A weekly summary of what I’ve found interesting at the intersection of economics, finance and technology.
WeWork—Rather than enumerating their latest tribulations, it’s more enlightening to read this interview with Scott Galloway, who got this story very right. Read
Taming fake news on WhatsApp—Limiting the ability to forward a message helped slow the spread of disinformation. WhatsApp deserves credit for looking into this and making positive changes, although they could probably do more… Read
Libra petering out—PayPal announced they are leaving the Libra coalition. Chances are they won’t be the last one. Read
Crypto’s hidden risks—This report on the most popular cryptocurrency struck me mainly because it seems some exchanges, when their users believe they’re holding USD, actually hold Tether instead, which is linked to the USD. No mention of the counterparty risk involved in this… Read
Smartphone vulnerabilities—After the unpatcheable vulnerability discovered for iPhones last week, this week is Android’s turn. This one works remotely, just visiting a malicious website may be enough to compromise the phone, although it’s more likely to be used in targeted fashion than indiscriminately. Read
Technological disruption coming to the banks—Somewhat shrill analysts’ report from Wells Fargo argues that technology could put 200,000 jobs at risk in banking. Read ($) Sounds good in theory, but in practice, the technology is not that advanced and its effectiveness will be blunted by some of the peculiarities of individual organisations. Read ($)
This overview of the challenges Bursa Malaysia faces is concise and informative, and indicative of wider trends in finance. (Full disclosure, the author is a friend) Read
Although most tenets of neoliberalism have been discredited, one survives and that is that developing countries should open their borders to foreign investment. This article argues that might not be such a good idea. Read
Uyghurs are relying on new app sensation TikTok to get news from Xinjian and document the conditions there, in effect playing a game of cat and mouse with the censors. Read
That’s it for this week’s edition. As always, thanks for reading and please forward this to anyone who you think might be interested, it would be much appreciated.