across disciplines is one of the best ways to improve our investment acumen.
Here is a summary of some of the best articles I read this week.
I especially try to not post Corona related articles as that is all
one gets to read in all traditional media.
If you like the collection this consider forwarding it to someone
who you think will appreciate.
The Rise of the Antivitamin
Though many of us
have never heard of antivitamins, scientists have known about them since Sir
Edward Mellanby identified the first one — though he called it a
“toxamin” — in the late 1930s. These substances do what their name
implies: They stop vitamins from functioning. As we near the end of the
antibiotic era due to the rapid pace at which bacteria are developing
resistance to the wonder drugs, researchers are taking a closer look at
antivitamins as the basis of a new class of drugs that may potentially replace
antibiotics for treating bacterial infections.
Education that Works (something
which I think is really needed in India)
Google recently made
a huge announcement that could change the future of work and higher education:
It’s launching a selection of professional courses that teach candidates how to
perform in-demand jobs. These courses, which the company is calling Google
Career Certificates, teach foundational skills that can help job-seekers
immediately find employment. However, instead of taking years to finish like a
traditional university degree, these courses are designed to be completed in
about six months.
Walker then revealed
the following on Twitter:
“In our own
hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as the equivalent of a
four-year degree for related roles.”
Investors make the same
mistakes over centuries (are we all making one now??)
only one of the reasons bubbles happen again and again. Yet past experience
offers little reason to trust the wisdom and rationality of financiers or
investors. Newton’s contemporaries viewed him as the smartest man alive. If he
could go so wrong—risking something like half his wealth in a reckless
fashion—so could anyone. Research published last year by the mathematician
Andrew Odlyzko into Newton’s actions during the South Sea bubble illuminates
not just the great thinker’s long-ago mistakes, but also a pattern of human
folly that recurs over and over again. When financial markets offer the
temptation of ever-rising values, not even the smartest people can resist.
What gnawed at
Newton for years, and what still seems strange, is that his capacity for
dispassionate analysis failed him when he needed it most. Here was a man who
had calculated logarithms to 50 places. But in the thrill of the moment, he
failed to do the math.
Returns are a mounting
problem in online shopping
Shoppers love the
kind of liberal return policy that makes it easy for them to buy whatever they
want in store or online with the confidence that a retailer will take products
back without hassle. But retailers are starting to rethink this strategy as they
are confronted with rising financial losses from returned merchandise and the
headaches that come with figuring out what to do with all that stuff. A recent
study found that roughly 10% of purchases are returned, adding up to billions
of dollars a year, with online returns higher than in-store.
US interest rate will remain
low for years to come
The Fed’s new
monetary policy strategy promises to aim for 2% inflation on average, so that
periods of too-low inflation would likely be followed by an effort to lift
inflation “moderately above 2% for some time.”
The change suggests
the U.S. central bank’s key overnight interest rate, already near zero, will
stay there for potentially years to come as policymakers woo higher inflation.
“It’s no news that
(Fed Chair Jerome) Powell doesn’t want to raise interest rates,” said Vincent
Reinhart, chief economist at Mellon. What is news, Reinhart said, is that the
Fed has now enshrined a degree of tolerance for inflation in its guiding document.