10 Sunday Reads

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

The Rise Of The Bee Bandits: Where once there was cattle and horse rustling, the American West is now confronting the theft of its bees. (NOEMA)

Why car insurance rates are so high: You’re paying a lot more for car insurance than you were in 2020. Here’s why. (Vox) see also Insurers Are Spying on Your Home From the Sky: Companies are using drones to check out roofs or to spot yard debris and undeclared trampolines. (Wall Street Journal)

As Kushner’s Investment Firm Steps Out, the Potential Conflicts Are Growing: Jared Kushner’s Affinity Partners has invested more than $1.2 billion, much of it in firms abroad, drawing new scrutiny as his father-in-law, Donald Trump, again seeks the presidency. In total, 99% of the money placed with him by investors has come from foreign sources, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (New York Times)

Big Pharma Stocks Need a Rethink. Investors Keep Making the Same Mistake. Pfizer’s patent expirations are great for humanity but terrible for investors. It’s a common story across the pharmaceutical industry. (Barron’s)

How Tech Giants Cut Corners to Harvest Data for A.I. OpenAI, Google and Meta ignored corporate policies, altered their own rules and discussed skirting copyright law as they sought online information to train their newest artificial intelligence systems. (New York Times)

‘Lavender’: The AI machine directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza: The Israeli army has marked tens of thousands of Gazans as suspects for assassination, using an AI targeting system with little human oversight and a permissive policy for casualties, +972 and Local Call reveal. (+972)

How an 1864 law set the stage for Arizona court’s abortion ruling: Arizona’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld that 1864 law, ruling on a request from the state’s former attorney general to restore it in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — a request that had set off a legal battle with Planned Parenthood. The justices’ 4-2 decision paves the way for most abortions to be banned in the state, making Arizona the 17th state to virtually outlaw abortion. The decision could still face legal challenges. The legal underpinning for the ban rests on a section of the 1864 Howell Code. (Washington Post)

Russia Runs a Hidden Prison System for Ukrainian Detainees—In Crimea: Human rights monitors claim that occupation forces engage in torture and prolonged captivity in a sprawling penal network. (Vanity Fair) see also Russian trolls target U.S. support for Ukraine, Kremlin documents show. In an ongoing campaign that seeks to influence congressional and other political debates to stoke anti-Ukraine sentiment, Kremlin-linked political strategists and trolls have written thousands of fabricated news articles, social media posts and comments that promote American isolationism, stir fear over the United States’ border security and attempt to amplify U.S. economic and racial tensions, according to a trove of internal Kremlin documents. (Washington Post) see also Top GOPers’ extraordinary comments on their party and Russian propaganda: Two key GOP chairmen are merely the latest to warn about how Russian influence has infected their party https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/06/when-top-republican-says-russian-propaganda-has-infected-gop/

The Method Behind Trump’s Mistruths: A close examination of every public word from the former president during a crucial week of his campaign. (New York Times)

Arms Are Flying Off Their Hinges: Baseball is stuck in a velocity trap. In tandem with fastball velocity has risen another closely watched statistic: catastrophic arm injuries, with UCL tears being by far the most frequent. “The graphs essentially overlap each other,” Glenn Fleisig, the director of biomechanics at the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), told me. Back in 2010, MLB pitchers made 241 trips onto the injured list. Last season, that number was 497. Arms are flying off their hinges all over the place, to the degree that it’s become a routine part of the game. (The Atlantic)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Samara Cohen, Chief Investment Officer of the ETF and Index Investments (EII) roughly $6.6 trillion of BlackRock’s index funds and iShares ETFs. She is also a member of the firm’s Global Executive Committee.


What Makes Housing So Expensive?

Source: Construction Physics


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Still on book leave . . .  but I am past the midway point and making good progress!


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