10 Xmas Eve AM Reads

Happy Merry! Enjoy the spirit of the season with our Xmas Eve reads:

Wall Street Ends Crazy Year With Existential Angst and Big Bonuses The biggest U.S. banks are making more money than ever, but finance veterans are ‘unsettled and ill at ease.’ (Bloomberg)

Thinking About Life I got an email two weeks ago that stopped me in my tracks. Times are tough right now, but we have so much to be thankful for. (Irrelevant Investor) see also And Just Like That, I Turned 40: I am content with myself and with the life I’ve created. If tomorrow is my last day on Earth, I am happy. (Belle Curve)

How a Chinese Takeover of Taiwan Would Affect Investments The chip-dependent global economy would take a hit. But maybe Beijing could at least do the deed sneakily, with no war. Think Hong Kong. (Chief Investment Officer)

Will music NFTs ever get their PFP moment? tl;dr: 2021 has seen a flurry of new generative music NFT project launches, all with the potential to rethink traditional industry notions of celebrity, creativity, fan engagement and intellectual property. But they have yet to see the same consumer demand or financial upside as their immensely popular visual counterparts, for reasons that are equal parts technical, legal and cultural.  (Water & Music)

Instant gratification: The neuroscience of impulse buying It’s arguably never been harder to resist impulse buying. Online stores have taken the sales tactics of brick-and-mortar stores to new manipulative heights, barraging browsers with an arsenal of psychological tactics to get you to spend as much money as possible. Odds are you have encountered these tricks aka “dark patterns.” (Big Think)

How McDonald’s Made Enemies of Black Franchisees The company, once celebrated in Black entrepreneurial circles, is settling with Black owners who say they were blocked from the best and most profitable locations. (Businessweek)

• Insights from “The Matter with Things.” There is a characterological difference between the hemispheres of our brain. Counter to pop psychology, both sides do similar things, but they do them in very different ways. Counter to scientific rebuttals, just because both sides can do similar things, doesn’t mean the way they do them isn’t radically important. Moreover, there is an absolutely necessary tension between the two sides. (KCP Group)

Inside the Weird World of Out-of-Office Messages With many people squeezing in vacation time before the year ends, tis the season for out-of-office messages. Most of them contain similarly bland boilerplate (“I am off work until the 7th and will answer your message upon my return”), but some of them are decidedly more interesting. (Slate)

I wrote the book on warp drive. No, we didn’t accidentally create a warp bubble. The same (former) NASA engineer who previously claimed to violate Newton’s laws is now claiming to have made a warp bubble. He didn’t. (Big Think)

Britney Spears Felt Trapped. Her Business Manager Benefited. Louise Taylor, Britney Spears’ Business Manager during her conservatorship, benefited immensely in sorts of dubious ways. Much of the charges to Spears assets seem very much like improper self-enrichment. (New York Times)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with, Max Chafkin, features editor and tech reporter at Businessweek. His work has also appeared in Fast Company, Vanity Fair, and the New York Times Magazine. His most recent book is “The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power.”


Most Streamed Christmas Songs on Spotify

Source: Statista


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