(Not) boring finds for October 2019

October 30, 2019 | Mawer Print

This month’s finds include a think-piece on the rise of negative interest rates; a spotlight on Shopify’s origins; what WeWork demonstrates about private vs. public markets for tech stocks; and a look into how humanity’s obsession with gambling has influenced mathematics.


Oaktree Capital – Latest memo from Howard Marks: Mysterious

An insightful memo from Howard Marks on the rise of negative interest rates, their impact, and an effort to clarify their “mystery.”

“Some people think we have negative rates because central bankers want them, some think it’s because the market sets them, and some think it’s some of each. “Did interest rates fall, or were they pushed?” asks Grant’s. Given all the above, no one should feel the reasons for negative rates are fully understood…At minimum, negative rates mean there’s increased uncertainty, and thus we have to proceed with more trepidation. Whatever we knew in the past about how things worked, I think we know less when rates are negative.”


NPR’s How I Built This Podcast – Shopify: Tobias Lütke (1 hr 7 min)

NPR interviews Founder and CEO Tobi Lütke on the genesis of his ecommerce software company, Shopify.


Bloomberg Opinion – We can be weird, or it can be public

WeWork’s elastic valuation and the different trade-offs of private technology stocks opening to public markets. The Money Stuff newsletter from Bloomberg’s Opinion Columnist, Matt Levine.


Literary Hub – Feeling lucky? A brief history of gambling with dice (On our obsession with probability)

The lure of predicting the future has always been a draw. But how has betting impacted development in formal mathematics? A short, unique historical look into our relationship with probability.


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