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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A Google Plan to Wipe Out Mosquitoes Appears to Be Working by Kristen V Brown (Bloomberg/MSN)
In order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the Google project has developed a bacterial strain that renders mosquito eggs inert after mating. File under “what could possibly go wrong”. [Link]
400-year-old Greenland shark ‘longest-living vertebrate’ by Rebecca Morelle (BBC)
Radiocarbon dating found a Greenland shark that was swimming during the English Civil War. The species doesn’t reach sexual maturity until it has been swimming for 150 years. [Link]
Great Barrier Reef suffers its most widespread mass bleaching event on record by Maddie Stone (WaPo)
Warm waters lead coral to eject the microbial life they host, “bleaching” the coral. While bleaching does not mean death for reefs, repeated or extended bleaching events can destroy coral permanently. [Link; soft paywall]
Pollution Recedes Amid Lockdown, And A View Of The Himalayas Emerges For The First Time In 30 Years by Marley Coyne (Forbes)
Restrictions on all manner of transportation and other activities have led to massive air quality improvements in Northern India, revealing a view of the Himalayan Mountains. [Link]
Veterinary scientist hailed for Faroe Islands’ lack of Covid-19 deaths by Daniel Boffey (The Guardian)
The tiny Faroe Islands nation has avoided deaths from coronavirus by introducing a mass testing regime early using a facility designed to diagnose salmon viral infections. [Link]
Michael Burry of ‘The Big Short’ Slams Virus Lockdowns in Tweetstorm by Reed Stevenson (Bloomberg)
In a classic case of “don’t meet your heroes”, the hedge fund investor has taken to Twitter on a crusade to get rid of the social distancing measures which have saved lives around the world. [Link; paywall, auto-playing video]
How the 1957 Flu Pandemic Was Stopped Early In Its Path by Becky Little (History)
A doctor at Walter Reed spotted headlines related to a flu outbreak in Hong Kong, and quickly requisitioned samples before formulating a vaccine then forcing it in to production. [Link]
Quantifying the Adpocalypse by Value Mule (Medium)
Some interesting figures on the huge blow to ad spending that the recent decline in economic activity, with implications for the broader economic outlook as well. [Link]
The most exposed workers in the coronavirus recession are also key consumers: Making sure they get help is key to fighting the recession by Christina Patterson (Equitable Growth)
The demographic groups who are most likely to lose income during recessions are also the groups most likely to spend (rather than save) additional income. In short, making sure these groups don’t lose income is a powerful tool for keeping consumer spending up. [Link]
New York’s Kings of Clean by Tunk Varadarajan (WSJ)
The physically challenging and critically important work of municipal sanitation workers is coming into new light during a period of extreme stress and dislocation thanks to the coronavirus. [Link; paywall]
‘I Just Need the Comfort’: Processed Foods Make a Pandemic Comeback by Julie Creswell (NYT)
Comfort foods like Chef Boyardee, Spaghetti-Os, lasagna, ice cream, Hamburger Helper, and Yoplait are getting huge demand bumps after years of declining sales. [Link; paywall]
A student created a computer program that tells you when an Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods delivery slot opens up by Todd Haselton (CNBC)
Amazon and other food delivery services often offer no space for pickups, but a quick script written by a Georgetown student allows users to book a delivery slot by constantly watching the sites. [Link]
Billionaire Fertitta Offers Record 15% Loan Rate to Save Empire by Davide Scigliuzzo and Jeannine Amodeo (Bloomberg)
The owner of Golden Nugget casinos and Landry’s restaurants is paying a 15% coupon to sustain its business with a $250mm leveraged loan. [Link; soft paywall]
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Have a great weekend!