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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Labor Markets

CEO Patrick Collison’s email to Stripe employees by Patrick Collison (Stripe)

Amidst a blizzard of tech layoffs, payments company Stripe unveils a remarkably worker-friendly list of transition policies for fired workers that total about 14% of the labor force. [Link]

A Labor Supply Shock? by Preston Mui (Employ America)

Younger cohorts have almost entirely returned to pre-COVID levels of employment, leaving only the oldest segment of the labor market entirely responsible for the alleged lack of labor supply this year. [Link]

Liminal Spaces

Why One Chinatown Mini-mall Languishes While Another Thrives by Wilfred Chan (Curbed)

Detailed reporting on the magic of cheap rent in Chinatown and the downward spiral of the neighborhood over the past few decades. [Link]

The Eerie Comfort of Liminal Spaces by Jake Pitre (MSN/The Atlantic)

An investigation into why so many people are so enthusiastic for the “strange solace of being on the threshold of monumental change” in picture form. [Link]


Why is participation in girls’ high school sports — yes, even basketball — waning? by Langston Wertz Jr (Charlotte Observer)

High school sports participation is down sharply, with participation in basketball down 14% over the past decade, to the point that many schools are fielding only a varsity team with no JV squad and no cuts. [Link; soft paywall]

Professional Cornhole Has a Cheating Scandal Called BagGate by John Clarke (WSJ)

The formerly casual pastime has attracted sponsorship dollars and lots of attention, to the point where teams in the national finals were both caught cheating. [Link; paywall]

Traffic James

The Metals for Your EV Are Stuck in a 30-Mile Traffic Jam by Matthew Hill (Bloomberg)

Central African copper mines are tied to the rest of the world with tenuous and often-broken logistics lines that stretch across the southern half of the continent. [Link; soft paywall]

Why Egypt became one of the biggest chokepoints for Internet cables by Matt Burgess (Ars Technica)

Subsea internet cables are critical links for global connectivity with enormous volumes of traffic passing through physical chokepoints like the narrow land route between the Red Sea and Mediterranean. [Link]


China’s Local Governments Should Put State Assets to Better Use, Ministry Says by Chen Yikan (Yi Cai Global)

Beijing is starting to push local governments to start selling off assets including houses, land, and cars; other assets like stakes in businesses could also be sold to fund local government deficits. [Link]


What it’s like to fire Raytheon’s powerful anti-drone laser by Kelsey D. Atheron (PopSci)

A small four wheeler can hold the 10 kilowatt Raytheon system designed to target and destroy drones on the battlefield. [Link]

Previewing Our Wisconsin Polling Experiment by Nate Cohn (NYT)

In an effort to correct for very low response rates in Wisconsin, the NYT attempted to pay respondents to complete one of its polls this cycle; it’s still not clear yet whether the new approach will prove accurate or not. [Link; soft paywall]


Hedge-fund giant Elliott warns looming hyperinflation could lead to ‘global societal collapse’ by Anviksha Patel (MarketWatch)

Elliott Management’s strategy is premised on buying assets cheap, so it’s not a surprise that they would be bearish towards overall asset prices. Still, some of the language here is pretty strong stuff. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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