Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - June 5, 2016

Brian Gongol

Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio

Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.

This week

Business and Finance Saudi Arabian government fund to invest $3.5 billion in Uber

Uber is supposedly pushing hard to expand in the Middle East, and the investment satisfies Uber's hunger for cash investment and the Saudi government's need to put oil profits to use in industries other than petroleum. Having a great endowment of any natural resource (like oil) can subject an economy to a perverse natural-resources curse. Whether investments like one in Uber are the right ticket out isn't a certainty, but it's likely a step in the right direction.

News Donald Trump's completely inadequate summer reading list

He claims (dubiously) to be planning to get through a book on Hillary Clinton, a book on Richard Nixon, and "All Quiet on the Western Front". Real leaders need to read widely and be able to talk and write about what they've been reading. Theodore Roosevelt was a voracious reader, reputedly speed-reading a full book a day. In Benjamin Franklin's words, "From a Child I was fond of Reading, and all the little Money that came into my Hands was ever laid out in Books." Our military leaders insist on sharing long and thoughtful reading lists for the professional development of the officers serving beneath them. A dignified occupant of the White House should be a reader-in-chief as well.

Business and Finance Book review: "When Genius Failed: The rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management", by Roger Lowenstein

Had it been a work of fiction, nobody would believe it -- but it's an important documentation of modern financial history

But first...

My faith in humanity has been restored after a trip to, of all places, Chicago.

The Windy City should have been the kind of place to further give my faith in humanity a swift kick in the groin. The state and the city are both in dire fiscal distress, violent crime is way out of control, and the traffic alone is enough to send a normal person into fits of rage. And what typically makes me so mad about that is that Chicago is part of my family's "homeland" -- we've been there since practically the time of the Great Chicago Fire. So when I see the city in bad shape, it breaks my heart doubly.

But a few things I saw there gave me some real hope:

I still have a lot of heartburn about what's going on -- on many fronts -- but this weekend was surprisingly restorative. And I'd never have thought of Chicago as a place to make me feel better about my fellow man.

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