Matthew Lekushoff |


With few exceptions, the last few weeks have seen increased (but not turbulent) market volatility around the world. In addition to price fluctuations, all asset classes have enjoyed positive growth over this period.  The U.S. market leads the pack, continuing to hit all-time highs, partly fueled by speculation that large tax cuts will be passed into law before year's end.


"Scientists generally agree that no theory is 100 percent correct. Thus the real test of knowledge is not truth, but utility. Science gives us power. The more useful that power, the better the science."
-----  Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
 by Yuval Noah Harari: If the history of humankind interests you, I can't recommend Sapiens highly enough. This easy-to-read book does a wonderful job of explaining how we began distinguishing ourselves from chimpanzees, and takes a frank look at how various milestones and creations in our history shaped our trajectory. For example, without our common belief in creations like governments, currencies, religions, and human rights, our species would be unrecognizable to the way we are now.
The world is poorly designed, but copying nature helps :  A reminder to find examples in nature, which has the benefit of millions of years of natural selection. This type of iterative improvement produces some designs and processes that are very effective.
As Bitcoin's Price Passes $10,000, Its Rise Seems Unstoppable  by The Economist: Bitcoin has been getting a lot of press lately. The Economist correctly reminds us to separate the technology (blockchain) that runs the currency from the currency itself. While blockchain and cryptocurrencies are likely here to stay, the currency of bitcoin may or may not.
2,000 years of economic history in one chart  by Visual Capitalist: Two things in this chart stand out for me. First is how much change in economic power there has been over the last 20 centuries. Second is how 2,000 years ago, more than half of the world's GDP was produced by China and India. This number fell to a little more than 10% in the 1950s and now amounts to about 25% of the global total. I expect this number to continue climbing, but doubt these countries will see 50% again.


Time magazine's widely anticipated Person of the Year goes to "the silence breakers," referring to the women who came forward to accuse powerful men of sexual harassment and assault, and the global conversation they started. 




Matthew Lekushoff

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