The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of coffee, grab a seat by the window, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• In the War Against Russia, Some Ukrainians Carry AK-47s. Andrey Liscovich Carries a Shopping List: Kyiv enlisted a Silicon Valley insider to rush consumer-grade tech onto the battlefield. He’s giving a demo of the future of war: the military-retail complex. (Wired)
• The Wager That Betting Can Change the World: A coterie of tech insiders believe that “prediction markets” can fix social ills. Are they right? (New York Times)
• Artificial General Intelligence Is Already Here: Today’s most advanced AI models have many flaws, but decades from now, they will be recognized as the first true examples of artificial general intelligence. (NOEMA)
• Has Bob Iger Lost the Magic? Disney’s legendary CEO came out of retirement to save the company—right in time for its 100th birthday. Nothing has gone his way. (Businessweek) see also Disney Goes All In On Sports Betting: After years of internal debate, the entertainment giant did a deal with a gambling company and will launch an ESPN betting app next month. Can it draw a bigger sports crowd without alienating Mickey’s fans? (Wall Street Journal)
• Servants seem out of touch. Enter the billionaire’s battalion of experts: The wealthy are employing an army of niche specialists — from shamans to hospitality directors — to optimize their lives in the name of self-improvement. (Washington Post)
• I Got Paid to Spy on People While They Worked: The job was Mystery Shopper, part of a shadowy $1.5 billion industry. The personal cost was unbearable. (Esquire)
• Finance as alchemy: Finance fraud is not a deviation from an essentially rational system but a window onto the reality-distortion of markets. (Aeon)
• ‘People are happier in a walkable neighbourhood’: the US town that banned cars: For the first piece in our new series the alternatives we visit a community without cars in the desert of Tempe, Arizona. (The Guardian)
• Who Killed the Fudge King? How I (possibly) solved a cold case on my summer vacation. (Atavist)
• My Delirious Trip to the Heart of Swiftiedom: Taylor Swift’s greatest gift is for telling her own story — better than any journalist could. But Taffy Brodesser-Akner gives it a shot anyway. (New York Times)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Graeme Forster, a director at Orbis Holdings Ltd., which has $51 billion in assets under management. Orbis deploys a unique fee arrangement, where they are only paid a fee when they outperform their benchmark and refund fees to clients when they underperform. The Orbis Global Equity is their flagship fund, accounting for 67% of their assets, and has compounded at 11% annually, outperforming its benchmark since its 1990 inception.
The New Kings of Wall Street Aren’t Banks. Private Funds Fuel Corporate America.
Source: Wall Street Journal