Feature

Writers take on Disney over pay

And more of the week's best financial insight

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

The meaning of 'historic drop'

It's been the worst year for the bond market since 1842, said Jason Zweig at The Wall Street Journal. That's not a typo. Not since the bottom of a pre-Civil War depression has the broad bond market performed worse in a complete year than what's happened so far in 2022. "Inflation is like kryptonite for bonds, whose interest payments are fixed and thus can't grow to keep pace with rises in the costs of living." As a result, prices for bonds have fallen 10 percent this year. But many investors "may be too pessimistic." The intricate math of bonds means that yields rise as prices fall, and some yields are currently brushing their highest levels in years. "Over the long run, the total return of bonds depends far more on their income than on changes in price."

Digital nomads, come home please

The idea of "working from anywhere" remains a pipe dream, said The Economist. When the pandemic locked down offices, "digital nomads" hit the road, moving far from their offices or hotel-hopping between destinations. Last month, Airbnb told employees they could "move wherever they want without any cost-of-living adjustment." CEO Brian Chesky himself has been living and working "out of Airbnb properties" and "thinks this is the future." Maybe for a lucky few. But aside from the "legal, payroll, and tax ramifications" and administrative headaches, imagine the resentment of colleagues. If you're "dialing into a Zoom call covered in baby drool," you don't want to hear "Greg from product wax lyrical about how amazing Chamonix is at this time of year."

Writers take on Disney over pay

Disney has been accused of cheating writers and artists of their royalties, said Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times. A task force led by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America concluded that "Disney may owe hundreds of writers and artists royalties averaging a few thousand dollars each," with some claims reaching up to $20,000. Among those who have accused Disney of wage theft is Alan Dean Foster, a writer who "signed a contract with George Lucas to write a novelization of the first Star Wars movie even before it premiered in 1977." Royalties from that book and a sequel "mysteriously disappeared in 2012, around the time Disney acquired Lucasfilm." Disney initially told Foster's agent it had "acquired the properties but not the obligations."

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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