Note: Off to Arizona for a conference; no Morning Reads for the next day or two…
Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• Army of lobbyists helped water down banking regulations: That unlikely coalition voted in 2018 to roll back portions of a far-reaching 2010 law intended to prevent a future financial crisis. But those changes are now being blamed for contributing to the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank that prompted a federal rescue and has stoked anxiety about a broader banking contagion. The rollback was leveraged with a lobbying campaign that cost tens of millions of dollars that drew an army of hundreds of lobbyists and it was seeded with ample campaign contributions. (AP)
• Need a consultant? This book argues hiring one might actually damage your institution. Beware, argue the authors of a new book. Besuited jetsetters, armed with prestigious degrees and powerpoint slides, have infiltrated governments and corporations around the world. They claim to offer valuable expertise and fresh ideas. But don’t be fooled! The consulting industry, the authors argue, is selling snake oil that is poisoning governments and distorting economies. (NPR)
• Inside the world of high-end crypto rehab centers, where a 4-week stay can cost you $320,000 and no luxury is spared: Crypto addiction is like a “casino in your pocket” says the founder and CEO of The Balance, a crypto rehab center. (Business Insider)
• Examining America’s War in Iraq: After 20 Years: It was a blunder. Worse than that, it was a crime. (Reason) see also George W. Bush misrepresented our work at CIA to sell the Iraq invasion. It’s time to call him what he is: ‘A liar.’ The decision to invade had already been made, and there was not any intelligence that was going to change their opinion. So this was not an effort to justify the war. It was an effort to sell the war publicly. (Business Insider) see also Bush’s Iraq War Lies Created a Blueprint for Donald Trump: The officially sanctioned conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 set a dangerous precedent. (The Intercept)
• What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane: Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say. (The Atlantic)
• “He has a battle rifle”: Police feared Uvalde gunman’s AR-15: In previously unreleased interviews, police who responded to the Robb Elementary shooting told investigators they were cowed by the shooter’s military-style rifle. This drove their decision to wait for a Border Patrol SWAT team to engage him, which took more than an hour. (Texas Tribune) see also Sandy Hook Families Are Fighting Alex Jones and the Bankruptcy System Itself: As the families seek more than $1.4 billion awarded by courts for Mr. Jones’s lies, a New York Times review shows he is transferring millions of dollars to family and friends, potentially out of reach of creditors. (New York Times)
• “You Know What? I’m Not Doing This Anymore.” There’s a quiet new crisis brewing in Texas following the abortion ban. It could get much worse. (Slate)
• Antisemitism on Twitter has more than doubled since Elon Musk took over the platform: Antisemitic tweets have more than doubled over the months since Musk took charge. Between June and Oct. 26, 2022, there was a weekly average of 6,204 tweets deemed “plausibly antisemitic” – that is, where at least one reasonable interpretation of the tweet falls within the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of the term as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews.” (The Conversation) see also Pentagon Analyst Kept Intel Job After Joining Jan. 6 Mob, Planned to Kidnap Jewish Leaders: Hatchet Speed built a career as a Beltway contractor and Navy reservist while praising Putin and Hitler. (The Intercept)
• Trump’s congressional hit men: House Republicans recycle anti-Clinton playbook: Rep. James Comer is running the same game Rep. Dan Burton played when Bill Clinton was in the White House. (Salon)
• The Yankees are worth $6bn: why won’t they pay $9 for their players’ wifi? The Bronx Bombers’ cheapness will be seen by many as another sign that the franchise remains trapped in the glory days of its past. The Yankees are worth $6bn: why won’t they pay $9 for their players’ wifi? (The Guardian)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Dominique Mielle, (retired) partner at Canyon Capital, a $25 billion hedge fund where she worked there for 20+ years. She is also the author of “Damsel in Distressed,” which turns out to be (surprisingly) the very first memoir written by a woman working at a hedge fund. The book is a fun romp covering the 1998-2018 era.
Russia’s Growing Trade With China
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