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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US Policy

House Tax-Cut Plan Hurtles Toward Senate Roadblock by Erik Wasson (Bloomberg)

The House’s proposed tax overhaul is many things: large, far-reaching, and complicated. Unfortunately for ease of passage, one thing it’s not is compliant with Senate rules around deficit impact that would mean it needed 60 votes to pass. [Link; auto-playing video]

Powell rose to top of Trump’s list as safe, savvy choice for Fed by Howard Schneider and Jonathan Spicer (Reuters)

A good tick-tock of the chain of events which led up to the pick of Jerome Powell as the next Chair of the Federal Reserve. [Link]

Related: This series of tweets from Josh Zumbrun of the Wall Street Journal is also a fascinating insight into the butterfly effects which gave Powell his appointment. [Link]

The Fed Chair Should Be a ‘Principled Populist’ by Stephanie Kelton ad Paul McCulley (NYT)

An interview between leading modern monetary theory advocate Kelton (former Senate Budget Committee Democratic staff Chief Economist and now of Stony Brook University) and former Pimco chief economist Paul McCulley. [Link]

International Affairs

Saudi Arabia arrests princes, ministers and tycoons in purge by Ahmed Al Omran and Simeon Kerr (FT)

In a sudden move, aging King Salman cleaned house to consolidate power for his named heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. [Link; paywall]


As ICOs Get Paris Hilton-Style Celebrity Push, SEC Urges Caution by Benjamin Bain and Matt Robinson (Bloomberg)

This week the SEC noted celebrity endorsement of ICOs could put them at legal risk based on federal securities laws, a notable regulatory move in the current wild west of initial coin offerings. [Link]


Nanodiamonds Found to Prevent Lithium Battery Fires by R. Colin Johnson (EE Times)

A possible solution to lithium ion battery fires has been proposed, but not yet proven in actual deployment with devices. [Link]

Military Matters

The Army’s Radical Fitness Shift by Rachel Bachman (WSJ)

New fitness tests are being added to the Army’s Combat Readiness Test, and proposed standards would not differ between the sexes now that all combat roles are open to women. [Link; paywall]


Many Academics Are Eager to Publish in Worthless Journals by Gina Kolata (NYT)

With huge incentives to publish as much as possible, a galaxy of dubiously relevant journals have sprung up as venues for the academic community. [Link; soft paywall]


Waiting to inhale by David Fleming (ESPN)

An oral history of the dubious practice of inhaling smelling salts on NFL sidelines. [Link]

The NFL’s Offensive Line Crisis Has No Single Diagnosis by Robert Mays (The Ringer)

The bedrock of any talented offense is an efficient offensive line, but the modern NFL is finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and maintain cohesive fronts. [Link]

Have a great Sunday!

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