Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s Family Bubble: At Stanford Law School, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried specialized in ethics and social fairness. Now that their son stands accused of one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history, they’re scrambling for legal escape routes. (New Yorker)
• The Nasdaq 100 Is Wildly Popular. It’s Also Deeply Flawed: The designers of other popular indexes don’t charge exchange-listing fees to be included in their benchmark. Instead, they apply either purely quantitative stock selection criteria or have an arm’s-length relationship with their firms’ other business interests. (Barron’s)
• Dead NFTs: The Evolving Landscape of the NFT Market: NFTs have seen their rise over the recent years… now they are seeing their fall. We investigated and the results are shocking. Read on to learn what the NFT marketplace looks like now. (DappGambl)
• Clarence Thomas’ Latest Pay-to-Play Scandal Finally Connects All the Dots: ProPublica released a new report on Friday detailing Justice Clarence Thomas’ close relationship with the Koch brothers with previously undisclosed and extraordinarily damning new details. According to ProPublica, the justice developed a friendship with the Kochs as they were funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into right-wing causes, many of which ended up before the Supreme Court. The brothers then used Thomas to raise money for their sprawling network, inviting him to speak at “donor events” that brought in millions of dollars. He disclosed none of these activities on his annual disclosure forms, an obvious violation of federal ethics law. If I were writing a column on SCOTUS I would have to title it “Criminal Justice” (Slate)
• The anatomy of a Facebook account heist: Hungry for money, hackers in Vietnam have hacked into thousands of Meta accounts. (Vox) see also The Chief Embarrassment Officer of X (Formerly Twitter) Linda Yaccarino keeps being humiliated on Elon Musk’s behalf. (Slate)
• We’ve Known for 20 Years This Cold Medicine Doesn’t Work: There’s lots of ineffective drugs on store shelves, just ask your pharmacist. (New York Times) see also A Key American Plant Making Antibiotics for Kids Risks Shutting Down: USAntibiotics wants guaranteed federal contracts for its amoxicillin to ensure supplies of the nation’s most popular antibiotic. (Businessweek)
• Revealed: Europe’s role in the making of Russia killer drones: Kyiv says Iranian drones used by Russia in Ukraine have various European components. (The Guardian)
• Rupert Murdoch is sliding into retirement. His malign influence isn’t going anywhere: “For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change.” He promised to be “reaching out to you with thoughts, ideas, and advice.” As for his designated successor, his elder son Lachlan, Rupert assured the employees that Lachlan is “absolutely committed to the cause” of fighting “most of the media,” which is “peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth.” (Los Angeles Times)
• Is America uniquely vulnerable to tyranny? What a brilliant new book gets right — and wrong — about America’s democracy. (Vox) see also A new Supreme Court case could trigger a second Great Depression: America’s Trumpiest court handed down a shockingly dangerous decision. The Supreme Court is likely, but not certain, to fix it. (Vox)
• Heads They ‘Cha-Ching!’; Tails They Take Away Your Malpractice Insurance: A tale of two private equity–spawned medical mega-practices. (American Prospect)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business with Gary Cohn, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council from 2017-2018; he was President and Chief Operating Officer of The Goldman Sachs Group from 2006-2016. Currently, he is Vice Chairman of IBM.
Bond bear market continues: 7-10 year treasuries -22%; 20-30 year treasuries -45%; Zero coupon bonds: -59%
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.