10 Weekend Reads

The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Bella Finca coffee, grab a seat by the fire, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:

Larry Fink Wants to Save the World (and Make Money Doing It) The firm he runs manages some $10 trillion for pension funds, endowments, governments, companies and individuals, equal to more than 10% of the world’s gross domestic product in 2020. As steward for millions of investors, BlackRock wields vast shareholder voting power, which it uses either to back managements or to prod them in new directions. CEO of giant asset manager BlackRock uses his position to push firms to address climate change (Wall Street Journal)

China’s economy: the fallout from the Evergrande crisis China’s second-largest developer is now on the cusp of becoming the country’s biggest ever bankruptcy case, and its downfall has sparked a broader crisis in the real estate sector. It has accumulated liabilities of about Rmb2tn, equivalent to 2 per cent of gross domestic product, which are owed to creditors ranging from individuals who bought high-yielding investment products from the group to the country’s largest construction companies and banks. The crackdown on real estate ordered by Xi Jinping is putting growing pressure on local governments and many companies (Financial Times)

• How we fixed the ozone layer: When it comes to stories of progress, there aren’t many environmental successes to learn from. Although there are some local and national successes – such as the large reductions in local air pollution in rich countries – there are almost none at the global level. Yet there is one exception: the ozone layer. Humanity’s ability to heal the depleted ozone layer is not only our biggest environmental success, it is the most impressive example of international cooperation on any challenge in history. The story behind humanity’s greatest environmental success is too rarely told and too often taken for granted. This is how humanity fixed the ozone layer and why it matters. (Works in Progress)

• ‘There’s no room for error’: The humble tugboat’s crucial role in easing a global crisis Each day on the water, he sees evidence of a seemingly insatiable demand in the comings and goings of container ships, automobile carriers, oil tankers, even the Chiquita banana boat. “Those of us who work out here see everyone’s lives writ large,” he says. “Every day we get a firsthand view of the size and scale of the American economy and American consumerism. Not many appreciate this when they go to the market and buy individual. (Los Angeles Times)

America needs immigration to grow and thrive The morphing of immigration into a culture-war wedge issue represents a huge economic risk for the United States of America. Immigration isn’t just important for our identity and culture; it’s also crucial for our economy. There are a number of reasons for this, but they all come down to the challenge of an aging, shrinking population. And right-wing culture warriors like Amy Wax are standing in the way. (Noahpinion)

Can Matt Mullenweg save the internet? Automattic’s founding idea — that software should be available to everyone and editable by anyone, that communities can build great things together, that walled gardens always eventually fall — seems more tenuous than ever. The way Mullenweg sees it, “open” is still going to win. It’s not a matter of if, only when. He’s turning Automattic into a different kind of tech giant. But can he take on the trillion-dollar walled gardens and give the internet back to the people? (Protocol)

Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2021 That May Lead to New Inventions From nanobots to cancer treatments, nature inspires a wide variety of innovations (Smithsonian)

A People’s History of Black Twitter, Part I From #UKnowUrBlackWhen to #BlackLivesMatter, how a loose online network became a pop culture juggernaut, an engine of social justice, and a lens into the future. (Wiredsee also A People’s History of Black Twitter, Part II No longer just an online movement, Black Twitter takes to the streets—and finds its voice. (Wired)

The Pandemic Brought Our Family’s Harasser Out Of Retirement. Here’s How We Finally Caught Him. Our terrifying experience came to an end — but it took a lot of time and resources others might not have access to. (Buzzfeed)

•  To Boldly Explore the Jewish Roots of ‘Star Trek’ An exhibition at a Jewish cultural center has plenty of artifacts to delight Trekkies — but it also notes the Jewish origins of the Vulcan salute. (New York Times)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Ray Dalio, founder, co-chairman and co-chief investment officer of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. Dalio’s latest book, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail.


Investors dash out of US tech stocks in powerful market rotation

Source: Financial Times


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