10 Monday AM Reads

My back to work morning train WFH reads:

The Texas Crisis Shows (Again) There’s No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster We can’t do anything to stop hazards from occurring, although we do seem to be able to make them worse, whether by causing earthquakes through fracking or environmental depredations that make storms more intense. (Slatesee also The Two Hours That Nearly Destroyed Texas’s Electric Grid “Seconds and minutes” from total catastrophe, the state struggled to handle an extreme weather event, which led to the largest forced power outage in U.S. history. (Green)
Bitcoin’s Value Is All in the Eye of the ‘Bithodler’ The digital currency has skyrocketed, and yet determining its fair value is a tricky business (Wall Street Journal)
The Best MLP Should Try Not Being an MLP The model has lost favor with investors, and Magellan Midstream’s arguments for keeping it aren’t winning converts. The Best MLP Should Try Not Being an MLP (Bloomberg)
The 27-Year-Old Who Became a Covid-19 Data Superstar In the contest over who could make the most accurate coronavirus forecast, it was global institutions vs. a guy living with his parents in Santa Clara. (Businessweek)
Are Broker Commissions Too High? Online home buyers do much of the work involved in acquiring a house. So why are brokers’ fees still calculated under the old system?  (New York Times)
The Jobs the Pandemic May Devastate The projected employment changes because of the pandemic are concentrated in a relatively small number of sectors. Three-quarters of all jobs are in occupations where projected employment in the strong-impact scenario differs from the original baseline scenario by less than 2%. (Upshot) see also Covid’s economic reset: making the quixotic quotidian The shock from COVID may have boosted business formation and pushed technology adoption across generations, mitigating some of the demographic impediments to technology adoption. For a large portion of the population, COVID has only meant devastation and despair. Here, fiscal assistance is imperative. (SpringerLink)
Restaurants and Startups Try to Outrun Uber Eats and DoorDash Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats can charge restaurants up to 30% of every order—a chunk many owners say dents profits even as more orders come in. Now a host of food-ordering tools, along with some restaurants, are finding ways around those apps and the commissions they charge, by letting the restaurants arrange more deliveries themselves. (Wall Street Journal)
4 Ideas That Could Solve Wealth Disparity Changes to the capital markets, higher taxes for the rich, tougher antitrust enforcement, enhanced education—all get proposed as cures. If the problem can’t be solved, the economy may suffer long-term. (Chief Investment Officer)
Astrophysicists re-imagine world map, designing a less distorted, ‘radically different’ way to see the world How do you flatten a sphere? For centuries, mapmakers have agonized over how to accurately display our round planet on anything other than a globe. Now, a fundamental re-imagining of how maps can work has resulted in the most accurate flat map ever made. (Phys)
Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000 A fast-growing market for digital art, ephemera and media is marrying the world’s taste for collectibles with cutting-edge technology. (New York Times)

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.


Gold Hardly Looks Precious When Compared With Nasdaq 100

Source: Dave Wilson’s Chart of the Day


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