Bernard's Top 10: Inside the mind of Kweku Adoboli; Why robots aren't the reason middle incomes are stagnating; 2015 the hottest year — again; Clarke and Dawe

Here’s my Top 10 items from around the Internet over the last week or so. As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to

See all previous Top 10s here.

My must read is #3 on an epic journey

1. The story of Kweku Adoboli – Remember him? He was the UBS trader in London who lost $2.3 bln for his bank through trading synthetic equities.

Now he’s out of prison and spoke extensively to Lindsay Fortado at the FT about why he did what he did and what’s next.

Through the surprisingly close relationship I forged with him during his prison years, I came to know him as a far more complex figure than his portrayal. He still seems slow to believe that what he did was truly wrong or unknown to others at UBS, but remains convinced that he had been working to a higher imperative: to make his bosses as much money as possible and lessen the wider pressure on the bank’s traders.

2. The soft stuff – In the coming age of robots, apps and algorithms, it turns out social skills will become increasingly important. The New York Times reports on research showing skills like cooperation, empathy and flexibility have become increasingly vital in modern-day work. Occupations that require strong social skills have grown much more than others since 1980, and the only occupations that have shown consistent wage growth since 2000 require both cognitive and social skills.

3. An epic journey – This piece in the New Yorker by Nicholas Schmidle details one refugee’s escape from Syria across ten borders is already an epic and instant classic.

4. Is there alien life out there?Ross Anderson reports via The Atlantic that astronomers have spotted a strange mess of objects whirling around a distant star that they can’t explain so they’re taking a closer look.

5. Robots vs wages – Larry Summers is always worth reading. Here at The Washington Post he argues that education won’t solve the problem of robots taking the jobs of middle class workers, if it is a problem. Workers just need more power and the economy needs to grow more jobs, he says.

6. It wouldn’t make a difference – This Brookings paper by William G. Gale, Melissa S. Kearney, and Peter R. Orszag caused quite a stir in America this week by pointing out that lifting the top tax rate there to 50% and redistributing the income to the bottom 20% would improve inequality in an “exceedingly modest” way.

7. The climate is changing – 2015 is likely to be the hottest year ever recorded, Justin Gillis repports in the New York Times. Last year set the previous record high.

8. Someone is wrong – This chart shows how the market (the blue line) thinks the US Federal Reserve won’t be raising interest rates any time soon.

That’s quite different to the Fed’s own ‘dot plot’. Someone is going to be wrong, and lately it’s been the world’s central banks.

9. Totally John Oliver on the Canadian election. I laughed.

10. Totally Clarke and Dawe – Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t really care about the polls…