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.


Personal genius and peer pressure: Britt Harris on institutional investing by Grant Birdwell and Bryce Klempner (McKinsey)

A profile on the CEO and CIO of UTIMCO, who manages the endowment of the University of Texas system endowment (one of the largest in the country) among other assets. [Link]


Valuation Ratios for Households and Businesses by Thomas Mertens, Patrick Schultz, and Michael Tubbs (FRBSF Economic Letter)

Cyclically-adjusted P/Es are high, and it’s no secret that the market is relatively expensive compared to history. But broader measures of household assets relative to income also look expensive. [Link]


Website Glitch Let Me Overstock My Coinbase by Brian Krebs (Krebs On Security)

A flaw in the system blockchain enthusiasts at Overstock used for refunding transactions led to free bitcoins for a number of customers. [Link]

A Clever Radio Trick Can Tell If A Drone Is Watching You by Andy Greenberg (Wired)

Researchers at Ben Gurion University have developed a technique that uses pre-recognized patterns to search drone uplink data to determine if the drone is being used to watch a given spot. [Link]


The Strange Brands in Your Instagram Feed by Alexis Madrigal (The Atlantic)

Combining “drop shipping” direct from manufacturers, Shopify templates, and a few stock photos of goods, “stores” can be created overnight and go from zero to thousands in revenues in days thanks to social media. [Link]


When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5,000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders by Steve Eder (NYT)

An anecdote on the breadth and scope of regulations that small businesses have to contend with. [Link]


Merc Stories by Hooper Quant (The Contrarian Corner)

A funny tale about the consequences of trying to slide right back into the futures pit after going completely AWOL for weeks on a bender. [Link]


Why Did New York’s JFK Airport Struggle to Cope With Its Flight Backlog After the Bomb Cyclone? by Jason Rabinowitz (The Points Guy)

A basic explainer of the epic mess created by JFK when snows rolled in a couple weeks ago; in addition to other weirdness, we had no idea that each terminal had entirely separate landing rights! [Link]

Have a great Sunday!

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