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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Florida’s Sunshine and Tax Benefits Beckon Billionaires by Juliet Chung and Joseph de Avila (WSJ)

The wealthiest are trading New York winters for endless summer, but low taxes are almost certainly a bigger impetus for the zip code shifting. [Link; paywall]

Fuel-theft rings fill South Florida roads with ‘moving bombs’ by Mario Ariza (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The weather is good but the crews stealing fuel and transporting the proceeds in SUVs are a much less wonderful feature of life in South Florida. [Link; auto-playing video]


Do Ridesharing Services Increase Alcohol Consumption? by Jacob Burgdorf, Conor Lennon, and Keith Teltser (SSRN)

Increasing access to on-demand transportation has led people to imbibe more aggressively as concerns about the need to drive home have disappeared. UberX entry to a market led to a 9% increase in the prevalence of heavy drinking. [Link]

From Plantations to Prisons: The Legacy of Slavery on Black Incarceration in the US by Melissa Rubio (Dropbox)

In her job market paper, the author identifies a link between counties’ dependence on slavery and the black male incarceration rate immediately after the abolition of slavery and through to contemporary times. [Link; 58 page PDF]

The Effect of District Attorneys on Local Criminal Justice Outcomes by Sam Krumholz (SSRN)

Electing nonwhite district attorneys leads to a 10% decline in incarceration, without any significant impact on local crime or arrest rates. In other words, the choice of district attorney has a big impact on how many people are in jail, but little effect on crime rates. [Link]

Legal Drama

Customer: Wine spill on Hermès bag was $30k mistake. Country club: Our waiter should pay by Rodrigo Torrejon (USA Today)

A New Jersey country club is trying to fob off a ridiculous lawsuit from a customer on one of its employers, the latest in a long string of ridiculous workplace suits. [Link; auto-playing video]

He told a kid to slide. Then he got sued. by Steve Politi (NJ.com)

Instructing a player to slide into third base is now grounds for years of lawsuits. It’s hard to imagine it could get more ridiculous than this most recent litigious lunacy from New Jersey. [Link]

How to Conduct Business with Chinese Companies That See a Dark Future by Dan Harris (China Law Blog)

An extremely interesting rundown on the current legal backdrop in China, where the trade war and a slowing economy are provoking a variety of legal activities that can catch customers abroad by surprise. [Link]


Notre Dame Football Sellout Streak Set to End After 46 Years by Sara Marley (Bloomberg)

It’s been a disappointing run for the Fighting Irish, who may fail to sell out a game for the first time since 1973 in a fight against ranked opponent Navy this weekend. [Link; soft paywall]

The Line of Fire by Natalie Weiner (SBNation)

With gun violence reaching into schools, it should be no surprise that football coaches are on the front lines in trying to keep young people safe. [Link]

Algos Gone Wild

IBM hopes to change weather forecasting around the globe using big data and a new supercomputer by Steve Liesman (CNBC)

Weather models are getting an upgrade, with a new model that uses its new supercomputer DYEUS to model weather in 2-mile blocks (one-third to twenty percent of the smallest units in more traditional models). [Link]

AI can predict if you’ll die soon – but we’ve no idea how it works by Donna Lu (New Scientist)

An interesting example of a machine learning technique picking up on something that a traditional evaluation of data can’t: risk of death based on to electrocardiogram data. [Link]

Goldman faces probe after entrepreneur slams Apple Card algorithm in tweets (Reuters)

A widely-followed VC helped spark outrage over the credit limit assignment process for the new Apple credit card that Goldman Sachs issues. [Link]

Hidden Costs, Hidden Benefits

New Report Examines the Impact of Instagram’s Hidden Likes Experiment on Influencer Engagement by Andrew Hutchinson (Social Media Today)

A study found that hiding likes reduced the number of likes for posts across a range of account sizes, consistent with the thesis that removing like totals reduces engagement. [Link]

The move to free stock trading led to a big jump in new accounts for Charles Schwab by Maggie Fitzgerlad (CNBC)

Removing commissions in response to Robinhood, Charles Schwab reported 142,000 accounts opened in October, up 31% MoM as free trading gains traction. [Link]


Strategists Foresee ‘Boiling Point’. Investors Risk Up. by Christine Idzelis (Institutional Investor)

Investors have pivoted to a very positive outlook that has investors all sorts of nervous. While fund managers are optimistic, their allocations to equities are only at one-year highs. [Link]


The Curiosity rover detects oxygen behaving strangely on Mars by Ashley Strickland (CNN)

A strange seasonal pattern of oxygen levels has been picked up by the Curiosity rover on Mas, which may point to a variety of new geological possibilities. [Link]


Wind Turbines Are Getting Wild by Caroline Delbert (Popular Mechanics)

A new superconducting material is offering possibilities for wind turbines that would result in dramatic efficiency gains and lowered costs. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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