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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Chinese Gene-Editing Experiment Loses Track of Patients, Alarming Technology’s Inventors by Preetika Rana and Wenxin Fan (WSJ)

Trials of a cutting edge gene editing technology in China have run at a break-neck pace, but the speed comes with consequences: losing touch with patients, side-effects, and other sloppy methodology that puts patients at risk. [Link; paywall]

Five Amazing Things We Learned About History From Ancient DNA In 2018 by Jennifer Raff (Forbes)

A run-down of the insights DNA offers into ancient populations and therefore history that dates back to a time we can’t usually see. [Link; auto-playing video]


Swamped With Inventory, U.S. Companies Turn to ‘Mobile Storage’ by Erica E. Phillips (WSJ)

With trade flows disrupted and inventories overflowing from bottlenecks in specific ports and logistical hubs, companies are turning their transportation assets into mobile mini-warehouses. [Link; paywall]

Idaho lab protects US infrastructure from cyber attacks by Keith Ridler (AP)

A tour of the Idaho National Laboratory, a key research facility is running at a break-neck pace as funding for and experience with cybersecurity rushes to keep up with the rapid evolution of the US security infrastructure. [Link]

Wealth of the Nation

The Long Run Effects of De Jure Discrimination in the Credit Market: How Redlining Increased Crime by John Anders (Working Paper)

This draft paper analyzes the long-run effects of racist housing policies implemented during the New Deal, making a causal link between the practice of redlining and crime both within and across cities. [Link; 64 page PDF]

‘I see no way out’: Living paycheck to paycheck is disturbingly common by Danielle Paguette (Philly Inquirer/WaPo)

Four out of ten Americans reported they couldn’t fund a $400 emergency expense in 2017, a number consistent with Bespoke’s surveys which indicate roughly 40% of the country considers itself living “paycheck to paycheck”. [Link]

Messing With The Midwest

The Der Spiegel journalist who messed with the wrong small town by Michele Anderson and Jake Krohn (Spectator)

A German reporter from Der Spiegel journeyed to Minnesota to examine the soul of America, but his gross fabrications ended up getting him fired after a broader series of invented stories were revealed. This response from two residents is worthwhile. [Link]


Netflix says a third of its global subscriber base watched ‘Bird Box’ in the original film’s first week by Sara Salinas (CNBC)

While comparing the success of a film on Netflix to those released through traditional venues, it’s clear that Bird Box was extremely popular, with more than 45 million views likely in the first week of its availability. [Link]

Fast Food

Should McDonald’s Serve Burgers In The Morning? by Jonathan Maze (Restaurant Business)

An analysis of the reasons that the Golden Arches won’t be offering you a Breakfast Big Mac any time soon, no matter how compelling demands might be on social media. [Link]


The 45 Best — And Weirdest — Charts We Made In 2018 (538)

Some clear, some confusing, these charts are a testament to the creativity of data journalists and a fun rundown of the year that was. [Link]

The Fed

Trump Discusses Firing Fed’s Powell After Latest Rate Hike, Sources Say by Jennifer Jacobs, Saleha Mohsin, and Margaret Talev (Bloomberg Quint)

Enraged that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, the President has discussed taking out his anger on the Fed Chair, a move for which he has dubious legal grounds and little political mandate. [Link; soft paywall]

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Have a happy New Year!

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