10 Sunday Reads

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

The Slow-Motion Coup Mark Danner What has Donald Trump taken from our democracy? Donald J. Trump’s essential advantage is to be always underestimated: treated as a narcissistic fop, a deranged and ignorant bull in the china shop of American governance. True, he flaunts his narcissism and mythomania with petulant and unflagging pride. But for all that, he is a connoisseur of grievance and resentment and outrage, and a master at shaping from these lucrative political emotions a creative and motivating message. (New York Review of Books)

The World’s Hottest Housing Markets Are Facing a Painful Reset Frothy property markets are poised for double-digit price declines as consumers face mounting financial pressures. (Bloomberg)

The focus on misinformation leads to a profound misunderstanding of why people believe and act on bad information: Misinformation has been a prominent paradigm in the explanation of social, political, and more recently epidemiological phenomena since the middle of the last decade. However, Daniel Williams argues that a focus on misinformation is limiting when used to explain these phenomena. Primarily, as it distracts us from more important ways in which information can be misleading, and it overlooks the social dynamics of competition involved in information marketplaces that produce effective rationalisations of the favoured narratives of different social groups. (London School of Economics)

Oops, Minnesota Accidentally Legalized THC-Spiked Seltzer Craft breweries are cranking out cannabis-infused drinks after a sudden law change. (Vice)

Dry Cleaners Were Disappearing Even Before the Pandemic: Starched shirts just don’t have the same appeal they once did. But there are forces greater than the virus at work here. (Businessweek)

They built a Minecraft crypto empire. Then it all came crashing down: Kids in the Philippines were earning hundreds of dollars from a play-to-earn Minecraft game, until new rules sent the community into a tailspin. (Rest of World)

Insurers force change on police departments long resistant to it The high cost of settlements over police misconduct has led insurers to demand police departments overhaul tactics or forgo coverage. (Washington Post)

More Than 335,000 Lives Could Have Been Saved During Pandemic if U.S. Had Universal Health Care: In the United States, death rates from COVID-19 are higher than in any other high-income country—and our fragmented and inefficient health system may be largely to blame, Yale researchers say in a new study. (Yale School of Public Health)

The Martha’s Vineyard migrant flight has echoes of a dark past: Reverse Freedom Rides: The Citizens’ Councils attempted to cloak their racism in respectability, Webb said. They held meetings in fancy downtown hotels and wore suits and ties.”They could be members of the police force,” said Webb. “They could be bankers, businessmen and the like.” (NPR)

VCU apologizes for 1968 transplant in which Black man’s heart was taken without consent: “VCU humbly recognizes and deeply regrets the historic inequity and systemic marginalization of individuals as they do not reflect the society VCU works to advance — one in which people of diverse backgrounds and experiences are given the dignity and respect their humanity deserves.”   (Richmond Times-Dispatch)   

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. He co-founded 5 companies; was President of del.icio.us thru the company’s sale to Yahoo; angel investor Etsy + Tumblr. Wenger is the author of World After Capital, describing the shift to a Knowledge Age + its implications for businesses & society.


Institutional clients (>$50m) surveyed said they were more likely to sack their investment manager for speaking out on a social or political issue than for receiving a regulatory sanction

Source: CFA Institute


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