Big Tech quarterly earnings season kicked off this week, and Alphabet got things started with a massive $55B in revenue, up 34% from a year earlier thanks largely to a return of its online advertising business and “continued growth at its cloud computing arm” - NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch and Bloomberg

Microsoft posted solid numbers as well, including net income of $15.5 billion in the first three months of 2021 and 50% growth in stock price in the past year that’s helped the company approach a nearly $2 trillion valuation - WSJ and MarketWatch

More fun for the suddenly trouble-plagued Credit Suisse. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden has asked the DOJ to examine whether the Swiss bank “continued to help rich American defraud the I.R.S. even after it signed a settlement agreement with the Justice Department vowing to stop the practice” back in 2014 - NYTimes

The latest installment of the Daily Dose Word of the Week is “proptech,” as in “property technology”—the “booming sector in the commercial real estate” arena that allows property managers to “use data collection and artificial intelligence to help control systems like heating, lighting, air quality and even the flow of workers” - NYTimes

Chinese regulators aren’t done with Jack Ma yet (no matter how quiet he’s been lately), as a new government investigation into the “speedy approvals” he won for his ill-fated Ant Group IPO last year. The probe reportedly is focusing on “regulators who greenlighted the initial public offering, local officials who advocated it and big state firms that stood to gain from it” - WSJ

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index hit its highest point since last February, continuing a strong rebound trend in the past two months as consumers “were more upbeat about their income prospects, perhaps due to the improving job market and the recent round of stimulus checks” - Bloomberg

Which is good, don’t get us wrong, but it’s leaving some U.S. manufacturers scrambling not only for materials [see, e.g., computer chips] but for workers as well - NYTimes

President Biden is hoping that a serious reinvestment in IRS resources now [some $80B over 10 years] will help yield major returns [upwards of $700B] in the form of a crack-down on tax evasion that could help pay for the cost of his “American Families Plan” that he’ll detail in remarks to a joint session of Congress later tonight - NYTimes and WSJ

Chesapeake Energy is reeling after the sudden departure of CEO Doug Lawler “less than three months on from the company’s exit from bankruptcy.” Lawler had been activist Carl Icahn’s “hand-picked choice to lead the oil and gas company in 2013” after the fall from grace of former CEO Aubrey McClendon - Bloomberg

There’s solid 80s nostalgia and Covid-induced nesting, and then there’s using the pandemic as an excuse to turn your basement into an old-school video store. And for Iowa’s Brian Hogan, that was the only way to go - NYTimes