First one of 2015! I have been in Singapore this week on a family holiday, but thank goodness for Internet. Also, some of you may be wondering on why I've been reading lots of Financial Times. It's because the hotel we were staying delivered Financial Times every morning to our room, so conveniently many of the articles ended being really good. Here are things that I have been reading this week:
1. Erik Holm and Anupreeta Das (WSJ Moneybeat) on "Buffett Reminds His Top Managers: Reputation Is Everything"
It's no secret that Warren Buffett is one of my favorite value investors. In this article, Buffett sends a note to his top Berkshire Hathaway managers on the importance of reputation. As he puts it, "we can afford to lose money - even a lot of money. But we can't afford to lose reputation - even a shred of reputation."
2. Saadia Zahidi (The Financial Times) on Muslim Womenomics
Women in the Muslim world are often missing from the narrative - both in the stories of Muhammad (check out Khadijah, one of Muhammad's spouse, and her flourishing business) and today's stories. Many progress in education, and workforce equality are discounted, but they have been contributing to the development of the area.
3. John Cassidy (The New Yorker) talks about Twelve Lessons For 2015
Here comes another BuzzFeed-style list of things that happened in 2014 and what we learned. Except, this one does it with refreshing candor (in a liberal bias, duh, it's the New Yorker). Take it with a grain of salt, but it does summarize major political & economic events in the year well.
4. Monavar Khajav (The Financial Times) on Iranian women drug addicts
We often stereotype drug addicts as the scary, rough, violent men that we often see portrayed in television. The truth is very far removed from that stereotype. Take for instance, the young educated women of Iran. Trapped in between of increasing opportunities and conservative Muslim strictures, they have taken refuge in the use of drugs as an escape. This hits pretty close to home for me, since I have seen numerous people my age using drugs as a means of escaping - be it tedium, lack of parental attention, academic pressure, or social enforcement. The funny thing is that the people you would think are drug addicts (or users) are highly educated people from good social standing with enough money to spare. It's time that we break that stereotype and realize that drug addicts are not a marginalized community separate from us - they are part of our community and a result of our society's side effects.
Side note: This just represents the articles I've been reading. I've also been reading some books on the side too, amongst them:
- Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (still slowly making progress... At this rate, I might take a couple of months to finish this book)
- The Shifts and The Shocks: What We've Learned - and Have Still to Learn - From the Financial Crisis by Martin Wolf
- Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton