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.

Economic Research

The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries (OECD)

Please note to access this paper, you’ll have to click the PDF link in the abstract. The research from ZEW Mannheim in Germany argues that a relatively small proportion of total jobs in developed economies are at risk of automation substitution: only 9%. Hardly the rise of the machines that gets so much attention in the popular media! [Link]

Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century by Anne Case and Sir Angus Deaton (Brookings)

An expansion of the data in this married duo’s 2015 paper that identified large increases in mortality and morbidity for white Americans, a process which has continued in more recent updates to demographic data. [Link; 60 page PDF]

We hear about US jobs outsourced overseas (or stolen), but what about the ‘insourced’ jobs we ‘steal’ from abroad? by Mark J. Perry (AEI)

An excellent counter-factual on the impact of jobs flowing across borders. 6.4 million Americans (including over half a million each in Texas and California and more than 200,000 each in Illiniois, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) work onshore for offshore companies, jobs which must be included as a benefit of trade and capital flow liberalization. [Link]

The Need for Very Low Interest Rates in an Era of Subdued Investment Spending by Thomas Klitgaard and Harry Wheeler (NY Fed)

An investigation of low investment spending, low interest rates, and their shared drivers. [Link]

Real Estate

Americans’ Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last Year by Jed Kolko (FiveThirtyEight)

Indeed.com’s chief economist takes a look at updated population growth data to argue that the much-hyped trend of strong urban growth is mostly a myth; it’s actually suburbs that have seen the fastest population growth recently. [Link]

Home Flipping in U.S. Hits 10-Year High by Kathryn Hopkins (Mansion Global)

New data from ATTOM Data Solutions suggests that 193,000 single family homes were flipped in 2016, the highest number since the peak over 275,000 in 2006. [Link]


Eton Park to Shut Down as $3 Trillion Hedge Fund Industry Faces Turmoil by Matthew Goldstein (NYT)

Eton Park once managed as much as $14 billion but poor performance, asset withdrawals, and market conditions have all driven the fund to liquidate. [Link; soft paywall]

Goldman building robo-adviser to give investment advice to the masses by Olivia Oran (Reuters)

With more and more assets fleeing to indexing and the sort of low-touch advice that best suits that investment approach, Goldman is seeking to build a competitive offering for the mass-affluent. [Link]

Cyber Security

That thing about pwning N26 by Oscar D. Torson (Medium)

A summary of the horrific security implementation of a bank in Europe called N26, which exposed customer accounts to mass hacking and bank fraud. [Link]

U.S. Preparing Cases Linking North Korea to Theft at N.Y. Fed by Aruna Viswanatha and Nicole Hong (WSJ)

Back in 2016, thieves used illicitly obtained SWIFT codes belonging to Bangladesh’s central bank to wire funds from their account at the NY Fed to bank accounts in the Philippines. [Link; paywall]

Personal Politics

Here’s Where Rockefeller Was Different by Eddy Elfenbein (Observer)

The death of Rockefeller recently gives friend-of-Brunch-Reads and investor Eddy Elfenbein a chance to inform us of the unique – and no-longer used – approach that he brought to his life of academics, business, and public service. [Link; auto-playing video]

The Republican-Democrat Divide Extends To Hats And Prepaid Cell Phones by Leticia Miranda (Buzzfeed)

Our politics extend far beyond our voting patterns and into the choices we make about consumer products. [Link]


Millennials Don’t Consider Themselves Adults Until 30, Researcher Says by Tony Maglio (The Wrap)

Getting older keeps taking longer, apparently, with the current crop of young adults (whose median age is 30) taking longer to self-identify as adults than previous generations. [Link]


Instagram to Let Users Book With Businesses in Challenge to Yelp by Sarah Frier (Bloomberg)

New functionality is coming to Instagram that will allow businesses to offer consumers a chance to make a purchase or schedule a service in-app. [Link]


Why Almond Growers Are Going Nuts by Heather Haddon and Lucy Craymer (WSJ)

Almonds are finicky nuts, apparently, as the torrential rains (a record) in California has interfered with the latest crop, which previously had to deal with too little rainfall. [Link; paywall]

Failure to Lunch by Malia Wollan (NYT Magazine)

A comprehensive review of the (possibly) lamentable habit of consuming the mid-day meal alone at one’s desk instead of outside the work place or in a communal area. [Link]

Lessons from the school of spaghetti carbonara by Kevin Pang (A.V. Club)

A history lesson and culinary class all at once, this masterpiece dives into the gooey, smooth, and rich pile of spaghetti and saturated fat that is beloved (but often improperly cooked) around the world. [Link]


The NBA’s Secret Addiction by Baxter Holmes (ESPN)

We had no idea that the enormous bodies of that star on the hardwood are so frequently fueled by the best (we’re taking no arguments here) after-school snack of all time. [Link]

Inside the ‘Tinderization’ of today’s NBA by Tom Haberstroh (ESPN)

Tinder and Instagram are starting to take the place of late night bottle service as NBA players steer away from hard partying at clubs while on the road. [Link; auto-playing video]

Frank Martin: ‘I wrote to 120 coaches. Only one sent a handwritten note back’ by Chris Vannini (Coaching Search)

There are no moral victories for the Duke Blue Devils, but their loss to South Carolina in the round of 32 last weekend was the closing of a circle that dates back to a brutal job search for Gamecocks’ head coach Frank Martin. [Link]

Strange Science

Dutch scientist proposes circular runways for airport efficiency by Barbara Eldredge (Curbed)

We have no idea if the physics of this idea work but it’s certainly innovative. [Link]

A New Blast May Have Forged Cosmic Gold by Joshua Sokol (Quanta)

A cosmological investigation of where gold actually comes from; the answer isn’t as simple as it might seem. [Link]

Spoiled Science by Tom Bartlett (Chronicle of Higher Education)

A famed and widely-quoted Cornell food scientist is under fire for possible falsification of research data and poor practices that may have delivered inaccurate results. [Link]

Have a great Sunday!

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