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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Why 169 former NFL players have turned to coaching high school football by Jeff Legwold (ESPN)

After spending a lift in the game, many former pro football players turn to the coaching ranks, even at the lower levels of the game as assistants. [Link; auto-playing video]

Running the Football Is Dying. Jonathan Taylor Brings It Back to Life. by Andrew Beaton (WSJ)

With short careers, high paychecks, and relatively small offensive production, running backs are out of vogue with NFL front offices….but don’t tell that to the Colts’ starter. [Link; paywall]


Trump SPAC under investigation by federal regulators, including SEC by Dan Mangan (CNBC)

The blank-check company that has proposed taking a digital network backed by President Trump public is under investigation by Finra and the SEC. [Link; paywall]

US billionaire surrenders $70m of stolen art by Dalya Alberge (The Guardian/MSN)

A billionaire agreed to surrender a vault full of artefacts that were stolen from their countries of origin including Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Turkey. [Link]

World Affairs

In need of a baby boom, China clamps down on vasectomies by Alcia Chen, Lyric Li, and Lilly Kuo (WaPo)

Forced sterilizations and the one child policy were so successful that Chinese policymakers are trying to unwind the demographic catastrophe looming in the country’s rapidly aging population. [Link; soft paywall]

Sanna Marin: Finland’s PM sorry for clubbing after Covid contact (BBC)

Finland’s Prime Minister missed a text telling her to isolate due to a COVID-19 exposure because she was busy clubbing. [Link]

Social Media

Instagram will bring back a chronological feed in 2022 by Karissa Bell (Endgadget)

After half a decade of pumping timelines full of algorithmically-selected content, Instagram will revert to a chronological feed that shows photos in the order they were posted. [Link]

How An Excel TikToker Manifested Her Way To Making Six Figures A Day by Nilay Patel (The Verge)

After discovering her Excel tips were massively popular on TikTok, Kat Norton opened a software training business that is doing six figures a day in revenue. [Link]

Birds Aren’t Real, or Are They? Inside a Gen Z Conspiracy Theory. by Taylor Lorenz (NYT)

A joke conspiracy theory has metastasized into a movement of young people who genuinely believe birds are government drones. [Link; soft paywall]

Covid Spurs Biggest Rise in Life-Insurance Payouts in a Century by Leslie Scism (WSJ)

With hundreds of thousands of Americans succumbing to COVID-19, life insurance payouts have soared 15% to more than $90 billion. The smaller payouts to older victims of the pandemic meant the cost to insurers was far smaller than expected initially. [Link; paywall]

Botched Deployments

Death, drugs and a disbanded unit: How the Guard’s Mexico border mission fell apart by Davis Winkie (ArmyTimes)

The National Guard’s deployment to the US border was nothing short of a disciplinary disaster, with 1200 legal actions, 500 car accidents creating more than $600k in total damage, multiple deaths, and alcohol abuse so severe that officers issued breathalyzers to make sure soldiers weren’t drunk on duty. [Link]

How Amazon Outage Left Smart Homes Not So Smart After All by Isabella Steger (Bloomberg)

A massive outage at AWS didn’t just take down large numbers of websites that rely on the cloud infrastructure; smart homes and other IoT use-cases got temporarily bricked as well. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Apple’s iPhone Successor Comes Into Focus by Christopher Mims (WSJ)

The world’s largest company is expected to unveil a “head-mounted” device that will mark its follow-up to the iPhone; whether this headset or smart glasses product actually works in the real world is a very different question. [Link; paywall]


Retreat From Globalization Adds to Inflation Risks by Yuka Hayashi (WSJ)

Unwinding the massive offshoring of global supply chains over the past few decades is not a fast process, and it could end up being an expensive one for customers of companies that are trying to avoid tariffs and uncertainty from overseas suppliers. [Link]


S&P500 Rebalance for December 2021 – Rearranging the Deckchairs by Travis Lundy (SmartKarma)

At the close on the 17th of December US large, mid, and small cap indices will be rebalanced in changes announced last week, with implications for a number of stocks and a clear trade catalyst. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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