Friday, August 22, 2014

Simpsons Marathon Weekend Links

Some stories for your weekend enjoyment:

Football in Ferguson - Sports Illustrated

 Pete Rose's Reckless Gamble - The Atlantic

America in Decay - Francis Fukuyama.  A little too academic, but still pretty interesting.

California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water - The Salt, via my former boss.

A Clash of Gold and Water in California - New York Times

The Witness - Texas Monthly. Meet a woman who's job included witnessing 278 Texas executions.  Yes, it was as bad as you would think.

How Libya Blew Billions and Its Best Chance at Democracy - Businessweek
Of the nine companies to which the LIA entrusted its $70 billion bankroll, almost all appear to have lost incredible amounts of money while charging sky-high fees. According to an audit conducted by KPMG, Société Générale managed to lose more than half of a $1.8 billion investment, while charging the Libyans tens of millions for its financial expertise. London-based investment management firm Permal Group, which received $300 million from LIA, lost 40 percent of it while earning $27 million in fees. BNP Paribas (BNP:FP) lost 23 percent: “High fees have been directly responsible for the poor results,” the auditor noted. Credit Suisse (CS) lost 29 percent of the funds that it managed. Millennium Global Investments, based in London, apparently lost all of a $100 million investment in its emerging credit fund, while a $300 million investment in Lehman Brothers vanished from the books after Lehman collapsed in 2008. Credit Suisse and Permal did not respond to a request for comment. Millennium could not be reached.
But the outstanding single offender was Goldman Sachs, which charged $350 million in fees for a series of trades that lost the Libyans 98 percent of their $1.3 billion investment.
Goddamned crooks.

Which Country Drinks the Most Alcohol? - Wall Street Journal

"Heat Islands" Cook U.S. Cities Faster Than Ever - Scientific American

Maps: Where do our U.S. Fruits and Vegetables come from? - Big Picture Agriculture

Source: Wired

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