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Best of the Web, North American financials edition


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

Fables, with somealterations, can teach us about good investing, a look inside a key data centerfor American equity markets and Bill Ackman makes his big-screen debut.

Financialfables: All the better to teach you with, my dear

A column in The NewYork Times considered the National Rifle Association's endeavors to givefables and fairy tales happier endings by giving the protagonists guns, thenaltered a few to teach lessons about investing and business. In"Rumpelstiltskin," the girl told to spin gold from straw stashes alittle gold each day into a nice retirement fund. Cinderella's animal friendsbecome unpaid interns.

Areshell companies useful for people who aren't ludicrously rich?

There was an attempt to bring tax-avoidance, or "wealthdefense," strategies to less-than-extremely-rich consumers in the early2000s, The Atlantic wrote. Butselling that service to a much larger group of people attracted too muchattention, and Congress shut it down. One would need at least $3 million inincome and assets for an offshore shell company to be useful, the author found.

Insidethe nondescript building where trillions trade each day

Bloomberg Markets visitedone of the data centers where stock trades are routed — a massive building fullof server banks, air conditioning units and back-up generators with thousandsof gallons of diesel fuel. In 2015, the facility was running 99.9999% of thetime, according to Equinox, the company that operates it and other market datacenters.

Millennialemployees confound big banks

Junior associates at investment banks are leaving much morequickly than they used to; after one or two years in many cases. The Wall Street Journal spoke to twoformer employees who left their banks to enter the tech world. Both complainedof getting saddled with the monotonous tasks that for decades have defined theentry-level work of young bankers.

Hedge-funderBill Ackman is a star at Tribeca Film Festival, even as he's losing billions

A documentary is being made about Bill Ackman's crusadeagainst Herbalife, New York Magazine wrote. One scene is of Ackmanpresenting on the company's practices in a church in Chicago to a largelyHispanic crowd, who begin chanting "Ackman amigo." The documentary, Bettingon Zero, is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Howmy bet on "Forever stamps" went so terribly wrong

Forever stamps, which always cover a first-class one-ounceletter through the Postal Service, decreased in price for the first time since1919, a finance columnist for Time noted.That the stamps would always gradually increase in price had been a seeminglyfoolproof assumption, he wrote. First-class postal rates have been rising atabout 2.5% annually, giving the stamps a somewhat higher yield than tax-freemoney market funds over the past several years.