The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Henry’s Conquistador, grab a seat on the couch, and get ready for our longer-form weekend reads:
• The Unlikely Outsiders Who Won the Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine Uğur Şahin and Stéphane Bancel were long underestimated by investors and scientists. But when Covid-19 threatened the globe, these two unknowns had a solution. (Wall Street Journal)
• How Ryan Reynolds Built a Business Empire With a range of film and TV projects on the way, as well as initiatives through his company Maximum Effort, the actor and entrepreneur has turned his on-camera charisma into major marketing savvy. (Wall Street Journal Magazine)
• Sc3nius We’re all gonna make it To clear up some terms we’ll use here, “scenius” is the concept of communal genius, but we’ll use Scenius with a capital S to describe those magical time-place combinations. Scenius is the proper noun; scenius is the common one. Ancient Greece was a Scenius. The Renaissance was a Scenius. Silicon Valley was a Scenius. (Not Boring)
• The Slip-and-Fall King Wants to Save You From Your Next Wipeout Americans spend $50 billion a year recovering from spills. Russell Kendzior says he’s battling Big Floor to make sure these avoidable accidents don’t happen. (Businessweek)
• This Little-Known Woman Billionaire Built A Fortune Powering Fintech Firms Like SoFi And Webull A former single mother and options trader, Jenny Just runs a multibillion-dollar business that provides the trading and technology behind popular mobile trading platforms, robo advisors and online banks. (Forbes)
• Brand in the Influencer Era: Social media is democratizing consumer influence, empowering ordinary individuals to shape brand perception. We identify brands with strong positioning using social media discourse and network structure. We find strong brands have outperformed the stock market. We also explore the trends of sustainable and Millennial brands. (Sparkline Capital)
• Is Hyperinflation Coming? Hyperinflation is a massive increase in the rate of inflation, and a complete destruction of a national currency. It’s the absolute worst kind of financial crisis an economy can have. The 2008 Financial Crisis was bad, but it was a cake walk compared to what hyperinflation does. A financial panic ruins the economy for years, but hyperinflation ruins an economy for an entire generation. (Pragmatic Capitalism)
• The Evangelical Church Is Breaking Apart: Christians must reclaim Jesus from his church. The root of the discord lies in the fact that many Christians have embraced the worst aspects of our culture and our politics. When the Christian faith is politicized, churches become repositories not of grace but of grievances, places where tribal identities are reinforced, where fears are nurtured, and where aggression and nastiness are sacralized. The result is not only wounding the nation; it’s having a devastating impact on the Christian faith. (The Atlantic)
• Are We on the Verge of Chatting with Whales? An ambitious project is attempting to interpret sperm whale clicks with artificial intelligence, then talk back to them. (Hakai Magazine)
• Will Ferrell Just Wants to Entertain You (and Himself) The ‘Shrink Next Door’ producer-star on building (and winnowing) his empire, splitting with collaborator and pal Adam McKay and chasing the funny above all else: “I’ve always loved making other people laugh. I’ve just never needed to make you like me.” (Hollywood Reporter)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Lisa Jones, CEO of Amundi U.S. The French asset management firm has over $2 trillion (€1.729) in AUM, and is the second-largest asset manager in Europe. Amundi has 100 million clients from 36 countries and 4,500 employees, making them one of the world’s top 10 asset managers. Jones runs the $100 billion US arm.
Tracking how long it takes an investor to climb back to their “expected” 6% real return Post-Bubble
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.