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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EVs Not Easier to Build, But Will Cut Jobs by John McElroy (Ward’s Auto)

While electric vehicles likely require less manpower to assemble due to less complex parts layouts, certain stages of the construction are extremely complicated and therefore overall construction isn’t dramatically faster. [Link]

Capital junkie (Reuters Breakingviews)

A free e-book capturing the life of former Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died at 66 this year. He turned around two different venerable brands that had collapsed. [Link]

Real Estate

He bought the fencing coach’s house. Then his son got into Harvard by Joshua Miller (Boston Globe)

A home belonging to Harvard’s fencing coach was assessed at $550,000, but sold for almost twice that price. The buyer’s son ended up being admitted as a student athlete on the fencing team. [Link]

50 Cent Sells Massive Connecticut Compound for 84% Less by Katherine Clarke (WSJ)

Curtis Jackson bought Mike Tyson’s 50,000 square foot, 52-room mansion for $4.1mm, then listed it in 2007, but only managed to sell it recently for $2.9mm. [Link; paywall]

Enthralling Essays

The Girl on the Train (Erynn Brook)

A heartbreaking recounting of a young woman suffering from seizures on the train, and the stranger that took some time out of her day to make sure the woman got home safely. [Link]

Heaven or High Water by Sarah Miller (Popula)

A dispatch from the future front lines of rising seas. In Miami a booming real estate market is operating under the assumption that all will be well, contrary to every model scientists produce. [Link]


1 big thing: 🏀 The race to sign Zion by Kendall Baker (Axios)

Following the explosive demise of Zion Williamson’s shoe against UNC earlier this year (with his knee taking some collateral damage as well), will Nike be able to sign him? [Link]

Patagonia Is Cracking Down on the Wall Street Uniform by Kim Bhasin (Bloomberg)

Logo vests are a classic uniform of the financial and technology industries, but the biggest name in the sleeveless insulator game is pulling back. [Link]

Dodgy Wellness

Residents concerned about DNA-for-cash transactions in Louisville by Phylicia Ashley (Wave 3)

Louisville residents have reportedly been selling their DNA to a group posing as employees of a health care company, raising $20 from a cheek swab. [Link]

Does Your Smartphone Know if You’re Depressed? by Sumathi Reddy (WSJ)

Can “artificial intelligence” (note: not actual artificial intelligence) help guard against the advance of depression? [Link; paywall]

Legislation Laxly

You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead. By Rob O’Dell and Nick Penzenstadler (USA Today)

A fascinating review of how much model legislation (bills written by outside interests of various types) has worked its way into legal codes as legislators outsource their jobs of legislating to industry or other parties interested in a specific outcome. [Link]

Feline Foibles

There Is Now Scientific Proof Your Cat Is Ignoring You by Brianna Abbott (WSJ)

While cats simply refuse to come when called – unlike loyal canine companions – they almost certainly know and recognize the names that we give to them. [Link; paywall]


How chess became a pawn in the Kremlin’s power game by Sam Jones (FT)

While chess is obviously a near-perfect expression of strategy, who would have thought the World Chess Federation would be a high stakes venue for geopolitical intrigue? [Link; paywall]

Tech Dystopia

YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant by Mark Bergen (Bloomberg)

YouTube is likely to generate $16bn in revenue this year, but its effort to grow viewership and generate ad sales has led it to repeatedly host conspiracy theories and even worse. [Link; soft paywall]

Gender Wage Gap

A stunning chart shows the true cause of the gender wage gap by Sarah Kliff (Vox)

A new study shows that the entire gender wage gap amongst parents comes from the year surrounding the birth of their first child, resulting in 20% less earnings over the course of a career. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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