Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• Was This $100 Billion Deal the Worst Merger Ever? At Time Warner, executives saw AT&T as just a “big phone company from Texas.” At AT&T, they thought Hollywood would play by their rules. That combination led to strategic miscalculation unrivaled in recent corporate history. (New York Times)
• Qatar’s World Cup is an unparalleled disgrace: There’s truly only one story at this World Cup. (SFGate) see also The Qatar World Cup Exposes Soccer’s Shame: The absurd spectacle of a tiny Gulf petrostate hosting the world’s premier tournament reveals the ugly side of “the beautiful game.” (The Atlantic)
• The Worst Bond Market Ever: By history’s standards, stocks have not performed too badly, but bonds certainly have. (Morningstar)
• Tax filing websites have been sending users’ financial information to Facebook: The Markup found services including TaxAct, TaxSlayer, and H&R Block sending sensitive data. (Verge)
• How Colleges and Sports-Betting Companies ‘Caesarized’ Campus Life: In order to reap millions of dollars in fees, universities are partnering with betting companies to introduce their students and sports fans to online gambling. (New York Times) see also Cigars, Booze, Money: How a Lobbying Blitz Made Sports Betting Ubiquitous. The gambling industry and its allies got their way with lawmakers after showering them with donations, gifts and dubious arguments (New York Times)
• Stephen Diehl: Crypto is the ‘commoditisation of populist anger, gambling and crime’ The software engineer has denounced crypto assets as vehicles for pure speculation. But his views have made him a target of harassment — including death threats. (Financial Times)
• How Banks and Private Equity Cash In When Patients Can’t Pay Their Medical Bills: As Americans are overwhelmed with medical bills, patient financing is now a multibillion-dollar business, with private equity and big banks lined up to cash in when patients and their families can’t pay for care. By one estimate from research firm IBISWorld, profit margins top 29% in the patient financing industry, seven times what is considered a solid hospital margin. (KHN)
• How Jessica Logan’s Call for Help Became Evidence Against Her: After her baby died in the night, a young mother called 911. Police thought they could read her mind just by listening.Now she’s haunted by the words she chose. (ProPublica) see also They Called Him a Gangster Out for Revenge. The Evidence? 6 Text Messages. A murder-conspiracy case in northwestern England tells the story of Britain’s crackdown on gangs, which disproportionately targets young Black men. (New York Times)
• From Twitter to Terrorism, the Far Right Isn’t Taking No For an Answer: America’s Rejected the Far Right Democratically — So Now It’s Trying to Take Society by Force. (Eudaimonia)
• How Iran’s security forces use rape to quell protests: Covert testimonies reveal sexual assaults on male and female activists as a women-led uprising spreads. (CNN)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend for a live interview at Bloomberg Invest with Boaz Weinstein of Saba Capital discussing “Whales, Tails & Fails.”
Theranos: The rise and fall of a company that promised to change the world
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