4/2/21 Power Five

1. How Food Banks Succeeded“They distributed roughly 50 percent more food in 2020 compared with 2019, a considerable portion to first-time visitors. They served millions of people even as they dealt with supply-chain interruptions and health risks for their volunteers and employees.

2. Why Bumblebees Love Cats – “Darwin writes: what animals could you imagine to be more distant from one another than a cat and a bumblebee? Yet the ties that bind these two animals, though at first glance nonexistent, are on the contrary so strict that were they to be modified, the consequences would be so numerous and profound as to be unimaginable. Mice, argues Darwin, are among the principal enemies of bumblebees. They eat their larvae and destroy their nests. On the other hand, as everyone knows, mice are the favorite prey of cats. One consequence of this is that, in proximity to those villages with the most cats, one finds fewer mice and more bumblebees.”

3. The Dumbest Financial Story of 2021 – “When someone trades on margin—with borrowed money—they may have to maintain a certain amount of collateral to satisfy their lenders. If the value of a stock holding goes down, the investor needs more collateral. Not having it triggers a margin call, where the lender can force a sell-off of the stock to bring the investor back into compliance with margin requirements. The Wall Street Journal reported that Archegos’ various banks—including Credit Suisse, Nomura, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley—had a meeting to discuss how to effectively wind down the family office’s positions. But the two American banks appear to have had little interest in acting slowly. Goldman and Morgan Stanley limited their losses by selling Archegos’ shares quickly, before the size of the sale brought on a larger fall in the stocks’ prices.

4. How Bored Rich People Are Spending Their Cash – “A number of retailers were reticent to speak about the trend, stating that they did not wish to be on the record talking about nearly sold out $90,000 earrings during a time of growing wealth inequality.

5. The Best Decision Bill Gates Ever Made – “I might not be quite as hard-edged about pushing others like I pushed myself. When I was young, I was a bit tough as a manager…. Maybe I’d be more sociable in college. I hope that wouldn’t, you know, prevent all the other things that happened in my life from happening. But I was pretty monomaniacal even when I was at college.”