10 Weekend Reads

The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Danish Blend coffee, grab a seat in the warm sun, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:

The inside story of the Pfizer vaccine: ‘a once-in-an-epoch windfall’  The US drugmaker is behind the pharmaceutical product with the record for sales in a single year. Pfizer forecasts sales of the vaccine will hit $36bn in 2021, at least double those of its closest rival Moderna. Pfizer’s ability to dramatically expand production has made it by far the most dominant vaccine maker. In October, Pfizer had 80 per cent market share for Covid vaccines in the EU and 74 per cent in the US. The American company now dominates the market for Covid jabs. But does that give it too much power? (Financial Times)

Misreading Inflation Why we should err on the side of inaction—and why we won’t. Indisputably, all other factors held constant, inflation is bad. It erodes the real value of money, reducing purchasing power. The same money buys less than it did before, including things like food and shelter. But all other factors are not constant. “Nominal” values—such as the dollar cost of items—are less important than “real” values such as actual purchasing power. (Boston Review)

Birds Aren’t Real, or Are They? Inside a Gen Z Conspiracy Theory. The events were all connected by a Gen Z-fueled conspiracy theory, which posits that birds don’t exist and are really drone replicas installed by the U.S. government to spy on Americans. Hundreds of thousands of young people have joined the movement, wearing Birds Aren’t Real T-shirts, swarming rallies and spreading the slogan. Peter McIndoe, the 23-year-old creator of the viral Birds Aren’t Real movement, is ready to reveal what the effort is really about. (New York Times)

From a meme to $47 million: ConstitutionDAO, crypto, and the future of crowdfunding What started as a joke on Twitter led to being a very real bid in an auction to buy a copy of the US Constitution. It was a really great experience to see and flex the power of the internet in just a week of trying to make this happen. The real Constitution is the friends we made along the way  (The Verge)

Jim Belushi Left Hollywood to Grow Weed and Heal His Soul: The iconic comedian and sitcom dad wants to save all of us—one dank, wondrous, sticky-icky trip at a time. (Men’s Health)

Is There a Genetic Link to Being an Extremely Good Boy? Guide dogs need the right personality, health, and training. Scientists are studying the genetics behind the traits that make a dog suited to working. (Wired)

He Voted to Impeach. Can He Survive in the GOP? The political education of Peter Meijer After January 6, Peter Meijer thought he could help lead the Republican Party away from an abyss. Now he laughs at his own naïveté. (The Atlantic) see also Inside Trump’s hunt for “disloyal” Republicans  Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states. (Axios)

Loving Lies: Stephen Glass, the most notorious fraud in journalism, decided he would live by one simple rule: Always tell the truth. Then he broke that rule (Air Mail)

An Oral History of Stretch Armstrong’s Delightful Destructibility Not every toy is meant to be passed on to your children. While some dolls and action figures can stand the test of time if they’re properly maintained, others are meant to be melted, exploded or terrorized until their mysterious innards come oozing out of their body. Such is the case with Stretch Armstrong.(Mel)

“Who the Fuck Cares About Adam McKay?” (We Do, and With Good Reason) The Don’t Look Up director weighs in on everything under the sun, from his comedy roots to his breakup with Will Ferrell to the sun itself. If only we’d let him write his own lede. Adam McKay has an idea for how a profile of Adam McKay should begin. “I would say,” suggests the writer and director of Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and The Big Short, “‘Adam McKay believes that personal profiles have destroyed America.’”  (Vanity Fair)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview  this weekend with Maureen Farrell, former Wall Street Journal reporter (now with the New York Times), and co-author (with Elliot Brown) of the book “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.”


When Stock-Bond Diversification Fails

Source: AQR


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