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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I’m a Chef in a Seaside Town. I’m Not an Epidemiologist. by Rob Anderson (The Atlantic)

Some insight into the huge challenges faced by entrepreneurs who are trying to balance what their customers demand (and that’s not the same for all customers) with the safety of their staff and values of their communities. [Link; soft paywall]

Le Pain Quotidien’s U.S. Restaurants File for Bankruptcy by Andrew Sucrria (WSJ)

Once ubiquitous in major cities, the American arm of Belgium’s bakery chain has filed for bankruptcy and plans to sell remaining assets for $3mm. [Link; paywall]

COVID Concerns

So Where Did the Virus Come From? by Matt Ridley (WSJ)

Slow pace of mutation in the SARs-CoV-2 virus is good news in terms of vaccine development, but raises uncomfortable questions about where the virus came from and why it isn’t behaving like other viruses; its attributes leave the door open to a human source even if definitive evidence for that scenario is lacking. [Link; paywall]

Is the “science” behind the lockdown any good? by Jemima Kelly (FTAV)

A detailed, nuanced, and thoughtful essay discussing the limitations of science, public health policy, and risk management of the COVID-19 outbreak. [Link; registration required]

Estimating the Effect of State-Level Stay-at-Home Orders by William J. Luther (SSRN)

While lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have been described as unnecessary and the source of economic pain, Google Mobility data shows individuals reduced activity before those policy measures and do little to explain changes in behavior. [Link]


Behind the Fall of China’s Luckin Coffee: a Network of Fake Buyers and a Fictitious Employee by Jing Yang (WSJ)

A deep dive into the fraudulent practices at Luckin Coffee which fueled massive growth and eventually the collapse in the stock with delisting pending. [Link; paywall]

Alibaba is looking for 100,000 influencers to help brands sell their goods by Ben Stevens (Charged)

A new subsidiary of the ubiquitous Chinese internet company is hoping to organize and systematize social media influencers into a formal advertising arm. [Link]

Social Studies

Weddings Are Off but Marriage Is On by Suzanne Kapner (WSJ)

It’s still not safe to hold large gatherings, but just because new marriages can’t start with a big party doesn’t mean couples across the country aren’t still tying the knot. [Link; paywall]

Pensacola Blue Wahoos List Stadium on Airbnb to Rent by Jenna West (SI)

The Minnesota Twins’ double-A affiliate Blue Wahoos are offering their stadium for rent on Airbnb as a way to raise revenue without games being played. [Link]


He experienced a severe reaction to Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. He’s still a believer by Matthew Herper (STAT News)

A volunteer for the Moderna vaccine trial developed a fever, fainted, and had to be hospitalized after his adverse reaction, but he’s discussing his experience to shed insight into the process of finding the right dose to activate the immune system without risking the health of patients. [Link]


The Remaking of Steve Buscemi by Gabriella Paiella (GQ)

A glorious rundown of the life, career, and artistry of beloved Park Slope resident and ubiquitous subject of the silver screen, Steve Buscemi. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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