10 Tuesday AM Reads

My Two-for-Tuesday morning train WFH reads:

Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers? Among the reasons potential workers are holding back: fear of getting Covid, lack of child care and enhanced unemployment benefits (Wall Street Journal) see also Finding it Hard to Hire? Try Raising Your Wages After several decades of lagging prices for low wage labor, there is no more LABOR FOR SALE at $7/hour, so price are moving up. Once it moves up high enough so that supply matches with demand, you get a stabilization at that level.  (The Big Picture)

Yield-Starved Investors Snap Up Muni Bonds Investors have put $39 billion into municipal-debt funds so far this year, the most over that period since 2008 (Wall Street Journal)

Why stocks soared while America struggled For a year that’s been so bad, it’s hard not to wonder why the stock market has been so good. (Vox) see also Why Markets Don’t Seem to Care If the Economy Stinks The most visible and economically significant market sectors are also among the smallest weight by market capitalization. Markets, it turns out, are not especially vulnerable to highly visible but relatively tiny industries. Maybe Mr. Market Is Rational After All (The Big Picture)

How to Lose Money When the Stock Market is at All-Time Highs Even in a blowout year like 2017, when the Russell 1000 was up almost 22%, nearly one-quarter of all stocks in the index experienced losses. There are no years when the index is up and no stocks are down. That’s how averages work in the stock market. (A Wealth of Common Sense)

• The Dynamics Behind the Ugly Amount of Empty Office Space (Wolf Street) but see also The Breakout Cities on the Forefront of America’s Economic Recovery “They offer a lot of things you can’t really get in the big city. They’re more affordable, and it’s so much easier to live there. And all of these industries are poised to do very well.” (Wall Street Journal)

Daniel Kahneman: ‘Everything I’ve done has been collaborative’ The Nobel-winning psychologist on behavioural economics, human error and why he doesn’t see himself as a guru (Financial Times)

We have reached the point of absurdity in the crypto markets There were people buying Dogecoin last week in anticipation of Elon Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, with the expectation, presumably, that he would say something bullish and they’d be able to ring the cash register. Easy, peasy, cha-ching. Except, well, at last check it didn’t work out that way. (Alhambrasee also Oh no, now Deloitte with the crypto nonsense “Customers and service providers alike are beginning to see more fully the potential benefits of crypto.” (Financial Times)

Obscura No More How photography rose from the margins of the art world to occupy its vital center (American Scholar)

• Trump Spawned a New Group of Mega-Donors Who Now Hold Sway Over the GOP’s Future Some of the donors appear to share the more extreme views of many Trump supporters, based on social media posts promoting falsehoods about election fraud or masks and vaccines. Whether they will deepen their involvement or step back, and whether their giving will extend to candidates beyond Trump, will have an outsized role in steering the future of the Republican Party and even American democracy. (ProPublica) but see also Republicans are ousting Cheney all because Trump wouldn’t concede  matter. The root cause of all of these events — the original sin — was an incumbent president of the United States, Donald Trump, who refused to concede an election he lost. By more than 7 million votes. And by an Electoral College result identical to the margin he won by in 2016: 306-232. It was a close election, but it wasn’t that close. (NBC)

All the Reasons Why It Has Never Been Harder to Be an MLB Hitter Hitting, which was already notoriously difficult to begin with, is now basically impossible. After more than a month’s worth of games, hitters are tracking toward yet another strikeout record by whiffing in 24.3 percent of their plate appearances. They’re also maintaining a .233 batting average, the lowest mark in the league’s 150-year history. Based on these numbers, there’s never been a worse time to be a hitter in Major League Baseball. (Bleacher Report)

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 The 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.

 

The Broadband Gap: A county-by-county look at America’s Broadband Problem

Source: The Verge

 

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