10 Tuesday AM Reads

My Two-for-Tuesday morning train WFH reads:

Wall Street Scans the Lots as Used Cars Prod Inflation The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, an obscure tracker of wholesale used-car prices, has become closely watched by the finance world’s high rollers. (New York Times) see also The Economy Looks Solid. But These Are the Big Risks Ahead. One concern is that political leaders will mismanage things in the world’s largest and second-largest economies. (Upshot)

Workers are putting on pants to return to the office only to be on Zoom all day Pandemic-era safety procedures have created a new dynamic at work, in which many employees say they’re operating at work the same way they were at home. (Washington Post)

The Cost of Insuring Expensive Waterfront Homes Is About to Skyrocket New federal flood insurance rates that better reflect the real risks of climate change are coming. For some, premiums will rise sharply. (New York Times) see also  Cities Are Flouting Flood Rules. The Cost: $1 Billion. If you want publicly subsidized flood insurance, you can’t build a home that’s likely to flood. But local governments around the country, which are responsible for enforcing the rule, have flouted the requirements, accounting for as many as a quarter-million insurance policies in violation (New York Times)

Why China Finally Decided to Ban Bitcoin The move to rein-in cryptocurrency has to do with its desire to exert more control over economic activity in the country. Bitcoin and its brethren were designed as a tool for facilitating transactions without institutional authorities like banks or governments, so allowing them to flourish in any country takes some power away from state actors. (Slate)

Restaurants and Hotels Push Back Against the Uptick in Customer Tantrums Owners set new ground rules during Covid-19 pandemic, going against the adage that the customer is always right (Wall Street Journal) see also Adults Are Throwing Tantrums—in Restaurants, Planes and at Home. Blame the Pandemic. Restaurant servers, airline workers and customer-service trackers report a wave of blowups rooted in pandemic-related stress (Wall Street Journal)

An Electrifying Future for Hypercars? After more than 50 years of V8- and V12-powered super- and hypercars that evolved incrementally, change is in the air. Increasingly, the best-performing European, Japanese, and American vehicles are battery powered (Penta)

How France Overcame Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy The French have long been wary of vaccines, but a mixture of mandates and inducements encouraged millions to get the shot as the Delta variant spread (Wall Street Journal) see also The Rise of the Pandemic Dashboard Governments around the world have created online tools for the public to view the latest data on Covid-19, but some platforms are better than others. (CityLab)

The survival of U.S. democracy may hinge on this decision by Pa.’s next governor | Will Bunch Despite that embarrassing Arizona fake “audit,” the Trump war on election integrity is accelerating. Pa.’s gubernatorial race will play a key role for 2024. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

On Ian Fleming as Craftsman According to Ian Fleming, writing in 1963, “the craft of writing sophisticated thrillers is almost dead.” The key word in understanding both Fleming’s success and the admiration of other writers is right there in Fleming’s opening assertion: craft. Fleming as a craftsman, as both “a distinguished writer of English prose,” in the words of novelist Anthony Burgess, and a gifted constructor of plot, is underappreciated. (KirkCenter) see also It’s No Time to Die: but is it time to revoke James Bond’s licence to kill? In the 1960s, 007 was a glamorous antidote to postwar austerity, but now he’s more laughable than heroic. Can the Bond brand survive, post-Brexit? (The Guardian)

Justin Tucker’s Record-Breaking Field Goal Was a Thing of Destiny The Ravens kicker booted a 66-yard, walk-off field goal to further cement himself as the greatest kicker in NFL history (The Ringer)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Hubert Joly, former Chairman Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy, who turned the company around, returning them to profitability and a 10X stock run in the face of competition from Amazon. He has been named a Top 100 CEOs by Harvard Business Review, and 10 CEOs in the U.S. by Glassdoor. He is the author of a new book “The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism.”


Evolving Threat: New variants have changed the face of the pandemic. What will the virus do next?

Source: Science


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