10 Sunday Reads

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

The Errors Tour: How the Pros Bungled the End of Zero Interest Rates: A look at the ways forecasters, traders and executives missed the mark over the past two years. And at the lessons learned. (Bloomberg)

IRS chief: Tax evasion by millionaires and billionaires tops $150 billion a year: The nation’s millionaires and billionaires are evading more than $150 billion a year in taxes, according to the head of the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS, with billions of dollars in new funding from Congress, has launched a sweeping crackdown on wealthy individuals, partnerships and large companies, Commissioner Danny Werfel told CNBC. “We have to make investments to make sure that whether you’re a complicated filer who can afford to hire an army of lawyers and accountants, or a more simple filer who has one income and takes the standard deduction, the IRS is equally able to determine what’s owed,” he said. (CNBC) see also I.R.S. Deploys Artificial Intelligence to Catch Tax Evasion: The tax agency is opening examinations into large hedge funds, private equity groups, real estate investors and law firms. (New York Times)

The New Antisemitism: No one can say definitively why the pre–Gaza War surge happened when it did. The salience of groups like the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 probably played a role, as did the influence of figures like the troubled rapper turned designer Kanye West. Historically, antisemitism has been a side effect of populism, which traffics in us-vs.-them stereotypes. Social media allows antisemitic influencers to recruit and communicate directly to followers, getting around the filtering bottleneck of the legacy media. The murder of 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, by a shooter enraged at Jewish groups providing aid to immigrants, was the painful lowlight of this era. (TIME)

Counter-Strike Is One of the World’s Most Successful Videogames. How It Also Became a Gateway to Gambling. Videogame makers have disavowed connections to gambling, while regulators have looked the other way. Meanwhile, young gamers are placing their first bets. (Barron’s)

How a Small Iowa Newspaper’s Website Became an AI-Generated Clickbait Factory: When two former Meta employees dug into why the website of Iowa’s Clayton County Register was spewing dubious posts about stocks, they uncovered a network of sites slinging seemingly AI-made content. (Wired)

Kremlin Leaks: Secret Files Reveal How Putin Pre-Rigged his Reelection Newly leaked documents from the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin reveal in detail how the Kremlin is working to ensure Putin’s election victory, building a pan-Russian propaganda network and internet censorship machinery for the purposes of information warfare, and integrating the occupied territories in Ukraine. (VSquare) see also Putin used Tucker Carlson, exposing America’s vulnerability to information warfare: Carlson hasn’t just provided a stage for Russia’s despot with his interview. It was another reminder that propaganda is a critical issue of national security. (USA Today)

Inside North Korea’s Forced-Labor Program in China: Workers sent from the country to Chinese factories describe enduring beatings and sexual abuse, having their wages taken by the state, and being told that if they try to escape they will be “killed without a trace.” (New Yorker)

Tyler Perry Puts $800M Studio Expansion on Hold After Seeing OpenAI’s Sora: “Jobs Are Going to Be Lost” The actor, filmmaker and studio owner is raising the alarm about the impact of the tech, saying, “I feel like everybody in the industry is running a hundred miles an hour to try and catch up, to try and put in guardrails.” (Hollywood Reporter)

Nvidia’s $70 Million Florida Supercomputer Hobbled by DeSantis Law: A block on recruiting researchers from countries ‘of concern’ including China and Iran is frustrating a top state university’s AI aspirations, professors say. FloriDUH. (Bloomberg)

American Autocracy Threat Tracker: A Comprehensive Catalog Based on Donald Trump and His Associates’ Plans, Promises, and Propositions. (Just Security)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with David Snyderman, global head of Magnetar Capital’s alternative credit and fixed-income business. He also serves as chairman of Magnetar’s investment committee and as a member of its management committee.


Magnificent Seven vs. the ‘Granolas’: How Does Europe’s Version Stack Up?

Source: Morningstar



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