What We’re Reading, 5/10/12
Every morning, we poll the staff and round up their favorite economic, financial and political reads of the day. What we perused over lunch: Mitt Romney’s (tortured?) past, the recession’s “true lessons,” and the mysterious case of a $14 Picasso.
“Mitt Romney’s Prep School Classmates Recall Pranks, but Also Troubling Incidents,” by Jason Horowitz (Washington Post). Remember that “young Obama” story that Vanity Fair dug up last week? Now Romney is having his own unpleasant blast-from-the-past moment. As a high schooler, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee led a number of “pranks” against fellow students and teachers, including an attack on a classmate the Post suggests was gay. Romney has since apologized.
“Obama Evolves on Gay Marriage,” by Doyle McManus (LA Times). President Obama publicly affirmed his support for gay marriage on ABC News yesterday afternoon — a move that, unsurprisingly, has people from the right and the left riled up. Looming large among the criticisms: Why did Obama do it now? McManus has a few ideas.
“The True Lessons of the Recession,” by Raghuram G. Rajan (Foreign Policy). According to Rajan, the slow economic recovery has less to do with austerity and stimulus and more to do with unsolved structural issues. “Governments need to address the underlying flaws in their economies,” he writes. “In the United States, that means educating or retraining the workers who are falling behind, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and harnessing the power of the financial sector to do good while preventing it from going off track.”
“The Woman Who Lived in a Shed: How London Landlords Are Cashing In,” by Amelia Gentleman (The Guardian). And your friendly curator thought her rent was steep — desperate renters in London pay as much as $566 a month to live in sheds, shanties and walk-in freezers.
“Scamworld: ‘Get Rich Quick’ Schemes Mutate Into an Online Monster,” by Joseph Flatley (Verge). In the age of internet marketing, “get rich quick” scams have evolved way beyond the point of fruitless envelope-stuffing and fake work-at-home jobs. Now national syndicates trick their victims out of tens of thousands of dollars before disappearing into the digital ether.
And in other news: Loews CEO James Tisch sings The Supremes, Esquire.com’s style editor analyzes the hidden meanings of Mark Zuckerberg’s Wall Street wardrobe, and an Ohio man accidentally buys a Picasso print at a thrift shop — then resells it for $7,000.
Happy reading, Tumblers!