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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Halliburton profit tops Wall Street estimates as oil activity booms by Liz Hampton & Shariq Khan (Reuters)

Oil services company Halliburton announced a very strong third quarter this week, with the CEO characterizing demand as “stronger than I have ever seen at this point in the year”. [Link]

U.S.-Saudi Relations Buckle, Driven by Animosity Between Biden and Mohammed bin Salman by Stephen Kalin, Summer Said, and Dion Nissenbaum (WSJ)

Saudi Arabia’s next king has made a habit of mocking the American President, complicating relations between the former top oil producer and the United States. [Link; paywall]


Citadel, Blue Owl Expand in Connecticut in Bid to Cut Commutes by Natalie Wong, Hema Parmar, and Lizzie Kane (Bloomberg)

Finance firms are offering more office space close to where their employees live in a bid to bring down the time commitment of commuting and getting more people into the office. [Link; soft paywall]


Pinterest, Headspace offer free mental health resources to content creators: ‘We wanted to inspire the people who do the inspiring’ by Renée Onque (CNBC)

Social media companies dependent on popular content creators are starting to lure talent with some perks that might not make much sense to those of us not struggling under the burden of social media fame. [Link]

YouTube’s richest creator MrBeast is seeking a $1.5 billion valuation in what could be a massive milestone for influencer-led business by Alice Hearing (Fortune)

YouTube’s highest-paid creator is trying to sell a stake in his sprawling content and brand empire valued at $1.5bn, in what could be a landmark in finance for this area of entertainment. [Link]


Students Are Using AI to Write Their Papers, Because Of Course They Are by Claire Woodcock (Vice)

With a relatively simple prompt, AI language tools are able to craft essays that fool professors and earn students the easiest of A’s. [Link]


So far, this flu season is more severe than it has been in 13 years by Lena H. Sun (MSN/WaPo)

Almost 900k flu cases and 360 deaths have piled up already this season, with caseloads highest in the US South and Southeast. This is the worst start to a flue season since 2009 so far. [Link]

COVID-19 Origins: Investigating a “Complex and Grave Situation” Inside a Wuhan Lab by Katherine Eban and Jeff Kao (Vanity Fair)

A report issued by the minority staff of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions released this week argued the COVID-19 pandemic was “more likely than not the result of a research-related incident”. This article investigates that thesis from a non-virological perspective. [Link]


Amazon readies 172,000-square-foot Kirkland factory to build Kuiper satellites by Alan Boyle (GeekWire)

Amazon is planning to ramp up a global fleet of more than 3,000 satellites that will provide broadband internet. Scaling up production will require a massive Washington facility. [Link]

Intel CEO Calls New U.S. Restrictions on Chip Exports to China Inevitable by Tim Higgins and Asa Fitch (WSJ)

The largest American chip manufacturer viewed a fight over chips as inevitable given the approach that each country has taken to geopolitical conflict and control of high-end semiconductors. [Link; paywall]


Buffalo Bills unveil first design images of their new $1.4 billion stadium by Jessica Golden (CNBC)

One of the smallest NFL markets will play host to a stadium that will cost taxpayers $850mm. Despite the climate, the final field will remain open to the elements. [Link]

Climate Change

Perfume’s Best Scents Are Being Snuffed Out by Natasha White (Bloomberg)

The feedstock for some of the most iconic scents in the world owe their intensity to the terroir and microclimate of a tiny town in the French Riviera which has been hit hard by drought, raising the specter of a world without Chanel No. 5. [Link; soft paywall]

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