Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads, our Sunday morning summary of interesting things we’re reading this week.  The links are mostly market related, but there will be some other interesting subjects covered as well. The links are in no particular order. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

Why are (almost all) economists unaware of Milton Friedman’s thermostat? by Nick Rowe (Worthwhile Canadian Initiative)

Statistics are hard, and some minor misunderstanding of what regressions accomplish may be leading to some very poor interpretations of economic data and relationships between different sectors of the economy; this is a must-read and a subject we wish we had seen writing on earlier. [Link]

Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis by Tom Randall (Bloomberg)

A long, comprehensive read on the implications of electrifying cars and what that could do to oil demand and the economics of the energy industry. [Link]

One Day, 625 Delays by Michael Stuart Grossman (New Yorker)

Inside the nightmarish task facing the operators and passengers of the New York City subway system, which is a best-efforts endeavor equipped with aging infrastructure and surging demand. [Link]

If N.J. Transit Strikes, Prepare for Circle-of-Hell Bus Commute by Elise Young (Bloomberg)

We here at Bespoke are all riders or drivers on transit infrastructure placed to the northeast of NYC, and we’re lucky for that.  If a possible strike by New Jersey Transit workers comes about, getting in to New York City from the Garden State could become not only the most painful commute around but also possibly dangerous. [Link]

Stripe Atlas Aims to Ease the Way for Foreign Entrepreneurs by Mike Isaac (NYT)

Payments company Stripe has launched a fascinating new tool that allows streamlined set up of a USD-denominated business, from anywhere in the world. [Link, paywall]

What Comes After Apps by Christopher Mims (WSJ)

Numerous tech giants are busily plugging away on devising what will replace the familiar silos within mobile devices. [Link, paywall]

A New Breed of Trader on Wall Street: Coders With a Ph.D. by Landon Thomas Jr (NYT Dealbook)

Inside the fascinating and code-driven world of ETF arbitrage, which is both simple (buy low, sell high) and extremely complex for the massive firms that engage in high-speed efforts to chase dislocations in prices. [Link, paywall]

‘London Whale’ Breaks Silence by Lucy McNulty and Gregory Zuckerman (WSJ)

The man at the center of a massive credit derivatives scandal that brewed in JPM’s London offices is finally telling his side of the story…for what it’s worth. [Link, paywall]

On a Negative Pegged Money Market by Kevin Ferry (The Contrarian Corner)

In a world where central banks are desperate to stoke demand, how should we be thinking about the move across the zero lower bound? [Link]

Mesmerising Mass Sheep Herding by Caters Clips (YouTube)

Okay, you caught us….this one isn’t a “read”. But we think you’ll enjoy the soothing flow of sheep from paddock to paddock and the efforts of helpful dogs keeping the crowd in line. [Link]

Trudeau Drops Campaign Promises and Goes All In With Deficits by Thephilos Argitis and Josh Wingrove (Bloomberg)

New Liberal Party PM Justin Trudeau was elected with a resounding mandate last fall, but it looks like promises to manage budget deficits are being tossed aside.  This is exciting for economics wonks because Canada looks like it will be one of the only developed markets ramping up support of growth with fiscal policy over the next year or so, a policy switch from monetary backing and has been advocated by the IMF and the OECD. [Link]

What Future Oil Price Is Consistent with Current Inflation Expectations? by Alejandro Badel and Joseph McGillicuddy (St. Louis Fed On The Economy Blog)

Operating under the assumption that core CPI continues on its current trend, inflation breakevens are implying an oil price of $0 per barrel in mid-2019; this is an example of how ludicrous deriving “expecations” or “projections” from arbitrage-free forward markets like the 5y5y inflation breakeven yield can become. [Link]

Global Current Account Surplus: Is There Trade with Other Planets? by Ana Maria Santacreu (St. Louis Fed On The Economy Blog)

All global trade is zero sum: that is, one country’s current account surplus is another country’s current account deficit.  This accounting relationship is immutable, but somehow not evident in actual estimates of the sum of all countries’ current account balances. [Link]

The Stock Market Rout Can’t Breach the U.S. Consumer Firewall by Tomas Hirst (Bloomberg)

An overview of the case that tailwinds (cheap gas, strong employment, low mortgage rates, higher home prices) are greater than headwinds (lower stock prices and general economic nervousness) for the US consumer. [Link]

It Might Rain But Then Again It Might Not by Erik Jonsson (Exposure)

This gorgeous essay and accompanying photos is a fantastic view into the world of fjords, fields, and flying roads in Norway. [Link]

The Single American Woman by Rebecca Traister (New York Magazine’s The Cut)

There’s a convincing case to be made that single women are the “demographic of the moment” as it were. [Link]

A $399 Inflatable Flamingo? Luxury Pool Toys Are Booming by Polly Mosendz (Bloomberg)

We’ll end on a fun one…the exploding market for high end aquatic accoutrements. [Link]

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