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The Fatal Flaw of Rabble-Rousers

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Why Populists Lose Elections

Demagogues roil the waters often enough, but they usually don’t gain power. As Pankaj Mishra explains, anger is easy to mobilize but hard to consolidate.

Can Alibaba’s Jack Ma Spread Jobs Throughout the World?

Having transformed Chinese retail, Jack Ma now wants to reinvigorate globalization by encouraging other countries to adopt the Alibaba model. But Adam Minter warns that China’s e-commerce success will be hard to replicate.

Public Housing Isnt Wasted on the Poor

Policy makers have taken to sending poor families to the suburbs in recent decades, worried about the effects of concentrated poverty in large public housing projects. But as Noah Smith points out, new research shows public housing really does benefit poor kids — a lot. 

New Hampshires Ayotte Cant Shake Off Trump

Republican senator Kelly Ayotte is locked in a tight battle for a second term, but the man at the top of the ticket is dragging her down. Margaret Carlson reports on her increasingly painful contortions designed to support the nominee without endorsing him.

Harvards Lesson in Private Equity

The organization that runs Harvard University’s endowment is considering the sale of part of its private-equity investments — evidence, Barry Ritholtz says, that the fascination with complex alternative investments is fading.

Ritholtz’s Reads

  • John Maynard Keynes: Courage is the key to investing (MoneyBeat)
  • Weibo — the Twitter of China — is adding users 10 times as fast (Vice)
  • Avoiding stupidity is easier than seeking brilliance (Farnam Street)

(Read Barry Ritholtz’s full daily news roundup.)

Bloomberg Gadfly 

  • Netflix’s subscriber gains mask pile of burning cash
  • Caterpillar CEO’s early checkout is a warning sign
  • This isn’t quite the bond market Mark Carney wanted

(Read more from BV’s sister site for fast business commentary.)

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.