10 Sunday Reads

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

High-Yield Was Oxy. Private Credit Is Fentanyl. Yet despite the data — and the intuition about higher-yielding loans described above — private lenders assure investors that the extra yield isn’t a result of increased risk and that over time private credit has been less correlated with other asset classes. (Institutional Investor) see also The Insulin Empire: How profiteers pushed a lifesaving drug out of reach. (The Baffler)

Loaded Up With Junk: Extra profits are the only explanation for many fees businesses charge. (American Prospect)

It Looked Like a Reliable News Site. It Was an A.I. Chop Shop. BNN Breaking had millions of readers, an international team of journalists and a publishing deal with Microsoft. But it was full of error-ridden content. (NYT)

Three Algorithms in a Room: A growing number of industries are using software to fix prices. Law enforcers are beginning to fight back. (American Prospect)

“MoviePass, MovieCrash”: 5 takeaways from HBO’s doc about the famed movie service that imploded An HBO documentary illuminates the complex story behind MoviePass’ seismic rise and fall. (Salon)

Former Obama adviser: Kushner engaged in ‘level of corruption that we’ve just never seen’ with foreign relations: “This is a guy, Jared Kushner, who had no expertise, no qualification whatsoever to be in the White House while he was there. He made it his account to work in the Gulf Arab states. He basically helped lead the cover-up for [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman]. Get him in from the cold after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.” (The Hill) see also Kushner’s Deal with Pro-Russia Serbs Raises Hackles: Belgrade development, joined by former Trump envoy Ric Grenell, includes a memorial to “victims of NATO aggression” (Spy Talk)

• No, gain of function research did not cause COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 first emerged in humans in 2019. Despite much noise generated by lab leak proponents, the evidence indicates a natural origin. https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/gain-of-function-research-covid-19/ see also Anatomy of a smear — Fauci faces the House GOP’s clown show about COVID: Under his leadership, NIAID invested billions of dollars in research that resulted in the development of mRNA technology, which in turn resulted in the development of COVID-19 vaccines in record time, saving millions of lives. When COVID struck, he was tapped as a top advisor to then-President Trump — one of seven presidents he has advised during his career, from Reagan through Biden. (Los Angeles Times)

The Marked Man: An innocent man’s exoneration after 37 years in prison revealed a rash of serial killings in 1983 Tampa (Tampa Bay Times)

Multiple Trump Witnesses Have Received Significant Financial Benefits From His Businesses, Campaign: Witnesses in the various criminal cases against the former president have gotten pay raises, new jobs and more. If any benefits were intended to influence testimony, that could be a crime. (ProPublica)

46 Children Were Taken From Ukraine. Many Are Up for Adoption in Russia. These children were living in a foster home when Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Then a group of Russian officials came and took them. Over the next year, the authorities filed paperwork to put many of them up for adoption. Russian officials say the children were rescued. Experts say what happened to them could amount to a war crime. (New York Times)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Peter Mallouk, CEO of Creative Planning, which manages over $300 billion in client assets. He is the author of The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them, and his latest book, Money, Simplified.


Percent of Babies Born to Unmarried Mothers by State

Source: CDC



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