train WFH reads:
• Debt-Ceiling Fight Sends Investors Hunting for New Havens: Traders worried about a potential U.S. default are swapping their go-to safe haven for the bonds of America’s top-rated companies. Just days or weeks before the government faces a possible funding shortfall, investors are shunning U.S. Treasury bills that will mature over the next several months while paying a premium to buy debt issued by Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, two of the highest-rated U.S. companies. (Wall Street Journal)
• Negotiating Power Back. But Not as Much as You Think. Limited partners in private equity funds expect the scales to tip a bit back into their favor amid challenging market conditions.. (Institutional Investor)
• Start-Ups Bring Silicon Valley Ethos to a Lumbering Military-Industrial Complex: Small, fast-moving U.S. tech firms are using the war in Ukraine to demonstrate a new generation of military systems but face the challenge of selling them to a risk-averse Defense Department. (New York Times)
• The Long Fight Over ‘Taco Tuesday’ Taco Bell drafts LeBron James in a trademark tussle with Taco John’s and a New Jersey restaurant. (Wall Street Journal)
• A Model of Influencer Economy: With the rise of social media and streaming platforms, firms and brand-owners increasingly depend on influencers to attract consumers, who care about both common product quality and consumer-influencer interaction. Sellers thus compete in both influencer and product markets. As outreach and distribution technologies improve, influencer payoffs and income inequality change non-monotonically. More powerful influencers sell better-quality products, but pluralism in style mitigates market concentration by effectively differentiating consumer experience. (National Bureau of Economic Research)
• How Bud Light Blew It: With one blunder after another, the brewing giant behind the brand became a case study in how not to handle a culture-war storm (Wall Street Journal)
• The little-known unintended consequence of recycling plastics: Breaking down plastics can generate polluting microplastics that wind up in water or the air, one study finds. (Washington Post)
• The Legend of Nikola Jokic Is Growing: The Nuggets big man beat every scheme, won every matchup, and sank seemingly every improbable moonball in a series sweep of the Lakers. (The Ringer)
• ‘It was fun until it wasn’t’: hip-hop A&R Dante Ross on De La Soul, ODB – and punchups with P Diddy: Hailed as the genre’s Forrest Gump for his time with artists from Busta Rhymes to Santana, today Ross contends that streaming, sampling and materialism have changed the genre beyond recognition. (The Guardian)
• The Debt Ceiling Is Unconstitutional—but Not for the Reason You Think: Congress’s power to make contracts does not come with the power to renege on them. (American Prospect)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with John Hope Bryant, the founder and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE. The firm focuses on providing financial illiteracy as a way to address systemic issues for under-served individuals and small businesses. He is also the CEO of Bryant Group Ventures, and The Promise Homes Company. Bryant was named 2016 American Banker ‘Innovator of the Year,’ He has been an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents.
Company Earnings Guidance Is Wrong About 70% of the Time
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