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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The Jobs Most Exposed to ChatGPT by Lauren Weber and Lindsay Ellis (WSJ)

UPenn and ChatGPT’s overseers predict one-fifth of the US workforce is at risk of being displaced by so-called artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT. [Link; paywall]

Italy temporarily bans ChatGPT over privacy concerns by Madhumita Murgia and Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli (FT)

National data protection authorities in Italy have moved to temporarily ban the software until it can determine whether the software does enough to protect privacy. [Link; paywall]

Real Estate

He Wasn’t Thinking About Renting His Arizona Home. Then Rihanna Came Knocking. by E.B. Solomont (WSJ)

The owner of a one-acre five bedroom near Phoenix didn’t plan to be a landlord, but when a $500k offer (almost 7% of the value of the house) to rent it for a week came in from Rihanna, how could he say no? [Link; paywall]

Some Guy Bought the Flatiron Building and Didn’t Pay for It (Hell Gate)

The iconic Flatiron Building sold for $190mm, but the buyer immediately defaulted by failing to make the $19mm down payment required to close the transaction. [Link]


Disney cuts metaverse division as part of broader restructuring by Rebecca Bellan (TechCrunch)

As part of an effort to boost profitability after over-investing in streaming, Disney will completely eliminate the division it had staffed up to focus on the metaverse. [Link]


Social Security Reserves Projected to Run Out Earlier Than Expected by David Harrison (WSJ)

A new estimate projects that the Social Security’s trust fund will be consumed in 2034, with incoming payments only covering about 80% of outgoing payments. The issue also impacts Medicare, and both programs could rely on transfers from the government’s general fund or changes in payrolls taxes or benefits to allow full payments to continue. [Link; paywall]

Why are Americans dying so young? by John Burn-Murdoch (FT)

While the US enjoys drastically higher standards of living when measured by income and purchasing power, other metrics measuring well-being like life expectancy are almost unbelievably worse. [Link; paywall]


‘Degenerate Gambling’ in Zero-Day Options Thrills Retail Traders by Claire Ballentine and Charlie Wells (Bloomberg)

The fastest-growing derivatives markets in finance can be found in options which exist for less than a day, giving them a unique degree of leverage to underlying stocks. [Link; soft paywall]

Star-Led Hedge Funds Hit by Steep Losses, Stunting Their Comeback by Nishant Kumar (Bloomberg)

Macro-oriented hedge funds which saw returns soar last year and have broadly performed well in the post-COVID environment have gotten positively torched by the latest banking stress-driven swing in interest rates. [Link; soft paywall]

Billionaire Whimsy

Can a billionaire die without anyone noticing? by Tim Fernholz (Quartz)

A $7bn collection of estate and gift taxes on February 28th was the largest for a single day since at least 2005. If that whole collection came from one source, it would imply an estate or gift of more than $17bn. [Link]


Two New Bills on TikTok and Beyond: The DATA Act and RESTRICT Act by Justin Sherman (Lawfare)

Legal analysis of two bills attempting to ban TikTok in the US, with one including a much broader protectionist framework that would turn anyone accessing banned social media apps a felon with punishments of up to 20 years behind bars. [Link]

Visualizing California’s Water Storage – Reservoirs and Snowpack (Engaging Data)

With reservoirs filled above the typical year and an all-time record snowpack, California has more water on hand than at any point in the state’s history. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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