10 Wednesday AM Reads

My Cinco de Mayo morning train WFH reads:

The Booming U.S. Recovery Is Leaving Some Communities Completely Behind. The U.S. economy is on a multi-speed track as minorities in some cities find themselves left behind by the overall boom in hiring. The recovery is also patchy geographically. The varying speeds matter because the Federal Reserve and the White House vowed to look beyond aggregate figures to more broad-based data before adjusting their monetary and fiscal policies. (Bloomberg)

The Former CEO of Vanguard Has Some Surprising Views on Alternatives Decades after his first book on investing, Jack Brennan has a new update where he discusses everything from endowments to the value of active management. (Institutional Investor)

Sorry not sorry This weekend I listened to a lot more Nas and Jay-Z than I did Buffett and Munger. Nas invested in a Coinbase round back in 2013 when the company was raising $25 million at a valuation of $143 million. Coinbase and crypto were far from a sure thing when Nas’s fund bought in. His fund was also early to Lyft, Dropbox and Robinhood, so to dismiss this windfall as a case of getting lucky would be wrong. Warren and Charlie are two idols of mine. I appreciate everything they’ve done and taught to the investor class over decades of success. But they are now 90 and 97 years old respectively and they don’t seem to be curious or interested in the largest trends driving the markets anymore. I don’t think I’ll be any worse off as an investor in the 21st Century, do you? (Reformed Broker)

Auto Makers Retreat From 50 Years of ‘Just in Time’ Manufacturing Pressured by pandemic, the hyperefficient supply-chain model pioneered by Toyota is under assault. The hyperefficient auto supply chain symbolized by the words “just in time” is undergoing its biggest transformation in more than half a century, accelerated by the troubles car makers have suffered during the pandemic. After sudden swings in demand, freak weather and a series of accidents, they are reassessing their basic assumption that they could always get the parts they needed when they needed them. (Wall Street Journal)

US birth rate falls to lowest point in more than a century The U.S. birth rate fell 4% last year, the largest single-year decrease in nearly 50 years, according to data from the CDC. The rate dropped for moms of every major race and ethnicity, and in nearly age group, falling to the lowest point since federal health officials started tracking it more than a century ago. Births have been declining in younger women for years, as many postponed motherhood and had smaller families.  (AP News)

FDR’s Second 100 Days Were Cooler Than His First 100 Days Mostly, it’s a reminder that we didn’t always live in a political reality where presidents had to deliver change early or not at all. Before he was elected, Roosevelt famously promised to tackle the Great Depression through “bold, persistent experimentation.” As he said: “It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” It took Roosevelt a while to create the welfare state and cement his legacy. (Slate)

• The coronavirus vaccine skeptics who changed their minds A growing number of vaccine skeptics have turned vaccinated Americans, a sign of hope amid the slowing pace of vaccinations nationwide. Almost half of all adults have yet to receive a first shot although they are now eligible, and the rolling rate of new shots has dropped to its lowest level since mid-March. “Thinking about herd immunity, thinking about my daughter, thinking about all of that, I just realized — it’s about being a part of something bigger than yourself.” (Washington Post)

The Grim Secret of Nordic Happiness The Danish concept of comfortable conviviality and all things cozy is supposed to capture the essence of Danish culture and has been marketed as the secret for happy living. A few years back, there was a surge of hygge-related books, articles, and household products. Journalists from around the world were touring Denmark to document various aspects of this unique lifestyle. It’s not hygge, the welfare state, or drinking. It’s reasonable expectations.  (Slate)

Meet the people deciding Trump’s fate on Facebook The ruling by the scholars, lawyers, activists and journalists who make up Facebook’s oversight board will reverberate across the world of social media. (Politico)

The NBA Star Who Fixed His Shot—and the Knicks Julius Randle was one of the league’s worst 3-point shooters. Now he’s one of the best. And you thought the Knicks being good was crazy. (Wall Street Journal)

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.


iPad, smallest of Apple’s 5 segments, generated more revenue than Netflix or McDonald’s

Source: Irrelevant Investor


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