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Tuesday Links – January 25, 2022

Monday, January 25, 2022Volume 3, Issue 6 “Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.” — Theodore
The post Tuesday…



Monday, January 25, 2022
Volume 3, Issue 6

“Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.”

— Theodore Roosevelt


Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, January 20, 2022. The Fed has released a white paper discussing potential plans to introduce a digital currency in the United States. Although the Fed is stating that no decisions have been made regarding how to proceed, the paper resulted in much attention and criticism, including my own comments written in a Twitter thread and the Wall Street Journal’s coverage on January 21. The Fed is currently accepting comments on the paper. (Federal Reserve)

Warren Buffett closes in on Cathie Wood as tech stocks tumble by Robin Wigglesworth, January 22, 2022. Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF is on the verge of being overtaken by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway since the start of the pandemic. Ms. Wood made headlines last month when she projected a 30-40 percent compound annual return over the next five years. In contrast, Mr. Buffett has never projected the price of Berkshire stock. Markets gyrated wildly on Monday with Ark Innovation trading in a range of $64.98 to $73.57 and Berkshire Hathaway’s B class of common stock trading in a range of $296.08 to $304.73. (Financial Times)

Wildfire Risk in California Drives Insurers to Pull Policies for Pricey Homes by Leslie Scism, January 19, 2022. Insurers are reevaluating the risk of wildfires in California and other western states. Changing climate patters have made regions more prone to fires than historical data might suggest. One statistic that struck me was that California homes in the $10 million range carry insurance premiums in the $20,000 to $40,000 range. While this is a big dollar amount in absolute terms, it is only 0.20-0.40% of property value in a region with poorly defined future risk profiles. (WSJ)

How ‘Treat Yourself’ Became a Capitalist Command by Ester Bloom, November 19, 2015. Every Saturday, the Wall Street Journal publishes a section called “Off Duty” which is meant to highlight recreational pursuits for wealthy individuals. I couldn’t resist making a sarcastic comment on Twitter regarding how the marketing term “self-care” is brilliant because it frames luxury spending in terms of health and wellness. A reader responded with this interesting article which provides some history behind the self-care industry and how it evolved in recent decades. (The Atlantic)

The Huge Tax Bills That Came Out of Nowhere at Vanguard by Jason Zweig, January 21, 2022. Mutual funds have often surprised shareholders with unexpected distributions toward year-end. For this reason, many investors prefer to hold mutual funds with a history of distributions in tax-deferred retirement accounts. Vanguard has a long-standing reputation for tax-efficiency when it comes to fund distributions but unfortunately this was not the case recently with its target-date retirement funds. Due to large investors shifting to a lower-fee version of the fund, small investors were left holding the bag with large distribution of realized gains at yearend. (WSJ)

The High Cost of an Easy Job by Nick Maggiulli, January 18, 2022. It is important to strive to live a life of purpose and accomplishment: “Why do work when you can not work, right? Why build something when you could not build it?  The choice seems obvious, doesn’t it? But the easy choices come with hard consequences…later. They show up where you might not expect them. With regret. With nostalgia. With sadness. The easy way out always has hidden costs. The question is: are you willing to pay them?” (Of Dollars and Data)

The Time Trap of Productivity by Lawrence Yeo, January 2022. Time is definitely our most precious asset, but over scheduling has downsides: “By scheduling your day down to the last minute, you introduce an anxiety from managing your real-time progress to an imagined vision. Each glance at the clock fires off a thought about whether your day is going like it’s supposed to, or if you’re falling behind. This is a mind that always views the present through the lens of past and future, and can never be anchored in the now.” (More to That)

If You Only Read a Few Books in 2022, Read These by Ryan Holiday, January 20, 2022. Some interesting reading ideas: “Books are an investment in yourself—investments that come in many forms: novels, nonfiction, how-to, poetry, classics, biographies. They help you think more clearly, be kinder, see the bigger picture, and improve at the things that matter to you. Books are a tradition that stretches back thousands of years and stretches forward to today, where people are still publishing distillations of countless hours of hard thinking on hard topics. Why wouldn’t you avail yourself of this wisdom?” (

Podcasts and Videos

Nassim Taleb: How to Look at the Risks of Covid Vaccines, January 2, 2022. Nassim Taleb’s precautionary principle has been cited by individuals skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines, but Taleb himself has come out strongly in favor of widespread vaccination efforts. This video is a brief explanation of why Taleb has taken his current position on vaccines and how the precautionary principle applies in this case. His emphasis is on considering the risks of the vaccine alongside the risks of contracting and spreading COVID. I found his argument compelling. (YouTube)

How Paul Graham Went From Painter to YCombinator Founder, January 21, 2022. “Paul Graham is the co-founder of Y-Combinator, which is arguably the world’s most successful startup studio. His artistic background, combined with his technical genius, has helped him become one of the most successful writers and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. So how does this proudly self-proclaimed ‘nerd’ who stopped watching TV at the age of 13 continue to find success while circumventing convention?” (David Perell/YouTube)

Peloton: Reinventing the Wheel, January 18, 2022. This is an interesting discussion regarding Peloton’s business model in light of the recent pummeling of its stock price. “Peloton was founded over 10 years ago with the idea of making the best in-person spin classes available at home. By delivering eye-catching hardware and compelling content, it has since become the largest interactive fitness platform in the world with over 6 million members. Peloton’s rise has not been without challenges, however, and the business’s economic model is under debate as we speak.” (Business Breakdowns) 


Early Bird: The Power of Investing Young, 2nd Edition by Maya Peterson and Soren Peterson. In 2018, I reviewed the first edition of Early Bird written by Maya Peterson who was just fifteen years old at the time. The first edition was a great introduction to investing for young people. In the second edition, Soren Peterson contributes content including a new interview with Ian Cassel, a well-known investor in the micro-cap field, and the author of The Intelligent Fanatics Project. Young people have a major advantage when it comes to investing because they have much more time for compounding to work its magic. Financial literacy is abysmal in the United States, and it is great to see young people like Maya and Soren take it upon themselves to educate their peers. Maya is also the author of Lighthouse: Women Leading the Way in Financewhich I reviewed in 2020. For more background, I recommend this interview published by 7Investing: The Power of Investing Young with Maya and Soren Peterson.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Mukherjee has a rare talent for documenting history and complex medical topics while also telling the very human stories about lives impacted by cancer. As a practicing cancer physician, Mukherjee explains how our understanding of cancer has evolved over time, the advances in surgery, chemotherapy, radiology, and immunotherapies, and generally equips us to be better informed patients in the event of a diagnosis. Understanding the tradeoffs involved in various forms of treatment, the prospect of a cure or long-term remission, and when a situation can best be dealt with in a palliative manner are topics best approached before a crisis. 


Berkshire Hathaway Announces In-Person Annual Meeting After two years of virtual meetings due to the pandemic. Berkshire Hathaway has announced that this year’s meeting will occur in person on April 30. The meeting will also be available via webcast. Berkshire’s annual report along with Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders will be posted to the company’s website on February 26. (Berkshire Hathaway)

James Clear’s 30 Days to Better Habits This is a free online course that I recently signed up for which includes suggestions for developing better habits. I have mentioned James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, several times and wrote a review of the book last year. So far, this email course has presented some of the best ideas from the book as well as supplementary information. “30 Days to Better Habits and Atomic Habits are complementary. While you should expect many of the core ideas to be the same, the course is full of many new examples and applications that you can’t find in the book. When combined, the book and the course deliver a powerful, 1-2 punch.” (

The Bear Cave Newsletter by Edwin Dorsey. This newsletter is meant for short-sellers and has free and paid content. I’m not a short seller, but I find the free Sunday newsletter interesting because the author often compiles lists of resignations from public companies, as disclosed in SEC filings. Resignations for mysterious reasons or after short tenures, especially in the CFO position, can signal serious problems, so it is interesting information to follow. When you read that someone resigned to “pursue other opportunities”, chances are that there is more to the story. (The Bear Cave)

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The post Tuesday Links – January 25, 2022 first appeared on The Rational Walk.

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Repeated COVID-19 Vaccination Weakens Immune System: Study

Repeated COVID-19 Vaccination Weakens Immune System: Study

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Repeated COVID-19…



Repeated COVID-19 Vaccination Weakens Immune System: Study

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Repeated COVID-19 vaccination weakens the immune system, potentially making people susceptible to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, according to a new study.

A man is given a COVID-19 vaccine in Chelsea, Mass., on Feb. 16, 2021. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

Multiple doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines lead to higher levels of antibodies called IgG4, which can provide a protective effect. But a growing body of evidence indicates that the “abnormally high levels” of the immunoglobulin subclass actually make the immune system more susceptible to the COVID-19 spike protein in the vaccines, researchers said in the paper.

They pointed to experiments performed on mice that found multiple boosters on top of the initial COVID-19 vaccination “significantly decreased” protection against both the Delta and Omicron virus variants and testing that found a spike in IgG4 levels after repeat Pfizer vaccination, suggesting immune exhaustion.

Studies have detected higher levels of IgG4 in people who died with COVID-19 when compared to those who recovered and linked the levels with another known determinant of COVID-19-related mortality, the researchers also noted.

A review of the literature also showed that vaccines against HIV, malaria, and pertussis also induce the production of IgG4.

“In sum, COVID-19 epidemiological studies cited in our work plus the failure of HIV, Malaria, and Pertussis vaccines constitute irrefutable evidence demonstrating that an increase in IgG4 levels impairs immune responses,” Alberto Rubio Casillas, a researcher with the biology laboratory at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico and one of the authors of the new paper, told The Epoch Times via email.

The paper was published by the journal Vaccines in May.

Pfizer and Moderna officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Both companies utilize messenger RNA (mRNA) technology in their vaccines.

Dr. Robert Malone, who helped invent the technology, said the paper illustrates why he’s been warning about the negative effects of repeated vaccination.

“I warned that more jabs can result in what’s called high zone tolerance, of which the switch to IgG4 is one of the mechanisms. And now we have data that clearly demonstrate that’s occurring in the case of this as well as some other vaccines,” Malone, who wasn’t involved with the study, told The Epoch Times.

So it’s basically validating that this rush to administer and re-administer without having solid data to back those decisions was highly counterproductive and appears to have resulted in a cohort of people that are actually more susceptible to the disease.”

Possible Problems

The weakened immune systems brought about by repeated vaccination could lead to serious problems, including cancer, the researchers said.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/03/2023 - 22:30

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Spread & Containment

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Banned By Major Social Media Site, Campaign Pages Blocked

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Banned By Major Social Media Site, Campaign Pages Blocked

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),




Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Banned By Major Social Media Site, Campaign Pages Blocked

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Twitter owner Elon Musk invited Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for a discussion on his Twitter Spaces after Kennedy said his campaign was suspended by Meta-owned Instagram.

Interesting… when we use our TeamKennedy email address to set up @instagram accounts we get an automatic 180-day ban. Can anyone guess why that’s happening?” he wrote on Twitter.

An accompanying image shows that Instagram said it “suspended” his “Team Kennedy” account and that there “are 180 days remaining to disagree” with the company’s decision.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. attends Keep it Clean to benefit Waterkeeper Alliance in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 1, 2018. (John Sciulli/Getty Images for Waterkeeper Alliance)

In response to his post, Musk wrote: “Would you like to do a Spaces discussion with me next week?” Kennedy agreed, saying he would do it Monday at 2 p.m. ET.

Hours later, Kennedy wrote that Instagram “still hasn’t reinstated my account, which was banned years ago with more than 900k followers.” He argued that “to silence a major political candidate is profoundly undemocratic.”

“Social media is the modern equivalent of the town square,” the candidate, who is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, wrote. “How can democracy function if only some candidates have access to it?”

The Epoch Times approached Instagram for comment.

It’s not the first time that either Facebook or Instagram has taken action against Kennedy. In 2021, Instagram banned him from posting claims about vaccine safety and COVID-19.

After he was banned by the platform, Kennedy said that his Instagram posts raised legitimate concerns about vaccines and were backed by research. His account was banned just days after Facebook and Instagram announced they would block the spread of what they described as misinformation about vaccines, including research saying the shots cause autism, are dangerous, or are ineffective.

“This kind of censorship is counterproductive if our objective is a safe and effective vaccine supply,” he said at the time.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/03/2023 - 20:30

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Study Falsely Linking Hydroxychloroquine To Increased Deaths Frequently Cited Even After Retraction

Study Falsely Linking Hydroxychloroquine To Increased Deaths Frequently Cited Even After Retraction

Authored by Jessie Zhang via Thje Epoch…



Study Falsely Linking Hydroxychloroquine To Increased Deaths Frequently Cited Even After Retraction

Authored by Jessie Zhang via Thje Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

An Australian and Swedish investigation has found that among the hundreds of COVID-19 research papers that have been withdrawn, a retracted study linking the drug hydroxychloroquine to increased mortality was the most cited paper.

Hydroxychloroquine sulphate tablets. (Memories Over Mocha/Shutterstock)

With 1,360 citations at the time of data extraction, researchers in the field were still referring to the paper “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis” long after it was retracted.

Authors of the analysis involving the University of Wollongong, Linköping University, and Western Sydney Local Health District wrote (pdf) that “most researchers who cite retracted research do not identify that the paper is retracted, even when submitting long after the paper has been withdrawn.”

“This has serious implications for the reliability of published research and the academic literature, which need to be addressed,” they said.

Retraction is the final safeguard against academic error and misconduct, and thus a cornerstone of the entire process of knowledge generation.”

Scientists Question Findings

Over 100 medical professionals wrote an open letter, raising ten major issues with the paper.

These included the fact that there was “no ethics review” and “unusually small reported variances in baseline variables, interventions and outcomes,” as well as “no mention of the countries or hospitals that contributed to the data source and no acknowledgments to their contributions.”

A bottle of Hydroxychloroquine at the Medicine Shoppe in Wilkes-Barre, Pa on March 31, 2020. Some politicians and doctors were sparring over whether to use hydroxychloroquine against the new coronavirus, with many scientists saying the evidence is too thin to recommend it yet. (Mark Moran/The Citizens’ Voice via AP)

Other concerns were that the average daily doses of hydroxychloroquine were higher than the FDA-recommended amounts, which would present skewed results.

They also found that the data that was reportedly from Australian patients did not seem to match data from the Australian government.

Eventually, the study led the World Health Organization to temporarily suspend the trial of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients and to the UK regulatory body, MHRA, requesting the temporary pause of recruitment into all hydroxychloroquine trials in the UK.

France also changed its national recommendation of the drug in COVID-19 treatments and halted all trials.

Currently, a total of 337 research papers on COVID-19 have been retracted, according to Retraction Watch.

Further retractions are expected as the investigation of proceeds.

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/03/2023 - 17:30

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