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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The world’s biggest food company says prices will rise further this year by Hanna Ziady (CNN)

Nestle guided further price increases on staple items that are staple parts of grocery shops all over the world, citing a process of “repairing our gross margin”. [Link]

There’s a new inflation warning for consumers coming from the supply chain by Lori Ann LaRocca (CNBC)

A glut of goods brought in to the US over the past year are stuffing warehouses, sending the cost to rent or buy temporary extra space soaring; logistics industries remain key inflationary drivers in the US. [Link]

Big Tech

The maze is in the mouse by Praveen Seshadri (Medium)

A founder of a company acquired by Google just before the pandemic hit describes the difficulties Google has operating at scale, while also offering his own prescriptions for how to make it out of the mess. [Link]

Yes, Elon Musk created a special system for showing you all his tweets first by Zoë Schiffer and Casey Newton (Platformer)

Frustrated that the President of the United States (yes, the President of the United States) got more engagement on a throw-away tweet about the Super Bowl, the Twitter CEO demanded his engineers boost his tweets to users and drive up engagement. [Link]

Bing AI Can’t Be Trusted by Dmitri Brereton (DKB Blog)

A series of examples showing how the not-ready-for-primetime AI chatbot rolled out by Microsoft this week, leading to an embarrassing failure. [Link]

Amazon Takes a 50% Cut of Seller’s Revenue by Jouzas Kaziukenas (Marketplace Pulse)

Transaction fees, fulfillment fees, and advertising and promotions can mean that third party Amazon sellers are surrendering more than 50% of revenue to the company amidst already-stiff competition and low margins. [Link]


Hobby Club’s Missing Balloon Feared Shot Down By USAF by Steve Trimble (Aviation Week)

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade reports that the last time one of its balloons was observed was at 39k feet on February 10 near Alaska. The small hobbyist group is one likely benign source for the unidentified objects the Air Force has shot down in recent weeks. [Link]

The latest info on the aerial objects we shot down by Jeff Jackson (Substack)

Freshman Congressman Jackson offers some useful briefing information he received this week that goes part of the way to explain the litany of unidentified aerial phenomena in US skies. [Link]

Auto Industry

Tesla Workers Launch Union Campaign in New York by Josh Eidelson (Bloomberg)

A group of employees who work in data processing for Tesla notified management this week that they are seeking to unionize. The company’s Buffalo plant includes roughly 800 employees in that role. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Automobile Ads from 100 Years Ago (The Saturday Evening Post)

More than a dozen different auto manufacturers booked full page ads for their vehicles in the Saturday Evening Post from 100 years ago. Sedans and coupes dominate the offerings. [Link]


Immunity acquired from a Covid infection is as protective as vaccination against severe illness and death, study finds by Akshay Syal (NBC)

It shouldn’t be a huge surprise that exposure to an actual virus creates more immunity than vaccines (though COVID vaccines still offer great protection too). [Link; auto-playing video]

Debt Ceiling

This Is What Happens If the US Actually Hits the Debt Ceiling by Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal (Bloomberg)

Bespoke’s own George Pearkes discusses the financial market and economic implications of the debt ceiling, as well as a general framework for understanding its politics. [Link; paywall]


Decarbonization: The long view, trends and transience, net zero (Nat Bullard)

Over 100 slides on the mechanics and dynamics of moving the world away from fossil fuels after centuries of dependence. [Link]

Turning offices into condos: New York after the pandemic by Joshua Chaffin (FT)

With booming demand to live in Manhattan and falling interest for offices inside the city, conversions of office towers into apartments is under way at scale. [Link; paywall]


Get Paid Online? Here’s How to Tell if You Owe the IRS Taxes by Aslea Ebeling (WSJ)

Online payment platforms and gig economy sites will send millions of 1099-K forms this year as part of a growing trend of Schedule C filings. [Link; paywall]


Teen girls ‘engulfed’ in violence and trauma, CDC finds by Donna St. George (WaPo)

A remarkable study from the CDC (link; 89 page PDF) has some downright dire data on the state of American teens who are facing horrifying rates of violence. [Link; paywall]

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Have a great weekend!

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