Daily Bafflements

The BafflerJune 12, 2015

The gender imbalance created by China’s one-child policy (now relaxed) is good for luxury business. / Arian Zwegers

• Today in Billionaires: inequality is terribly unfair, not least for billionaires. This surprisingly present sentiment was expressed most recently by Johann Rupert, the chairman of the company that owns Cartier. Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit to a room of similarly well-off people in Monaco, Rupert admitted that he can’t sleep at night because of a churning fear. The luxury goods business, he senses, is under threat because the widening wealth gap (apparently!) creates “envy, hatred, and social warfare.” From the rest of his keynote one may remark that other types of social inequality don’t alarm Rupert at all. China’s one-child policy, for one, creates a good-for-business incentive for men to “be very generous” to the relatively few women aroundand buy them watches.

• Wave goodbye to Dick Costolo, of Twitter, who is departing. Better late that never, Costolo will be able to catch up on Jacob Silverman’s blog piece about his old business, should he so wish: “Twitter’s design forecloses more possibilities than it opens, pushing would-be witnesses to become voyeurs and turning information gluttons into crowdsourced ambulance chasers,” Silverman wrote.

• From this fortnight’s LRB—“Failure isn’t just an option for the vast company of Republican presidential hopefuls,” Baffler senior editor Chris Lehmann comments, “it’s a well-trodden career path.”