Friday's Fast Five: Week of 11.3
New Normal or No Normal? How Economists Got It Wrong for 3 Years. (The New York Times): Economists spent 2021 expecting inflation to prove “transitory.” They spent much of 2022 underestimating its staying power. And they spent early 2023 predicting that the Federal Reserve’s rate increases, meant to cure the inflation, would plunge the economy into a recession. None of those forecasts have panned out.
The Hunt for Crypto’s Most Famous Fugitive. ‘Everyone Is Looking for Me.’ (The Wall Street Journal): U.S. and South Korean authorities had been investigating Kwon over his role in one of the biggest disasters in cryptocurrency history. In May 2022, two tokens that he created, TerraUSD and Luna, crashed in value. The implosion erased $40 billion from the cryptocurrency markets and triggered a chain reaction that pushed other digital-asset firms into bankruptcy. The investigators concluded that he lied to investors, and suspected he was secretly sitting on a crypto fortune. He now faces charges in both the U.S. and South Korea, including fraud and violations of capital-markets laws.
Kanye and Adidas: Money, Misconduct and the Price of Appeasement (The New York Times): As companies increasingly turn to deals with celebrities, the Yeezy collaboration shows the precarious balance of risk and reward. While some other brands have been quick to end deals over offensive or embarrassing behavior, Adidas held on for years. This article is the fullest accounting yet of their relationship.
Nobody Is Buying the Fanciest LA Real Estate (Vanity Fair): With a new mansion tax, fleeing insurers, and knock-on effects of the strike, multimillion-dollar homes are sitting, and sitting, on the market.
It’s Getting Too Expensive to Have Fun (The Wall Street Journal): The rising cost of fun is becoming a drag. Ticket prices for live entertainment events, from Taylor Swift concerts to National Football League games and high-season Disney theme-park visits, rose at a startling rate this year, triggering a phenomenon that analysts have dubbed “funflation.”