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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From zero to $150 billion: The inside story of Jeffrey Gundlach’s decade at DoubleLine by Julia La Roche (Yahoo!)

The so-called “bond king”, fixed income investor Jeffrey Gundlach, has taken DoubleLine from nothing to $150bn AUM over the past decade. [Link; auto-playing video]

Master Stockpicker Peter Lynch: If You Only Invest in an Index, You’ll Never Beat It by Leslie P. Norton (Barron’s)

A discussion of what has changed – and what hasn’t – since one of the most successful mutual fund managers in history called it quits. [Link; paywall]

Tech Dystopia

Brain-reading tech is coming. The law is not ready to protect us. by Sigal Samuel (Vox)

As is often the case with new technologies, techniques that may be able to connect humans’ brains directly to computers offer a series of new legal problems. [Link]

Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans by Henry Farrell (Boston Review)

While Huxley (Brave New World) and Orwell (1984) get the most credit for dystopian predictions (including in the previous link), the real visionary was the work of Philip K. Dick, who conceptualized a world where telling apart humans and software would become increasingly difficult. [Link]

Flying Cars, Hyperloops and the Other 2020 Tech Predictions That Didn’t Pan Out by Mark Milian (Yahoo!/Bloomberg)

A long list of futuristic predictions that just didn’t pan out, part of the Panglossian decade of tech that simply didn’t deliver on what was promised by its promoters. [Link]


‘They Go Absolutely Insane and Tear Everything Apart’: Weasels Love German Cars by William Boston (WSJ)

German drivers filed claims for almost 200,000 instances of weasel-related incidents, part of a national war between drivers and stone martens. [Link; paywall]

GM requests green light to ditch steering wheel in its self-driving cars by Trevor Mogg (Digital Trends)

The self-driving car unit of GM, Cruise, has entered talks with GM to launch a self-driving vehicle that does not have a steering wheel at all, a first. [Link]

36 Corvettes, Hidden for Years in a Garage, Will Be Given Away by James Barron (NYT)

A VH1 contest in 1989 delivered 36 Corvettes to a lucky winner, who almost immediately sold them. The collection has been kept together, though, and is now being raffled off in support of the National Guard Educational Foundation. [Link; soft paywall]

Uniquely New York

The New York metro area has the lowest rate of population turnover in the US by Dan Kopf (Quartz)

A smaller percentage of New Yorkers either arrived from elsewhere or left the city than any other metro area in the country per US Census data. [Link]

The Rikers Coffee Academy by Amy Chozick (NYT)

Teaching inmates to whip up espressos and lattes is part of a program at Rikers that is designed to connect inmates to a job when they finish serving their sentence. [Link; soft paywall]


Trump stock market rally is far outpacing past US presidents by Maggie Fitzgerald (CNBC)

A write-up of Bespoke’s own analyses related to the historical performance of the stock market relative to the broader political cycle. [Link]

Millionaires support a wealth tax — as long as they aren’t getting taxed: CNBC survey by Robert Frank (CNBC)

A CNBC survey of millionaires showed that support for taxing relatively wealthier millionaires was high, but relatively few millionaires wanted to pay a tax themselves. [Link]

Central Banking

Four New Voters to Join Fed’s Rate-Setting Panel in 2020 Amid Broad Policy Agreement by Michael S. Derby (WSJ)

Two hawks (Kansas City and Boston) and two doves (St. Louis and Chicago) will leave the FOMC in 2020, while hawks from Cleveland and Dallas, a neutral policymaker from Philly, and a dove from Minneapolis will rotate on to the committee. [Link; paywall]

ANALYSIS-Recession, robots and rockets: another roaring 20s for world markets? by Tom Arnold and Elizabeth Howcroft (Reuters)

A speculative forecast about what may await in the next decade: the authors are convinced that direct cash transfers from central banks to consumers are right around the corner. [Link]

Traders Heard a Speech Too Soon by Matt Levine (Bloomberg)

Some long musings on the existential nature of what the line is between quickly-delivered and truly inside information, whether in the stock market or the Bank of England’s press conferences. [Link; soft paywall]

Home On The Range

Perks and Recreation: These $400,000 RVs Are Built for ‘Overlanding’ by Dan Neil (WSJ)

A mashup between a traditional RV and more dynamic off-roading vehicles that aren’t stuck to highways can run into the mid-six figures. [Link; paywall]

The Hottest New Thing in Seasteading Is Land by Lizette Chapman (Bloomberg Quint)

Deranged efforts to avoid taxes by living in international waters have now yielded to slightly less deranged efforts to avoid taxes by living in developing countries. [Link]


A Big And Bizarre Drone Mystery Is Unfolding In Rural Colorado by Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)

The Mountain West is home to as many oddities as it is acres of open, unused land, and this story about large fleets of commercial drones up to…something fit right in with that longstanding mythos. [Link]

Meet the creepy robots poised to take over the world by Paula Froelich (NY Post)

New form factors for autonomous drones mean they might be one step closer to the kind of ubiquity that has been a hallmark of sci-fi stories for generations. [Link]

Patience Is A Virtue

After Nearly 40 Years, a Biotech Company Readies Its First Product by Bill Alpert (Barron’s)

New Jersey’s Immunomedics has submitted an application for an antibody treatment for breast cancer, after spending the last 35 years as a public company without a product to market to the public. Losses total more than $1bn over that span. [Link; paywall]

Eleven Years in the Making: Breaking Even on JPMorgan’s Purchase of Bear Stearns by David Benoit (WSJ)

After more than a decade, owners of Bear Stearns’ stock on the eve of its takeover by Jamie Dimon’s JP Morgan are now up on their investment. [Link; paywall]

Hedonic Treadmills

Three Theories for Why You Have No Time by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic)

Despite ever-higher standards of living, the most valuable of all commodities feels like it’s in permanently short supply. [Link; soft paywall]

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Have a great weekend!

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