Due to some website development updates over the weekend, we weren’t able to post our normal linkfest on Saturday morning.  Below are some of the more interesting things we read last week:

Danny Meyer is eliminating all tipping at his restaurants and significantly raising prices to make up the difference, a move that will raise wages, save the hospitality industry, and forever change how diners dine. by Ryan Sutton (Eater)

The head of the Union Square Hospitality Group is getting rid of tips, and he’s going to try and do it without losing customers or sacrificing the bottom line. [Link]

Kilogram conflict resolved at last by Elizabeth Gibney (Nature)

We grew up thinking that a kilogram was 1000 cubic centimeters of water; it’s actually been defined by a special cylinder of platinum and iridium locked in a French vault, but no longer. [Link]

Brainard Drops A Policy Bomb by Tim Duy (Economist’s View)

In her speech this week, Fed Governor Lael Brainard set the stage something we haven’t seen in 10 years to happen: a dissent by one of the Governors. [Link]

Park Slope Taqueria Will Give You A Stake In The Company If You Eat This 30 Pound Burrito And Live by Lauren Evans (Gothamist)

Do you like burritos, have a big appetite, and want to own 10% of a restaurant? [Link]

China’s Great Game: Road to a new empire by Charles Clover and Lucy Hornby (FT)

Using a combination of massive international infrastructure investment, opportunistic “soft power”, and grand vision, China is aiming to embed itself as deeply into the world economic and political system as possible. [Link, Paywall]

Saudi Arabia’s gambit for market share meets Yankee ingenuity by Matthew C. Klein (FT Alphaville)

A neat chartpack and analysis of the explosion higher in US oil productivity. [Link, Registration required]

Rent is the answer by Dan Davies (TheLong+Short)

It turns out, when you turn housing into an asset that is directly exposed to interest rates, you do funny things to home prices; and what’s wrong with renting anyways? [Link]

Square Promised Some Venture Capital Backers A 20% Return by William Alden (Buzzfeed)

In the wild world of late stage venture tech, not all equity investors are created equal, and some of the earliest investors or employees at large IPOs could be left holding the bag thanks to the “ratchet” provisions offered to later entrants seeking guaranteed return. [Link]

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Under Investigation by Federal Prosecutors by Jonathan D. Rockoff (WSJ)

One of the most controversial stocks in the market was subpoenaed this week by federal prosecutors over its treatment of drug pricing. [Link, Paywall]

Treasury Considers Plan to Help Puerto Rico by Michael Corkery and Mary Williams Walsh (NYT)

The embattled island, widely held in the triple-tax free yielding accounts of US municipal bond investors, may get a rescue from the federal government under a plan that involves Treasury stepping in as the payment agent and administrator of taxes. [Link]

Theranos Has Struggled With Blood Tests by John Carreyrou (WSJ)

An extremely promising venture-backed tech company has made big claims about its ability to run blood tests cheaply and with very little blood, but questions are surfacing about the efficacy of its Edison testing machine and general business practices. [Link 1, Paywall, Link 2, Paywall]

Alibaba – yeah right Jack by John Hempton (Bronte Capital)

The Australian long/short fund manager is convinced Alibaba’s numbers are more or less made up, based on macroeconomic statistics for China and claims made by founder Jack Ma. [Link]

US: Inflation will not be gone for long – CPI review by Johnny Bo Jakobson (Nordea)

Energy prices drove the headline decline on CPI MoM, but YTD core CPI is +2.1%, but there’s broad strength in subcomponent series that do not have any catalyst to slow down. [Link]

Taylor Swift’s Realest Interview Ever by Chuck Klosterman (GQ)

Love her, hate her, or just put up with her, the leading lady of pop music is about the modal age for the whole country and listened to by the majority; she’s in for 4500 words with GQ this month. [Link]

Card Firms Push Back Against Netflix Claims by Robin Sidel and Shalini Ramachandran (WSJ)

After claiming that new card chips created artificially higher churn in its most recent quarter, many in the payments industry are confused and calling foul given little disruption elsewhere. [Link, Paywall]

Apple opens up stock awards to all employees—even hourly retail workers by Jena McGregor (WaPo)

The world’s largest company by market cap is introducing an equity distribution program to its entire workforce, a rare move for a company with such a large retail workforce. [Link]

Just Released: Regional Service Sector Resilient even as Manufacturing Slumps by Jason Bram and Richard Deitz (NY Fed)

More evidence that while the manufacturing, industrial and export sector of the US economy is pressured, services businesses continue to see robust demand and strong conditions. [Link]

 

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