10 Sunday Reads

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:

An American Catastrophe: The secret history of the U.S. government’s family-separation policy. We need to take away children.” (The Atlantic)

A Uranium Ghost Town in the Making: Time and again, mining company Homestake and government agencies promised to clean up waste from decades of uranium processing. It didn’t happen. Now they’re trying a new tactic: buying out homeowners to avoid finishing the job. (ProPublica)

The Strange Case of Nakamoto’s Bitcoin: In actuality, categorizing the mother of all crypto as Ponzi or pyramid is an attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole. Bitcoin is neither, it belongs to a new genus of fraud. It has several specific qualities that make it unique, and many others that it shares with known forms of investment fraud, notably Ponzi and pyramid schemes. By carefully examining Bitcoin’s construction and observing its relations with other forms of investment fraud, we can better understand the inner workings of the Nakamoto scheme. (Sal Bayat)

Jumbo’s Ghost Elephants and Machines in Motion: On September 15, 1885, twenty-five years after his capture in Sudan, Jumbo the elephant tragically died when struck by a freight train. Ross Bullen takes us on a spectral journey through other collisions between elephant and machine — in adventure novels, abandoned roadside hotels, and psychic science — revealing latent anxieties at the century’s turn. (Public Domain Review)

All time best interviews with accused fraudsters. One of my pastimes is listening to interviews with accused corporate fraudsters before and after they got caught. (Yes, I should probably get a life.) The funny thing about white collar fraudsters is that most of them don’t go around advertising their criminal tendencies. This makes it hard to tell who to suspect and who to trust. (Dirty Laundry: AI, Investing & Fraud)

A challenge for antiabortion states: Doctors reluctant to work there: Recruiters say OB/GYNs are turning down offers, a warning for conservative-dominated states already experiencing shortages. (Washington Post)

Sweeping Mortgage Boycott Changes the Face of Dissent in China Angry homebuyers have launched one of the most effective protests the country has ever seen.  (Bloomberg)

Alex Jones’ origin story: 4 moments that shaped the ‘multiplatform prophet of paranoia’ His misinformation brought him fame. Now, it is at the center of the Sandy Hook defamation trial. (Grid)

• Spyware is huge threat to global human rights and democracy, expert warns: Cybersecurity expert Ron Deibert to testify to Canadian MPs about troubling spread of invasive surveillance tools. (The Guardian).

State Legislatures Are Torching Democracy Even in moderate places like Ohio, gerrymandering has let unchecked Republicans pass extremist laws that could never make it through Congress. (New Yorker) see also The GOP is sick. It didn’t start with Trump — and won’t end with him: Many Americans were shocked that Trump, after first considering a plan to seize voting machines, had orchestrated an attempted coup, knowingly dispatching armed attackers to Capitol Hill and then refusing for 187 minutes to call off the assault. Many Americans have been shocked to see elected Republicans excuse Trump’s attack on democracy. (Washington Post)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Ken Tropin, chairman and founder of Graham Capital Management, a multi-strategy quantitative hedge fund managing $17.2 billion. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of hedge fund John W. Henry & Company, working with such legendary traders as John Henry and Paul Tudor Jones.


Why is life expectancy in the US lower than in other rich countries?

Source: Our World In Data


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