The 3 day weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Keurig coffee (blech!), grab a seat on the beach, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• Inside Pfizer’s labs, ‘variant hunters’ race to stay ahead of the pandemic’s next twist STAT was granted a rare look inside Pfizer’s Pearl River research center, which has remained a place of frenetic activity for its 900 workers through the pandemic. The long, squat red brick buildings have operated as a laboratory for more than a century and played a role in past international emergencies, producing penicillin and typhus vaccines in World War II and the major oral polio vaccine in the ’60s. The site is now adapting to the current crisis, as unprecedented numbers of patient specimens crowd its loading bays. (Stat)
• ‘Forever Changed’: CEOs Are Dooming Business Travel — Maybe for Good A Bloomberg survey of 45 large companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia shows that 84% plan to spend less on travel post-pandemic. (Bloomberg) see also How F*cked Is Business Travel? During the lockdown, I have presented at numerous virtual conferences. I am typically finished – showered, shaved, dresses, and presented – in less time than it normally takes me to get to the airport. (The Big Picture)
• The Million-Dollar Nose: With his stubborn disregard for the hierarchy of wines, Robert Parker, the straight-talking American wine critic, is revolutionizing the industry — and teaching the French wine establishment some lessons it would rather not learn. (The Atlantic)
• Ben Dugan Works for CVS. His Job Is Battling a $45 Billion Crime Spree. Retailers are spending millions to combat organized rings that steal from their stores in bulk and peddle goods online, often on Amazon (Wall Street Journal)
• Darwin’s Sweet Spot. There are three basic kinds of false information. Misinformation is false, but not created or shared with the intent to cause harm. Malinformation is based on fact, but used with insufficient context so as to mislead, harm, or manipulate. Disinformation is deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate a person, social group, organization, or country. (Better Letter)
• The New Puritans: Social codes are changing, in many ways for the better. But for those whose behavior doesn’t adapt fast enough to the new norms, judgment can be swift—and merciless. (The Atlantic)
• Knives Outback: A man is presumed murdered. In this town of 12, everyone is a possible suspect. (Medium)
• Has Covid ended the neoliberal era? The year 2020 exposed the risks and weaknesses of the market-driven global system like never before. It’s hard to avoid the sense that a turning point has been reached. (The Guardian)
• An immense mystery older than Stonehenge Reshaping previous ideas on the story of civilisation, Gobekli Tepe in Turkey was built by a prehistoric people 6,000 years before Stonehenge. (BBC)
• Beyoncé’s Evolution After more than two decades in the spotlight, Beyoncé has become much more than a pop icon. She’s a cultural force who has routinely defied expectations and transformed the way we understand the power of art to change how we see ourselves and each other. But at 40, she feels like she’s just scratched the surface. (Harper’s Bazaar)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Robert Hormats, Managing Director at Tiedemann Advisors. Previously, he spent 25 years at Goldman Sachs (International), rising to Vice Chairman. Hormats has served five U.S. presidential administrations, most recently as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment from 2009 through 2013.
High Prices & Low Rates Drive Mortgage Refinance Boom
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.