Monday, September 20th, 2021


Evergrande Finale

You probably didn't spend the weekend wondering how a Chinese property giant could gut punch your nest egg. Well, welcome to the global economy. It's a small world ... smaller now given the shrinkage of your stock portfolio. "For more than two decades, Evergrande was China's largest developer, minting money from a property boom on a scale the world had never seen. With each success, Evergrande expanded into new areas — bottled water, professional sports, electric vehicles." And now? "Evergrande has become the country's most indebted company. It owes money to lenders, suppliers and foreign investors. It owes unfinished apartments to home buyers and has racked up more than $300 billion in unpaid bills." How bad is it? Evergrande Gave Workers a Choice: Loan Us Cash or Lose Your Bonus. (An NYT gift article for ND readers.)

+ "The biggest fear investors should have with the crisis gripping overly indebted Chinese real estate developer Evergrande is global contagion, argues Goldman Sachs." (Just what we need. More global contagion.)

+ Xi Sheds Capitalism: "The Chinese President is not just trying to rein in a few big tech and other companies and show who is boss in China. He is trying to roll back China's decadeslong evolution toward Western-style capitalism and put the country on a different path entirely." Speaking of Chinese trends that could impact your bottom line. WSJ: Xi Jinping Aims to Rein In Chinese Capitalism, Hew to Mao's Socialist Vision. Hewly shit.


That 70s Show Rerun

"I began my obstetrics and gynecology residency at a San Antonio hospital on July 1, 1972 ... At the hospital that year, I saw three teenagers die from illegal abortions. One I will never forget. When she came into the ER, her vaginal cavity was packed with rags. She died a few days later from massive organ failure, caused by a septic infection ... For me, it is 1972 all over again." Alan Braid in WaPo (gift article for ND readers): Why I violated Texas's extreme abortion ban.

+ "We're seeing shock. Absolute shock. They know the law but don't expect to hear from us that there are no other options other than leaving the state." Texas abortion clinics are now operating as trauma centers.


Travelers’ Checks

"The Biden administration will require all international travelers coming into the United States to be fully vaccinated and tested for Covid-19 under a new system that will open up air travel to vaccinated foreign nationals from dozens of countries for the first time since the early days of the pandemic."

+ When will your kids between the ages of 5-11 be able to get vaxed? It could be a matter of weeks.


Ted Talk Interrupted

An Open Letter to Hollywood: No one plays off Jean Smart. Ever. The director of this year's Emmys made some odd decisions about what content could be squeezed into three hours. For example, it seemed like a good idea to cue the play off music while Ted Effing Lasso was giving a speech, but to retain about 45 minutes for Cedric the Entertainer's bits. Predictably, Ted Lasso, The Queen, and Mare of Easttown took home a lot of awards (full list here). (Sidenote: I've never been this happy about anything.) Michaela Coel gave the night's coolest speech: "Visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success. Do not be afraid to disappear—from it, from us—for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence." There were some snubs and surprises. And The Handmaid's Tale set a record for most Emmys losses in a season after losing in 21 categories. (That might be because Texas lawmakers moved the show into the documentary category.) In a pretty tough category, The Queen's Gambit won best limited or anthology series. Chess Bump!


Assassination Mod

"The assassin, a skilled sniper, took up his position, calibrated the gun sights, cocked the weapon and lightly touched the trigger. He was nowhere near Absard, however. He was peering into a computer screen at an undisclosed location more than 1,000 miles away. The entire hit squad had already left Iran." NYT: The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine. (Gift article for ND readers. Also, wow.)



"More than 320 migrants arrived in Port-au-Prince on three flights Sunday, and Haiti said six flights were expected Tuesday. In all, U.S. authorities moved to expel many of the more than 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas." US launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from Texas.


I Want You to Want Me

"It took nearly six months for Healy, who has a decade of experience in industrial design, to find a new job. Meanwhile, headlines touted a record number of job openings, and many employers said they were doing everything in their power to entice potential employees. For Healy and many others, the situation just doesn't make sense — there's an incongruity between what they are hearing about jobs and what is actually happening." Why everybody's hiring but nobody's getting hired.


Circus Jerk

"The apathy … was incredible in a way: There were only a couple of hundred people showing up, even though 70 percent of Republicans believe the insurrection was OK. There were Proud Boys in attendance, but you couldn't tell because they were instructed not to show their insignias." The Capitol Riot Sequel Was a Sad Media Circus. (And the original was a sad justice circus, at least until those who pushed for it to happen are no longer holding gigs in places like the US Senate.)


Pope a Dope

"The decision by the Cobb County School District to use euphemisms in its public statement to describe the defacing of a boys' bathroom at Pope High School with swastikas and the phrase 'Hail Hitler' has not gone unnoticed. Neither a statement by the district Friday to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution nor a letter home to Pope parents mentioned antisemitism, opting for such terms as 'students misbehave' and 'hateful graffiti.'" They didn't mention the antisemitism (or the poor spelling). Anti-Defamation League: Cobb should not downplay antisemitism at Pope High School. And here's the kicker: The school's "passage of their resolution banning Critical Race Theory could tie their hands in responding to and countering incidents of hate through educational initiatives for the school community."


Bottom of the News

"Sometime at the tail end of 2018, shortly after abandoning yet another draft of what was supposed to be my fifth Young Adult novel, I took up a different form of fiction: I started writing fake letters to Dear Prudence, Slate's long-running advice column." (And they kept getting published.)

+ San Francisco's bizarre, costly quest for the perfect trash can. (For expediency, they might as well just put the cash directly into the old garbage cans.)

+ Brazil's Unvaccinated Far-Right President Bolsonaro Forced to Eat Pizza on the Street in NYC. (That doesn't quite seem like an apt punishment considering his crimes.)