Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• How Election Lies Took Over the Republican Ticket Nationwide: Hundreds of Republican midterm candidates have questioned or spread misinformation about the 2020 election. Together they represent a growing consensus in the Republican Party, and a potential threat to American democracy. (New York Times)
• Crypto Hackers Set for Record Year After Looting Over $3 Billion: Consultancy Chainalysis has detected 125 hacks so far in 2022 Losses undermine confidence in crypto-based financial services. (Bloomberg) see also Hackers Target Eager Homebuyers With a Dumb Scam That Keeps Working: Criminals have found a novel way to intercept wire transfers for down payments. Can a small team of Secret Service agents prevent your worst real estate nightmare? (Businessweek)
• How Bad Can a Lawyer Be? A Philadelphia teenager and the empty promise of the Sixth Amendment (The Atlantic)
• The Feds Think Bored Ape Yacht Club Was Up to Some Monkey Business: Then, of course, the crypto market crashed, and with it, the monetary values and trading volume of the entire NFT market. The Bored Apes pressed on with metaverse gambits, artificial intelligence, awards-show partnerships, and even real-life yachts, yet they never recovered their initial glamour. Rampant thefts, allegations of racist symbology, and myriad other controversies further tanked their reputation and cultural presence. (Slate)
• How did America get addicted to a policy that fails everyone but the rich? In the post-Depression era, it became understood that “not only shouldn’t the market be left to do it all,” DeLong says, “it can’t do it all or very much unless it is properly primed and aided and guided.” (Los Angeles Times)
• Florida Couple Turned the Empty Miami Mansions of Venezuela’s Elite Into Personal Piggy Banks: Mortgage-fraud scheme used fake passports to get a Ferrari, luxury watches and millions in cash. (Wall Street Journal)
• ‘The Cash Monster Was Insatiable’: How Insurers Exploited Medicare for Billions: By next year, half of Medicare beneficiaries will have a private Medicare Advantage plan. Most large insurers in the program have been accused in court of fraud. (New York Times)
• How a Chinese American Gangster Transformed Money Laundering for Drug Cartels: Xizhi Li pioneered a new method that enriched Latin American drug lords and China’s elite. A DEA investigation found the Chinese government may have been involved. (ProPublica)
• How to Make a Semi-Fascist Party: The hostile, paranoid, and increasingly authoritarian path ahead for American conservatism. (New York Magazine) see also What Will Happen to America if Trump Wins Again? Experts Helped Us Game It Out. Trump seizes control of the government and installs super loyalists, governs without Senate advice and consent, creates a MAGA civil service, deploys the military aggressively at home, while retreating abroad The rest of the scenarios are even more. (Washington Post)
• Town employee quietly lowered fluoride in water for years. Residents of a small community in Vermont were blindsided last month by news that one official in their water department quietly lowered fluoride levels nearly four years ago, giving rise to worries about their children’s dental health and transparent government — and highlighting the enduring misinformation around water fluoridation. (AP News)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Tom Rampulla, managing director of Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services division since 2002. He runs the business that provides investments, services, education, and research to more than 1,000 financial advisory firms representing more than $3 trillion in assets.
US midterm elections: Does Finland have the answer to fake news?
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.