10 Thursday AM Reads

My morning train WFH reads:

Amid labor shortage, these Pittsburgh companies are filling open roles fast. Here’s how. Doubling starting wages from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour generated 1000s of applicants, instead of a trickle. “It was instant, overnight. We got thousands of applications that poured in.” Before the announcement, ice cream parlor would see a few applicants per position, but many wouldn’t show for the interview. The “living wage” led to getting “quality work from people when people know that they are going to make a good paycheck.” (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Annoying Connoisseurs Make Things Better for the Rest of Us You may not like coffee guys but you like the coffee, guys. What happened? Snobs happened. Nerds happened. Connoisseurs happened. For good and for bad. Here are two ways to think about it. (Freddie deBoer)

How Pension Plans Are Investing Lucratively in Toll Roads The cash flow is solid, except for occasional problems like pandemic-reduced traffic volumes (Chief Investment Officer)

The Chip Shortage Keeps Getting Worse. Why Can’t We Just Make More? Shortages of semiconductors are battering automakers and tech giants, raising alarm bells from Washington to Brussels to Beijing. The crunch has raised a fundamental question for policymakers, customers and investors: Why can’t we just make more chips? There is both a simple answer and a complicated one. The simple version is that making chips is incredibly difficult—and getting tougher. The more complicated answer is that it takes years to build semiconductor fabrication facilities and billions of dollars. (Bloomberg)

How Covid Has Reshaped Real Estate From New York to Singapore The retreat from major cities has been the pandemic’s big real-estate story — but that doesn’t mean metropolitan house prices have suddenly got cheap. From New York to London to Sydney, ultra-low interest rates and vast government fiscal support have limited distressed sales. Still, apartment rents have plummeted and suburban bidding wars have erupted as millions of workers have learned they can work from anywhere. (Bloomberg) see also The Most Urban Counties in the U.S. Are Shrinking The Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago were among the population losers in 2020, new census estimates show. Austin grew the most. (New York Times)

The Venmo Generation Is Over; the Venmo Generation is Back Under COVID-19, we’re all communists. As we emerge from the pandemic, amidst everything we’d rather forget, this might be worth remembering (Anything Different)

Everyone wants to buy a home. That means you might end up renting one. Most recently, the pandemic and the premium that it put on private indoor and outdoor space has driven demand and prices. But like many things, this was an existing trend that the pandemic merely accelerated, and it has its roots in a confluence of factors, from an aging millennial population to an influx of private equity. The home sales boom means you might end up renting America’s high home prices could turn us into a nation of renters.(Vox)

China Is a Paper Dragon: China’s language and behavior is assertive and provocative, for sure. China’s power is rising, yes. Its behavior at home and abroad is becoming more oppressive and more brutal; that’s also tragically true. But as Americans muster the courage and will to face Chinese realities, that reckoning needs also to appreciate the tremendous capabilities of this country, and the very real limits besetting China: a fast-aging population, massive internal indebtedness, and a regime whose worsening repression suggests its declining popularity. U.S. policy makers should look to the future with a little more confidence and a lot more trust in trade, markets, and the superior potential of a free people. (The Atlantic)

Nature at its craziest: Trillions of cicadas about to emerge It’s one of nature’s weirdest events, featuring sex, a race against death, evolution and what can sound like a bad science fiction movie soundtrack. Within a couple weeks, the cicadas of Brood X will emerge after 17 years underground. There are many broods of periodic cicadas that appear on rigid schedules in different years, but this is one of the largest and most noticeable. (AP News)

100 Best Sitcoms of All Time From family stories to band-of-misfits hangouts, classic rom-coms to workplace mockumentaries, cringe comedies to antihero showcases, and some shows that defy definition, these are the hundred series that have made us laugh, think, occasionally cry, and laugh all over again. (Rolling Stone)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business podcast with Michael Lewis, the poet laureate of finance. We discuss his latest book, The Premonition, A Pandemic Story. He is the author of Undoing ProjectMoneyballFlashboysBig Short, and so many others. The The Premonition describes how the United States was the best prepared nation in the world for a pandemic, yet allowed a variety of its institutions to fail.


A Brief History of Yahoo

Source: Chartr


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