10 Sunday Readings: The Big Picture
Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning analyze incompetence, corruption and policy failures:
• My high-flying life as a corporate spy who lied his way to the top: I was just looking to earn rent when I stumbled upon a part-time job stealing secrets from Wall Street’s elite. I made millions once I realized how desperate we humans are for someone to actually listen to us. (narratively)
• How a brazen plot to rig oil auctions cost Venezuela billions: America’s best-known lawyer, a pair of con men, and a rogue government have joined forces to sue the world’s largest commodity trading firms. The evidence is explosive, but the failed lawsuit has so far come to nothing. (business week)
• Worthless securities are creating a jobless generation in India: Students around the world are increasingly questioning the benefits of education. Nowhere is the problem more complex than in India. (Bloomberg)
• Criminals’ wrong bet on encrypted phones: Drug syndicates and other criminal groups bought into the idea that the police could not infiltrate a new type of telephone network. They were wrong, big time. (New Yorker)
• The United States fails the civilization test: The average American my age is about six times more likely to die in the next year than their counterpart in Switzerland. (the atlantic)
• Audubon on This Day and Age: The Artist and His Birds Continue to Challenge Us: John James Audubon, dead 172 years ago, is back in the news. Disturbing facts known to his biographers (that, for example, when he had a shop in Henderson, Kentucky, he enslaved people) have gained new currency, although the National Audubon Society has, for now, retained his name. For many, Audubon has become synonymous with an activity—call it science, ornithology, natural history, bird watching, a love of the outdoors—that has long excluded people of color. (Humanities)
• ‘Fair share’ deficits at nonprofit hospitals hit $14.2 billion in 2020. KFF found that half of hospitals spend 1.4% or less of their operating expenses on charity care, and reports have pointed to lax oversight of hospital practices. However, many hospitals expanded eligibility for charity care during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the policies were vague, according to a JAMA report. (health diving)
• I really didn’t want to go on the goop cruise: but that doesn’t matter, even if someone thinks you’ve done more harm than good, and that much of it is a high-end scam, they’ll comment, tiredly, pragmatically, just a bit enviously, that you have to respect it, right? well, what you’ve done. He has successfully integrated his imperial welfare company into American life. Memories of a time when gut health wasn’t something talked about at parties are long gone. Moms are microdosing. Vulnerability reigns. (Harper’s Magazine)
• A House Divided: How a Gang of Speculators Seized the Deeds to Black-Owned Brooklyn Brownstones: A quartet of investors say they are just helping the dispossessed get their fair share. But his actions have taken advantage of family divisions, and relatives on both sides of the deals say they have been shortchanged. (The city)
• Fire and Ice: The planet’s ice is fundamentally tied to weather patterns that span the globe. Scientists are finding that as the climate changes, that connection could help drive disasters.. More than 25 million acres have burned in the western US since 2018. Some fires have been so extreme that they seemed impossible to contain. Weather has been the deciding factor in many of those fires. When hot, arid conditions settle in the western US, fire danger skyrockets. Far to the north, the ice season is changing. The Arctic Ocean is normally covered in a vast blanket of ice for most of the year. But the sea ice is shrinking. It breaks down earlier in the spring and forms later in the fall. As the climate gets warmer, the Arctic spends more days in the open sea. These extremes of fire and ice are separated by more than 3,000 miles. But now, the connections are emerging. (npr)
Be sure to check out our Master of Business interview this weekend with Brian Hamburger, founder of MarketCounsel and Burger Law Firm. He is an entrepreneur, lawyer, consultant, and advocate for independent investment advisers, which is a $97 trillion industry. MarketTip and the Hamburger Law Firm are the leading business and regulatory compliance consultancy for the nation’s preeminent corporate independent investment advisers in the securities and investment industry.
The Silicon Valley Bank failure was the second largest in US history of 3,500 bank failures since 1934
Fountain: US data
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