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.

While you’re here, join Bespoke Premium for 3 months for just $95 with our 2020 Annual Outlook special offer.

Tech Wreck

The Money Men Who Enabled Adam Neumann and the WeWork Debacle by Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown (WSJ)

A detailed look at the snowballing collapse of the shared office space company in the leadup to its buyout by previous investor SoftBank. [Link; paywall]

Unicorn, e-scooter startup from co-creator of Tile, shuts down with no money for refunds by Andrew J. Hawkins (The Verge)

A scooter start-up looking to capitalize on the popularity of short-distance e-scooter programs like Bird has gone bankrupt, taking the deposits of customers with it. [Link]

Social Media

The Age of Instagram Face by Jia Tolentino (The New Yorker)

A specific type of appearance in Instagram photos tend to get much more engagement than others, leading to a unique crowding phenomenon when it comes to looks on the site. [Link]

Market Musings

The Federal Reserve Is Primed to Launch ‘QE4’ as Year Winds Down, Strategist Says. Others Say That’s Not Likely. by Alexandra Scaggs (Barron’s)

A widely-read interest rate strategist has declared that a new round of QE is just around the corner, with some very dubious reasoning underpinning the argument. [Link; paywall]

Huge Disparity in Corporate Profits Hints at Something Amiss by James Mackintosh (WSJ)

While national accounts data shows falling profit margins, public company data reports the S&P 500’s profit margins at record highs, a massive divergence that speaks ill of the outlook for the economy. [Link; paywall]


Dominion Energy Turns to Cow Manure in Gas Pact by Ryan Dezember (WSJ)

Cow manure is set to be processed into natural gas that fuels electrical plants in a landmark deal between one of the nation’s largest utilities and dairy farmers. [Link; paywall]


Pete Buttigieg on Bernie Sanders by Pete Buttigieg (Jacobin)

In a somewhat amusing twist, left-wing magazine Jacobin has published an essay by one 2020 Presidential candidate endorsing another. [Link]

Labor Markets

FedEx Goes Deep Into Mississippi Delta to Find Workers by Paul Ziobro (WSJ)

With local labor markets unable to supply enough workers, holiday package hiring has FedEx bussing workers from deep in the Mississippi Delta to work at its Memphis, TN hub. [Link; paywall]


Brides And Grooms Who Got Married At A Former Slave Plantation Are Speaking Out About Criticism Of The Venues by Clarissa-Jan Lim (Buzzfeed)

Last week we linked to a story about plantation venues losing access to Pinterest and The Knot; this follow-up features comment from some brides who have had weddings at plantations as well as plantation owners. [Link]

Read Bespoke’s most actionable market research by joining Bespoke Premium today!  Get started here.

Have a great weekend!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email