10 Sunday Reads

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:

The Next Crisis Will Start With Empty Office Buildings: Commercial real estate is losing value fast. (The Atlantic)

The Horse Isn’t Real. People Are Betting on It Anyway. In virtual sports betting, the house edge is insane, there’s even more stigma and the racing never stops. (Vice)

Plagiarism Engine: Google’s Content-Swiping AI Could Break the Internet:  The Search Generative Experience seems more like a text-copying experience. (Tom’s Hardware)

• The Great Grift: How billions in COVID-19 relief aid was stolen or wasted: All of it led to the greatest grift in U.S. history, with thieves plundering billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief aid intended to combat the worst pandemic in a century and to stabilize an economy in free fall. (AP)

When a Huawei Bid Turned Into a Hunt for a Corporate Mole: At TDC in Copenhagen, senior managers were potential suspects. The company’s offices were compromised, people were getting tailed. And then there were the drones… (Businessweek)

• Power companies quietly pushed $215m into US politics via dark money groups: Donations have helped utilities increase electricity prices, hinder solar schemes and helped elect sympathetic legislators. (The Guardian)

Taiwan sees MeToo wave of allegations after Netflix show: Taiwan is being rocked by a wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations – sparked by a Netflix show which many say has ignited a local MeToo movement. (BBC)

When We Are Afraid: On teaching in a red state, the silences in our history lessons, and all I never learned about my hometown. (Longreads)

Counting Russia’s dead in Ukraine – and what it says about the changing face of the war: Russia has a history of extraordinary secrecy over its wartime losses. So when it invaded Ukraine, the BBC and its partners began painstakingly verifying and counting as many deaths as possible, identifying more than 25,000 named individuals, setting a bare minimum for Russia’s total losses. The count provides hard evidence of the war’s impact on Russian forces. But it has also given answers to grieving families and relatives who did not know what had happened to their loved ones until the BBC traced them. (BBC)

Trump’s post-indictment speech was a master class in alternative facts and false victim narratives: Though it seemed like his camp was initially reticent to address the specifics of the indictment, Trump went into a detailed defense before a crowd at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. He presented alternate histories, legal disinformation, and false claims of political victimization to craft a narrative that he seemed to believe his followers will accept as fact. Overall, the speech previewed a strategy to neutralize the impact of a case that could stretch well into the 2024 election and beyond. (Vox)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with NBC News and former WSJ reporter Gretchen Morgenson. The Pulitizer prize winning investigative journalist is the author of a new book, These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs―and Wrecks―America.


‘Shadow Banks’ Account for Half of the World’s Assets—and Pose Growing Risks

Source: Barron’s


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