train WFH reads:
• Measurement Not Prediction I remain skeptical of thematic and fundamental approaches. The former because it relies on prediction. The latter, because of how they map variables on to outcomes. If this process lacks iteration it cannot improve. It just starts to look like thesis investing. (Party at the Moontower) see also My 2021 Outlook Year in Preview Consider: How many strategists had “Global Pandemic, one million deaths, 34% market crash, but with huge gains in FAANMG stocks and a 12% annual S&P500 gain” in their 2020 Outlooks? None. (TBP)
• The death and rebirth of America’s department stores (in charts) The decline of department stores, which have substantial footprints in physical real estate, is indicative of how shopping in America is continually moving online. Americans are still buying plenty — retail sales have already risen beyond their pre-pandemic highs, according to census data — but the shopping landscape has changed. (Recode)
• If You Left the Market, Don’t Wait to Get Back In Those who dumped their stocks in March 2020, gambling that the market is poised for a long slump and would give them an opening to reenter at even lower prices, now face a hard choice. The market is up roughly 60% from its March low, so getting back in means coming to terms with a costly mistake. (Bloomberg)
• One Upside to the Pandemic: Better Financial Technology While 2020 will likely, and with good reason, be remembered as the world’s annus horribilis due to COVID-19, one of the few collateral benefits of the pandemic has been that it has forced a massive leap forward in the use of technology to adapt to the new reality. (Chief Investment Officer)
• Why Apple’s M1 Chip Is So Fast What Apple has done is simply to take a more radical shift towards this direction. Rather than just having general purpose cores and memory, the M1 contains a wide variety of specialized chips (Medium)
• The Biden Administration Needs to Do Something About Tesla From giving its software misleading names to ignoring recommendations from crash investigators to declining to install critical driver-monitoring technology, Tesla has shown a dispiriting willingness to cut corners. It’s not just industry watchdogs that are expressing alarm; Tesla’s actions could undermine public confidence in autonomous vehicle technology writ large—especially if Autopilot and FSD lead to more crashes. (Slate)
• Galaxy Brain Is Real: Looking at the long views from the Hubble space telescope might be good for you. The experience of awe, whether we’re standing at the summit of a mountain or sitting in front of a computer screen, can lead to “a diminished sense of self” in the face of something larger than oneself. Alarming as that may sound, research has shown that the sensation can be a good thing: A shot of awe can boost feelings of connectedness with other people. (The Atlantic)
• How to Build a Better Post-Pandemic New York City In a year with so little solace, New York’s streetscape has brought steady relief. One solid step would be making expansive outdoor dining a permanent fixture of New York life. But there are more urgent tasks — protecting pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles, improving air quality in low-income communities that are plagued by high asthma rates, and protecting pedestrian and cyclist islands at dangerous intersections (New York Times)
• The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal How a state that was never in doubt became a “national embarrassment” and a symbol of the Republican Party’s fealty to Donald Trump. (Politico) see also Fake Claims About Dominion Voting Systems Do Real Damage The allegations against Dominion are bizarre, but I’ll set the record straight. Dominion is an American company, headquartered in Denver. It is not and has never been a front for communists. It has no ties to Hugo Chávez, the late dictator of Venezuela. It has never been involved in Venezuelan elections. (Wall Street Journal)
• In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress This is the world that Associated Press photographers captured in 2020, a world beset by every sort of catastrophe — natural and unnatural disaster, violent and non-violent conflict. And, in every corner of that world, the coronavirus. (AP Images) see also Here Are The Eye-Popping Nominees For Wildlife Photographer Of The Year’s People’s Choice Award The Natural History Museum in London is inviting the public to participate in the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition by voting for the People’s Choice Award winner. Some of the finalists chosen by the institution are harrowing and highlight the importance of conservation, while others depict the pure wonder apparent in the animal kingdom. (Digg)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Catherine Keating, CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management. The group has $265 billion in assets, Previously, she was the Chief Executive Officer of Commonfund. Keating has been named to the “Most Powerful Women in Finance” list and one of the “Most Powerful Women in Banking” list by American Banker.
True Pandemic Toll in the U.S. Reaches 345,000
Source: New York Times
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