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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COVID

A COVID Outbreak Is Plaguing Climbers on Everest by Dewan Rai and Ben Ayers (Outside)

At least 22 climbers and Sherpas at the Everest Base Camp have COVID diagnoses, forcing expeditions to abandon their climbs and complicating an already complicated logistical backdrop at the foot of the world’s tallest mountain. [Link]

Statewide Reopening During Mass Vaccination: Evidence on Mobility, Public Health and Economic Activity from Texas by Dhaval M. Dave, Joseph J. Sabia & Samuel Safford (NBER)

Reopening in Texas did not accelerate COVID cases because individuals did not change behavior in aggregate after the policy shift; that also means that claimed benefits related to employment did not materialize either. [Link]

Investing

Trump Allies Promote Portfolios Targeting ‘Unwoke Investors’ by John McCormick (WSJ)

In an age reaction, for every action there is a pushback. In this case, ESG strategies are getting a counterweight with portfolios designed to overweight stocks perceived as appealing to conservative values. [Link; paywall]

Fidelity’s Pitch to America’s Teens: No-Fee Brokerage Accounts by Justin Baer (WSJ)

The brokerage company is aiming to introduce teens to investment with debit cards and brokerage accounts for the children of existing Fidelity clients. [Link; paywall]

EVs

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Is the Future of America’s Workhorse by Brian Silvestro (Road & Track)

A review of the Ford F-150 Lightning fully electric pickup, unveiled this week in Michigan, offers 230-300 miles of range and between 420 and 560 horsepower, along with a front trunk, crew cab, and super-affordable price point relative to competitors. [Link]

Zero-emission, all-electric flight is closer than you think by Justin Gerdes (Energy Monitor)

A small regional airline that operates seaplane flights along the coast of British Columbia is in the process of certifying battery-powered planes, with multiple test flights per week run since the end of 2019. [Link]

Getting Out Of Hand

Amazon’s Ring is the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever seen by Lauren Bridges (The Guardian)

10% of American police departments can access video footage from Amazon’s Ring doorbells…without any warrant. Tens of thousands of requests have been made, offering police a work-around that skirts Fourth Amendment protections. [Link]

‘Collectibles versus commodities’: As Target halts sales of trading cards, collectors reckon with fast-changing hobby by Jacob Bogage (WaPo)

Target is taking playing cards off the shelves after a dispute over collectibles outside one of its Milwaukee stores led to violence and multiple arrests. [Link; soft paywall]

Panhandle Boom

ECP Airport has highest passenger numbers in April since its original opening by Madalyn Bierster (My Panhandle)

Northwest Florida Beaches International, just north of Panama City, is seeing all-time record traffic as foreign tourism takes a back seat to domestic destinations. Booming arrivals are fueling a renaissance in Florida Panhandle tourism. [Link]

Philanthropy

Giving Billions Fast, MacKenzie Scott Upends Philanthropy by Nicholas Kulish (NYT)

After receiving 4% of outstanding AMZN shares in her divorce two years ago, MacKenzie Scott is breaking the mold of philanthropy by actually giving away money, a stark contrast to the traditional approach of foundations that pay out as little cash from their holdings as possible. [Link; soft paywall]

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Have a great weekend!

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