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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The “Quaker Comet” Was the Greatest Abolitionist You’ve Never Heard Of by Marcus Rediker (Smithsonian Mag)
A fascinating biography of little-known Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lay, whose fiery condemnation of slavery was among the first of the faith in America, long before the Delaware Valley became a hotbed of anti-slavery sentiment. [Link]
Who were the world’s first bakers? by Sarah Reid (BBC)
New evidence has pointed to the use of flour and bread baking in Australia tens of thousands of years before the previous consensus start of baking in the Middle East much closer to our contemporary period than it was to the ancient breadmaking of Aborigines 50 millennia ago. [Link]
This Is the Story of a Man Who Jumped Into Lake Michigan Every Day for Nearly a Year by Julie Bosman (NYT)
A revealing story of a man driven to frigid plunges into Lake Michigan by the pain of pandemic, politics, and at first anyways, a truly nasty hangover. [Link; soft paywall]
Three Hurricanes. A Deep Freeze. A Biblical Flood: Lake Charles Is America’s Climate Future by Zahra Hirji and Brianna Sacks (BuzzFeed)
The brutal stories of Lake Charles, Louisiana families that have lived through a brutal series of weather events. Houses and lives destroyed; they stand as a cautionary tale of climate change risks which loom over large swathes of the country. [Link]
Turn Turn Turn: Rotations Persist by Liz Ann Sonders (Charles Schwab)
While US markets have generally ground higher over the last couple of quarters, there has been a lot more going on under the surface, and that’s likely to continue. [Link]
Bitcoin and the wealthy by Eva Szalay (FT)
An interesting dive into how some of the largest holder of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are thinking about managing their fortunes. [Link; paywall]
Crypto’s Weimar by Frances Coppola (Coppola Comment)
A post-mortem on the complete collapse of cryptocurrency TITAN and its stablecoin IRON, driven by poor design of the ecosystem that generated a “Weimar moment”. [Link]
Goldman Sachs reportedly plans to move more than 100 bankers to Florida by Lydia Moynihan (NYP)
A new Palm Beach office is luring dozens of Goldman employees who are marching south as their New York colleagues march back into the office. [Link]
Wall Street Banks Warn Their Trading Boom Is Over by David Benoit (WSJ)
Volatility and portfolio turnover drove a massive increase in trading activity during the pandemic, but banks are expecting that across FICC and equities Wall Street trading desks will book much less business going forward than they did during the last five quarters. [Link; paywall]
Boom & Bust
U.S. Housing Market Needs 5.5 Million More Units, Says New Report by Nicole Friedman (WSJ)
The shortfall in construction following the financial crisis has left US housing markets badly undersupplied and population has continued to grow steadily, leaving the US housing market badly short of units across the spectrum of housing types. [Link; paywall]
Honeywell Shuts Two Mask Factories as Face-Covering Demand Drops by Thomas Black and Shira Stein (Bloomberg)
As demand for N95 masks recedes, two manufacturing facilities spun up by Honeywell earlier this year will shutter, though another factory in the US continues to push out the masks. [Link; soft paywall]
Lina Khan: The 32-year-old taking on Big Tech by James Clayton (BBC)
A profile of the surprisingly young chair of the Federal Trade Commission and her effort to target large digital companies with century-old antitrust regulations. [Link]
On this day in 2015, the Irish government accidentally legalised drugs for 24 hours by Rachael O’Connor (Irish Post)
Six years ago, a host of drugs were made totally legal for consumption and sale in Ireland thanks to a legal loophole that made the 1977 act banning 125 substances unconstitutional. [Link]
How Humans Think When They Think As Part of a Group by Annie Murphy Paul (Wired)
Working together may not only improve efficiency by distributing tasks, but actually increase the total cognitive power of a group of people to something larger than the sum of their individual capabilities. [Link; soft paywall]
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Have a great weekend!