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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Highly Paid Union Workers Give UPS a Surprise Win in Delivery Wars by Thomas Black (Bloomberg)

While UPS pays a higher wages for its unionized workforce, it’s had no trouble managing the current labor market environment while rival FedEx has racked up hundreds of millions in extra costs. [Link; soft paywall]

I’m A Twenty Year Truck Driver, I Will Tell You Why America’s “Shipping Crisis” Will Not End by Ryan Johnson (Medium)

An inside look at how port snarls are playing out in practical terms. While the analysis is hyperbolic and excessively pessimistic, it does illustrate the challenges at stake in sorting out the logjam of US transportation. [Link]

Long Reads

The posthuman dog by Jessica Pierce (Aeon)

If humans disappeared, dogs would survive. In fact, there’s a case to be made that they might be better off, implausible as that sounds. But the real takeaway: we can make space for our four legged friends to be dogs without disappearing entirely. [Link]

When “Foundation” Gets The Blockbuster Treatment, Isaac Asimov’s Vision Gets Lost by Julian Lucas (The NYer)

A reflection on the challenges of translating a novel series based on a history textbook into a prestige TV show, both in general and thanks to the cultural narratives which swirl in 2020s America. [Link]


Eric Adams vows to make NYC crypto-friendly, explore city’s own coin by Will Feuer (NYP)

New York’s new mayor is apparently taking a page out of the Miami playbook and hoping to focus the nation’s largest city on issuing new coins for the masses. [Link]

What Happens to Your Crypto When You Die? (Bloomberg/AP)

A users guide to making sure that the crypto you hold in this life doesn’t go into the grave if you pass on. [Link; soft paywall]

New Business Models

Zillow Shuts Home-Flipping Business After Racking Up Losses by Patrick Clark (Yahoo! Finance/Bloomberg)

After ploughing billions into a business designed to profit from guaranteed offers and quick resales of residential inventory, Zillow has decided to shutter the business after declaring failure. [Link]

A New Generation Leads Chick-fil-A’s Growing Flock by Heather Haddon (WSJ)

An interview with the latest Cathy family scion to lead the fried chicken giant, which is one of the most profitable US fast food businesses. [Link; paywall]

Ford makes classic pickup electric in surprise one-of-a-kind F-Series truck reveal by Phoebe Wall Howard (Detroit Free Press)

In a bid to show off the flexibility of its EV platform with a remodeled F-100 pickup dating to the 1970s…powered entirely with electric motors and batteries. [Link; auto-playing video]


Steel Is Back by Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic)

A US-EU pact designed to reduce tariffs on steel produced using less carbon-intensive measures was announced this week, with full support of US steel companies and workers. The new approach could represent a path forward for using trade incentives as a way to shift climate policy. [Link; soft paywall]

Poison in the Air by by Lylla Younes, Ava Kofman, Al Shaw and Lisa Song (ProPublica)

While the EPA does a reasonably good job restricting carcinogenic emissions from a single source, it doesn’t always take into account the compounding risks of multiple adjacent plants which can create horrifying cancer and other disease burdens for surrounding residents. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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