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Cecily Cecily

Writing Worth Reading

Alibaba Could Buy Yahoo For Free

Corporate finance for fun and profit. Imagine that Alibaba makes a $43bn takeover bid for Yahoo, offering 384m Alibaba shares plus $7bn in cash — an 8% premium over Yahoo’s current market price. But hold on: Yahoo’s assets already include 384m Alibaba shares and $7bn in cash. So Alibaba gets Yahoos’s businesses for nothing. Everyone wins. But it won’t happen, because no company will admit to being worthless (2,100 words)

The Fight Of Their Lives

America has blocked Kurdish independence in the name of preserving a united Iraq. But the war against ISIS changes the calculation. The weakness of the Iraqi national government becomes a much greater liability. The strength of Kurdistan becomes a much greater asset. For the Kurds, ISIS is both a threat to be defeated, and an opportunity to be exploited. Can they use their new leverage to secure sovereignty? (10,300 words)

It’s For Your Own Good

It’s attractive to think that nudging — making the virtuous choice into the easy choice, the default choice — offers a painless way of steering people towards better lives. What’s the problem? The problem is that we can’t trust any authority — public or private — to offer a disinterested nudge. The offerers have their own agenda. Their agenda will never be the same as ours. And by manipulating us, they demean us (3,860 words)

Justin Timberlake Has A Cold

How the music industry is adjusting to the disappearance of the manufactured rock star and the manufactured hit. There’s still money to be made, but much less predictability about who is going to make it. “The brute fact of the music business is that, in this day and age, not even a genius like Clive Davis has any idea how many records Justin Timberlake will sell. The number could be 100,000 or 5 million” (10,000 words)

Loch Lomond

It’s a lovely song; but it has a dark history. Avoid that low road. “There’s a low road leading through the valley and a higher one cut up across Ben Lomond? Hey, what’s the big deal? According to legend, there’s more to it than that. The ‘low road’ is the road of death, the road that begins six feet under, and the words were supposedly composed by a Scottish soldier captured in the the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745″ (2,180 words)

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