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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Recession Watch

Housing Market Update: Share of Homes with Price Drops Reaches New High as Mortgage Rates Top 2008 Levels by Tim Ellis (Redfin)

Demand is cratering across the housing market per Redfin data measuring everything from buyer traffic to price cuts to pending sales indicating that surging mortgage rates have buried the housing market. [Link]

It’s hip to be bear: Business leaders join chorus of economic doomsayers by Jason Kirby (The Globe And Mail)

Prognosticators, pundits, strategists, fund managers, and all manner of other market participants are leaning heavily into a negative outlook for stock markets reeling amidst massive global monetary policy tightening and soaring interest rates. [Link; soft paywall]

Hedge Funds

JPMorgan Packed Its Wealthy Clients Into Tiger Global Fund for Private Bets by Sridhar Natarajan, Hema Parmar and Miles Weiss  (The Wealth Advisor/Bloomberg)

The most recent fund offered by collapsing hedge fund complex Tiger Global was stuffed full of investments from JPMorgan customers; total investments in Tiger and another similar fund a few months earlier neared $5bn just before the funds cratered. [Link]

Hedge Fund Selling Was Never More Furious Than in Last Two Days by Lu Wang and Melissa Karsh (Yahoo!/Bloomberg)

Goldman Sachs prime brokerage clients in the equity hedge fund space liquidated more equity exposure over two days in the past week than at any point since 2008. The good news, we suppose, is that this kind of liquidation event is often the sort of even that tags market lows rather than the other way around. [Link]


Why Gas Prices Are So High by Ella Koeze and Clifford Krauss (NYT)

High crude prices and insufficient new production are the most important driver of the surge in prices at the pump that consumers are suffering through this summer. [Link; soft paywall]

Cruise-Line Pricing Is Lost at Sea by Laura Forman (WSJ)

Eye-watering hotel prices are making seaborne trips a lot more attractive, with room rates roughly 10% below what’s on offer from mid-scale hotels. The industry’s rebound might be dependent on consumers biting at the bargain. [Link; paywall]

Plague & Pestilence

Ancient DNA solves mystery over origin of medieval Black Death by Willy Dunham (Reuters)

The discovery of bubonic plague victims who died in 1338 or 1339 are the earliest ever documented from the Black Death pandemic, all but confirming the plague originated in Central Asia and spread to Europe and the rest of Asia via trade routes. [Link]

New Tools Can Make Our Covid Immunity Even Stronger by Deepta Bhattacharya (NYT)

A recap of the new technologies which have boosted COVID immunity, and a proposal for maximizing population immunity long-term, including deploying vaccines through the mouth or nose instead of via a shot. [Link; paywall]

Single beaver caused mass internet, cell service outages in Northern B.C. by Kaitlyn Bailey (CTV)

One pesky beaver got a little bit too interested in the wrong aspen tree and ended up cutting a large swathe of British Columbia off from the internet in the process. [Link]


What were all those 6,200 Coinbasers doing anyway? by Alexandra Scaggs (FTAV)

An investigation into the downright perplexing personnel decisions of one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. [Link; registration required]

Crypto Hedge Fund Three Arrows Capital Considers Asset Sales, Bailout by Serena Ng (WSJ)

One of the largest pools of crypto investment capital has seen positions blown up a scramble for liquidity amidst brutal market conditions across the blockchain. [Link; paywall]


Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality by Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner, Georgi Kocharkov, and Cezar Santos (NBER)

An estimate that assortative mating (that is, marriages that pair people with similar incomes and socioeconomic backgrounds) was responsible for much of the increase in US income inequality over the past half century. [Link; 26 page PDF]

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Have a great weekend!

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