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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Foreign Affairs

NAHB Welcomes Biden Administration Move to Lower Lumber Tariffs (NAHB)

A Biden administration proposal to reduce tariffs on lumber imported from Canada to the United States got a warm reception from the National Association of Homebuilders this week. [Link]

What the US could learn from China’s nuclear power expansion by Daniel Van Boom (CNET)

China will add ten new nuclear power plants per year over the next decade and a half as it seeks to meet soaring electricity demand while avoiding carbon-intensive power production like coal that has fueled electrification so far. [Link]

Ukraine and Dollar Weaponization by George Pearkes (Atlantic Council)

Bespoke’s macro strategist discusses the macroeconomics driving the unique properties of the dollar as a weapon that could be used to hem in Russian aggression towards Ukraine. [Link]

Battery Joe

Tesla, Who? Biden Can’t Bring Himself to Say It — and Musk Has Noticed by Dana Hull and Jennifer Jacobs (Bloomberg)

A difference of opinion over unions mean the President and the CEO of the world’s largest EV maker don’t see eye-to-eye despite huge enthusiasm for the emission-free vehicles from the White House. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Biden’s Race to Convert Trump Voters to EVs by Gregory Korte (Bloomberg)

While EVs are gaining popularity, most GOP-leaning states have rejected the vehicles. Convincing conservatives to ditch gas or diesel for batteries will be a prerequisite for big uptakes in electric vehicles nationally. [Link; soft paywall]

Going Coastal

Jeff Bezos’ new megayacht is so big, the Dutch are going to have to take apart a historic bridge to let it pass by Avery Hartmans (Business Insider/MSN)

The massive, 417-foot yacht that is being built for Jeff Bezos up the river from Rotterdam won’t be able to pass under a bridge on its way to the Atlantic, so the company building the boat is paying to have the bridge temporarily dismantled. [Link]

The Last Oyster Tongers of Apalachicola by David Hanson (The Bitter Southerner)

Collapsing oyster populations in Apalachicola Bay mean that there will be no harvests for five years, part of an effort to rebuild beds so future tongers can ply their trade on ocean skiffs in the Gulf. [Link]


Intuit CEO Warns of Tax Bill Shock for Bitcoin, NFT Traders by Joe Williams (Bloomberg)

Millions of small investors are at risk of serious tax liabilities this year, with capital gains taxes as high as 37% on gains from trading crypto and NFTs. [Link; soft paywall]

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Massachusetts Institute of Technology release technological research on a central bank digital currency (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

The Boston Fed and MIT partnered in a research effort that was not designed to create a usable CBDC and is separate from the Federal Reserve Board’s own exploration of a CDBC. One codebase designed by the team was able to handle 1.7 million transactions per second with “the vast majority” settling in under 2 seconds. [Link]


Teachers Are Quitting, and Companies Are Hot to Hire Them by Kathryn Dill (WSJ)

The pandemic is driving teachers out of the classroom even as the private sector goes on a hiring binge, and teachers are a popular target to work in a range of fields. [Link; paywall]

Novel Ideas

Our data centers now work harder when the sun shines and wind blows by Ana Radovanovic (Google)

This news is a bit old (published in 2020) but it’s still interesting: Google shifts data center use to ramp up when renewable electricity is more available, reducing the amount of non-renewable electricity data centers consume. [Link]

This company says it’s developing a system that can recognize your face from just your DNA by Tate Ryan-Mosley (Technology Review)

An Israeli startup claims it may be able to use DNA to predict what a person looks like, though the company is somewhat dodgy and experts see the technology as “pseudoscience”. [Link]


One Million Deaths: The Hole the Pandemic Made in U.S. Society by Jon Kamp, Jennifer Levitz, Brianna Abbott, and Paul Overberg (WSJ)

The US death toll from COVID is about to move above 1mm, with hundreds of thousands succumbing to the virus and huge numbers dying from related or adjacent causes. [Link; paywall]

Baseball Cards

This Philadelphia startup tells you what your old baseball cards are worth — with just a photo by Kennedy Rose (Biz Journals)

A start-up allows users to digitize their trading card collections with a mobile phone, making valuing and monetizing the cards much easier and more efficient than traditional assays. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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