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Ana Kova

Good evening.

One small step

China GDP: The good and the bad

Good news! China’s economy is slowing. China’s economy grew by 6% in the third quarter, the slowest annual rate in 30 years. This is a big deal because letting the economy weaken is actually a good thing.

Good news! China’s economy is slowing

Yes, China built a lot of silly stuff - entirely empty cities, themed cities and some crazy geoengineering stuff. But they also built an incredible transportation infrastructure - both highways and high speed rail. Go ahead and look up on Wikipedia: “worlds longest bridges” “world’s highest bridges

Yes, China built a lot of silly stuff - entirely empty cities, themed cities and some crazy geoengineering stuff. But they also built an incredible transportation infrastructure - both highways and high speed rail. Go ahead and look up on Wikipedia: “worlds longest bridges” “world’s highest bridges” and more, and you’ll be blown away at the level of investment they’ve made to connect their country together, built an amazing transportation infrastructure, and yes, to stimulate their economy.

Imagine the kick in the pants the U.S. economy would get if we were bold enough to invest in our crumbling, third-world infrastructure, prioritizing green transportation (high speed rail), a smart eco-power grid (with energy storage systems) and then doing safety upgrades to fix our auto infrastructure (i.e. not to increase car capacity but just to fix crumbling and unsafe bridges and overpasses)? Interest rates on long term T-bills aren’t much more than the rate of inflation, so it would cost very little to finance it. And building this out before climate change really hits the economy hard is a much better idea than waiting until our ecological damage really bites us in the behind and our economy tanks.

All of these debt fueled investments will have to be paid off at some point. Either through increases in productivity and output or by a massive bailout and more money printed... the latter can be potentially impactful to the world economy as China keeps its dollar surpluses invested elsewhere...

The future of gaming

Top dollar TV

Can you hear me now?

Talkin' Texas

The Lone Star State, but make it fashion. The world’s biggest luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, is investing $50 million into a bag production factory on a Texas ranch south of Fort Worth. They have good reasons why.

Why Louis Vuitton opened a factory on a ranch in Texas

I never thought I'd see the day where Bernard Arnault would be in a photo with Trump. But this is a great set of news for the US manufacturing sector, and hopefully this can create a bigger trend towards fashion brands setting up more US plants.

That said, "Made in the USA" is a tag that brands can

I never thought I'd see the day where Bernard Arnault would be in a photo with Trump. But this is a great set of news for the US manufacturing sector, and hopefully this can create a bigger trend towards fashion brands setting up more US plants.

That said, "Made in the USA" is a tag that brands can only use if 100% of their products are sourced there. The leather isn't entirely from Texas (which is a bit odd) but this issue has also hindered the watch world.

There so much more under this hood, but kudos to LVMH for this news.

Fact-checking Facebook

Private Facebook groups enable dangerous medical scams. A Business Insider investigation finds closed groups have allowed unlicensed medical “cures” to proliferate, and the social network’s response hasn’t been enough to stop them.

Unlicensed medical 'cures' are flourishing in closed Facebook groups, where cancer treatments — and even surgery — are sold beyond the reach of the law

That, here, precisely demonstrates how Facebook and other current social media are ill-equipped to address dangerous quackeries. They are flourishing, not because they are not forbidden, but because their rational can remain unchallenged forever inside closed online groups.

The next big thing in banking is small

What is better than neobanks? Neobank killers. Venture capitalists have poured billions of dollars into digital bank startups like Revolut, but some investors think they’ve found an even better bet in the fintech sector.

As neobank valuations bubble up, some investors think there’s an even better bet in fintech

Doubt is growing about the sky-high valuations for tech unicorns, including the much hyped fintechs. I've been speaking with investors who are wary that these companies will ever truly be worth these lofty price tags. At this point, they are looking for less sexy alternatives.

In the meantime, judgement

Doubt is growing about the sky-high valuations for tech unicorns, including the much hyped fintechs. I've been speaking with investors who are wary that these companies will ever truly be worth these lofty price tags. At this point, they are looking for less sexy alternatives.

In the meantime, judgement day will come for the neobanks, if they survive long enough to try to go public.

What comes after the iPhone?

The messy NBA-China breakup

More details on the row. China had reportedly asked the NBA to sack Morey for his tweet. The league—which is trying to protect a reputation for standing up for human rights—hasn’t caved.

The backlash over China’s NBA bullying is only going to get worse

There's so many good takes about this thriller. Who would've thought Morey's tweet could cost the NBA a substantial amount? To quote a smug tweet I read this morning, "that's talent." But there's something deeper at play. I'm going to spitball (another term I learned on sports twitter) that the CCP -

There's so many good takes about this thriller. Who would've thought Morey's tweet could cost the NBA a substantial amount? To quote a smug tweet I read this morning, "that's talent." But there's something deeper at play. I'm going to spitball (another term I learned on sports twitter) that the CCP -- I make an effort to separate the Chinese government from the Chinese people -- woefully miscalculated. My take is that they've become increasingly confident with expanding censorship beyond their borders but missed a couple of factors in their current impasse with the NBA:

1. NBA is wokest professional league in the United States. We're not dealing with the NFL if you catch my drift.

2. In the US (ironically) private corporations call the shots not the gov't. However CCP has witnessed the demagogic rule of President Trump who has succeeded in extinguishing careers (remember Kathy Griffin. Hollywood blackballed her.)

3. Daryl Morey is one of the most powerful GMs and innovators in the NBA off the court. He's a strong proponent of analytics-driven basketball dubbed "Moreyball" that transformed basketball from a mid jumper shot game to the land of triples that suits the likes of the Warriors and Rockets. He also cofounded the very popular MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

4. NBA's decision would set a precedent for future interactions with China and uncharacteristically of an American firm the NBA chose values over money.

5. Morey didn't do anything egregiously wrong. The CCP has adopted an increasingly subjective and capricious "prone to be offended" disposition that makes it difficult to understand what actually IS offensive. I mean this is the same government that banned Winnie the Pooh.

Let's see how this story develops.

The world in 50 years

What will we wear? Executive producer of “The Bold Type”, Joanna Coles, envisions a better marriage between tech and clothing. “I think we’ll wear much more intelligent, sustainable fabrics that work with our bodies.”

The World in 50 Years: What will we wear?

I think the future of fashion is uniforms. Maybe it's not wearing the exact same thing every single day but I do foresee a drastic reduction in the quantity of clothes we buy and wear. Capsule closets have gained momentum in recent years as consumers Marie Kondo their wardrobes. Companies such as Rent

I think the future of fashion is uniforms. Maybe it's not wearing the exact same thing every single day but I do foresee a drastic reduction in the quantity of clothes we buy and wear. Capsule closets have gained momentum in recent years as consumers Marie Kondo their wardrobes. Companies such as Rent the Runway have successfully capitalized on a clothing rent and return model. While a focus on utilizing sustainable garment materials is equally important, I think in the next 5 (or 50 years) fashion will continue to embrace the "less is more" mindset. 

To infinity and beyond

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Facebook suspends US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Facebook suspends US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Read more on Guardian (US)

From Our Members

  • It’s important to listen to people who have different perspectives on issues, and to make honest attempts to view said issues from opposing points of view. However, I find Mr. Jones to be extremely intellectually dishonest as well as crude to the point of being nauseatingly vulgar. I can’t think of any

    It’s important to listen to people who have different perspectives on issues, and to make honest attempts to view said issues from opposing points of view. However, I find Mr. Jones to be extremely intellectually dishonest as well as crude to the point of being nauseatingly vulgar. I can’t think of any other media personality who reaches Jones’ level of willful stupidity. I sincerely wish that he would just go away forever.

    I apologize for the vitriolic nature of this post. This level of extreme negativity goes against my nature. But this man continues to prove that he deserves it.

  • Good initial steps

    “‘Our community standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm [bullying], or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity [hate speech],’ the FB spokesperson said. ‘We remove content that violates our standards as soon as

    Good initial steps

    “‘Our community standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm [bullying], or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity [hate speech],’ the FB spokesperson said. ‘We remove content that violates our standards as soon as we’re aware of it. In this case, we received reports related to four different videos on the pages that InfoWars and Alex Jones maintain on Facebook. We reviewed the content against our community standards and determined that it violates. All four videos have been removed from Facebook.’”

    “...Earlier this week, YouTube removed four videos from the InfoWars channel – understood to be the same content that led to the Facebook action – and issued a “strike” against InfoWars for its conduct. It was the second such strike the channel had received, but although YouTube officially bans accounts when they receive three strikes, the strikes time out after 90 days. Additionally, the channel bundles multiple violations into individual strikes, protecting Jones from a potential ban.”

  • I have a crazy idea... How about if people don’t like what the dude says, then just don’t follow him???

  • What a joke! A mere slap on the wrist, and a blip of time; The suspension will last for 30 days! Whatever Zuckerberg. 🙄

  • How much of this is simply in response to his stock plummeting?

  • I couldn’t agree more, Kent!