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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Climate Disruption

As Oil Companies Stay Lean, Workers Move to Renewable Energy by Clifford Krauss (NYT)

While energy companies avoid adding headcount and keep a laser focus on cashflows, renewables are rapidly scaling up and are poaching talent in the process, meaning American jobs are rapidly shifting from the oilpatch to wind and solar farms. [Link; soft paywall]

California senate pushes to stabilize the homeowners insurance market by Morgan Rynor (MSN/KFMB San Diego)

After a catastrophic run of forest fires, fire insurance in California is either not available at all or becoming prohibitively expensive, making homeowners far more vulnerable to the still-significant fire risk that has beset much of the state. [Link]


Column: With winter almost over, Europe’s gas stocks are at seasonal record high by John Kemp (Reuters)

With winter winding down, EU and UK gas storage is still 61% full, with more than 680 terawatt hours worth of gas in inventory. That offers hope that building supplies ahead of next winter will be a much easier task. [Link]

Sellers’ Inflation, Profits and Conflict: Why can Large Firms Hike Prices in an Emergency? by Isabella M. Weber and Evan Wasner (UMass Amherst Economics Working Papers)

New research that argues post-COVID inflation is mostly about expanding market power and margins rather than excessive demand. [Link]

Lilly to cut some list prices by 70% and offer $25 insulin by Bhanvi Satija and Patrick Wingrove (Reuters)

After a $35 price cap on insulin was extended to most Americans who have insurance, drugmakers have made equivalent cuts to the out-of-pocket costs of their drugs in a move that will make it much easier for diabetics to access insulin. [Link; registration required]


In an Epic Battle of Tanks, Russia Was Routed, Repeating Earlier Mistakes by Andrew E. Kramer (NYT)

The latest egregious blunder from Russian war planners: massed tank attacks with little infantry support or tactical flexibility to deal with ambushes, mines, and Ukrainian anti-tank doctrine. [Link; soft paywall]

Trapped In The Trenches In Ukraine by Luke Mogelson (NYer)

Remarkable dispatches from the front lines of the war in Ukraine. A very long read, but filled with incredible and engaging detail about the soldiers and environment on the battlefield. [Link; soft paywall]

National Defense

‘Havana Syndrome’ Not Caused By Energy Weapon Or Foreign Adversary, Intelligence Review Finds by Shane Harris and John Hudson (WaPo)

The malady blamed on some sort of energy weapon wielded by foreign adversaries is much more quotidian than science fiction, an embarrassing challenge to a narrative that had treated ‘Havana syndrome’ as some sort technological wonder. [Link; soft paywall]

The First Battle of the Next War by Mark F. Cancian, Matthew Cancian, and Eric Heginbotham (CSIS International Security Program)

This report summarizes the findings of a wargame run by the CSIS and designed to simulate Chinese invasion of Taiwan. The result of US/Taiwanese/Japanese resistance to a Chinese invasion is typically success but at massive cost; generally, the failure is thanks to stiff Taiwanese resistance once Chinese troops have landed. [Link; 165 pg PDF]


Crypto Companies Behind Tether Used Falsified Documents and Shell Companies to Get Bank Accounts by Ben Foldy and Ada Hui (WSJ)

One of the owners of Tether Holdings, issuer of the tether stablecoin, admitted an effort to “circumvent the banking system by providing fake sales invoices and contracts for each deposit and withdrawal” per emails review by the WSJ. [Link; paywall]


Are you short Jim or long Jim? by Alexandra Scaggs (FTAV)

Want to bet on or against the stocks that are mentioned by CNBC personality Jim Cramer? Luckily there are now ETFs for each. [Link; soft paywall]

Time Marches On

US senators reintroduce bill to make daylight saving time permanent by David Shepardson (Reuters)

A bipartisan group of 12 Senators wants to do away with twice-per-year clock changes in favor of a year-round constant time. [Link; registration required]


74,000 & growing: Some NC police departments stockpile guns rather than release them by Virginia Bridges (The Charlotte Observer)

Police departments in the 10 largest cities across North Carolina number 74,000 and counting as firearms seized during police actions sit in storage. State law bans cops from destroying guns for any reason. [Link; soft paywall]

Social Media

I Gave Into The New Twitter Algorithm And I Went Way Too Viral by Ryan Broderick (Garbage Day)

An anecdotal but convincing analysis of what is making Twitter’s algorithm tick these days, and a depressing accounting of how much the site has deteriorated. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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