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 Fed

The Federal Reserve Is at the Nexus of the Inflation Debate. Here’s How It Works by Matthew C. Klein (Barron’s)

An excellent explainer on the institutional structure of the Federal Reserve. This is helpful reference material for understanding the basics of how the central bank operates. [Link; paywall]

Chips

Crypto-miners are probably to blame for the graphics-chip shortage (The Economist)

Data and explanation illustrating how the market for graphics processing units are being driven by prices for the cryptocurrency Ethereum over time, contributing to high prices for gamers and other GPU users. [Link; paywall]

Automotive chip suppliers gearing up for output ramp-up by Cage Chao (DigiTimes Asia)

After auto OEMs cancelled orders for chips en masse when COVID hit, production runs were shifted to other customers, creating huge headaches when car companies restarted orders. Now, vendors are restarting shipments, with customers being told they can expect a 30% increase in shipments in the second half. [Link; paywall]

Climate

Tiny Satellites Could Help Warn of the Next Big Hurricane by Meghan Herbst (Wired)

A small constellation of microsatellites will be used to keep an eye on the tropical zone that spawns hurricanes and cyclones which are so threatening to coastal areas in warmer lattitudes. [Link; soft paywall]

SEC Wants More Climate Disclosures. Businesses Are Preparing for a Fight. by Dave Michaels (WSJ)

Efforts to require companies to disclose climate change risks face a number of hurdles, including open questions about what the SEC is actually able to require companies to share with investors. [Link; paywall]

China

American Basketball Pro Spent Eight Months in Secretive China Detention by James T. Areddy (WSJ)

After being implicated in the death of a man, an American basketball pro spent 8 months in a Chinese detention facility that left him 40 pounds lighter. The case sheds critical light on the practice of residential detention in China. [Link; paywall]

Chinese Port Logjam Threatens Christmas Shipping Rush by Costas Paris (WSJ)

A COVID outbreak in the Yantian port in southern China has led to 50 container ships and more than 350,000 containers stranded in a backlog that has wreaked havoc on logistics for companies of all kinds. [Link; paywall]

‘Dragon Man’ Skull Discovery in China Tells Story of Unknown Human Ancestor by Robert Lee Hotz (WSJ)

In 1933, a farmer stashed a human skull in a well to keep it safe from invading Japanese forces. A study of the skull published this week suggests that near-human ancestors were resident in China 146,000 years ago. [Link; paywall]

Complex Systems

Stewardship of global collective behavior by Joseph B. Bak-Coleman et al (PNAS)

An effort to grapple with what the shift to algorithm-driven social media has meant for social stability; the authors focus on factors including scale and incentives, with social media networks operating with global reach and focusing on amplification of attention and engagement rather than accuracy. [Link]

History

“We believe in making treason odious:” U.S. Veterans of the Civil War Attack the Lost Cause (Angry Staff Officer)

The history of how Union veterans reacted to the rise of the Lost Cause ideology which did so much to flatter the treason of slave states against the United States during the Civil War. [Link]

EVs

Confessions Of A Sidewalk Charger by Joe Wachunas (CleanTechnica)

While it’s certainly possible and legal to charge your street-parked electric vehicle using an extension cord, sidewalk charging is safer and more effective with a proper installation. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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