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.

Corporate Insiders Are Dumping Shares At Fastest Clip Since 2011 by Chris Dieterich (Barron’s Focus on Funds)

TrimTabs Research data show that November was set to be the biggest month of insider selling in more than four years. [Link]

Some Families Earn Six Figures and Still Need Help With the Rent by Laura Kusisto and Jon Kamp (WSJ)

As coastal cities like NY and Boston see spiraling rents, even some relatively well-off residents are receiving various subsidies to reduce the burden of rent. [Link, paywall]

The Credit Markets Are Softening and Funding Is Tightening by David Schawel (CFA Institute)

A nice rundown of some spread developments in credit markets that extend beyond the headline high yield spread indices that are so often quoted. [Link]

The Peculiar Ascent of Bill Murray to Secular Saint by Steven Kurutz (NYT)

Bill Murray’s quirky, status-eschewing ways have generated deep appeal over the last few years as the acting everyman transitions from comedic presence to full-blown icon. [Link]

Inventing Alexander Hamilton by William Hogeland (Boston Review)

There’s a recent obsession with Hamilton, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, including a musical and broad appeal amongst the chattering classes; but that historical affection might be due for a rethink. [Link]

Lending Startups Look at Borrowers’ Phone Usage to Assess Creditworthiness by Elizabeth Dwoskin (WSJ)

Using data from the use of smartphones, lending startups are focusing on obscure correlations to figure out whether borrowers are more or less likely to repay a loan. [Link, paywall]

Feds Win Fight Over Risky-Looking Loans by Ryan Tracy (WSJ)

An excellent investigative dive into the details of a reform effort in the leveraged loan market. [Link, paywall]

There’s Been a Bezzle-fuelled Boom in Bonds by Tracy Alloway (Bloomberg)

An aggressive, but possibly accurate, metaphor for the most recent credit cycle’s expansion and where we might sit now in the grand scheme of things. [Link]

A cautionary tale of relying on demographic projections by Matthew C Klein (FT Alphaville)

We aren’t totally on-board with this analysis being an effective debunking of demographics as a predictor of asset prices or economic activity, but it’s certainly a powerful anecdote on the importance of credit for both activity and asset prices. [Link, registration required]

Stephen Curry Is The Revolution by Benjamin Morris (FiveThirtyEight)

A statistical and mathematical breakdown of the most important driver of the Warrior’s record-setting perfect performance so far this season. [Link]

Peak Draghi (Socialist In The City)

Pseudonymous London-based floor trader City Socialist recaps what a number of his clients and the market as a whole were getting into ahead of the ECB decision, and what that led to in the aftermath of a disappointing expansion in monetary accommodation from Mario Draghi this week. [Link]

How to look at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative by Anil Dash (Medium)

This was a good overview of some of the good things – and things to be wary over – in this week’s announcement by the Facebook founder that he would be donating 99% of his wealth to an LLC. [Link]

The creed of speed (The Economist)

Modern business loves to pat itself on the back over how intense, how quick, how break-neck the modern environment is, but a data-driven approach by The Economist suggests that “speed” isn’t as prevalent as we often assume. [Link]

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