Afternoon Tea 9.9.21 - Day of Reckoning

Payola, Poorly Devised Pollution Tests, Pot in Italy.

Germany requires influencers to disclose pay-for-play, firms can duck pollution tests with relative ease, Italy allows its citizens to grow cannabis, Manhattan’s rent pricing continues to K-shape, most stocks don’t kill it, and minor league baseball is even more terrible than we imagined. It’s Thursday, September 9th 2021, and this is your Tea. Rounding out the short week of vibes is a tip of the hat to everyone who enjoyed the Sunday morning experiments. This wobbly, wubby, wild work by Wuki is the best of the inevitable deluge of “try to top the girl with the golden voice.” Wuki didn’t top her, he sent her to the stars.

Paid influencers must label posts as ads, German court rules (Reuters) & How Facebook Undermines Privacy Protections for Its 2 Billion WhatsApp Users (ProPublica) The great miasma of undisclosed payola & sponsored content will continue to chafe against these rules, but the rules are coming. Facebook might step in it in a way they can’t unstep in things if they mismanage WhatsApp, especially internationally.

FDA nears day of reckoning on e-cigarettes (Politico) No ruling yet, but non-cigarette nicotine delivery systems are not going away, so they better get harm reduced as far as they can be taken. Then regulated & taxed as per any controlled substance.

Poorly devised regulation lets firms pollute with abandon (Economist) We suck so much. When you tell the polluters what days you’ll be testing, they just crank up the Captain Planet villain smokestacks on…not those days.

Italy to allow small-scale cannabis growing at home ( Italy did more good for Italians with one single decision than Governor Emeritus Cuomo did during his entire political career.

Most expensive home in America defaults on $165 million in debt, heads for sale (CNBC) The numbers in this story show how far we’ve come from Sears selling you a DIY house in their catalog.

Manhattan Rents Rise Again But Only for Doorman Buildings (Bloomberg) This K-shaped recovery should track with climate change & income inequality as they both bloom on the island of Manhattan. Rent getting cheaper for non-doorman buildings makes a ton of sense for anyone who just experienced Ida.

Beached Rat Carcasses Indicate Mass Rodent Death During Ida (Gothamist) We can confidently say we have no idea what the effects of “mass rodent death” on the local wildlife ecosystem will be. But we’re about to find out.

How the pandemic turned humble shipping containers into the hottest items on the planet (CNN Business) New York’s Hottest Club is Container. Made out of a dozen shipping containers from the Ever Green, this club has everything. Imported Queens, fabricated looks, and boatloads of washed out Chinese businessmen.

Most stocks are duds (yes, you read that right) (Evidence-Based Investor) The median lifetime return of all stocks is -3.7%. Why do people invest? Because they’re not invested in the almost 70% of public company stock that’s just kind of a bad investment. Don’t feel sad you can’t pick stocks, recognize that most are pretty bad ideas to invest in, especially over the long-term.

Minor League Baseball Is Optimized to Exploit (Defector) We knew it was bad, but we didn’t understand that the entire farm system is a Rube Goldberg machine of suffering and exploitation. These kids deserve so much better.

Poem of the Tea: Rounding out the week, some sweet simplicity by Timothy Liu in 2014.

You made it through to Thursday afternoon. Reward of baby capybaras below.