10 Weekend Reads

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:

How Russian Spies Get Flipped or Expelled, As Told by a Spycatcher: Caught a Russian spy? You may try to flip them first, perhaps offering work as a double agent—all with the help of the British, the French, or the Americans. If it doesn’t work out, you can still expel them and send them home to Moscow. In an in depth-interview, former Hungarian counterintelligence officer Ferenc Katrein—once a director of operations at Constitution Protection Office (AH)—goes into detail about how allied security agencies work together to identify and disrupt Russian intelligence activity under diplomatic cover. (VSquare)

Is the State Here to Stay? After decades of deference to the market, states are exerting greater control over capital. In the face of climate change, it may be too little, too late. (Boston Review)

You Say Bitcoin Is Digital Gold? Maybe It’s Digital Pearls: Almost every previously disruptive technology has ended up being disrupted. Bitcoin could be too. (Wall Street Journal)

The State of the Culture, 2024: Or a glimpse into post-entertainment society (it’s not pretty) (The Honest Broker)

The Great Compression: Thanks to soaring housing prices, the era of the 400-square-foot subdivision house is upon us. (New York Times)

Biden’s EV Dreams Are a Nightmare for Tesla and the US Car Industry: Designed to cut China’s influence over global metals markets, the Inflation Reduction Act has also made life more difficult for US carmakers. (Bloomberg)

Why Are There Suddenly So Many Car Washes? Fueled by private equity and a subscription-based business model, the auto wash industry is flooding the US with new outlets. Some towns and cities have had enough. (Bloomberg)

How Israel’s war went wrong: The conflict in Gaza has become “an era-defining catastrophe.” It’s increasingly clear what — and who — is to blame. (Vox)

Simone Biles Talks Marriage, WAG Life With Taylor Swift, and the Paris Olympics: The GOAT American gymnast is embracing a big new chapter, after Tokyo, the twisties, and finding true love with Jonathan Owens. (Vanity Fair)

Can Saudi Arabia Buy Soccer? Saudi Arabia is spending an unfathomable fortune to lure the biggest stars of global football (Ronaldo! Benzema! Neymar!) to its upstart league. So GQ ventured to the kingdom to discover what the gambit represents. Is this the future of the world’s most popular sport? The vanguard of sportswashing? Or something way bigger? (GQ)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Andrew Slimmon, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, where he leads the Applied Equity Advisors team. His Slimmon’s TAKE is a popular and widely read commentary among Morgan Stanley advisors and on The Street as well. He also serves as Senior Portfolio Manager for all long equity strategies and is a member of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s Global Investment Committee.


89% of US household debt is fixed rate (mortgage, student, and auto loans) and 11% is floating rate (credit cards, HELOC, and other types of debt).

Source: Torsten Slok, Apollo Global

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