March 29th - This Week in Alternative Investments

This issue is brought to you by Issuance - equity made easy


Bite-sized market updates

  • Sam Bankman-Fried gets sentenced

  • Housing prices stayed steady

  • A Titanic prop sale

  • Amazon’s AI investment

  • The Neumann-WeWork saga continues

Plus: Private equity’s rough 2023, the SEC battles crypto, a Warhol/Basquiat collaboration, and more.


$70,664 (+7.4% weekly)
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Market Updates


Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. The former FTX co-founder and CEO had previously been found guilty of seven criminal charges of various types of fraud in connection with the 2022 collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange. Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 40-50 years, while Bankman-Fried’s attorneys asked for 6.5 years, with the sentence falling in the middle. Bankman-Fried is expected to appeal the decision, but assuming the 25 year sentence holds, he will likely spend at least 3/4 of that time in jail.

U.S. housing prices stayed flat in January. Both the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index and the FHFA House Price Index reported slight 0.1% monthly declines in January, the first decline in the latter since August 2022. However, year-over-year prices increased by 6% according to Case-Shiller and 6.3% according to the FHFA. Case-Shiller also saw monthly gains in its seasonally adjusted numbers, as January is consistently a slower time of year for the market. Finally, San Diego saw the highest year-over-year gain (11.2%) of any of the 20 major metro markets, with Portland showing the lowest (0.9%).

(Heritage Auctions)

Heritage Auctions sold $15.7 million worth of entertainment memorabilia. The “Planet Hollywood” collection featured items once displayed at the mostly defunct global restaurant chain. The most prominent item sold was the infamous door from the ending of Titanic, which sold for over $700,000, followed by Indian Jones’ whip, which sold for over $500,000. The movie memorabilia category has grown in recent years, with rare items from popular movies commanding big prices.

Amazon completed its $4 billion investment into AI startup Anthropic. In its biggest venture investment yet, the tech giant added an additional $2.75 billion to the $1.25 billion stake it invested last September into the OpenAI competitor. The investment was at Anthropic’s last valuation of $18.4 billion, giving Amazon a large minority stake in the company. Elsewhere, as part of its bankruptcy proceeding, FTX sold a majority of its stake in Anthropic to a group of investors for $884 million, at a slight discount to its current valuation.

Smart Humans Podcast

In this episode, Slava Rubin talks with Republic’s Kendrick Nguyen about the last few years in venture, revisiting his predictions and the massive opportunities that lie ahead.


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This Basquiat-Warhol collaboration carries a $18 million estimate (Sotheby’s)

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