The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of French Press coffee, grab a seat by the fire, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• The Real Reason the Pandemic Killed Small Restaurants: The Applebee’s in your town is fine. The local bistro is not. Here’s why. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is another trade association that lobbies on behalf of an industry and provides education and legal support to its members. It has bent federal, state, and local governments to the will of the corporate behemoths, claiming to represent the nation’s 500,000 food service establishments, even though less than 10% are members. “They are conflicted—representing full independents but also representing the chains. It’s kind of hard to do.” (Slate)
• Amazon’s $31B ad business, explained Jeff Bezos long shunned ads, but the opportunity is massive and the e-commerce platform has gone all in on it. (Trung Phan) see also Which Companies Won or Lost Your Affection During Pandemic? A funny thing happened during the pandemic: Amazon no longer was my automatic choice for online retail purchases. During lockdown with items in short supply, I began searching and finding things elsewhere, often at significantly better prices. (The Big Picture)
• The professor who beat roulette: How a renowned researcher beat the odds, stumped casino owners around the world, and walked away with a fortune. (The Hustle)
• Revealed: Credit Suisse leak unmasks criminals, fraudsters and corrupt politicians Massive leak reveals secret owners of £80bn held in Swiss bank Whistleblower leaked bank’s data to expose ‘immoral’ secrecy laws Clients included human trafficker and billionaire who ordered girlfriend’s murder Vatican-owned account used to spend €350m in allegedly fraudulent investment Scandal-hit Credit Suisse rejects allegations it may be ‘rogue bank’ (The Guardian)
• Why in the year of our lord 2022 am I still getting robocalls??? They made a Covid-19 vaccine in less than a year, but I still get robocalls. (Vox)
• How Do You Host Television in 2022? Hosts were just supposed to guide us from one commercial break to the next. Now we want them to help us make sense of the world. (Washington Post)
• To Fix the Supply Chain Mess, Take on Wall Street Financiers bent on short-term profits are largely responsible for America’s shortage of semiconductors and other key materials. Before we offer them more subsidies, how about demanding some accountability? (Washington Monthly)
• The Nocturnals: While most people are fast asleep, some ultra-introverts are going about their lives, reveling in the quiet and solitude. They challenge a core assumption of psychology: that all humans need social connection. (The Atlantic)
• The CIA and the New Dialect of Power Previous generations of CIA officers spoke an older dialect of power—the genteel, patrician, transatlantic accent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal, and Katherine Hepburn. Like the new dialect of power, the transatlantic accent was used to distinguish the speaker from the masses. It was taught in boarding schools modeled on the British system, as the accent itself was modeled after the English. Many of the CIA’s initial recruits were brought up in such boarding schools, where, as Vicent Bevins points out, they inherited the upper-class imperial values of the British. (American Affairs)
• How They Did It: Sandy Hook Families Gain Long-Awaited Legal Wins After early defeats in Congress, relatives of those lost in the 2012 shooting fought on, besting a renowned gun maker and an infamous conspiracy theorist. (New York Times)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Sebastien Mallaby, whom we previously had on as a guest (MiB is here) discussed “More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite.” His new book is a must-read, a powerful tour de force on the history of the VC: “The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future.”
Russian Stock market Collapses 33% on Ukraine Invasion
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