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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The hidden ‘replication crisis’ of finance by Robin Wigglesworth (FT)
One of the cornerstones of science (even social science, like academic finance) is replication or the idea that results can be repeated by future researchers; if something can’t be replicated, it’s probably not accurate. Finance has a major issue with these sorts of efforts. [Link; paywall]
Michael Mauboussin Is Unshaken by Eric Uhlfelder (RIAIntel)
An interview capturing the investment approach and experience of Michael Mauboussin, the legendary Columbia University professor and widely recognized strategist. [Link]
Retirement Fund Giant Calpers Votes to Use Leverage, More Alternative Assets by Heather Gillers (WSJ)
California’s pension giant (managing almost half a trillion dollars) sees below-typical historical returns that won’t be high enough to pay out on its obligations. The response from CalPERS is to add leverage to bring return targets back to their goal. [Link; paywall]
SARK launches as short interest in ARKK jumps to new record by Steve Johnson and Emma Boyde (FT)
In a first, an ETF has launched with the explicit goal of trading in the opposite direction of another ETF, specifically the ARKK vehicle which is the cornerstone of Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest empire. [Link; paywall]
Tokenize Everything by Dave Nadig (ETF Trends)
Background on the rapidly expanding world of ERC-20 tokens, which are starting to look a lot like single stocks complete with vehicles for gaining index exposure to tokens (analogous to ETFs). [Link]
ConstitutionDAO — a $20 million stupid Ethereum trick by David Gerard and Andrew Molitor (David Gerard)
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are an interesting approach to crowdfunding, charity work, or business structuring, but the highest-profile DAO so far descended into farce amidst a blaze of hype when it tried to buy a copy of the US Constitution. [Link]
Norway Is Running Out of Gas-Guzzling Cars to Tax by Morgan Meaker (Wired)
The vast majority of new cars sold in Norway are electric, which has created a >$2bn revenue problem for the country’s national government as the tax base of ICE vehicles craters. [Link; soft paywall]
Elon Musk Wants to Show Germans How to Build Cars by William Wilkes and Stefan Nicola (Bloomberg)
The German factory that will flood Europe with Teslas is taking a very different approach to traditional auto manufacturers, which could rapidly ramp up production with lower labor cost than traditional manufacturers are able to manage. [Link; soft paywall]
The Potentially Game-Changing Celera 500L Has Finished Its First Round Of Flight Tests by Joseph Trevithick (The Drive)
A new general aviation plane prototype is claiming to deliver operating costs 84% below what comparable private jets can manage, with fuel economy many times as high and more than twice the maximum range. [Link]
How Much Does Mariah Carey Make When ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ Is Streamed? by Jermell Prigeon (NBC Philadelphia)
The fantastic popularity of Mariah Carey’s holiday anthem rises every year in a perfect seasonal pattern. Even at a penny per stream, the results are spectacular: almost $2mm per year in royalties accrue to the Christmas Queen. [Link]
No, the real inflation rate isn’t 15 percent by Timothy B Lee (Full Stack Economics)
The CEO of Twitter has proudly amplified a statistical series that claims to adjust for changes in BLS methodology, but is itself founded on a complete misunderstanding which leads to a laughably incorrect representation of prices. [Link]
Stephen Curry’s Scientific Quest for the Perfect Shot by Ben Cohen (WSJ)
Data science and optical sensors power Steph Curry’s offseason workouts, where anything more than three inches from dead center is considered a miss. [Link; paywall]
Ping. Ding. Chirp. Notifications Are Driving Us Crazy. by Rachel Feintzeig (WSJ)
Research suggests constant notifications are a huge factor in reducing productivity, regardless of the source. And between emails, Slack, and the cacophony of other alerts we receive, you can forget on deep and prolonged focus. [Link; paywall]
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Have a great weekend!