Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean 

My three picks this week deal with three of my favorite topics: Pension problems, funky accounting, and of course, Elon Musk.

We talk a lot about mounting pension bills, but the problems seem abstract because the bills are still being paid, the can is still being kicked, and no one wants to think long term. But this piece highlights how very real it can get.

Yes, Dorothy, the numbers do have real-world consequences.

There’s also a lot of talk today about the evils of financialization. (For a deep dive, read the wonderful Rana Foroohar’s book, Makers and Takers. ) This also can seem like a pretty abstract topic. This piece makes it real.

Does the stuff we try to bury always come back to bite us? Maybe, in the case of Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity. Documents that recently came out in a lawsuit shed new light on the frantic maneuvering (that’s a kind way of putting it) that happened behind the scenes. As usual, no one covered it quite like the indomitable Linette Lopez.

Bethany McLean is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, a columnist for Yahoo Finance, and a contributor to CNBC. She hosts the Podcast “Making a Killing” on Luminary. She is a member of ProMarket’s managing board. 

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