The adage in New York is, ‘you know we are in a bubble when the cab drivers start giving stock tips.’
I think we are in the same place with crypto because twice this past week I was at a dinner where passionate crypto advocates – redundant, I know – went deep into the weeds on blockchains; the philosophical fight among crypt-heads between the Bitcoin maximalists and those who think the 13,000 current digital currencies (real number) is a good idea; and whether using crypto in the metaverse is ‘really real,’ like how two negatives make a positive in math. And both guys are within spitting distance of their 60th birthday, not youngsters playing The Beatles looking for a revolution.
I just have one question: Can I use my Shiba Inu to buy some Dogecoin?
If you have no idea what that question even means, I am guessing you still have an actual $20 bill in your wallet. Heck, you still have a wallet.
I really don’t want to talk about crypto (Are you disappointed or glad? Tells you how you are going to navigate the Thanksgiving conversation with Crazy Uncle Joe, who you know is going to ruin someone’s holiday with conspiracy rant that Satoshi is some dude at the CIA.), but a different type of weird exchange going on these days.
Last week I was talking to a friend who is an anesthesiologist. He is in a big group that covers most every hospital in town, so he is a source of intel for me about how things are going in the ORs, the outlook on elective cases, and the future of Telsa sales to orthopedic surgeons.
A few weeks ago, he noted how staffing shortages, not COVID protocols, had some facilities working at less than full room capacity. ORs are money machines for hospitals, so that is a problem.
Invariably, organizations start throwing money at the issue. I happened to get my hands on a recent email from the CEO of one of the health systems he covers. It went to all their employees and laid out what they were doing to increase employee pay. The grab bag of goodies and incentives had more stuff thrown in there than a piece of Biden legislation.
The other day he shared another tidbit with an ironic twist.
Nurses from Hospital A, part of one big health system, were missing from Hospital A, but showing up at Hospital B, part of a competing system. Likewise, nurses from Hospital B were now working at Hospital A.
This was not some collaborative cultural exchange between competitors, but some savvy nurses taking advantage of the moment.
They were reducing their hours at their primary employer and working as a traveling nurse at the other place, just a couple miles down the road. Both hospitals are paying a steep premium for temporary travelers, but the net capacity added to the system was zero, if not a tad negative.
How’s that for a side hustle?