The Whistle Sampler

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Read on to know what subscribers to The Whistle are enjoying in June 2021 at The Whistle Library, when we are looking at all the changes being wrought by the Covid pandemic. From the great acceleration in well-performing companies pulling away from the poorly performing ones, improving productivity in the US, and the challenges of economic decoupling from China, to reviews of books on written Constitutions, the Tractatus completing a century, the film, Nomadland, and tributes to Martha Argerich as well as Bob Dylan, who both turn 80 this month.

Monsoon Reading During the Pandemic

Hello subscribers, it’s good to welcome you back to The Whistle Library this June. The great Indian monsoon will soon be here, bringing cooler temperatures and joy in Indian towns and cities, and hope of a good agricultural season in rural India.

Unfortunately, rural India is now in the grip of the Covid pandemic and there’s no telling how many millions more might be infected, since testing and treatment facilities are virtually non-existent.

Leaving aside the impact of Covid on rural India, there are many other changes being wrought by the pandemic. We begin with a McKinsey article/podcast called The Great Acceleration that highlights the pulling away of certain best-performing companies from middling companies and the ones recording the lowest growth in revenue and profits. I have no idea why this is in the strategy/corporate finance section of McKinsey’s site, but it is worth reading/listening to.

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/in-conversation-the-great-acceleration

Then, I have for you a Brookings article on solving the missing productivity problem, which looks at the low productivity problem in advanced countries, especially the US.

https://www.brookings.edu/techstream/how-to-solve-the-puzzle-of-missing-productivity-growth/embed/#?secret=RfAuvAcDJV

I also have an HBR article on the strategic challenges of decoupling from China. Many thought the trade war started by Trump would cause US and China to decouple and still others thought that Covid-19 would hasten the decoupling. The reality is a little more complex and this piece analyses the implications of decoupling from the perspective of China’s 2025 Plan.

https://hbr.org/2021/05/the-strategic-challenges-of-decoupling?ab=seriesnav-spotlight

Then, there are two articles from The Economist: the first, reviewing a new book by Linda Colley on the writing of Constitutions and the second, on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus completing a century.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2021/03/27/war-propelled-the-writing-of-constitutions

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2021/05/22/a-century-ago-ludwig-wittgenstein-changed-philosophy-for-ever

The London Review of Books looks at the film Nomadland, which won a few Oscars this year.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/n10/michael-wood/at-the-movies

In music, Gramophone magazine’s June 2021 issue is dedicated to renowned pianist, Martha Argerich, who turns 80 on June 5, 2021. Read about her music and her life.

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical%20music%20news/article/introducing-the-june-2021-issue-of-gramophone-featuring-martha-argerich

And in the world of folk-rock music, the legend, Bob Dylan, is turning 80 as well, and Rolling Stone magazine has opened its archives to pay tribute to his long career in music.

https://www.rollingstone.com/bob-dylan-archive-songs-discography-album-reviews-interviews/

Enjoy the start of the monsoon in India with some good reading and listening to keep you company. And for subscribers elsewhere, enjoy the reopening of your cities’ cultural hot-spots as you emerge from lockdowns. See you all again next month. Stay safe and well.