10 Tuesday AM Reads – The Big Picture

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10 Tuesday AM Reads - The Big Picture


Unemployment Is High. Why Are Businesses Struggling to Hire? If this apparent labor shortage persists, it will have huge implications for the economy in 2021 and beyond. It could act as a brake on growth and cause unnecessary business failures, long lines at remaining businesses, and rising prices. (Upshot) see also Shifting Balance of Power? I suspect it is something broader, more than merely the economic recovery being impacted by Covid. Maybe more of a significant change, perhaps even a secular reversal of the longstanding power dynamic between capital and labor. (The Big Picture)

Marijuana by the numbers as 420, the unofficial high holiday, turns 50 As more states legalize recreational weed, 91% of U.S. adults say marijuana should be legal in some form; 60% approve of recreational use. One in four Americans used cannabis in some form during the past 12 months. Recreational marijuana use is now legal in 17 states and Washington D.C., with New Mexico, Virginia and New York the most recent to approve it. Legal U.S. weed sales will hit $28.3 billion in 2022, up from $22.8 billion this year, a 24% gain (Chicago Tribune)

How the Pandemic Did, and Didn’t, Change Where Americans Move New data shows that it did indeed appear to prompt an unusually large flow of urban residents out of New York and San Francisco, two regions with a high share of jobs that can be done remotely even after the pandemic is behind us. But about 30 million change-of-address requests to the U.S. Postal Service in 2020 show that with these two very visible exceptions — and a few smaller ones — migration patterns during the pandemic have looked a lot like migration patterns before it. (Upshot) see also What Will Happen to All the Empty Office Buildings and Hotels? Commercial real estate has been hit hard by the pandemic, but there are plans to convert some of the now empty spaces into apartment buildings. In the development world, top-to-bottom makeovers can take years, and a robust recovery could make landlords think twice about reinventions. (New York Times)

Galloway: BidenBucks Is Beeple Is Bitcoin. In a system rigged by the rich, outsiders have to make their own volatility. (New York Magazine)

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot Almost 130 million people 18 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 50.4% of the total adult population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Almost 84 million adults, or about 32.5% of the population, have been fully vaccinated. (AP) But see Least Vaccinated U.S. Counties Have Something in Common: Trump Voters The disparity in vaccination rates has so far mainly broken down along political lines. A willingness to receive a vaccine and actual vaccination rates to date were lower, on average, in counties where a majority of residents voted to re-elect former President Donald J. Trump in 2020. The phenomenon has left some places with a shortage of supply and others with a glut. (New York Times)

•  This Vegan Billionaire Disrupted the Crypto Markets. Stocks May Be Next. Sam Bankman-Fried founded FTX because he was fed up with existing cryptocurrency exchanges. Now FTX is processing $10.7 billion in trades a day, and he’s pushing boundaries into tokenized stocks and other new markets. (Wall Street Journal)

‘A very good weird’: Israel drops outdoor COVID mask order Israelis went about barefaced on Sunday after the order to wear masks outdoors was rescinded in another step towards relative normality thanks to the country’s mass-vaccination against COVID-19. With about 81% of citizens or residents over 16 – the age group eligible for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Israel – having received both doses, contagions and hospitalisations are down sharply. (Reuters) see also Is It Time to Eliminate Outdoor Mask Mandates? Transmissions do not take place between solitary individuals going for a walk, transiently passing each other on the street, a hiking trail, or a jogging track. That biker who whizzes by without a mask poses no danger to us, at least from a resipiratory virus perspective. (NEJM)

Anthony Bourdain Gives His Last Advice on How to Travel the World A posthumous guidebook called World Travel, with co-author Laurie Woolever, provides a bit of the chef and CNN host’s perspective on 43 city destinations. (Bloomberg)

Revealed: the Facebook loophole that lets world leaders deceive and harass their citizens Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders and politicians to use its platform to deceive the public or harass opponents despite being alerted to evidence of the wrongdoing. Facebook allows major abuses of its platform in poor, small and non-western countries in order to prioritize addressing abuses that attract media attention or affect the US and other wealthy countries. (The Guardian) see also A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation “I’ve found multiple blatant attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on vast scales to mislead their own citizenry, and caused international news on multiple occasions. I have personally made decisions that affected national presidents without oversight, and taken action to enforce against so many prominent politicians globally that I’ve lost count. I Have Blood on My Hands” (BuzzFeed)

Tyrannosaurs likely hunted in packs rather than heading out solo  The new discovery in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument could provide Biden with ammunition to restore the Utah site’s boundaries (Washington Post)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Rob Arnott, founder and chairman of Research Affiliates. The firm created & patented a methodology for basing indexes on fundamental metrics instead of market cap weighting, and its strategies runs over $160 billion in assets. Arnott is the author of over 100 academic papers, and is the co-author of the book “The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest.”



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