10 Friday AM Reads

My end of week morning train WFH reads:

‘It’s All Just Wild’: Tech Start-Ups Reach a New Peak of Froth How crazy is the money sloshing around in start-up land right now? It’s so crazy that more than 900 tech start-ups are each worth more than $1 billion. In 2015, 80 seemed like a lot. It’s so crazy that hot start-ups no longer have to pitch investors for money. The investors are the ones pitching them. It’s so crazy that founders can start raising money on a Friday afternoon and have a deal closed by Sunday night. It’s so crazy that even sports metaphors fall short. There’s more money and more bubbly behavior; Investors insist it’s rational. (New York Times)

Tales From Crypto: A Billionaire Meme Feud Threatens Industry Unity A dispute over “web3” in the cryptocurrency industry was publicly exposed in a Twitter spat between Jack Dorsey and Marc Andreessen. Here’s what it’s all about. (New York Times) see also Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather and a crypto token’s wild ride Lawsuit shines a light on the booming business for celebrity endorsements (Financial Times)

How Often Should You Expect a Stock Market Correction? Since 1950, the S&P 500 has had an average drawdown of 13.6% over the course of a calendar year. Over this 72 year period, there have been 36 double-digit corrections, 10 bear markets and 6 crashes. This means the S&P 500 has experienced on average a correction once every 2 years (10%+) a bear market once every 7 years (20%+), a crash once every 12 years (30%+) (Wealth of Common Sense)

Bruce Springsteen, John Legend and Bob Dylan are suddenly selling their catalogues. Here’s Why: Why not sell? Rather than leaving their family a “complex set of music rights,” artists can “leave them a large, investable financial asset,” aka “A big pile of money.” (Washington Post)

The excruciatingly long, slow ‘death’ of coal The dirtiest power source surged in 2021. Even in the U.S., where economics makes it is essentially impossible to build new coal power infrastructure, easing off the fossil fuel is hard. (Grid)

How the Potato Chip Took Over America A fussy magnate, a miffed chef and the curious roots of the comfort food we hate to love: When Covid-19 forced people to stay home, many of us found solace in a snack: potato chips. The crispy treats enjoyed around a $350 million increase in sales from 2019 to 2020. When the chips are down, it seems, Americans gobble them up. (Smithsonian Magazine)

Why we are in ‘the age of artificial islands’: We are building more islands than ever before. In the latest edition of our photographic series Anthropo-Scene, we explore the striking results of humanity’s attempts to colonise the world’s lakes and oceans with new land. (BBC)

How Did ID.me Get Between You and Your Identity? Military veteran Blake Hall’s cybersecurity company has become the government’s digital gatekeeper. Its unproven estimate—$400 billion in pandemic unemployment fraud—is also very good for its business. (Businessweek)

Greetings from the pandemic memory hole, where the last two years are one big blur Some people have forgotten birthdays. Others have lost much more. (Washington Post)

A Rio Grande Valley Woman Just Broke the U.S. Record for Most Birds Spotted in a Year Tiffany Kersten saw 726 species in 48 states, setting a new record for the mind-boggling achievement birders call a Big Year. (Texas Monthly)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Tina Vandersteel, head of GMO’s Emerging Country Debt team and serves as portfolio manager for GMO’s external and local currency debt portfolios. Prior to joining GMO in 2004, she worked at J.P. Morgan in fixed income research developing quantitative arbitrage strategies for emerging debt and high yield bonds.


Out With A Whimper, In With A Bang

Source: bps and pieces


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