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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The Stock Market’s Dangers Are Easier to See Now by Jeff Sommer (NYT)

Markets are weighing a series of positives and negatives, and for the first time in some years the negatives are starting to loom larger than the positives. [Link, soft paywall]

No Refuge for Investors as 2018 Rout Sends Stocks, Bonds, Oil Lower by Akane Otani and Michael Wursthorn (WSJ)

90% of asset markets have posted negative returns this year, the worst breadth across asset classes since at least 1901. [Link; paywall]

Tax Reform

US capital expenditure boom fails to live up to promises by Rana Foroohar (FT)

Despite claims that companies would pass tax cuts on to workers or ramp up capital expenditure, there’s scant evidence that they’re doing anything of the sort. [Link; paywall]

Tax Reform Made Me Do It! by Michelle Hanlon, Jeffrey L. Hoopes, and Joel Slemrod (NBER Working Papers)

Analysis of earnings calls show only 4% of public companies intend to pass on some portion of tax savings towards workers, while 22% said they would raise investment. Share repurchases were more common, but highly concentrated in a few firms, with only nine explicitly tying a new repurchase program to the taxes. Interestingly, the authors also link Political Action Committees more that donate more to Republicans to employee benefit announcements. [Link]

Real Estate

The homes millennials can buy for a million by Melissa Lawford (FT)

A new TD Ameritrade survey shows 51% of people between 21 and 37 years old believe they will become millionaires, though of course that amount of net worth would be about a fifth as much after adjusting for inflation compared to 1980. [Link; paywall]

OK, Computer: How Much Is My House Worth? by Ryan Dezember and Cezary Podkul (WSJ)

A proposed change in federal regulations would allow a large chunk of the real estate market to be bought and sold without a human being appraising the value of the transaction. [Link; paywall]

One of America’s Richest Suburbs Just Lost Its AAA Rating by Martin Z. Braun and Danielle Moran (Bloomberg)

S&P has downgraded New York’s Westchester County from AAA to AA+, and kept the county on ratings watch negative thanks to budget shortfalls. [Link; soft paywall]


America Probably Has Enough Parking Spaces for Multiple Black Fridays by Laura Bliss (CityLab)

Suburban malls and shopping centers have such a dramatic over-supply of parking spots that there is more land per car in the US than housing per human being. [Link]

Police Shootings

“I Don’t Want To Shoot You, Brother” by Joe Sexton (ProPublica)

The heartbreaking story of a person committing suicide by cop, and the absurd consequences afterwards: the firing of a police officer who arrived on the scene first and did not kill the suspect. [Link]


NBA Breaks Fresh Ground for Sports With First Gambling Data Deal by Eben Novy-Williams (Bloomberg)

The NBA has signed agreements to provide gambling operators with high speed data links to NBA scores and other forms of information related to in-play betting. [Link; soft paywall]


US antitrust enforcement falls to slowest rate since 1970s by Kadhim Shrubber (FT)

Antitrust enforcement as measured by the number of criminal antitrust cases filed by the DoJ has fallen to the lowest level in almost 50 years. [Link; paywall]


On The Turing Completeness of PowerPoint (SIGBOVIK) by Tom Wildenhain (YouTube)

A hilarious presentation that demonstrates PowerPoint is at least hypothetically Turing complete, a degree of computational capability we never would have guessed was possible. [Link]


Beijing to Judge Every Resident Based on Behavior by End of 2020 (Bloomberg)

China’s currently ad hoc social credit system is set to expand significantly, making life much harder for those that break traffic laws and commit other minor infractions. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

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Have a good Sunday!

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