TOPLEY’S TOP 10 May 07 2024

1. AAPL Bought Back the Equivalent of Boeing Market Cap in One Day

@Charlie Bilello
@Charlie Bilello Apple is the undisputed king of buybacks. Over the past decade, it has bought back $625 billion in stock. That’s greater than the market cap of 492 companies in the S&P 500.

2. Warren Buffett Sold $135B AAPL Stock and Bought T-Bills

AAPL still Buffett largest holding by far but….

Wolf Street Converting Apple shares to T-bills.

While loading up on T-bills – of which the government has been issuing a tsunami on a weekly basis – BRK dumped 13% of its stake in Apple in Q1, or about 116 million shares, after having sold about 10 million shares in the prior quarter. Apple remains BRK’s largest stock position, with a value of $135.4 billion on March 31, according to BRK’s 10-Q filing today.

Obviously, Buffett praised Apple and the stock, because BRK was still holding $135.4 billion as of March 31, and he doesn’t want to tank the shares before he can unload more of them.

But he did sell Apple, and bought T-bills with the proceeds, instead of other stocks, and that ballooning pile of interest-earning cash became a topic at the shareholder meeting on Saturday, and he was asked why he wasn’t putting this cash to work – though it’s actually working just fine, producing 5%-plus risk free.

AAPL Below 2023 Highs

3. Big Tech Has Acquired 870+ Companies

4. Tech Returns Post Earnings Beats Q1

5. ETF Outflows Excessive in Chinese Tech?

From Irrelevant Investor Blog interview with Jeff DeGraff

6. KWEB Chinese Internet ETF Beating QQQ YTD

50day thru 200 day to upside….+17% year to date

7. Total Sovereign and Corporate Debt Hits $100 Trillion Mark

8. Russia’s military is so hard up for manpower that it now pays more than the oil and gas sector-Business Insider

Huileng Tan 

  • Russia has a manpower crunch because of its war with Ukraine.
  • Russia’s military is paying more in sign-on bonuses and salaries than the oil and gas sector.
  • Russia’s oil and gas revenues have been keeping its war chest filled.

Russia is facing a labor crisis as its war with Ukraine siphons manpower away from the country’s economy.

The manpower crunch has gotten so bad that the Russian military is now offering sign-on bonuses and salaries that are so competitive that even the country’s lucrative oil and gas industry isn’t keeping up, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Russia’s oil and gas sector has been paying wages that are at least two-thirds higher than the national average wage since 2017, per Bloomberg calculations based on official data.
That’s no longer the case.

In January and February, workers in Russia’s oil and gas sector took home about 125,200 rubles, or $1,370, in monthly nominal salary, per the media outlet.

But the Russian army is now offering incentives to contract soldiers, including a nationwide sign-on bonus of 195,000 rubles, according to a Russian government portal. Each region in the country also offers an additional one-time payment of up to 1 million rubles, per Bloomberg.

The salary of a contract soldier starts at 210,000 rubles per month.

9. The U.S. Needs Babies

The Daily Shot Brief Food for Thought: US births hit a multi-decade low.

Source: @jessicanix_, @business

10. How to Foster and Sustain Team Motivation 

Psychology Today Harness the power of psychological needs within your team

Marylène Gagné Ph.D.


  • Enhancing your teammates’ psychological needs promotes better team motivation. 
  • Monitor how leadership styles, reward systems, and external pressures affect your team’s motivation. 
  • Better support from your external environment may be required for healthy internal team motivation.

Do you belong to a work or sports team? Do the members of your team share the same motivationor goals or are they misaligned? What could you do to get everyone in your team to be more aligned and adopt the right type of motivation that will lead your team to succeed?
We often hear about how team leaders and organisations should structure, lead, and reward teams for them to be effective. But have we paid enough attention to what team members can contribute to their own internal team dynamics?
I recently co-authored an article with Simon Grenier from the Université de Montréal and Thomas O’Neill from the University of Calgary that might help you. In it, we present a model, based on self-determination theory, from which we can derive a simple key strategy to foster healthy team motivation: Ensuring the satisfaction of every team member’s psychological needs. Here’s how it works:

Supporting Psychological Needs

As a team member, you can help foster high autonomous team motivation(that is, motivation based on meaning and enjoyment toward team activities) by supporting your teammates’ needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. For example, you can provide your teammates with choices and constructive feedback, and promote the inclusion of all points of view. If enough teammates adopt these supportive behaviors, it will create a virtuous cycle of interactions that leads your team to develop norms of support over time.
Easier said than done right? Yes. What do you need for supportive norms to develop? First, you must consider the initial motivation of team members at a team’s inception or during the formative phase where team members get to know each other and learn about what they will work on together. If team members are primarily motivated by rewards or status (i.e., controlled motivation), they are less likely to support the needs of their teammates. If they are motivated by meaning and enjoyment, they are more likely to support their teammates’ needs. Selecting team members with the right motivation or fostering that initial motivation through good task design and leadershipcan make a difference.
Once the cogs are in motion within the team, here is what is likely to happen. First, team members’ motivations are likely to become more similar over time. If you satisfy needs, individual motivations are likely to converge towards becoming more autonomous. In other words, when members’ needs are supported, they are more likely to internalize team goals and focus on their importance and on enjoying the process of working on goal accomplishment. If you thwart needs, individual motivations are likely to converge toward becoming more controlled or losing motivation altogether.
Second, members will forge an identity to the team if autonomous motivation is cultivated. In other words, when members pursue team goals out of meaning and enjoyment, they are likely to make their team an important aspect of their self-identity, which in turn further fosters the endorsement of team norms and goals.
Third, working for the same reasons (i.e., motivations) and sharing a common identity is likely to facilitate both explicit and implicit coordination that is essential to team performance. Explicit coordination includes discussing and agreeing on strategies and logistics, while implicit coordination involves monitoring each other and adapting to others’ behaviors without explicit communication (think of a flock of birds or a school of fish moving in unison).
Finally, look at how the external context of a team is likely to influence internal collective motivation. Is your team under the leadership of a tyrant leader who can undo any effort at supporting needs within your team or worse, serves as a role model for team members to thwart each other’s psychological needs? Is your team contingently rewarded in a way that primarily encourages controlled forms of motivation within your team? Is your team under high pressure or is it struggling to survive? These can negatively impact both the motivation of team members and your team’s internal support dynamics. Advocating for better external support from your external environment (e.g., your organization) might be required to ensure you can maintain healthy internal team motivation. 
This post was co-authored with Simon Grenier from the Université de Montréal.