Warn your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetence, corruption and policy failures:
• The Rise of Influencer Capital: How social media, celebrity promoters, and banks looking for a quick buck transformed the markets. (New YorkMagazine)
• Rightwing group pushing US states for law blocking ‘political boycott’ of firms: Lobbying group Alec wrote model legislation to protect oil companies, big ag and gunmakers from economic backlash. (The Guardian) see also Big Brother is Watching You: ALEC’s Doublethink Attack On America’s Free Markets: When it comes to doublethink, Big Brother ain’t got nothin’ compared to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). (Forbes)
• Why does the Department of Homeland Security suck? The Department of Homeland Security’s 20-year boondoggle: The Department of Homeland Security was supposed to rally nearly two dozen agencies together in a modernized, streamlined approach to protecting the country. So what the hell happened? (The Verge)
• The Bike Thieves of Burlington, Vermont: A hunt for stolen goods has put citizens and business owners in the center of a debate about policing and a growing, sometimes violent, problem with crime. (New York Times)
• The 1960s Experiment Created Today’s Biased Police Surveillance: The Police Beat Algorithm effectively addressed four problems associated with police operations: 1) pattern recognition, identifying crime patterns within a set of crime data; 2) profiling, associating crime patterns with probable suspects; 3) dragnetting, linking probable suspects of one crime with past crimes or arrests; and 4) patrol positioning, how to best place patrols within appropriate geographical divisions of the city based on where the most crimes take place and where known criminal suspect profiles predicted who will most likely commit those crimes and where. This is where planning problems and operational problems intersect. (Slate)
• The Hunt for the Dark Web’s Biggest Kingpin, Part 1: The Shadow The notorious Alpha02 oversaw millions of dollars a day in online narcotic sales. For cybercrime detectives, he was public enemy number one—and a total mystery. (Wired)
• ‘Dark Ships’ Emerge From the Shadows of the Nord Stream Mystery: Satellite monitors discovered two vessels with their trackers turned off in the area of the pipeline prior to the suspected sabotage in September. (Wired)
• DEA’s most corrupt agent: Parties, sex amid ‘unwinnable war’ José Irizarry accepts that he’s known as the most corrupt agent in US Drug Enforcement Administration history, admitting he conspired with Colombian cartels to build a lavish lifestyle of sports cars, jewels and paramours around the world. (ABC News)
• What happened at Alameda Research: Despite success with some discretionary positions, on net, Alameda & FTX jointly continued to lose large amounts of money and liquid cash throughout 2021-2022 as a result of excessive discretionary spending, illiquid venture investments, uncompetitive market-making strategies, risky lending practices , lackluster internal accounting, and general deficiencies in overall organizational ability When loans were recalled in early 2022, an emergency decision was made to use FTX users’ deposits to repay creditors This repayment spurred on increasingly erratic behavior and unprofitable gambling, eventually resulting in total insolvency . (Milky Eggs) see also Every Shady Thing Sam Bankman-Fried Has Confessed or Pseudo-Confessed to Since FTX Collapsed: From the rubbles of his crypto empire, SBF has repeatedly admitted that he “fucked up.” While we don’t yet know what the actual legal implications of this mess are, or who exactly bears the most blame, it’s clear that confession is a bit of an understatement. (Slate)
• Monuments to the Unthinkable: America still can’t figure out how to memorialize the sins of our history. What can we learn from Germany? (The Atlantic)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Marcus Shaw CEO of AltFinance, which seeks to increase diversity across alternative asset management. The firm was co-founded by Apollo, Ares, and Oaktree with a $90 Million seed funding for initiatives to recruit students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
A clear warming trend with temperatures in each of the past 45 years surpassing the 20th-century average
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