Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads, our Saturday 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.

March Macro Update: Recession Risk Remains Remote by Urban Carmel (The Fat Pitch)

We lead off this week with a “fat pitch”: Urban’s regular update of US macro, which is comprehensive, cool-headed, and digestible. [Link]

Metals – The path to inflation. (Polemic’s Pains)

The second in our lead-off trio of macro bloggers is Polemic Paine, who notes that wide swathes of the metals are trading with remarkable enthusiasm. [Link]

TIPS Are Pricing The Lowest Inflation Ever (Macro Man)

We’re suckers for TIPS analyses and this one is the best we’ve seen in a while. Building on work done by the St. Louis Fed that we noted last week, Macro Man comes up with a market-based implied core inflation forward, and concludes that TIPS markets is out of its collective gourd. We agree. [Link]

Mystery Malaysian high roller at center of global money-laundering probe by Jennifer Gould Kell (NYPost)

Inside the meltdown in Malaysia’s 1MDB and the story of Low Taek Jho, who has made a splash with his spending around the world. [Link]

So you want to get your money out of China? Cut out and keep edition by David Keohane (FT Alphaville)

The “closed” capital account is actually quite leaky, and this is a nice summary of options available for circumventing it. [Link, registration required]

China to lay off five to six million workers, earmarks at least $23 billion by Benjamin Kang Lim, Matthew Miller and David Stanway (Reuters)

This was a huge announcement: China’s central government will directly subsidize the income of workers impacted by slashing capacity in a number of industrial concerns.  This is a much-needed sign that China will begin to transfer more income to households and beef up its social safety net, an important step in rebalancing the Chinese economy. [Link]

Death and Despair in China’s Rustbelt (Bloomberg News)

Related, here’s what the death of a city in China’s “iron rice bowl” looks like, and a nice insight into the problems that rebalancing of output in China may hope to address. [Link]

Investors Turn Finicky on Corporate Bonds by Ben Eisen (WSJ)

While high yield has exploded higher in price over the last few weeks, investors have been much more discriminating about the new issues they buy to start 2016. [Link, paywall]

Fed Debuts Interest-Rate Plan B as Longtime Benchmark Fades by Matthew Boesler and Liz McCormick (Bloomberg News)

This week the Fed introduced a new benchmark interest rate that may help to give more clarity around the true cost of bank funding, especially if the Fed’s balance sheet stays large. [Link]

Americans’ Distrust May Be Hurting Job Market, Fed Paper Says by Matt Boesler (Bloomberg)

“Labor market fluidity” is highly correlated to social trust, and the former metric helps workers earn more and adjust quickly to changes in the broad economy. [Link]

The Washington Post is embracing vertical video by Ricardo Bilton (DigiDay)

Love it (on your smartphone) or hate it (everywhere else), WaPo has started to roll out an increasing number of vertically-formatted video hits; is this a sign that there’s more vertical veering into your viewing? [Link]

Whisky Fund Investors Are About to Toast Their First Dividend by Colin Simpson (Bloomberg)

There’s a hedge fund that invests in whisky, and it’s doing okay believe it or not. But remember: if you’re buying bottles, you can’t have your dram and its returns, too. [Link]

Beware the Rise of the Pseudo-Intellectual: Tom Wolfe’s Boston University Commencement Address by Maria Popova (Brain Pickings)

We loved this summary of the venerable Tom Wolfe (author of The Bonfire of the Vanities and I Am Charlotte Simmons) who cautioned against “a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others”. [Link]

Abundance by Gavin Jackson (Medium)

The FT’s Jackson delves deep into the question of abundance and what it means for economics. [Link]

The “financial adviser” scammers by Matthew C Klein (FT Alphaville)

A terrifying summary of the worst parts of the financial industry, and who they prey on.  A must-read for anyone who entrusts their financial affairs to others. [Link, registration required]

Home ‘flipping’ exceeds peaks in some hot U.S. housing markets by Edward Krudy (Reuters)

Amid tight supply and solid demand, some local housing markets are showing rampant speculative behavior that was common during the run-up to the last crisis, according to a new RealtyTrac report. [Link]

Puerto Rico’s Pooches Jet Off to the Hamptons by Aaron Kuriloff (WSJ)

As we’ve noted repeatedly, we’re dog fans, and this story of Puerto Rican strays was one we loved. [Link, paywall]

Why Wall Street’s Iconic Steakhouses Are Empty by Anna-Louise Jackson (Bloomberg)

Market gyrations mean less plates that go moo, as various high-end cattle consumers cut back or just can’t find time for a slice of corn-fed meat. [Link]

The incredible power of ignoring everything by Ana Swanson (WaPo Wonkblog)

Just stop paying so much attention, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy a life of bliss…okay, maybe not that easy, but we do get distracted and it makes our lives harder than they need be. [Link]

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