6. Weekend Reads

Here's a few longer reads on political, social and economic issues from the world at large for the weekend.

I'm a fan of investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, so this spiky interview in the New York Times is a fun read.

I also like reading both David Brooks and Tyler Cowen. Here's a discussion between the two that ranges far and wide.

Richard Denniss is the Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a left-leaning think-tank. He has written an article for the Quarterly Essay about neo-liberalism that has caused quite a stir over there. Here's the TLDR version by Ross Gittins, who is a veteran economic journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald who is always worth reading.

We haven't heard much about it over here, but in Britain the big four accounting firms are taking a hammering. Here's the Guardian's deep dive into the problems with PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte.
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/29/the-financial-scandal-no-one-is-talking-about-big-four-accountancy-firms

This deeply reported piece from the LA Times on the death of Robert Kennedy is sobering and compelling.

Here's an analysis from Harvard economist Jeffrey Frankel of Trump's trade war with China. It's not a simple or easily understandable thing. Although neither is Trump. Jeffrey Sachs thinks Trump's actions on trade with China are insane.

Facebook was exposed this week as having handed over reams of private data to China's Huawei, which is increasingly being blocked by American, Australian and British security officials from rolling out networks in those countries (but not New Zealand)

Further to the debate about journalism and its failure to find a business model, this piece in CityLab describes how Government spending increases when there are no journalists watching. Cities where newspapers closed up shop saw increases in government costs as a result of the lack of scrutiny over local deals, say researchers who tracked the decline of local news outlets between 1996 and 2015.

This Pew study of how newspaper revenues have fared is another view of the story. The chart can be seen above.

And finally, here's an excellent Guardian long read about the rise of 'Big lens' as ageing populations spend up large on reading glasses. I prefer the easy-reader kind from supermarkets. Just $10. That's mainly because I keep losing them. A catch 22 I have yet to solve. I need reading glasses because I can't see property. But I can't see the glasses properly to remember to take them with me.