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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Social Statistics

The U.S. Housing Crisis Is Making Its Way to the Heartland by Jordan Yadoo and Noah Buhayar (Bloomberg Quint)

As home prices outpace the growth of economic activity in big swathes of the country and refugees of the coasts seek affordability, smaller and mid-sized cities are seeing affordability fade from the grasp of the middle class. [Link]

Life expectancy in the US rises for the first time in four years (New York Post/Associated Press)

After four years of declines that were driven by rising suicides and overdoses, declining death rates from cancer and lower rates of mortality related to drugs in 2018 helped push up overall life-expectancy for the first time in four years. [Link]

Bike Fatalities Are On The Rise by Phillip Reese (Kaiser Health News)

As more cyclists take to the roads and more drivers are distracted by their phones, the number of cyclists killed in accidents has trended steadily higher relative to the population both in California and across the rest of the country. [Link]


Collectors Are Spending Thousands on Video Games They Will Never Play by Jason M. Bailey (NYT)

Similar to other forms of artistic expression, video games are a collector’s dream even if they’ve never actually blown a cartridge off and slammed it into a console. [Link; soft paywall]

Modern Family: Average Parent Spends Just 5 Hours Face-To-Face With Their Kids Per Week! by Ben Renner (Study Finds)

A survey of UK households recently found that on average parents spend less than five hours per week in conversation with their kids, with a variety of strategies being pursued to reconnect including opting-in to kids’ activities including video games. [Link]

Big Tech

Facebook’s Relationship With Democrats Hits a Low Point by Deepa Seetharaman, Joshua Jamerson and Emily Glazer (WSJ)

In an effort to avoid the ire of the President, Mark Zuckerberg may have steered too far from Scylla and too close to Charybdis, as lawmakers see recent internal policy decisions as tipping the scales towards Republicans. [Link; paywall]


Race Is On to Cash In on Sports Betting by Katherine Sayre and Benjamin Mullin (WSJ)

A major gambling operator took a 36% stake in Barstool Sports, a blog best known for its irreverent and often misogynistic coverage of sports, in an effort to drive traffic to its gambling operations. [Link; paywall]


The Biggest Celestial Event of the Year Could Happen Tomorrow by Marina Koren (The Atlantic)

Given cosmic timelines, we’re never assured a view of the most spectacular events in the night sky, but the Betelgeuse supernova stands a real chance of taking place during our lifetimes. [Link]

Church Changes

German Bishops Rethink Catholic Teachings Amid Talk of ‘Schism’ by Francis X. Rocca (WSJ)

As European church officials push for a more modern church tradition, conservative American bishops are considering a revolt that could see a fresh schism in the church of St. Peter. [Link; paywall]


The Telephone Is A Lifeline For Prison Families. And Calls Are Outrageously Expensive by Bonita Tenneriello and Elizabeth Matos (WBUR)

With extreme price points for basic services, Massachusetts is considering laws that would prevent prisons from gouging the families of incarcerated persons. [Link]

Everything Old Is New Again: The Continuing Saga Of Bioscam Nanoviricides (Buyers Strike)

A stock that has long been known as a biotech fraud has come surging back in the wake of 2019-nCov’s surge across China. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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