Weekend Links - Dec 24th 2021

Happy Christmas folks. Links for this week:

  1. Matt Levine on getting out of finance into finance journalism. Two quotes, one scathing one interesting:
    1. “I think that each year there is a cohort of young people who got good grades at a fancy college, are comfortable with algebra, are willing to work hard but don’t really have any clear idea of what they want to do, are very focused on money and prestige, and are not too troubled by moral qualms. Those people are always in high demand, and there is a shifting set of industries and companies that successfully recruit them. When I was in college, those people went to investment banks or to consulting firms. Now if you are smart, hard-working, expensively educated, directionless, and down for a certain amount of evil, I think you probably choose Facebook (sorry, Meta) over Goldman Sachs or McKinsey. Or you go into crypto, which is like finance but insane.”
    2. “My personal account is all in cash and index funds”
  2. Kevin Kwok talking about how many businesses that start by democratising access (e.g. Uber, AirBnB) inevitable become professionalised to a large degree:
    1. “AirBNB is transient, as is Uber. Democratize then professionalize. Anyone can be a driver, then anyone can’t. “For example, if you think of Airbnb’s regulatory hurdle at a local level, local landowners renting out their bedroom is far more attractive politically than fast growing companies buying up for sale properties to convert them into short term hotel rooms.”
  3. Who uses gift cards the most? Teachers are one example. Patrick of Kalzumeus
  4. Interview with Liberty CEO, Greg Maffei. Liberty own Formula 1, the Braves and Sirius FM. He’s a big fan of the future of audio versus video, partly because podcasts are cheaper to make than tv series.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale . A scale for comparing energy at the planetary level to at the solar system or universal level.
  6. Facebook’s Oculus headset sales are growing quickly and look like they may soon pass Nintendo or Playstation consoles.