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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Inflation

After Long Covid, U.S. Businesses Get Ready for Long Inflation by Shawn Donnan and Emma Kinery (Bloomberg)

Amidst extremely stressed supply chains, high commodity prices, and extremely tight labor markets, US businesses are getting more comfortable and used to the idea of raising prices to solve profitability challenges. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Why This Economic Boom Can’t Lift America’s Spirits by Josh Mitchell (WSJ)

While the unemployment rate has plunged, consumer spending is booming, and wage gains are rapid, Americans are feeling much less optimistic about the economy compared to recent periods of weaker growth. [Link; soft paywall]

Crime

Miami Street Gangs See No Hope In Dope. They’ve Switched To Identity Fraud Fueled By Russian Hackers by Thomas Brewster (Forbes)

With stiff penalties and lots of competition (not to mention physical danger) in drugs, semi-organized criminals are turning to white collar crimes as lower hanging fruit. [Link; soft paywall]

Three men plead guilty to planning U.S. power grid attack, driven by white supremacy by Kanishka Singh and Sarah N. Lynch (Reuters)

A small terrorist conspiracy to violently attack the American power grid has led to guilty pleas from conspirators per plea agreements recorded this week. [Link; soft paywall]

China

Beijing Olympic Ratings Were the Worst of Any Winter Games by Tiffany Hsu (NYT)

It wasn’t just your imagination: this Olympics wasn’t good. China’s winter games drew only a little better than half of the viewership the prior games in Korea reported. [Link; soft paywall]

China Is About to Regulate AI—and the World Is Watching by Jennifer Conrad and Will Knight (Wired)

New rules introduced by Chinese regulators will change how algorithms that dictate pricing, determine search results, and power a galaxy of different consumer tech are managed, a first in the world. [Link; soft paywall]

Renewables

U.S. offshore wind auction bids top $1.5 billion, with more to come by Nichola Groom (Yahoo!/Reuters)

The largest-ever sale of offshore wind development rights in the US got major interest from 14 different companies despite efforts by homeowners to restrict development based on protection of views from summer homes. [Link]

Million-Dollar Home Listings Dry Up for Wealthy Suburban Buyers by Prashant Gopal (Bloomberg)

Large footprint suburban homes have evaporated off the market as dual-income Millennials seek breathing space with big budgets. The result is a massive price boom for the McMansion. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Markets

Heavily Hedged Traders Have Been Awaiting a Stock-Market Storm by Vildana Hajric and Katie Greifeld (Yahoo!/Bloomberg)

Short interest has risen and put options have flown into the hands of speculators nervous about a market decline, making the drop in equities this week less painful than it might otherwise have been. [Link; auto-playing video]

Ukraine Swaps Signal 90% Chance of Default as Russia Attacks by Laura Benitez (Bloomberg)

Financial markets are pricing high odds of a default for Ukraine, but the aggressor is also being punished thanks to sanctions and fears over political disruption. [Link; soft paywall]

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Have a great weekend!

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