Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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Alternative Energy

Batteries Hidden Across New York Give the City a Backup Boost by Dimitra Kessenides (Bloomberg)

With disruptive natural disasters on the rise and battery prices on the fall, “microgrid” battery power facilities can be shoehorned in to cities like NYC to provide a backup to the traditional power grid. [Link; soft paywall]

Money Managers Look to Blue Seas for Green Investments by Julie Steinberg and Joe Wallace (WSJ)

As green energy capex scales up, investors are diving into all corners of production to try and make a buck, including owning and financing the ships which build and service offshore windfarms. [Link; paywall]

Chilly This Winter? Cozy Up to the Computer That’s Mining Bitcoin by Sarah E. Needlemen (WSJ)

Bitcoin mining operations are extremely power intensive and as a result of their massive processing activity send off huge amounts of heat. That byproduct is being repurposed to keep pets, vegetables, or even whole houses warm. [Link; paywall]

Housing

The Housing Market Boom Gets Another Boost From Biden by Conor Sen (Bloomberg)

Fiscal stimulus gives households who might not have the chance at owning a home a shot at cobbling together a down payment, with the possibility of reducing student loan burdens another tailwind for home buyers. [Link]

Scholarly Pursuits

The evolution of the Offshore US-Dollar System: past, present and four possible futures by Steffen Murau, Joe Rini, and Armin Haas (Journal of Institutional Economics)

A helpful review and primer of the mechanical foundations of the global financial system, focused on the role of the offshore US dollar market. [Link]

Platform Civics: Facebook in the Local Information Infrastructure by Kjerstin Thorson, Mel Medeiros, Kelley Cotter, Yingying Chen, Kourtnie Rodgers, Arram Bae, and Sevgi Baykaldi (Digital Journalism)

This paper uses quantitative and qualitative methods to identify what happens when Facebook replaces local media, with unsurprisingly toxic results. [Link]

History

What We Found in Robert Caro’s Yellowed Files by Dan Barry (NYT)

An amazing trip through the office of legendary biographer of Robert Moses and LBJ, including a fascinating anecdote about the desk that cured his bad back. [Link]

Investing

Up Is Good. Down Is Bad. by Jason Zweig (CreateSend)

Making the case that much-derided (in professional circles, anyways) traders are in fact pursuing the same sort of strategies that “fancy” quantitative investors do. [Link]

Data Security

Intel says hacker obtained financially sensitive information by Richard Waters (FT)

Hackers were able to access an infographic that was part of Intel’s earning release, forcing the company to publish the whole kit and kaboodle before the market closed. [Link; paywall]

COVID Vaccination

Israel COVID-19 ‘R’ reproduction number dips below 1 in first since vaccine drive (Reuters)

With more than one-quarter of the country vaccinated, the fastest vaccine effort in the world has helped push the previously raging COVID pandemic down in Israel. [Link]

Career Changes

Neuberger Berman’s Segal Is Retiring to Teach High School by Miles Weiss (Bloomberg)

A Neuberger fund manager that has held his seat since 1999 is retiring to pursue a masters in teaching and eventually working as a math teacher in New York. [Link]

Pay Your Lawyers

German online retailer Mytheresa valued at $3bn after US listing by David Carnevali and Sujeet Indap (FT)

Neiman Marcus acquired German online retailer Mytheresa for $200mm back in 2014, and now sits on a an impressive gain after the investment was kept remote from creditors during the company’s bankruptcy. [Link; paywall]

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Have a great weekend!

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