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.


HNA Units Missed Payments to More Chinese Banks (Bloomberg)

A Chinese conglomerate that has racked up a record acquisition spree funded by enormous bank borrowing has reportedly missed payments. [Link]

A Browser You’ve Never Heard of Is Dethroning Google in Asia by Newley Purnell (WSJ)

Mobile users in India, Indonesia, and China are flocking to a browser created by a unit of Alibaba, at the expense of Chrome and Safari. [Link; paywall]


Want a Better Workout? Just Breathe by Tatiana Boncompagni (NYT)

Long considered by elite athletes in certain sports, breathing is getting more attention from the general population as a wellness – if not exactly fitness – strategy. [Link]

Silicon Valley elites are spending $60 for less than 3 gallons of dangerous, unfiltered water — and it’s flying off the shelves by Kate Taylor (Business Insider)

Where to begin? In addition to trespassing in order to gather water from springs, Silicon Valley devotees also risk all manner of diseases for the sake of…well, we’re not exactly sure what the appeal is. [Link]


When Will Yale Buy Bitcoin? by Ted Seides (Institutional Investor)

So-called “thought leader” institutional allocators like Yale or CalPERS have not yet taken the plunge on crypto. [Link]

Millennium Fly by Ryan (MarketPOV)

Some background on one of the most ridiculous – and lucrative – trades in Eurodollar pit history, complete with Y2K paranoia and a timely pitch from an analyst. [Link]


Rotisserie Chickens: The ’90s Gift to Supermarkets That Keeps on Giving by Annia Gasparro (WSJ)

An ode to the delicious and fantastically profitable spit-roasted bird that features prominently in grocery stores across the country. [Link; paywall]

Economic Research

A tiger by the tail: estimating the UK mortgage market vulnerabilities from loan-level data by Chiranjit Chakraborty, Mariana Gimpelewicz and Arzu Uluc (BoE Working Papers)

A fascinating new paper that uses novel computer science techniques to create a model of the UK mortgage loan stock which is far more useful for analysis of macroprudential risk than traditional data sets. [Link; 38 page PDF]


The “Bomb Cyclone” Caused A Spike In Shopping, And The Weather Forecasters Saw It Coming by Leticia Miranda (BuzzFeed)

Some background on the cottage industry of weather prediction for the sake of retail sales forecasting, as well as understanding how weather may impact other consumer behavior. [Link]


Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia by Mark Bonta, Robert Gosford, Dick Eussen, Nathan Ferguson, Erana Loveless, and Maxwell Witwer (Journal of Ethnobiology)

If you thought humans were the only species to use fire as a tool, you’d be wrong. This paper documents five species of raptor in Australia which transport fire across distances to scare prey out of hiding. [Link]

Have a great Sunday!

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