet hasn’t paid off. Most of its shows aren’t profitable, according to people familiar with the matter, and the company has recently cut staff and programming to slow its losses.

How Blackstone Sprinted Ahead of Its Peers in AI (Institutional Investors): Blackstone chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman had his eureka moment while stuck on a bus in China. Eight years ago, while on his way with other global business leaders to a management conference in Beijing, Schwarzman sat next to Jack Ma, co-founder of Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holding. Ma began to tell Schwarzman about the promises and perils of artificial intelligence. Today, Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative-asset manager, relies on AI to assess risks in assets it aims to acquire.

One Man's Quest to Heal the Oceans—And Maybe Save the World (Time): On May 24, Pristine Seas’ scientific-research ship the E/V Argo lifted anchor for its most ambitious undertaking yet: a five-year expedition to the remote tropical Pacific, where Sala plans not only to chart the world’s biggest ocean from its unplumbed depths to its more familiar shores, but also to document the complex links between marine ecosystems and the lives they support on land in order to build a case for their conservation.