The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of coffee, grab a seat by the fire, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• “Hell Is Coming”: How Bill Ackman Predicted the COVID Market Crash—And Made a Fortune: In February 2020, the infamous short seller woke up in a cold sweat when he realized the pandemic might spell pandemonium on Wall Street, as Liz Hoffman writes in her forthcoming book, Crash Landing. “We need to either sell everything,” he told his top lieutenants, “or put on a massive hedge.” (Vanity Fair)
• The Daring Ruse That Exposed China’s Campaign to Steal American Secrets: How the downfall of one intelligence agent revealed the astonishing depth of Chinese industrial espionage. (New York Times)
• The Happiness-Industrial Complex: Alongside the industrial and the digital revolutions, the modern era has witnessed a happiness revolution. The scientific study, laboratory refinement, and industrial production of happiness are all big business. If we count among its products the dopamine rush with which we are awarded for our small efforts online, the happiness industry is now the largest in the world. (Liberties)
• The U.S. Is Not Yet Ready for the Era of ‘Great Power’ Conflict: Since 2018, the military has shifted to focus on China and Russia after decades fighting insurgencies, but it still faces challenges to produce weapons and come up with new ways of waging war. (Wall Street Journal)
• Meet the men paying to have their jaws broken in the name of ‘manliness’ A growing number of men – often motivated by the darkest corners of the web – are paying vast sums to have their jaws broken and reshaped in the hope that a manlier mandible might transform them into ‘alphas’ or ‘Chads’. Are they biting off more than they can chew? (GQ)
• Can a Better Technology Dethrone the Gas Stove? While culture warriors and foodies panic over their favorite kitchen appliance, the induction range—all the rage in Europe—is still waiting for America to fall in love. (Businessweek)
• Brigadier General of the 43rd Brigade Oleg Shevchuk: Jaw-dropping throughout. How Ukraine’s army leveraged social media against Russia’s invasion. “We called civilians and asked: ‘Do you see this section of road? If a shell hits in a minute and a half, can you tell us roughly where it exploded?’ The person would describe the place of the explosion, we would open a Google map and see: Yes, there is such a place behind the vegetable garden.” (Pravda.com.ua) Note: Use Chrome translate to read in English, or go to WarTranslated
• When Trump Passes the MAGA Hat, His Aides Clutch Their Wallets: Unlike other recent presidents, Donald Trump has rarely received campaign donations from his top advisers. They offer a range of explanations. (New York Times)
• Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Act: What happens when the Terminator turns 75 (The Atlantic)
• No coach, no agent, no ego: the incredible story of the ‘Lionel Messi of cliff diving’ Gary Hunt is an enigma. He trains with the intensity of a modern athlete, but relaxes like a sportsman of a bygone era. He is fiercely competitive but unbelievably laid-back. How did he become the greatest cliff diver of all time? (The Guardian)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Rich Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors (RBA), which was founded in 2009 and is running $14.6B in assets. Previously, he was Chief Investment Strategist at Merrill Lynch, where he had worked for 21 years. Bernstein was named to the Institutional Investor’s “All-America Research Team” 18 times and has been inducted into the Institutional Investor “Hall of Fame.” He is the author of “Navigate the Noise: Investing in the New Age of Media and Hype.”
The Fed’s Inflation Goal Is Completely Arbitrary
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To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.