My end of week morning
train WFH reads:
• How Mars became the prize for a new space race — and why China is hellbent on winning it Looking at its achievements over the past decade, nobody would doubt China is aiming to win the new space race. Not only has it been the only country to land on the Moon in about 40 years, and the first to soft land on its far side, it has also planted a flag on lunar soil and brought samples back to Earth. (Space) see also NASA’s Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars to Renew Search for Extinct Life Perseverance’s arrival extends the successful U.S. landing record on the planet, and brings sophisticated tools to the hunt for alien life. (NYT)
• The world has lost one-third of its forest, but an end of deforestation is possible 10,000 years ago 57% of the world’s habitable land was covered by forest. That’s 6 billion hectares. Today, only 4 billion hectares are left. The world has lost one-third of its forest – an area twice the size of the United States. (Our World In Data)
• How Car Collecting Powered Through the Pandemic The virus hastened the rise of online sales, as connoisseurs of vintage vehicles found more time to spend with their socially distanced hobby. (New York Times)
• 12 Things I Remind Myself When Markets Go Crazy The problem with having all of these options available at your fingertips is that it’s never been easier to experience FOMO. The sheer number of assets we have to invest in these days combined with rising markets and social media means the fear of missing out will always be trading at new all-time highs. (Wealth of Common Sense)
• How Twitter Got Its Groove Back If we’ve learned anything over the past couple of weeks, it’s that markets can be dumb. So here’s a dumb bull case for Twitter: it has the lowest market cap of any public tech company that you use every day — at $45 billion, Twitter’s market cap is just 2% of Apple’s and 5.9% of Facebook’s — and that will change once the narrative around the company does. (Not Boring)
• The Gig Economy Is Coming for Millions of American Jobs California’s vote to classify Uber and Lyft drivers as contractors has emboldened other employers to eliminate salaried positions—and has become a cornerstone of bigger plans to “Uberize” the U.S. workforce. (Businessweek)
• Why Texans are cold and in the dark Texas’s predicament stems from a decision that state lawmakers made about 20 years ago to abandon the traditional model of fully regulated electricity utilities. Still used across many areas of the nation, these electric companies — described as vertically integrated utilities — do not compete for customers and are allowed to earn a rate of return on investment. They can raise rates only with the permission of state regulators. (Washington Post)
• How are bitcoin created? An illustrated guide to bitcoin mining, blockchains, and the “minting” process of cryptocurrency’s most popular coin. (The Hustle)
• Don’t Read This If You Were a Rush Limbaugh Fan As a radio broadcaster, Limbaugh was a great success: He pioneered his genre, attracted millions of listeners for several decades, and grew fantastically wealthy. As a proponent of conservatism in America, Limbaugh was a failure who in his later years abandoned the project of advancing a positive agenda, culminating in his alignment with the vulgar style and populist anti-leftism of Donald Trump. (The Atlantic) see also Rush Limbaugh’s deranged 2020: From denying the pandemic to supporting a coup The refusal to accept reality — constantly reassuring an aging, conservative audience that their vision of America is never wrong — is part of what has enabled Limbaugh to build such a devoted following over more than three decades in radio. But in a year in which the country faced a global pandemic, racial unrest, and a presidential election, this resistance to the truth proved not just delusional, but dangerous. (Media Matters)
• Scorsese: Il Maestro: Federico Fellini and the lost magic of cinema There was one director whom everyone knew, one artist whose name was synonymous with cinema and what it could do. It was a name that instantly evoked a certain style, a certain attitude toward the world. In fact, it became an adjective. Let’s say you wanted to describe the surreal atmosphere at a dinner party, or a wedding, or a funeral, or a political convention, or for that matter, the madness of the entire planet—all you had to do was say the word “Felliniesque” and people knew exactly what you meant. (Harper’s Magazine)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Doug Braunstein, former Chief Financial Officer at JPMorgan Chase. Braunstein is founder and managing partner at Hudson Executive Capital, which has underwritten several successful SPAC offerings, with $1.6B in AUM. Braunstein worked directly with Jamie Dimon as CFO and a member of JPMorgan’s Executive Committee. He served as head of JPMorgan’s Americas Investment Banking and Global M&A.
A U.S. Vaccine Surge Is Coming, With Millions of Doses Promised
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.