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.

See this week’s just-published Bespoke Report newsletter by starting a no-obligation two-week free trial to our premium research platform.


Ray Dalio Has an Unbelievable Algorithm by Cathy O’Neil (Bloomberg)

Are algos any good if all they do is reflect the biases, fallibility, incomplete information, and general human weakness of their designers? [Link]

Parable of the Polygon by Vi Hart and Nicky Case (NCase)

A simple, intuitive explanation of math showing that small biases against or towards one’s own group or others can create extreme segregation. [Link]


The Dead Man Fund by Jack El-Hai (Longreads)

A history of the worst investment funds available, and why most of their investors were dead long before the fund was shut down by the SEC. [Link]


Fed Insiders Seek Radical Policy Review as Powell Era Dawns by Jeanna Smialek and Matthew Boesler (Bloomberg)

As the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors undergoes a shake-up, other policymakers on the FOMC are advocating a shift in policy goals. [Link; auto-playing video]

AT&T Ready to Probe the White House’s Role in Time Warner Deal by David McLaughlin, Scott Moritz, and Sara Forden (Bloomberg)

Amidst claims that the White House instructed the Justice Department to demand Time Warner sell CNN to clear its proposed merger with AT&T, the bidder isn’t willing to let potential interference slide. [Link; auto-playing video]

Great Things In Unexpected Places

Why classical purists should start taking video game music seriously by Caroline Crampton (New Statesman)

Did you know Hans Zimmer (writer of the epic soundtrack in Gladiator) is the composer for Modern Warfare? Long a hotbed of audio-visual innovation (Gregorian chants of Halo, anyone?), video games are providing a market for modern classical that hasn’t found footing elsewhere. [Link]

Harvard university debate team loses to New York prison inmate by Barney Henderson (The Telegraph)

In a remarkable upset (based on preconceptions alone, of course) three inmates from maximum security Eastern New York Correctional Facility beat three Harvard undergrads in a competitive debate. [Link]


How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met by Kashmir Hill (Gizmodo)

People You May Know (PYMK) is an algorithm Facebook deploys to draw data from sources outside the social network itself in order to drive engagement. It also creates massive privacy concerns. [Link]


Meet ‘Bitcoin Clashic,’ a Weird and Totally Unexpected Cryptocurrency Rebellion by Jordan Pearson (Vice)

Obscure to be sure but a fascinating look at how unstable and generally head-scratching the world of cryptocurrencies can be. [Link]

The Rich

Look Inside the DeVos Family Office by Anupreeta Das and Jean Eaglesham (WSJ)

A deep dive into the structure and activities of the family office which manages the fortune of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her husband. [Link; paywall]

According to one estimate, wealthy couples in NYC need $190 million to keep their heads above water by Tanza Loudenback (Business Insider)

It turns out living parkside on Fifth, spending lots on art and private jets, having an active philanthropy life, and paying a live-in staff gets expensive…who would have imagined? [Link]

Social Media

The 100 Best Finance Twitter Accounts You Should Be Following by Alap Shah (Forbes)

A Sentieo algorithm has determined the top 100 finance accounts on Twitter. [Link]


The Science of the Post: Going Deep with “Mills” by Chris Brown (Smart Football)

A combination oral history and deep dive into the strategy of post routes, and specifically post routes with an underneath dig route, one of the most-used schemes in modern offensive playcalling. [Link]


Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow by Neil Strauss (Rolling Stone)

A glowing laundry list of projects and ambitions including cars, mass transportation, and space. [Link]


Airbus clinches $49.5bn single aisle aircraft deal by Peggy Hollinger (FT)

The biggest deal in the history of the European plane manufacturer was signed this week in Dubai, with 430 single aisle aircraft set to be sold to 4 global budget airlines. [Link; paywall]


Can You Draw the Starbucks Logo Without Cheating? Probably Not. by Zach Schonbrun (NYT)

Being able to reproduce iconic logos is a lot less important than recognizing them. [Link; soft paywall]

Have a great Sunday!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email