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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Reopening Is Inflation’s Cure, Not Cause by Jason M. Thomas (WSJ)
As patterns of supply and demand normalize after the pandemic, the price dislocations which have sent small categories of inflation soaring are likely to normalize into more familiar patterns that moderate the recent spike. [Link; paywall]
83% Of Americans Are Belt Tightening Due To Inflation Pressures by Walter Loeb (Forbes)
While consumer spending has boomed, Americans report they aren’t actually spending as much as they are, scared off by the high price of food and other goods. [Link; paywall]
The First Decoration Day by David W. Blight (Newark Star Ledger/David W. Blight)
Recalling the origin of Memorial Day, which started as a march honoring Union war dead on the grounds of what used to be the slaveholders’ race track in Charleston, South Carolina. [Link]
Cars Are About to Get a Lot More Expensive by Anjani Trivedi (Bloomberg)
With the used car market jammed with demand as well as semiconductors and other basic input commodities coming up in short supply, auto manufacturers are getting a golden opportunity to raise prices. [Link; soft paywall]
Tesla Model S Reaches Parity With Gas-Powered Cars In Test Drive (Value Walk)
A recent road test saw the Tesla Model S travel over 300 miles at 75 miles per hour, a first for the electric vehicle company and a key range achievement relative to the performance of internal combustion engines. [Link]
Dow Jones Industrial Average Celebrates 125 Years as Wall Street’s Bellwether by Karen Langley and Peter Santilli (WSJ)
This week saw the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average introduced, starting a history that has weathered every bull and bear market since. [Link; paywall]
Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch to Ban Trainee Brokers From Making Cold Calls by Rachel Louise Ensign (WSJ)
While cold LinkedIn messages are still okay, advisor trainees in the Thundering Herd will no longer be encouraged to give prospective clients an uninvited phone call. [Link; paywall]
A New ETF Taps Investors’ Fear of Missing the Latest Hot Stock Trend by Evie Liu (Barron’s)
FOMO will try and hold stocks that are currently on the market’s radar but doesn’t hold stocks like COIN or any of the SPAC stocks which have made such a big splash in both directions over the past year. [Link; paywall]
A Cynic’s Guide To Fintech by Dan Davies (Medium)
While this rundown is over half a decade old, it helps to point out the relatively limited scope that fintech companies can operate in with a durable competitive advantage. [Link]
How 5G May Improve Early Warnings of Severe Weather by Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez (WSJ)
Changes in the signals of cellphone towers can be used to measure humidity shifts, a key data point that may help meteorologists develop more accurate and timely weather models which can speed up warnings. [Link; paywall]
Facebook Reverses Ban on ‘Man-Made’ COVID References After Biden Orders Review by Alex Noble (Yahoo! News)
As the discourse shifts, Facebook has lifted a blanket ban on asserting that COVID was created in a lab, a claim that has been latched on to by the conspiratorial fringe since the first days of the pandemic. [Link]
Positive Marijuana Tests Are Up Among U.S. Workers by Matt Grossman (WSJ)
2.7% of the 7 million drug tests conducted by Quest Diagnostics for employers came back positive for marijuana as a rising share of the national labor force lives in states where recreational marijuana use is legal. [Link; paywall]
In Tight Housing Market, Thousands of Homes Are Reserved for Certain Buyers by Nicole Friedman (WSJ)
With so much demand, sellers are able to sidestep the public sales process to show homes to a select group of buyers, though such “pocket listings” account for only 3% of sales this year. [Link; paywall]
The Cardiovascular Secrets of Giraffes by Bob Holmes (Smithsonian Mag)
To make sure blood circulates their extremely tall bodies, giraffes have to have very high blood pressure, but they don’t suffer most of the maladies that come with high blood pressure in humans. [Link]
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Have a great weekend!