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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Investment Picks

The Winners of the New World by Jim Cramer (TheStreet)

Worth reading amidst booming prices for tech stocks and cryptocurrencies alike: Jim Cramer’s summary of the lay of the market and his picks just weeks before the peak of the Nasdaq in the year 2000. [Link]

50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs by Julie Bort (Business Insider)

Not so helpful as a measure of where returns will be, but definitely interesting as a pulse-taking on sentiment and thematic focus for the venture space. [Link]

Tax Reform

Trump’s Tax Promises Undercut by CEO Plans to Help Investors by Toluse Olorunnipa (Bloomberg)

While a key assumption of the Republican tax bill is that lower corporate taxes will boost wages and investment, CEOs have different ideas. [Link; auto-playing video]

Current Tax Reform Bills Could Encourage US Jobs, Factories and Profits to Shift Overseas by Steven M. Rosenthal (Tax Policy Center)

We don’t want to do a disservice to the details (which Rosenthal cogently explains) but the bottom line is that provisions in both the House and Senate tax bills would create large incentives to shift production overseas, the opposite of their intended approach. [Link]


Let’s Talk About Arbitrage – Bitcoin Futures Edition by Kid Dynamite (Kid Dynamite’s World)

The introduction of bitcoin futures will create an easy method for shorting the currency, but because of how arbitrage works, there’s unlikely to be anything but upward pressure based on the introduction of the new contracts. [Link]

Bitcoin’s Trading Star Is Chicago High-Speed Firm That Nods to the Grateful Dead by Alexander Osipovich (WSJ)

A look inside DRW’s high frequency trading unit focused on cryptocurrencies, which has bought cryptocurrency from governments, rejected the idea of making money mining crypto, and now makes markets in the space. [Link; paywall]


The Case For Lefty Driesell by Dave Kindred (The Athletic)

A strong argument that Duke player, former high school coach, and 786 NCAA D1 game winner doesn’t get the respect he deserves. [Link]

I Saw The Buttfumble Live And It Fractured My Family by Jon Eisman (Deadspin)

An oral history of the stupidest play in NFL history’s impact on a family, complete with desperate bids for family unity, seasons tickets to the Jets, and the last time a Jets fan goes to one of their games. [Link]


Oil demand: Beware the gap by Jamie Webster (Petroleum Economist)

A comprehensive but digestible review of the shifting economics of the global crude industry. [Link]

Will Tesla Die for Lack of Cobalt? by Spencer Jakab (WSJ)

While demand for cobalt has surged thanks to the explosive growth of global battery demand, there are talks of a shortage; that said, we’ve heard this sort of “no supply left” story before. [Link; paywall]


Huge security flaw lets anyone log into a High Sierra Mac by Devin Coldewey (TechCrunch)

Users are granted full access to a device running Mac OS (note: not iOS, the phone operating system) by simply entering ‘root’ as the user when attempting to authenticate. [Link]

Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit’s Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet by Kaleigh Rogers (Vice)

40% of the population (including 70% of school children) do not have access to any internet service in Detroit, thanks to underinvestment in infrastructure by telecoms that don’t see building what’s needed as profitable given the economic backdrop. This group is DIYing its way into broader access to the internet in response to the problem. [Link]

Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs by Tatyana Shumsky (WSJ)

CFOs are leading the charge in reducing reliance on Excel as the workhorse software tool used by accountants, finance divisions, and other corporate analysts. [Link; paywall]


The Triumph of the Latin American Mall by Nolan Gray (Citylab)

While mall construction is nonexistent in the United States with as many as 25% of the remaining 1100 expected to close over the next 5 years, Latin America is seeing an explosion of construction. [Link]

Best Tech Gifts 2017 by Wilson Rothman and Joanna Stern (WSJ)

Streaming, phones, laptops, Wi-fi, cameras, kids “toys”, remote controlled toys, cooking, tablets, games, and more. [Link; paywall]

Baltic News

For some Russian oligarchs, sanctions risk makes Putin awkward to know by Darya Korsunskaya, Katya Golubkova, and Gleb Stolyarov (Reuters)

US sanctions on Russian citizens are starting to pinch, and are putting at least some distance between powerful oligarchs and the President. [Link]

How 41 People in Lithuania Took Over Your Facebook Feed by Kevin Roose (NYT)

Inside a small boot-strapped startup that has become dominant in the world of digital publishing. [Link; soft paywall]


The Fruit That Smells Like Gym Socks Is Skyrocketing in China by Anuradha Raghu (Bloomberg)

China is gobbling down durian at a staggering pace, creating an opening for non-traditional players to enter the booming market. [Link]

Wall Street

Inside the Race for the Top Job on Wall Street by Kate Kelly (NYT)

The Co-COOs of Goldman Sachs are neck-in-neck to replace CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and the two are a remarkable study in contrasts. [Link; soft paywall]

Have a great Sunday!

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