10 Tuesday AM Reads

My Two-for-Tuesday morning train WFH reads:

The NFL’s Covid-19 Finding That Saved the Season The coronavirus gospel of ‘within six feet for more than 15 minutes’ wasn’t enough—and the NFL had the data to prove it (Wall Street Journal) see also The Colleges That Took the Pandemic Seriously: Many colleges and universities have figured out how to diagnose their populations and control outbreaks—and offer a vision for more normal life until the vaccine is available to all. (The Atlantic)
Silver Won’t Fall So Easily to the Memelords’ Assault Speculative investors have managed to drive up the metal’s price before. The market looks very different this time around. (Bloomberg)
The Silicon Valley Start-Up That Caused Wall Street Chaos Robinhood pitched itself to investors as the antithesis of Wall Street. It didn’t say that it also entirely relies on Wall Street. This past week, the two realities collided.  (New York Times) but see Why Brokers Had to Restrain Trading in GameStop Shares They were minimizing their own financial and regulatory risk, not trying to bail out hedge funds. (WSJ)
The Capitalist Case for Overhauling Twitter Trafficking in misinformation is wrong. Trafficking in misinformation with a structurally unsound business model is wrong and futile. But there’s an upside here: Twitter’s financial weakness is what gives it a chance for redemption (New York Magazine   
What do short-sellers really do? Without short-sellers, it’s theoretically very hard to push stock prices down past a certain point. Many economic theorists have argued that this tends to lead to persistent overvaluation in the market. Without shorts, they predict, prices will be higher than fundamentals. (Noahpinion) see also Wall Street thanks you for your revolution Many small stock holders just reaped a windfall. But it’s also true that they are now in a crowd-funded ponzi scheme that literally requires more new money from new investors to come in behind them to absorb all of the dumping that’s still to come by the pros. If you think the pros are against what’s happening now, then you haven’t actually learned anything from this past week. (Reformed Broker)
Rise of the Barstool conservatives. One of America’s most visible critics of the lockdown policies instituted by virtually every state governor, it became clear that more so than anyone else, he embodied the world view of millions of Americans, who share his disdain for the language of liberal improvement, the hectoring, schoolmarmish attitude of Democratic politicians and their allies in the media, and, above all, the elevation of risk-aversion to the level of a first-order principle by our professional classes (The Week)
The Remote-Work Revolution Will Be Bigger Than We Think The past year has offered a glimpse of the nowhere-everywhere future of work, and it isn’t optimistic for big cities. (The Atlantic) see also Remote Working’s Longer Hours Are New Normal for Many The lengthening of the work day observed as many began working from home last year has become the new normal in many countries. The U.K., Austria, Canada and U.S. have seen a sustained 2.5 hour increase to the average day. (Bloomberg)
The vaccine whisperers: Counselors engage new parents before vaccine hesitancy hardens The proportion of parents that refuse all vaccines is pretty small and has been pretty steady over the last few decades. But the proportion of parents who opt out of certain vaccines is growing, as are parents who get all of the vaccines but raise questions or concerns about what they’re doing. (Stat)
In Russia’s messaging battle, the opposition lights up social media. Putin’s allies plod along on state TV. As social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram help energize young Russians against Putin, the Kremlin’s attempts at counter­messaging seem stuck in another age. (Washington Post)
The Capitol Mob Was Only The Finale Of Trump’s Conspiracy To Overturn The Election Trump’s incitement of the Jan. 6 riot, which is now the subject of an impeachment trial, was just one part of his scheme to subvert democracy. (Talking Points Memo) see also Our Radicalized Republic: Can President Biden overcome years of rising partisan hatred? Trump’s incitement of the Jan. 6 riot, which is now the subject of an impeachment trial, was just one part of his scheme to subvert democracy. (FiveThirtyEight)
The One Number That Explains the NBA’s 3-Point Revolution No team had ever taken 40% of its shots as 3-pointers until 2017. Now half the league is doing it. (Wall Street Journal)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with the legendary fund manager Ron Baron of Baron Funds. Founded in 1982, the firm is known for long-term, fundamental, active approach to growth investing, and has $49 billion in AUM. 16 of 17 Baron Funds, representing 98.3% of assets outperformed their passive benchmark since inception; the Baron Partners Fund was up +148% in 2020.


Who Owns Stocks? Explaining the Rise in Inequality During the Pandemic

Source: New York Times


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