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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China

PBOC Ratchets Up Monetary Support With `Low-Profile’ Rate Cut (Bloomberg)

A new PBOC facility is linking access to funding to lending to small businesses and other parts of the real economy; that cheaper liquidity is in part a stealth rate cute. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

How the ‘Five Eyes’ cooked up the campaign to kill Huawei by Chris Uhlmann & Angus Grigg (Sydney Morning Herald)

An inside story of the secret coordination by “Five Eyes” (US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand) security services to push back on potential security risks posed by China’s Huawei. [Link]

Other Asia

Philippine Analysts Get Feisty on Twitter in Inflation Spat by Ditas B. Lopez (Bloomberg)

You know things are going well with your economic management when you take to Twitter in order to blame analysts for the recent weakness of inflation data. [Link; soft paywall]

The rise and rise of Bangladesh by Gwen Robinson (Nikkei Asian Review)

A glowing – perhaps too glowing – profile of the current economic backdrop and outlook in Bangladesh, a rapidly growing export-driven economy that is moving out of the lowest category of economic development. [Link; soft paywall]

Tech Troubles

Why Should Anyone Believe Facebook Anymore? by Fred Vogelstein (Wired)

As the author points out, every month this year has seen a new negative headline for Facebook related to privacy and indeed the core of its business, suggesting that the core of the company needs a complete change in order to re-assure investors and regulators alike that it can be trusted. [Link]

Competing with Complementors: An Empirical Look at Amazon.com by Feng Zhu and Qihong Liu (SSRN)

The authors find that Amazon uses 3rd party sellers to assess new markets, entering them when other sellers have proven viability. Amazon also outsources more difficult markets to 3rd party sellers in order to maximize its platform value with minimal investment. [Link]

Blue Apron Falls Under $1 as Sell-Off Shows No Signs of Stopping by Ryan Vlastelica (Bloomberg)

The meal delivery company has lost more than 90% of its value since IPO, and is now trading for less than $1 per share. [Link; soft paywall]

Food & Film

The Diner Reviews Are In: 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2018 (OpenTable)

The restaurant booking country has analyzed more than 12mm reviews for 28,000 restaurants and come up with its best 100 across a range of restaurant types and geographies. [Link]

How Peter Jackson Made WWI Footage Seem Astonishingly New by Mekado Murphy (NYT)

The famed Lord of the Rings director is releasing a new documentary on the experiences of British soldiers during WWI, and he uses a series of novel techniques to bring his subject to life. [Link; soft paywall]

Humor

FTAV Person of Interest 2018: The Longlist (FTAV)

The annual tradition of the FT Alphaville blog highlighting the year’s most scorn-worthy characters continues with a valiant 2018 effort. [Link; registration required]

Crime

Goldman’s Malaysian Scandal Revives the ‘Too Big to Jail’ Debate by Peter Eavis (NYT)

After virtually no criminal proceedings in the wake of the largest systemic fraud in modern American history, Americans are looking to Malaysia as a new debate over how to handle corporate malfeasance kicks off. [Link; soft paywall]

Slavery

Inside The Country Where You Can Buy A Black Man For $400 by Monica Mark (Buzzfeed)

The hear-rending story about a Nigerian man seeking a better life but ending up in bondage, held by modern slave traders in Libya. [Link]

Regulation

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It by Howard Berkes (NPR)

Preventable workplace hazards of coal mining are killing miners, thanks in part to a failure to act by safety regulators amidst ample evidence that they were in danger. [Link]

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Have a happy holidays!

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