What We’re Reading is a roundup of current news and commentary on the challenges and opportunities of aligning business decisions with the long-term health of society. As this month’s edition of What We’re Reading goes live shortly before the U.S. Labor Day holiday, U.S. workers have some positive developments to celebrate—from broader signs of resilience in the U.S. economy to increasing empowerment in workplaces. But farther afield, risks may be looming.
U.S. Wholesale Inflation Fell in July for First Time in 2 Years (Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press published on PBS.org) Could this be a turning point for the economic trend that’s dominated headlines for over a year?
A Different Take on the U.S. Economy: Maybe It Isn’t Really Shrinking (Jon Hilsenrath, The Wall Street Journal) Contraction, stall or renewed expansion? “What happens next will depend a great deal on the behavior of inflation during the next few months.”
Traders Are Big Fans of the ‘G’ in ESG (Tim Quinson, Bloomberg) There’s been much talk lately of paring down the field of Environmental, Social and Governance to just the E—the better to focus on corporate carbon emissions. Interestingly, markets have a different perspective on the metrics that matter most.
Texas’ Answer to ‘Woke’ Investing Looks Kind of Woke (Liam Denning, The Washington Post) Why is Texas trying to face down the “values-based boycott” that is socially responsible investing with… a values-based boycott?
Michigan Chipotle Outlet the Chain’s First To Unionize (Lauren Kaori Gurley, The Washington Post) The victory extends the momentum of the service sector unionization drives making headlines this year.
How Unions Are Winning Again, in 4 Charts (Rani Molla, Vox) This piece highlights data that frame individual stories like that of the Michigan Chipotle within the broader context of 2022. It also reinforces the argument (seen in last month’s What We’re Reading) that the pandemic played a key role in driving unionization.
Flicking the Kill Switch: Governments Embrace Internet Shutdowns as a Form of Control (Julia Bergin, Louisa Lim, Nyein Nyein and Andrew Nachemson, The Guardian) “The increasing use of the kill switch underlines a deepening global trend towards digital authoritarianism, as governments use access to the internet as a weapon against their own people. Internet shutdowns have also become a modern canary in the coalmine.” For more, see How Russia Took Over Ukraine’s Internet in Occupied Territories (Adam Satariano, The New York Times).
Data Centres Stockpile Generator Fuel in Case of Power Blackouts (Anna Gross and Harry Dempsey, The Financial Times) A reminder that the digital world is not, ultimately, independent of its real-world economic and (geo)political underpinnings. And it’s not the only reminder: see Data Centers, Backbone of the Digital Economy, Face Water Scarcity and Climate Risk (Michael Copley, NPR).
For more on our work to align business with the long-term good of society, sign up for our publications and visit our website. (Please note, the purpose of this newsletter is to highlight what Aspen BSP staff are reading, and is not intended as advertisement or endorsement of content or viewpoints.)
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