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Brookings Weekend Reads: Politically Powerful Billionaires, Employment Gains, and Obama’s Lack of Faith in American Power

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New this week

Darrell West ranks U.S. billionaires in terms of overall political power. Later this month West will release a new book on the 1,645 men and women who control $6.5 trillion in global assets.

A closer look at yesterday’s jobs numbers by Gary Burtless finds particularly encouraging gains for construction employment. To see more data on major economic indicators, visit “Janet Yellen’s Dashboard” from the Hutchins Center—updated on Friday to include August’s payroll gains.


Shadi Hamid writes in the New York Times that Obama’s “absence of strategy” in the Middle East demonstrates his lack of faith in American power.

The Africa in Focus blog examines the role genetically engineered crops can play in combating food insecurity throughout the continent.

What our experts are reading

Fascinating article by Lyle Goldstein on how China’s strategic elite is interpreting the Ukraine crisis. (@ThomasWright08)

Must-read New York Times piece on the battle for New York City public schools. (@Bruce_Katz)


For the first time since the 1950s, there is no ‘typical’ U.S. family. (@ISawhill)

This brief piece on Obama’s ISIS strategy by Steve Coll is well worth reading. (@TCWittes)

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