March 18, 2014

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Ryan McCarthy has decided to leave the world’s most prestigious Canadian-British news agency to join the local paper of a small, disenfranchised mid-Atlantic district.

Before he goes, we wanted to remind you all what we’re losing. For starters, the person who wrote headlines like “950 shades of grey”, “MOOC ado about nothing”, “Aging bull”, “Madvillainy”, “Beef Rogoff”,  “Where synergies go to die”, and “Our sweet creamy center cannot hold”.

He’s great at the hard art of writing short. “The world is near “#PeakChild”… perhaps history’s worst hashtag.” “So where does Dell go from here? One word: solutions.” “It’s a good time to go short political legitimacy.” “Here’s what we know about the housing market: You need some place to live and you have increasingly crappy options.” “Infrastructure: you never really appreciate it until it breaks down.” “Never let another country’s debt crisis go to waste.”

Wonderfully observant and funny: “The decision to turn down billions has also become an existential rumination on the Solemn Creed of the Noble Order of Tech Entrepreneur.” “That’s a haiku by European Council president — and sometime poet — Herman Achille Van Rompuy.” “Jim Kim is also, arguably, a triple-threat (rapping, dancing, singing).” “The leaders of the G20 met in Washington today; their official communique was sent out, like any grand pronouncement, as a Word document posted on a Russian website.” “The ur-text of the international austerity movement may have a few damning errors in it — including, it seems, some silly Excel mistakes.”

An only semi-closeted media critic: “Nothing amplifies like the Internet.” “Financial journalists have a favorite game: guessing when the Fed will step in and juice the markets.” “The Fed could do nothing, or it could try to repeat what it’s already done, while remaining vigilant, if things get worse. Reportedly.”

Who would rather write about policy and people: “Let’s be happy that it’s not getting harder to climb up America’s economic ladder; let’s be sad that it’s not getting easier.” “The rent needn’t be too damn high, even in financial and cultural capitals like New York City.” “Slowing growth would be the main worry in China’s economy — if only it weren’t for the more worrisome growth of credit.” “One in every seven Americans will be affected by the first across-the-board cut in the history of America’s food stamp program. So… Happy Friday!” “The Old People are coming – and they won’t stop until they take up an increasingly large portion of America’s economic resources.” “Thank God US fiscal policy is going to help out. Oh… wait.”

He developed a proprietary 4-step pattern to assess Euro crisis flare-ups. Counterparties is still working to monetize that thought-leading insight. He asks the deep, evergreen questions, such as “Is Newsweek real?

Journalism 3.0 is already behind him: “Quality matters. How refreshing.” By which he means you should “absolutely read” Huffington Post Divorce. In hindsight, his prescience was remarkable: “it’s not surprising that a lumbering, oversized multinational corporation failed on the innovation front.”

And, he created the greatest topic tag in the history of the financial blogosphere: MF Doom.

See you later, Ryan. As you once wrote, “May your holidays be happy, your right tails fat, and your billionaires whimsical!” – Ben Walsh

On to today’s links:

Secrets of the fast fashion business – Pacific Standard

American Cartography
The 1,000 richest neighborhoods in the US – Higley 1000

New Normal
“The widening gap between productivity and median income is a defining issue of our time” – Atif Mian and Amir Sufi

A 3-question financial literacy quiz (about 1/3 of Americans answer these questions correctly) – Timothy Taylor

Investors value Yahoo’s core business at less than nothing – Matthew Klein
“There’s nothing as creative as advertising” – Marissa Meyer

Crisis Retro
In 2008, Russia tried to coordinate sale of Fannie/Freddie MBS with China – Robert Preston

“Combat gum could save the military a hundred million dollars annually” – New Yorker
“The experience of reading without the nuisance of its mental effects” – Ian Bogost

So Hot Right Now
Behind AirBnB’s freakishly quick response to its recent orgy crisis – Fast Co.

“America’s drugstore counters, you see, are secretly little altars to gender equality” – Slate

Data Points
Pork belly up – WaPo

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