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The Greatest Tax Story Ever Told

Wall Street lawyer John Carroll probably did more damage to US tax revenues than any other individual in history by inventing the “inversion”, whereby a US corporation moves its headquarters overseas and avoids US taxes. “There was a loophole in the law, and we capitalized on it legitimately”. He also co-invented the currency swap. The partners at his law firm wrote an operetta in his honour (2,160 words)

How You Know

You can read a great book at different times in your life, and learn different things from it — not because the book has changed, but because you have changed, your mind has changed. And not only books: “As technologies for recording and playing back your life improve, it may become common for people to relive experiences without any goal in mind, simply to learn from them again as one might when rereading a book” (633 words)

Marissa Mayer, What Happened?

How Yahoo went from a company worth $128 billion to a company worth nothing at all. It was floundering before Marissa Mayer took charge, but she steered it right on to the rocks. She neglected the mature business, bought dozens of start-ups, hired and fired badly, alienated employees, combined hyperactivity with disorganisation — not because she had a strategy, but in the hope of finding one, which she didn’t (7,300 words)

Cuba After Castro’s Revolution

From the New Republic of 1962, an optimistic view of Cuban communism in its younger days. “The economic muddles and catastrophes are obvious; the infringement on personal liberties is no less serious for being under the surface. It might have been possible to have done everything in a less destructive way. But even as things are, Cuba’s stride towards social and racial equality is real and lasting” (3,400 words)

The Internet Of Paternalistic Things

In your smart home the toilet will know you are pregnant before you do — and the toilet will tell the fridge, which will tell everything else. “I could have really used that beer. But the fridge still wouldn’t let me take it. I opened up Taskr to see if could get an old fashioned birth control test delivered. That’s when I got the notification that my funding interview for my new project the following morning had been canceled” (660 words)

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