The Atlantic Daily: Index Funds Could Hurt the Economy

Red 'A' on an envelope
The Atlantic

Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.


While meme stocks and NFTs draw headlines, a group of economists and Wall Street experts worries that a much more traditional style of investing is stifling the economy, our staff writer Annie Lowrey reports.

“The problem in American finance right now is not that the public markets are overrun with failsons picking up stock tips on Reddit,” Annie writes. “Perhaps we could all use a little more of that manic stock-picking energy, not less.”


One question, answered: Can vaccinated pregnant people pass on immunity to their babies?

Recommended Reading

The answer isn’t clear-cut, Katherine J. Wu reports:

Immunity is one of the first heirlooms that kids inherit from their parents. Antibodies naturally cross the placenta into the fetus, then persist throughout the first six or so months of the baby’s life, as the infant’s own immune system begins to churn out homemade batches of microbe-vanquishing molecules. Some vaccines, like those that work against whooping cough, leverage antibodies’ wayfaring tendencies and are recommended for all pregnant people specifically to keep newborns safe. But researchers still don’t know the amount or type of antibody necessary to reliably insulate adults from the coronavirus, let alone infants, says Galit Alter, an immunologist at the Ragon Institute in Boston and a co-author on [the maternal-fetal medicine expert Kathryn] Gray’s recent study. For this reason, [Stephanie] Gaw, of UCSF, prefers to compare the COVID-19 vaccines to flu vaccines, which the CDC recommends primarily for the protection of pregnant women themselves. Any benefits passed on to the fetus are “kind of a bonus,” she told me.

Continue reading.


Your Atlantic-approved isolation activity:

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s new documentary about the writer Ernest Hemingway dramatizes one of the great revolutions in the history of American literature, James Parker writes. It airs on PBS tonight.

Today’s break from the news:

Does free will exist? The philosopher Stephen Cave argued back in 2016 that there is no such thing.


Dear Therapist

For the first half of 2021, Lori Gottlieb’s column will be on hiatus while she writes her next book. During that time, Rebecca J. Rosen, the column’s editor, will revisit some of Lori’s best work.

This month, we’re rereading nine of her most popular columns, a batch of reader favorites that offers “a whole new framework for thinking about a problem.”


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.