My Two-for-Tuesday morning
train WFH reads:
• I served in Afghanistan as a US Marine, twice. Here’s the truth in two sentences: 1: For 20 years, politicians, elites + DC military leaders lied to us about Afghanistan. 2: What happened last week was inevitable + anyone saying differently is still lying to you.” (Yahoo News) see also Pompeo Is Lying About Afghanistan (Again) He laid the groundwork for the Taliban takeover. Now he’s blaming Biden. (Slate)
• Big Tech Is in a Perilous Moment. The Stocks Are Unstoppable. After thriving during the pandemic, tech companies are facing the challenges posed by a rebounding economy, as businesses and consumers potentially return to old, more analog habits. Big Tech has hit a perilous moment. It won’t last. The five megacaps still have the best business models on the planet, and their stocks look relatively cheap. (Barron’s)
• NFTs: I Don’t F*ckn Get It The only thing crazier than how much some of these things are trading for is the speed at which they’re moving. Projects are going from “I’ve never heard of it” to selling for tens of thousands of dollars overnight. A few weeks ago, you could get a Bored Ape for less than 1 ETH. Now you can’t find one for less than 18 ETH ($58,373). (Irrelevant Investor) but see also Continued Investor Demand: A Reflection On The Crypto Industry’s Growth And Maturity The current total value of the cryptocurrency market is approximately $2 trillion. Both institutional investors and venture capital firms have arrived and show no sign of relenting. (Worth)
• If You Bought Municipal Bonds a Long Time Ago, This Is a Great Time Prices surge, hurting yields for new investors, as Biden comments ignite tax-increase fears and local governments weather Covid-19 (Wall Street Journal)
• Waymo Is 99% of the Way to Self-Driving Cars. The Last 1% Is the Hardest The world’s most famous autonomous car shop has lost its CEO and is still getting stymied by traffic cones. What’s taking so long? (Businessweek) see also The First Step Toward Protecting Everyone Else From Teslas Why the government’s clever investigation into “Autopilot” might actually work (Slate)
• Who Has the Cure for America’s Declining Birthrate? Canada. Over the last century, two moments that transformed America and positioned it as the global economic leader were the post-World War II economic boom and the I.T. revolution of the 1990s. In both cases, America tore down many forms of discrimination and other barriers to harness the talents of marginalized groups in the country and to welcome new ones, injecting demographic vitality into the economy. To continue America’s upward trajectory in the 21st century, the country must reverse its current demographic decline. (New York Times)
• The GOP is losing the argument on coronavirus mandates The Republican Party has rather clearly marched itself into a minority position, from masks in schools to targeted vaccine mandates. (Washington Post) see also The Delta Variant Is Sending More Children to the Hospital. Are They Sicker, Too? It is not yet clear whether the Delta variant causes more severe disease in children, but its high level of infectiousness is causing a surge of pediatric Covid-19 cases. (New York Times)
• How Do New Organs Evolve? A Beetle Gland Shows the Way. The evolution of a defensive gland in beetles shows how organs can arise from novel cells carving out new functional niches for their neighbors. (Quanta Magazine)
• Finally, a Shot to Prevent Lyme Disease Could Be on Its Way Lyme-carrying ticks are a bigger threat than ever. A promising new antibody treatment looks to stop infection—even after a tick bite. (Outside) see also ‘Landmark’ study finds artificial antibodies can protect against malaria Add malaria to the growing list of infectious diseases that one day may be prevented with labmade antibodies. In an unusual study, nine people who received these monoclonal antibodies were deliberately exposed to mosquitoes carrying the parasite that causes malaria. None became infected—and the protection appears to last for more than half a year. (Science)
• How Brett Goldstein Became the Breakout Star of ‘Ted Lasso’ The man behind Roy Kent explains how he went from the writing room to playing the hit show’s fan-favorite character — and why he identifies so much with him (Rolling Stone)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Fran Kinniry, who is a principal in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group, and became Global Head of Private Investments at investing giant Vanguard Group in 2019. Kinniry is behind the drive to bring Private Equity investments to Vanguard’s 401k investors.
Domestic auto inventories in the U.S. are now at their lowest since records began in 1967.