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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Exclusive: How a secret software change allowed FTX to use client money by Angus Berwick, John Shiffman, and Koh Gui Qing (Reuters)

A small change in FTX code allowed Alameda Research to borrow indefinitely, regardless of the value of collateral posted by the hedge fund to the exchange. [Link]

All the young dudes carry the bags by Louis Ashworth (FTAV)

Using data from bank customers, JPMorgan made some basic demographic estimates about who bought crypto when. The results are about what you would think. [Link; paywall]


Bob Iger vs. Bob Chapek: Inside the Disney Coup by Joe Flint, Robbie Whelan, Erich Schwartzel, Emily Glazer and Jessica Toonkel (WSJ)

An inside account of the downfall of Disney’s CEO to Disney’s previous CEO, fueled by investor angst over streaming losses and perceptions that Chapek was driving the company into the ground. [Link]

Musk Shakes Up Twitter’s Legal Team as He Looks to Cut More Costs by Ryan Mac, Mike Isaac, and Kate Conger (NYT)

As turmoil mounts at Twitter, the company has stopped paying rent, refused to pay charter flight bills, and mulled the possibility of not paying severance promised to employees fired since the takeover. [Link; soft paywall]


Why This Housing Downturn Isn’t Like the Last One by Ben Eisen and Nicole Friedman (WSJ)

Few low quality mortgage loans, big equity cushions, and lots of people waiting for a dip in prices make this period of falling prices look very different from the subprime mortgage collapse. [Link; paywall]

Why Are Market Rents Decelerating? It’s Probably Not Because Of The Fed by Alex Williams (Employ America)

Rents started to slow before the rapid interest rate hikes of 2022 started, making them unlikely to be a consequence of Federal Reserve policy to slow the economy. [Link]

EU Politics

EU strikes deal with Hungary, reducing funding freeze to get Ukraine aid approved by Paola Tamma (Politico)

Hungary will see less of its EU funding frozen in exchange for lifting a veto on Ukrainian aid, part of a complicated process of negotiations that is par for the course when it comes to European Union legislating. [Link]


Gun Violence Is Falling In 2022 by Jeff Asher (Jeff-alytics)

National statistics showed a widespread uptick in shootings during the pandemic, but that spike appears to be reversing in 2022 as society returns to something more like normal. [Link]

Calling 911 in Charlotte? Your ambulance might show up without lights and sirens. by Genna Contino (The Charlotte Observer)

Ambulances are starting to run without sirens and lights in an effort to make emergency calls safer in the vast majority of calls to 9-1-1 that do not involve life-threatening emergencies. [Link; soft paywall]

Electric Vehicles

Ford increases F-150 Lightning price, now starts at $56,000 by Fred Lambert (Electrek)

The lowest-priced tier of Ford’s electric pickup now goes for 40% more than its original base price thanks to huge demand and soaring materials costs; higher-end versions are significantly more expensive. [Link]

Trading Education

School of Quant: At $29,000, a Public NYC College Outclasses Princeton by Heather Perlberg (Bloomberg)

An NYC resident will pay less than $30k for a Masters that will let them earn nearly $170k before bonus fresh out of graduation. [Link; soft paywall]


The $80tn “hidden debt” and what it really means by Daniel Davies (FT)

When trying to assess financial vulnerability, labels matter. That’s especially true when it’s not entirely clear how those labels should be applied. [Link; paywall]


Solving grammar’s greatest puzzle by Tom Almeroth-Williams (University of Cambridge)

A complicated system of 4,000 rules has finally been unlocked in full, with the 2,500 year old algorithm of Sanskrit word assembly’s last rule determined by a Cambridge PhD student. [Link]

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