Let’s dig up a volcano

Welcome to The WC — your weekly shot of awesome.

Today we’ve got:

  1. $800 billion worth of lithium
  2. Mortgage scams
  3. Check your biases
  4. What’s the best franchise?
  5. Saudi Arabia comes clean

I’m so excited, I can’t wait to meet you there

From Acclimate, ​a newsletter about the business of clean energy​, this week:

Explorers have just ​​discovered​​ a massive deposit of lithium underneath an extinct volcano’s crater in Nevada.

The deposit, which ​​features​​ 20 to 40 million tonnes of the rare earth metal, is considered the largest in the world. At over $20k per tonne, the find could be worth more than $800 billion.

The discovery is important. In fact, “it could change the dynamics of lithium globally, in terms of price, security of supply and geopolitics.”

Lithium is essential to producing electric vehicles and solar power because it’s a ​​key​​ element of battery-based energy storage. Currently, America makes less than 1% of global lithium.

Australia leads the world in lithium mining

But lithium refining is the real ​​bottleneck​​, and this discovery won’t solve that. Lithium refining is a filthy industry that most countries not named China have historically shied away from.

If the West wants an independent supply chain for this crucial element, someone must bite the bullet and establish the industry in its backyard. Texas and Nevada look like the best candidates domestically.

Dig deeper:

Another reason not to buy a house

No one is buying or selling homes now anyway, but just in case. Here’s a new scam to watch out for (from ​The Rollup​)

  • A person finds a home they want to buy and they close on the deal.
  • The buying process begins and communication between the mortgage broker, real estate agent and buyer is done primarily via email.
  • The buyer receives an email that appears to be from the mortgage broker. The email asks for the buyer to send a deposit to a bank account ASAP.
  • The buyer sends the payment only to realize that the email was spoofed and they’ve just sent tens of thousands of dollars to a scammer’s bank account. But by then it’s too late and the money is difficult to recover.

The fraudsters do this by hacking the mortgage company or real estate agent’s email.

It’s not limited to mortgages either. I used to sell high-end coffee machines to offices ($15k+), and we also saw this in our industry. Some poor office manager accidentally wires $15k to a scammer’s bank account and loses her job.

Always ring up before sending large sums of cash, people.

Dig deeper:

But I’m biased

Understanding your own (and everyone else’s) biases is perhaps the most important element of any negotiation — business, family, relationships. But there are hundreds, and mastering them all is impossible.

But!

According to a recent paper, they all fit nicely into several categories.

Check out the ​paper​, and check your biases at the door.

Franchise madness

About a month ago, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole about ​Teriyaki Madness​, an Asian food franchise that began in Seattle. I’ve never had it, but the bowls look exactly like the Teriyaki bowls I used to love when I lived near there 20+ years ago. I’ve never been able to find teriyaki bowls like them anywhere else.

Chicken Breast Teriyaki Bowl
Yes please

It’ll be some time before a Teriyaki Madness comes to Spain, but the franchise rabbit hole is worth going down. They’re a solid halfway house for entrepreneurial folks who want to de-risk the endeavour. And they’re super scalable–the largest operators own hundreds of sites.

​Entrepreneur​ put together (what I assume must be) a controversial leaderboard of the top 500 franchises to open in the US, and ​Taco bell came in at number one​ (seriously).

If you want to take the plunge and have spare cash, check out the list.

Live mas.

Sportswashing update

Longtime readers know I’ve taken an interest in ​Saudi​ ​Arabia’s​ ​sportswashing​. It’s an intelligent play geopolitically; my take has always been that the country recognises it can’t rely on oil forever, so it’s trying to legitimise itself globally. And it’s working — the Kingdom’s ​non-oil GDP has climbed steadily​ since 2021.

All good

But I’ve never heard the country’s leaders admit to what they’re doing and why. It’s always been about love of sport, etc.

Last week, mass murderer Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ​said​,

“Well, if sportswashing is going to increase my GDP by way of 1%, I will continue doing sportswashing….I don’t care … I’m aiming for another one and a half percent. Call it whatever you want, we’re going to get that one and a half percent.”

Good to know where everyone stands.

That’s all for this week; I hope you enjoyed it.

Cheers,

Wyatt

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Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

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