The Sunday Post for October 27, 2019

Each week, the Sunday Post highlights just a few things we loved reading and want to share with you. Settle in with a cup of coffee, or tea, if that's your pleasure — we saved you a seat! Read an essay or an article online that you loved? Let us know at Need more browse? You can also look through the archives.

The great American press release

Here’s a reminder of what “lynching” really means, from New Orleans writer Maurice Carlos Ruffin: not a set of shallow associations, but a history bleeding like poison into the present-day reality of our country.

Once, in mixed company, another friend and I mentioned how pervasive lynching imagery was. A white friend admitted that she had never seen a single photo. I was shocked, but not surprised. A lynching was a warning. She didn’t need to be warned.
How Mary-Kay Wilmers became Britain’s most influential editor

In the wake of Patricia Lockwood’s epically devastating re-assessment of John Updike in the London Review of Books, a profile of the LRB’s editor-in-chief: an 81-year-old woman with a gimlet gaze and a fearless sense of what “the paper” is and does.

I asked Wilmers how she intended to mark the 40th anniversary in the paper. Was she going to do something special?

"No,” she said, very offhand. “It’s just meant to be good.”

What happens if building more housing doesn't work?

Alex Danco asks a question that should be chilling for Seattle. There’s no question that we need more affordable housing (more affordable housing, and more-affordable housing). But more housing doesn’t mean prices drop, for the same reasons the rich always get richer.

The thing with positive feedback cycles is that they necessarily come to an end, unless there is some enormous reservoir of resources they can draw from in order to keep perpetuating. In the housing market, the basic mechanic through which this keeps perpetuating is: banks lend money to homebuyers; the more freely they lend it, the higher it will drive house prices. This has two mutually reinforcing consequences: people will need bigger mortgages, and the bank will be able to issue them, since they’re allowed to lend up to a specific leverage ratio that is now buoyed by rising home values.