Hard Numbers: Facebook turns 20, DeSantis’ vote cost, Eurozone inflation falls, Dark money Down Under, Paris’ Grape Escape
20: On Sunday, Facebook turns 20 years old. Take a moment to look back at the social network’s early days – when it was a platform for dorky teens playfully “poking” each other. That was before the Obama 2008 campaign demonstrated its political utility, before young Egyptians showed dictators its threat to their power in 2011, and long before the site became a dumpster fire of Boomer conspiracy theories. And as for the teens? On Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to families who had been victimized on his platforms during a Congressional hearing on online child safety.
7,169: How much does getting your vote cost? Well, if you caucused for Ron DeSantis in Iowa, it came out to about $7,169 after the once-hopeful rival to Donald Trump spent a staggering $168 million on his campaign, only to flame out and quit after he wound up 30 percentage points behind the GOP front-runner.
2.8: Inflation in the Eurozone fell to 2.8 after rising in December, but don’t get too excited about a possible rate cut from the European Central Bank. The index is still running well ahead of its 2% target, and prices for services in particular remain stubbornly high.
57 million: Nearly AU$57 million (~US$37 million) donated to Australian political parties in 2022 and 2023 was of unknown origin, according to an analysis by the Australian Electoral Commission published Thursday. The so-called “dark money” represents about a quarter of all funding to major political parties Down Under, where the identities of donors below AU$15,200 are not subject to compulsory disclosure. (~US$9988).1.6 million: French police are investigating the theft of 83 wine bottles from one of Paris’ finest restaurants in a $1.6 million caper. The loss was noticed when the sommelier of the 442-year-old Tour d’Argent restaurant did an inventory of his 300,000 bottles and could have occurred anytime between 2020 and 2024. GZERO sends our condolences *hic* – we have no idea what happened *hic*. 🥴😬