CNN Business Nightcap: Richard Branson says he’s not in a rush with Jeff Bezos. But, like, come on

This weekend, Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, is trying to become the first billionaire to strap on a rocket bearing the mark of the company he founded and launch into space.

If all goes according to plan, Branson’s flight will beat fellow space baron Jeff Bezos’ trip by just nine days. (Branson swears he didn’t time his trip to beat Bezos but, like, come on.)

The British mogul will take off about a week before his 71st birthday, from a facility in a small town called – I’m not kidding – Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Either way, it goes without saying that this is a big bang with countless ways to make your stomach grow. Virgin Galactic implemented several security redundancies and performed 20 test flights, although only three of them reached the edge of space. And it’s hard to imagine Branson won’t be sitting on that desert launch pad at ToC (as I imagine locals call him), remembering the 2014 crash at the company that killed one pilot and seriously injured another.

My colleague Jackie Wattles will be covering the launch on Sunday, and she has a deep dive into the entire 2,300 mph trip.



The European Commission has fined the Volkswagen Group and BMW $ 1 billion after an investigation found that German carmakers colluded with Daimler to curb the development of technology that could have reduced harmful emissions from their vehicles.


If you’re confused about inflation, here’s a simple way to think about it in our current economy: If you bought a car last year, there’s a good chance it’s worth more than it is now. that you paid for it.

This flies in the face of the basic economic truth we learn as a teenager – that a car’s value starts to drop as soon as you leave it. But in a world where cars are scarce and demand is soaring, the opposite is happening.

The average used car price hit $ 26,500 in June, up 27% from a year ago, while the average new car deal price is $ 41,000, up 5 %.

And in an extreme case, a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is worth $ 26,000 more now than a new car a year ago, according to Edmunds, a go-to resource for car information.


Record prices for new and used cars are more than an annoyance, reports my colleague Chris Isidore. It is an economic problem which weighs heavily on the household budget. About 40% of U.S. households buy a car each year, and this year there could be even more due to pent-up demand resulting from delayed purchases in 2020.

The Consumer Price Index, the primary way to gauge headline inflation in the United States, hit a 13-year high in May, with prices up 5% from the previous year. And about a third of that increase was due solely to used car prices.

“Used car prices typically increase about 1% per year,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Cox Automotive. “It certainly contributes a lot more to inflation right now.”


  • Instacart found one of Facebook’s top female executives, Fiji Simo, to be its next CEO ahead of a possible Wall Street debut.
  • U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as investors grew worried about the Delta variant and its threat to the global economic recovery.
  • Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen has called on U.S. financial regulators to investigate the disastrous IPO of Chinese rideshare company Didi.
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