Weekend reads for August 26-27

Especially for subscribers over the weekend, here's a few longer reads on economic, social and political issues of the week.

Please feel free to email me (just hit reply) with suggestions for next week. We have a savvy set of subscribers who are always telling me new and useful things that I like to share. My mobile number is also at the bottom of the subscriber emails so you can also just text me or phone me with a tip that is safe from the prying eyes of the OIA.

The National Government is increasingly looking at using online education programmes sourced from North America. This deeply reported piece in Slate about 'online credit recovery programmes' shows they are tempting, but not as effective as they look at first blush.

Here's the one story about Trump you can read this weekend that explains so much about how he operates and why he's so dangerous. The New Yorker's Patrick Radden Keefe goes deep into the relationship between Carl Icahn and Donald Trump. The results are breathtaking. Icahn was essentially given a free pass to rewrite the rules for his own business. The article forced Icahn to step back from his role advising Trump.

Danyl Mclauchlan is a thoughtful if interested (he's a Green Party strategist) observer of New Zealand politics. This piece of his in The Spinoff is long, but well worth it. Anything that starts with a riff on Michael Lewis' Moneyball has got my vote.

India is a fascinating place that New Zealand knows far too little about, particularly given our growing trade and migration links. This New York Times piece from its departing correspondent Ellen Barry is a simple story about how to get away with murder in small town India. It is extraordinary.

A sample: "We found Mukesh on his terrace with his new wife, slicing okra. My heart was racing as we climbed the stairs, but it needn’t have: When we asked him whether he had killed his wife, he told us in detail how he had done it. The new wife said she believed Geeta had deserved to be killed and Mukesh should not worry himself about it."

And no weekend reads would be complete without a useful link to a piece about the changing nature of media. Sara Fischer's report at Axios explains why the big shift into streaming video is going to make life very difficult for advertisers and others who use metrics around attention and viewership.

Have a great weekend.