• Karen Lynch got the big job at CVS. Now comes the big challenge: Vaccinate America The $269 billion Goliath—ranked No. 5 in the Fortune 500—is getting closer to achieving its goal amid the coronavirus pandemic, the most serious public health crisis in 100 years. Lynch joined the company when CVS acquired Aetna in 2018. Last spring, CVS tapped her to manage its COVID response, a role that proved to be a stepping-stone to the top job. She takes the lead at a critical moment—and one that comes with the extra weight of becoming the most high-ranking female CEO ever to appear in the Fortune 500. (Fortune)
• The Buzzy, Chatty, Out-of-Control Rise of Clubhouse Paul Davison and Rohan Seth’s audio-only app is the tech crush of the pandemic. Clubhouse arrived at a perfect moment, delivering spontaneous conversations and chance meetings to people stuck at home. For those weary of tidying and curating backgrounds for Zoom, its audio-only format is a virtue. Now comes the hard part: hosting a global gabfest, without the toxicity. (Wired)
• The Great Amazon Flip-a-Thon New firms are raising billions of dollars to buy up popular Amazon listings, minting millionaires along the way. Several of the largest firms, including Perch, Branded and SellerX, aspire to become, loosely speaking, the Unilevers and Procter & Gambles of Amazon’s third-party seller economy. For them — and for Amazon — 2020 was an undeniable boom year. Here’s how it works. (New York Times)
• How to Debunk Misinformation about COVID, Vaccines and Masks We each have more power to be a science communicator than we realize: In the midst of a raging pandemic, the importance of science communication is indisputable. Fauci isn’t on your family Zoom call when a cousin mistakenly asserts that the CDC has found that wearing a mask makes you more likely to get COVID-19; Gupta is not at the ready when your friend’s daughter wonders whether the COVID vaccine contains microchips designed to track us. It matters how we respond in these moments… (Scientific American)
• Mark Carney: ‘I didn’t want the Bank of England job. But I was asked to fix something’ Carney is no ordinary banker. He is the banker’s banker, the superstar banker, the George Clooney of banking, possibly even the James Bond of banking. The accolades bestowed on him are many: he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010, the world’s most trusted Canadian in 2011, and hailed as Britain’s most influential Catholic (by The Tablet) in 2015. (The Guardian)
• Our Strange Addiction The transformation of tobacco and cannabis into early modern global obsessions. The 1610s were a key decade in tobacco’s transformation into a new global obsession. Before long, the gift (or curse) of smoking had given rise to one of the world’s most lucrative industries, emerged as a key driver of the Atlantic slave trade, and initiated a global bad habit that humanity still hasn’t kicked more than four hundred years later.. (Lapham’s Quarterly)
• The Horse-Meat Vigilante: From his secret compound, Richard Couto stages undercover buys to bring down unlicensed slaughterhouses. Police say they’d be happy to work with him, if only he’d follow the rules. The Batman of Florida’s animal-slaughter underworld is on a quest to take down America’s illegal horse meat market. From his secret compound, Richard Couto stages undercover buys to bring down unlicensed slaughterhouses. Police say they’d be happy to work with him, if only he’d follow the rules. (Businessweek)
• How Covid-19 Supercharged the Advertising ‘Triopoly’ of Google, Facebook and Amazon The Big Three of digital advertising—Google, Facebook and Amazon—already dominated that sector going into 2020. The three tech giants now collect more than half of all ad dollars spent in the U.S. The pandemic economy got them there, pushing them into command of the entire advertising economy: more time spent on computer screens; more e-commerce; a jump in new-business formation, and a steady improvement in tech giants’ ability to demonstrate a return on ad investment. (Wall Street Journal)
• The Fall of Armie Hammer: A Family Saga of Sex, Money, Drugs, and Betrayal The actor’s life seemed perfect—beautiful wife and kids, sparkling Hollywood career. But a glimpse into his family history reveals how shocking allegations over dark fantasies of cannibalism and bondage—and the ensuing fallout—are one more chapter in the Hammers’ fraught legacy. (Vanity Fair)
• The Amazin’ True Story of Piazza, Clemens and the Broken Bat. With so much for Mets fans to be excited about in 2021, one lifelong masochist reminds us: In New York, nothing ever changes. The Mets are gonna Mets. Case in punishing point: This 21-year-old tale about two dudes, a beef and a splintered chunk of wood (Sports Illustrated)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Bill Gurley, the legendary venture capital investor at Benchmark. His investments include GrubHub, Nextdoor, OpenTable, Zillow and of course, Uber. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, and is widely considered one of most influential dealmakers in technology. He was named TechCrunch’s VC of the Year in 2016.
Fund Manager Survey: 10 years of markets’ top worries
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