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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Regulation

Coinbase Will Suspend All Margin Trading Tomorrow, Citing CFTC Guidance by Nikhilesh De (Coindesk)

Thanks to new CFTC guidance that limits the ability of exchanges to liquidate crypto holdings on margin calls, one of the largest exchanges is shutting down margin trading. [Link]

Illegal Tampering by Diesel Pickup Owners Is Worsening Pollution, E.P.A. Says by Coral Davenport (NYT)

Off-the-shelf devices marketed as improving performance in pick-up trucks have been creating massive amounts of pollution by altering settings on truck engines to bring them out of compliance with EPA regulations. [Link; soft paywall]

COVID Changes

People are working longer hours during the pandemic (The Economist)

Evidence is mounting that all the time saved by working from home instead of commuting during the pandemic has been eaten up by more time working. [Link]

The extra mile: how Covid-19 transformed exercise by Laura Noonan (FT)

People seeking any possible escape from the drudgery of the pandemic – and being locked into repetitive routines – have led to a revolution in the way they engage in fitness. [Link; paywall]

Innovation

Microsoft’s Creepy New ‘Productivity Score’ Gamifies Workplace Surveillance by Alyse Stanley (Gizmodo)

Microsoft has built a dense suite of surveillance and reporting tools into newer versions of its ubiquitous workplace software, prompting concerns that the company will be directing how workplaces evolve in addition to attacking employees’ privacy. [Link]

From Culinary Dud To Stud: How Dutch Plant Breeders Built Our Brussels Sprouts Boom by Dan Charles (NPR)

It’s not just your imagination: brussels sprouts used to be much worse. Selective breeding efforts in the 1990s led to the modern delectable crunch of greenery. [Link]

Citations

CDC director cites this website to back in-school learning. Its designer calls that ‘bananas’ by Maggie Fox (CNN)

An unofficial tracker for COVID infections in schools is being cited by policymakers. The only problem? It creator has backpedaled sharply, suggesting that the data is not meant for the sort of analysis it is being used for. [Link]

Development

Pushed by Pandemic, Amazon Goes on a Hiring Spree Without Equal by Karen Weise (NYT)

Amazon has added almost half a million workers in less than a year, roughly 50% of the company’s total global workforce. [Link; soft paywall]

10 new skyscrapers about to transform the Toronto skyline by Tanya Mok (blogTO)

Don’t look now, but Canada’s largest city is getting a lot taller. A series of extremely high buildings are starting to take shape, and will fundamentally alter the huge city’s skyline. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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