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Corporate America Promised to Hire a Lot More People of Color. It Actually Did.

Bloomberg (09/26/2023)
  • In the year following the George Floyd protests, Bloomberg analyzed 2020 and 2021 workforce demographics for 88 of the 100 largest publicly-traded US companies and found over 300,000 jobs added, with 94% going to people of color.
  • Most significant changes occurred in less senior roles, but racial diversity also increased in executive and managerial positions.
  • Despite these changes, White employees still dominate high-paying roles in the S&P 100.
  • Also, recent layoffs and conservative pushback against diversity initiatives have deprioritized workforce diversity.

In aging Japan, dementia patients staff cafe of mistaken orders

The Washington Post (09/19/2023)
  • In suburban Tokyo, the Cafe of Mistaken Orders hires dementia patients once a month to serve customers.
  • The 12-seat cafe started the initiative to give patients a space where they feel valued and active while interacting with others, slowing the disease’s progression.
  • Over 6 million Japanese have dementia, and the number is expected to grow as high as 7.3 million, or 20% of citizens over 65, by 2025.
  • Despite occasional errors, customers appreciate the service and have gained more empathy for dementia patients.

At Bronx Day Care, a Trap Door Hid a Cache of Drugs Where Child Died

The New York Times (NYT) (09/21/2023)
  • Days after a 1 year-old died and three other children were hospitalized due to drug exposure, investigators discovered a hidden trap door containing narcotics, including fentanyl, at Bronx daycare facility Divino Niño.
  • Previously, a kilogram of fentanyl was found near nap mats at the daycare.
  • The daycare operator, Grei Mendez, and tenant, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, have been arrested and charged with murder and drug-related offenses.
  • Officials are now investigating if the daycare was being used as a front for drug operations.

Hedge funds are risking financial turmoil by shorting $600 billion in US Treasuries

Quartz (09/19/2023)
  • The Bank of International Settlements warns that hedge funds’ current $600 billion short position against US Treasuries could lead to a damaging sell-off.
  • Hedge funds are using a strategy called the relative value trade, which capitalizes on small differences between Treasury and futures contract values by buying actual Treasuries while selling Treasury futures contracts at the higher price.
  • Given the small profit margins, funds must use margin (borrowed money) to profit from this strategy.
  • Rapid tightening of margin requirements could spark financial turmoil.

Amid new border strains, Biden extends legal status to 470,000 Venezuelans

The Washington Post (09/20/2023)
  • The Biden administration will grant temporary legal status to over 470,000 Venezuelan migrants, making it the largest expansion of temporary protected status.
  • The move was in response to overwhelmed Texas border facilities quickly processing and releasing migrants into the US.
  • Venezuelans who arrived by July 31st will be shielded from deportation and can more rapidly obtain work permits.
  • Officials from cities such as NYC, which have become overwhelmed sheltering these migrants, urged this action so migrants can financially support themselves.

Why Los Angeles Has Avoided the Migrant Crisis Hitting New York

The New York Times (NYT) (09/20/2023)
  • Los Angeles has managed to avoid the recent migrant crisis affecting cities like New York, in part because it’s no longer the primary destination for immigrants.
  • California’s high cost of living have shifted migrants’ focus to areas with more job opportunities like NYC.
  • LA’s lack of robust public transportation, coupled with most newcomers staying with relatives and not seeking city resources, has prevented a crisis.
  • Venezuelans, the largest group in the current wave, prefer NYC because of its robust support systems.

Can Ghana’s Debt Trap of Crisis and Bailouts Be Stopped?

The New York Times (NYT) (09/18/2023)
  • The sudden spike in interest rates forced Ghana to request it’s 17th IMF bailout ($3B loan) since gaining independence (1957).
  • As central banks worldwide hiked interest rates to quell inflation, Ghana’s foreign debt become more expensive to repay with local currency; 70% of government revenues were going towards repaying its $63B debt.
  • Ghana’s heavy reliance on gold, cocoa and oil exports make it vulnerable to sudden price swings and its export-driven economy hasn’t generated widespread jobs.
  • Article profiles Ghanians struggling under 40-50% inflation.

Clean Energy Projects Are Booming Everywhere. Except in Poor Nations.

The New York Times (NYT) (09/04/2023)
  • While global investments in renewable energy are surging, the world’s poorest mostly African nations remain sidelined.
  • With investors and lenders citing risk-aversion, only 2% of global renewable energy investment is in Africa while 1 billion Africans lack electricity.
  • This discrepancy is a focal point at climate summits, as clean energy could stabilize these economies and reduce perceived risks.
  • Congo-based Nuru recently raised $70M for solar-powered microgrids and charges 3x less than diesel generators, increasing access while reducing the cost of life-changing electricity.

What Happens to Your Body on No Sleep?

Outside (04/02/2019)
  • Scientists have found that the effects of acute sleep deprivation, or all-nighters, kicks in after being awake for 16-18 hours straight.
  • The first sign is a sluggish mind, with reaction times lagging to the equivalent of being legally drunk by the 24th hour awake.
  • After 24 hours, your brain starts forcing you into 10-20 second periods of “micro-sleep”.
  • After 35 hours, the brain’s emotion-emitting amygdala becomes 60% more reactive and the ability to regulate emotions declines.
  • Hallucinations are common after 48 hours awake.