Have you ever watched Trading Places?
It was released in 1983 and stars Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. The premise was a bet between two rich brothers, Randolph and Mortimer Duke, that centered around nature vs. nuture. They made a wager to see what would happen if you switched the circumstances of two people on opposite sides of the economic and social spectrum. They swapped the lives of Aykroyd’s character, who was a managing director of the commodities brokerage firm, and Murphy’s character, a street hustler.
Some parts of the movie don’t stand the test of time, as often happens with movies, but overall it’s an entertaining movie that costs the Duke brothers more than they anticipated when they make a bet on frozen concentrated orange juice futures.
Today’s curations, if you can believe it, will be entirely about bets that were both good and bad:
The Trade of the Century: When George Soros Broke the British Pound [Priceonomics] – “In 1992, George Soros brought the Bank of England to its knees. In the process, he pocketed over a billion dollars. Making a billion dollars is by all accounts pretty cool. But demolishing the monetary system of Great Britain in a single day with an elegantly constructed bet against its currency? That’s the stuff of legends.”
How I got sucked into the cryptocurrency craze and walked away with $13 million [The Hustle] – “This is the first-person account of Dan Conway, an ex-middle manager in corporate America who made a fortune betting his life savings on cryptocurrency.” He bet his family’s life savings plus equity in his home on Ethereum. It worked out for him (if you don’t count how the stress may have taken years off his life!) but this was foolishness.
The making of Amazon Prime, the internet’s most successful and devastating membership program [Recode] – “It’s easy to forget now, but Amazon wasn’t always the king of online shopping. In the fall of 2004, Jeff Bezos’s company was still mostly selling just books and DVDs.” Then Jeff Bezos made a massive bet that people would pay an annual fee to get free two-day shipping. And now Amazon is worth $900 billion.
Do you remember the NBA ref that was caught fixing NBA games? His name was Tim Donaghy and earlier this year ESPN broke down how it all unraveled for him.
Have a great day, send this to a friend you think will enjoy it, and don’t make any stupid bets!