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.  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.

Exclusive: China central bank to Fed: A little help, please? by Jason Lange (Reuters)

During the market turmoil last year, a Chinese PBoC official emailed the Fed asking for what happened in the wake of the 1987 crash in the US. This goes in the “can’t make it up” file. [Link]

End of an era: CBS to sell its historic radio division by Meg James (LA Times)

During the golden age of radio, it was as ubiquitous and important to American life as our smartphones are today, but that era was long ago and one of the first broadcasting networks is now dispensing with its radio assets. [Link]

Airlines Pull Back on Hedging Fuel Costs by Susan Carey (WSJ)

If there was ever a goof signal for sentiment around oil, this would have to be it. Airlines are pulling back hedges, exposing them to rising fuel costs should WTI recover in the coming years.  One helpful side effect of the recent price plunge may be that extremely complex derivatives trades fall out of vogue in favor of more simple futures or swaps transactions. [Link, paywall]

Why the Global Oil Glut Might Not Fill Swimming Pools After All by Grant Smith and Bill Lehane (Bloomberg)

Shipping rates are rising and the WTI futures curve is flattening, making it unprofitable to store oil off shore.  This could be a signal that the market is beginning to tentatively balance. [Link]

Here’s Ex-Lehman CFO Erin Callan’s Stunning New Memoir by Patricia Sellers (Fortune)

Callan was the center of the financial crisis in many respects so the largely personal self-published memoir she released this week is of great interest. [Link]

Twitter turns 10: The 100 greatest tweets of all time by Mark Molloy (The Telegraph)

While we aren’t quite sure that this list does our corner of Twitter justice, we were extremely amused reading it. We’re very fond of Twitter, so this was a nice way to celebrate its birthday. [Link]

The biggest threat to American workers is slowly starting to go away by Matt O’Brien (WaPo)

While the integration of China into the global economy may have had numerous negative impacts on US workers employed in manufacturing, those impacts aren’t likely to be repeated in the foreseeable future. Simply put, there’s no second China lurking out there. [Link]

This Is What’s Going On Beneath the Subprime Auto-Loan Turmoil by Tracy Alloway (Bloomberg)

In our first of two posts this week related to low-credit score auto lending, this summary takes a nuanced look at which groups of loans are underperforming and arrives at the conclusion that new lenders are the key to the current default increases in those auto markets. [Link]

Subprime Autoloans.. delinquencies at 20yrs highs in “full employment” and low rate environment…??? (CreditMacro)

In this slightly more aggressive but data-filled take, pseudonymous UK credit manager CreditMacro throws down some charts on the subject of auto lending. [Link]

Economist: The Fed Should Kill the Dot Plot by Luke Kawa (Bloomberg)

A concise argument that regardless of their accuracy, the projections contained in the Statement of Economic Projections are not helpful. [Link]

This Hedge Fund Left Decision to a Computer – and Made 19% by Finbarr Flynn and Komaki Ito (Bloomberg)

A glimpse at systemic strategies that have helped investors profit from macro trends over the most recent period of volatility. [Link]

Ray Dalio, head of the world’s largest hedge fund, explains his succession plan for Bridgewater and how its ‘radically transparent’ culture is misunderstood by Richard Feloni (Business Insider)

Bridgewater is known for its strange approach to workplace social dynamics, and this interview with its founder helps shed some light on that unique environment. [Link]

Is Apparel the Canary in the Coal Mine? by Michael Ashton (E-piphany)

An interesting and self-conscious post prognosticating that inflation in Apparel could be leading broad inflation, which is itself already accelerating. [Link]

The US and Cuba: incrementalism, reversal risk and the Dictator’s Dilemma by Cardiff Garcia (FT Alphaville)

In a wide-ranging and long post, Cuban-American Garcia takes a new perspective on the relationship between the US and Cuba during the President’s historic trip to that country, the first in nearly a century by a sitting US President. [Link, registration required]

Accounting’s 21st Century Challenge: How to Value Intangible Assets by Vipal Monga (WSJ)

How do companies represent the value of code, brands, and other economic assets that are, well, intangible? It’s easy to show the value of a factory. For these new kinds of assets, however, it’s a very different question. [Link, paywall]

Personalized medicine: Time for one-person trials by Nicholas J. Schork (Nature)

This article is a bit dated but makes an interesting (and convincing) argument that mass clinical trials aren’t helpful in the current age of medicine. [Link]

When Older People Do Better Than Those of Working Age by Jason Douglas and Jon Sindreu (WSJ)

A dive into the demographics of inequality, where older workers have seen incomes sheltered over the past decade while the young and working have seen incomes shrink. [Link, paywall]

Ford Says It Could Make Money If U.S. Auto Sales Fell 30% by Keith Naighton (Bloomberg)

In an impressive display of confidence, Ford claims its cost reductions and strong balance sheet make it viable at auto sales over 6 million per year lower than current levels. [Link]

The next big thing in phones may not be a phone by Eric Auchard (Reuters)

With the form factor of modern smartphones basically unchanged for a decade, is the next move for mobile computing a move away from those devices? [Link]

You won’t believe how Nike lost Steph to Under Armour by Ethan Sherwood Strauss (ESPN)

This was our favorite this week. Details matter: all it took for Nike to flub its shot at signing the NBA’s scoring leader was a botched pronunciation and a PowerPoint error. [Link]

A Rough Midterm for College Funds by Janet Lorin (Bloomberg)

While many active strategies have gotten hit in the last couple of years, college funds have especially felt the pain of late. [Link]

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