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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Data

I Was the Homeland Security Adviser to Trump. We’re Being Hacked. by Thomas P. Bossert (NYT)

A hack disclosed this week impacting FireEye, SolarWinds, and eventually clients that include large swathes of the US government has exposed critical data to hackers, likely from Russia. [Link; soft paywall]

Magnetic tape has a surprisingly promising future (The Economist)

Data storage technology that brought recorded music to cars via 8-tracks and cassettes has a promising future as a way to cheaply store very large volumes of information. [Link; soft paywall]

Disputes

An Agent’s Mistake Cost an N.B.A. Player $3 Million. He Paid Him Back. by Sopan Deb (NYT)

Twenty years ago, Anthony Carter’s agent forgot to formally exercise the player’s option to remain with the Miami Heat. Two decades later, his agent has finally made him whole. [Link; soft paywall]

Sorting Out Tony Hsieh’s Estate, From LLCs to Thousands of Sticky Notes by Kirsten Grind and Katherine Sayre (WSJ)

The co-founder of Zappos.com had a complicated web of commitments: real estate, angel fund commitments, and businesses of all kinds that were part of his orbit. The estate is now struggling to digest all of the various dealings of the late entrepreneur. [Link; paywall]

Remote Work

Fleeing New Yorkers resulted in an estimated $34 billion in lost income -study by Jonnelle Marte (Reuters)

With tens of thousands of New Yorkers moving from the city due to the pandemic – or other factors which were around before COVID – the city is losing out on billions in economic activity. [Link]

The Work-From-Home Boom Is Here to Stay. Get Ready for Pay Cuts by Noah Buhayar (Bloomberg)

With many employees leaving large, expensive metros in order to weather the pandemic, employers are starting to push back with salary cuts. [Link; soft paywall]

Where Tech Workers Are Moving: New LinkedIn Data vs. the Narrative by Alex Kantrowitz (Substack)

While Texas and Florida are cited as hot destinations for tech workers, smaller and less-discussed metros are bigger beneficiaries of movement of employees in the industry. [Link]

Hot Stocks

Taking Psychedelics (Seriously) by Birb Bernanke (Substack)

Like pot stocks before them, companies focused on novel uses for psychedelic drugs are starting to get attention. This primer is useful background on the drugs some are working on and the stocks that might benefit. [Link]

Elon Musk Has Made Millionaires Out of His Most Loyal Fans by Dana Hull (Bloomberg)

Tesla (TSLA) is up over 700% this year, making millionaires out of ordinary people who put pretty modest amounts of cash into the volatile and dramatic shares. [Link; soft paywall]

How Moderna’s Vaccine Works by Jonathan Corum and Carl Zimmer (NYT)

A helpful rundown of the science of mRNA vaccines, which are being used by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna to roll out their inoculations for COVID. [Link; soft paywall]

Wealthy countries block COVID-19 drugs rights waiver at WTO – sources by Emma Farge (Reuters)

The EU, US, UK, and others are blocking developing nations’ efforts to use COVID vaccine intellectual property to speed inoculations of their populations. [Link]

Prognostications

Clueless About 2020, Wall Street Forecasters Are at It Again for 2021 by Jeff Sommer (NYT)

Best efforts are not enough for strategists that try and figure out where the market is headed. 2020 was the perfect example, but investors are once again getting estimates for 2021 that have to rely on a truly heroic amount of guesswork. [Link; soft paywall]

Retail

U.K.’s Largest Rolex Retailer Lifts Forecast as Demand Improves by Corinne Gretler (Bloomberg)

Swiss watch retailer Watches of Switzerland raised its guidance for revenue after an impressive first half that points to strengthening momentum in the high-end watch market. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Sustainability

Valeo is revolutionizing e-bike drivetrains (Valeo)

Auto parts company Valeo has developed a 48 volt combined motor and gearbox for bikes that automatically detects the amount of electrical assistance needed by a given rides. [Link]

Policy Design

Use It or Lose It: Tenant Aid Effort Nears a Federal Cutoff by Conor Dougherty (NYT)

Tenant relief programs run at the local level have struggled to push aid granted by the federal government out the door thanks to the combination of state and federal requirements on means testing. [Link; soft paywall]

Long Reads

Murder In Malta by Ben Taub (NYer)

A refusal to let sleeping dogs lie led the family of a murdered journalist to uncover the killers, in the process bringing down the entire Maltese government. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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