Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads, our Saturday morning summary of interesting things we’re reading this week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well.  The links are in no particular order.  We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.  For Bespoke’s market analysis, sign up for a Bespoke Newsletter trial.

Thin Air’s money isn’t created out of thin air by Michael Pettis (China Financial Markets)

Many of the relationships and models economists use can be deeply contradictory, and lead to major oversights of identities which are definitional; this is especially true in an economy with large imbalances like China’s. [Link]

Online Overload: Big Landlord Blocks Deliveries After Deluge of Packages by Laura Kusisto (WSJ)

Camden Properties estimates that every package received to its properties results in ten minutes of lost productivity. [Link, paywall]

The Deployment Age by Jerry Neumann (Reaction Wheel)

The ten generations have been dominated by 4 huge cycles of innovation followed by long slow booms in productivity where the boom’s innovation gain wide adoption; are we on the cusp of such a “deployment” phase? [Link]

FICC markets are no exception to MiFID II research rules by Vicky Sanders (RsrchXchange)

Despite desperate last-minute lobbying, UK regulators will be requiring all research (including fixed income, currencies, and commodities) to have a price in 2017; that puts massive bank research departments into a bind as they will have to directly charge for their output for the first time in their history. [Link]

Ehrlich-Simon Round 2 by Michael Siegel (Mike’s Meandering Mind)

By dissecting the terms of two bets between Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon, we can see the almost incredible difficulty long-term pessimists are faced with: they’re very rarely correct. [Link]

How Could Volkswagen’s Top Engineers Not Have Known? by Vernon Silver, Dune Lawrence, and Benjamin Elgin (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Longform inside the plot to cheat on emissions tests, with detailed reporting on what drove the effort and how it was accomplished. [Link]

No Blow Up Is Big Enough To Tarnish Platinum Partners’ Returns by Zeke Faux (Bloomberg Business)

A little-known hedge fund has delivered consistent, massive returns to investors, but their methods and choice of investments are eyebrow-raising. [Link]

Kingmakers of China’s Internet: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent by Li Yuan (WSJ)

Search, e-commerce, and social media are the triumvirate that sit atop China’s massive and restricted internet marketplace. [Link, paywall]

Seeking Advantage or Seeking Equity by Pete Saunders (Corner Side Yard)

The decades-long trend of white flight from urban cores has reversed and whites are once again migrating to cities; but why are black Americans doing the opposite and flowing towards the suburbs? [Link]

What We Know About the 92 Million Americans Who Aren’t in the Labor Force by Josh Zumbrun (WSJ Real Time Economics)

The vast majority of Americans without a job and not looking for one (those out of the labor force) have very good reasons for doing so; from education to disability to caring for family, millions are not employed due to noneconomic factors that have grown in importance over the past decade. [Link]

An Economist Is Throwing Cold Water on Those Sinking Jobless Claims by Luke Kawa (Bloomberg)

Jobless claims are telling a positive story about the economy, but their level and the position in the business cycle means that they aren’t necessarily indicative of a hiring boom. [Link]

How much of your traffic is fake? by Ben Elgin, Michael Riley, David Kocieniewski, and Joshua Brustein (Bloomberg)

A huge portion of the web’s traffic is based on click fraud: bots that pretend to be a human reading. [Link]

Negative interest rates: Central bank reserves and liquidity management by Tom Bernhardsen and Katherine Lund (Norges Bank)

A paper from Norway’s central bank explaining the mechanics of major European banking systems, and how negative rates work in practice for those systems. [Link]

China Plans 2020 Deadline for Dismantling Capital Controls (Bloomberg)

A free floating yuan and full capital account convertibility may be included in the next Five Year Plan, currently being drafted. [Link]

The Myth of Putin’s Strategic Genius by Michael A. McFaul (NYT Opinion)

Despite claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin is some sort of strategic genius, constantly outfoxing Western “foes”, the outlook for Russia is nothing short of grim and his mystique deserves a serious debunking. [Link]

Keynes Comes to Canada by Paul Krugman (NYT Opinion)

The official economist of the American Left pens a Keynesian endorsement of Canada’s Liberals, who won a surprise majority this week. [Link]

Patricia, Strongest Hurricane in History, Nears Mexico Landfall by Eric Holthaus (Slate)

The storm bearing down on Mexico is approaching the theoretical limit for the strength of a hurricane on the planet earth. [Link]

Tasting the Balvenie’s $50,000 Compendium of Ultra-Rare Whiskies by Mark Ellwood (Bloomberg)

A step-by-step journey through the 5 bottle-per year, 25-whiskey crescendo in the symphonic career of David Stewart, the master distiller for Balvenie of Speyside, Scotland. [Link]

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