Argentina, Finance, Demographics, Brussels, Islamic State, Hamilton


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Mauricio Macri’s Political Goal

Simon Kuper | Financial Times | 21st November 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Profile of Mauricio Macri, the football club boss just elected as Argentina's next president. The son of a tycoon, he grew up as "a rather obvious man of destiny: rich, intelligent, handsome, funny, and extraordinarily clear about where he was heading". Football taught him to be "an unabashed manipulator of less rational beings". The only surprise is that it took him so long to reach the top (836 words)

The Future Of Finance

Clive Crook | Bloomberg View | 22nd November 2015

Discussion of John Kay's book, Other People's Money, which argues that finance has "come to be seen as an end in itself, as though the global economy exists to serve Wall Street and the City of London rather than the other way round". Banks can prosper without creating value, by "collecting various explicit and implicit subsidies — notably, the subsidy implied by the government's promise to stand behind a failing institution" (960 words)

Demographic Cleansing

Bob Hoffman | Ad Contrarian | 19th November 2015

The over-fifties account for the majority of consumer spending. But only 10% of marketing is aimed at them. "Millennials, who buy 12% of new cars, are featured in 99.9% of new car ads ... The ugly truth is that the marketing and advertising industries hate older people. We like the excitement of youth, not the boredom of middle age and the frailties of old age. And so we have concocted all kinds of bullshit for ignoring them" (330 words)

Brussels Spleen

Charles Baudelaire | Harper's | 1st August 2014

Notes for an unwritten book about Belgium. "Brussels much louder than Paris. The local loudmouthed accent, atrocious; the clumsiness, widespread; the dogs barking all the time. The ludicrous way the Belgians lurch along. They proceed forward by looking over their shoulders, endlessly bumping into things. An amazing quantity of hunchbacks. Typical physiognomy comparable to that of the sheep or ram" (560 words)

Magical Thinking About ISIS

Adam Shatz | London Review Of Books | 20th November 2015

"Before the Lebanese civil war, Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. Today, Paris looks more and more like the Beirut of Western Europe, a city of incendiary ethnic tension, hostage-taking and suicide bombs ... The attacks in Paris don’t reflect a clash of civilisations but rather the fact that we really do live in a single world where everything connects" (3,680 words)

Five Comments On ‘Hamilton’

Abigail Nussbaum | Asking The Wrong Questions | 16th November 2015

"Having black actors portray Washington and Jefferson allows Hamilton to break through the respectful, even reverent lens with which we regard these figures, reminding us that at the beginning of their journey, they were seen as criminals and traitors — and that some of the people whom we class as criminals and traitors today might one day achieve the same respectability as the founding fathers" (2,220 words)

Video of the day: New York Manhole Covers

What to expect: Documentary. Barefoot workers make New York City manhole covers at a dirt-floor factory in Howrah, India (2'15")

Thought for the day

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right
Isaac Asimov

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