Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads, our Saturday morning summary of interesting things we’re reading this week. The links are mostly market related, but there will be some other interesting subjects covered as well.  The links are in no particular order.  We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

Not Just Teens: Fewer Americans of All Ages Have Driver’s Licenses by Jake Holmes (Automobile Mag)

The demise of the young driver is a popular narrative but it’s not just Millennials that are getting behind the wheel at lower rates. [Link]

Paris’ Monumental Suburban Housing Projects Challenge Ideas About How the French Live by Kristin Hoehendel (Slate)

This is more about pictures than words but still has some interesting details on the architectural response to France’s pressing need for housing, much of which is provided for migrants. [Link]

Why this subprime lender funds loans through the Cayman Island by Kadhim Shubber (FT Alphaville)

We continue to watch Shubber’s series on the FT blog closely as it’s an excellent view into new forms of consumer lending that are gaining growing importance within the financial system. [Link, registration required]

Toss a Derivatives Grenade Into Portugal’s Bond Mess by Mark Gilbert (Bloomberg View)

A nice overview over the mess in Portuguese bank debt and how it’s playing out in the CDS market; definitely worth a read as an update on European financial system dysfunction. [Link]

Efficient Bailouts? by Javier Bianchi (Minneapolis Fed)

In this entertaining research paper, the author makes the case that massive, systemic bailouts are actually efficient, but that small, targeted relief for financial institutions creates significant risks; this view is controversial to be sure! [Link]

Process Amidst the Panic by Conor Sen (New River Investments)

With the chaos under way last week and this week, it was easy for investors to lose track of their edge; Conor writes a nice post describing this issue. [Link]

Fed’s Unexpected Partner to Manage Rates: Foreign Central Banks by Matthew Boesler (Bloomberg News)

A helpful walk through of a money market dynamic that’s made it easier for the FOMC to keep money market rates above the floor it set last December. [Link]

Canaries in the coalmine: markets out of sync with the US economy by Johnny Bo Jakobsen (Nordea)

Excellent overview of the disconnect that appears to have developed between stock, bond, and FX markets versus the actual economic data that’s been released recently. [Link]

6 Tips for Investors When the Stock Market Tumbles by Ron Lieber (NYT)

A quick and easy refresh of some very helpful advice that will help any investor over the long term. [Link, soft paywall]

Seeking Ranchland in Texas, Where Wealth Is Measured in Acres by Sarah Max (NYT Dealbook)

A new private equity fund is hunting for open acres: “When you make your giant hit down here, you buy a ranch and a jet.” [Link]

Google Paid Apple $1 Billion to Keep Search Bar on iPhone by Joel Roseblatt and Adam Satariano (Bloomberg Business)

New documents filed in a lawsuit indicate a monster 10 figure price tag to keep your iPhone pointed at Google’s servers whenever you swipe left and want to look for information. [Link]

Another bite taken out of Apple’s status by Tom Braithwaite (FT)

When measuring the total value of financial liabilities less cash (also known as enterprise value), Apple is now second to Alphabet (née Google) in terms of total value; Apple still leads in market cap though. [Link, paywall]

Canadians Are Going Loonie on Social Media About Skyrocketing Grocery Bills by Luke Kawa (Bloomberg News)

We’ll admit to missing this last week and boy was that a mistake; a hilariously Canadian walk-through of the downsides to an almost egregiously weak currency. [Link]

Jeff Bezos flies Jason Rezaian home on private jet by Brian Stelter (CNN)

A heartwarming story about the personal involvement the Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner took in the return of a freed prisoner (and WaPo journalist) to the United States. [Link]

Young Americans Are Turning Into $15-a-Bottle Wine Snobs by Thomas Buckley

The strongest growing segments of the wine market are the pricier stuff, while Two Buck Chuck and other cheap bottles that go for less than $3 each are the only segment shrinking. [Link]

COLUMN – “Notional Stocks” stir controversy about oil data by John Kemp (Reuters)

A nice overview of the history of oil stock analysis, which may seem like a fairly straightforward process but has in fact proven to be anything but. [Link]

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