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.

Old Stuff New Ways

Goldman Set Out to Automate IPOs and It Has Come Far, Really Fast by Dakin Campbell (Bloomberg)

Inside the mammoth effort to standardize and digitize the process of launching a company into public markets. [Link]

Tim Cook Says Apple Focused on Autonomous Systems in Cars Push by Alex Webb and Emily Chang (Bloomberg)

Apple is now publicly discussing the secretive project it’s had running for years to develop an autonomous car. [Link, auto-playing video]

New Iron-Aluminum Alloy Is Strong and Light as Titanium, 10% of the Cost by Jamie Condilffe (Gizmodo)

South Korea’s Pohang University and POSCO are partnering to spin up a production line for an extremely light but strong alloy that would come in much cheaper than titanium or carbon fiber, the current high bars in materials. [Link]

Clean Energy

Wind, solar surpassed 10 percent of U.S. electricity in March: EIA by Valerie Volcovici (Reuters)

New monthly data from the EIA showed remarkable progress in renewables’ penetration of US market share; most impressive was the 37% of power generated in Iowa coming from either wind or solar. [Link]

Solar Power Will Kill Coal Faster Than You Think by Jess Shankleman and Hayley Warren (Bloomberg)

A new annual forecast from Bloomberg energy finance estimates coal costs to move above those of solar in 2021 for China, already around the same costs in Germany and the US. [Link, auto-playing video]

World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record by Rakteem Katakey (Bloomberg)

In 2016 total global coal output dropped by over 200mm oil equivalent tons in 2016, with demand down 1.7% globally and declines on every continent except Africa according to BP’s annual world energy review. [Link, auto-playing video]


American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding by Suzanne Woolley (Bloomberg)

With proposed legislation projected to throw tens of millions of Americans out of the ranks of the insured, crowd funding sites could become the locus of efforts to prevent medical care from bankrupting its recipients. [Link, auto-playing video]

Rigged by Brett Murphy (USA Today)

A review of the debt servitude that truck drivers serving the ports of LA and Long Beach enter into when they start moving goods off ships and towards American consumers. [Link]

Code of Silence by Rebecca Wexler (Washington Monthly)

If an algorithm was deciding your fate, you’d probably want to know how it worked, but for prisoners in many states that’s not in the cards. [Link]

Monetary Policy

Why I Dissented Again by Neel Kashkari (Medium)

America’s most digitally engaged FOMC member is at it again, with a post explaining why he dissented against the most recent FOMC hike. [Link]

Demonetisation update 29 – glimpsing the benefits by Anantha Nageswaran (The Gold Standard)

Part of an ongoing series about the demonetization (that is, the declaration that some bank notes were invalid) which is bringing Indian black markets into the formal economy; tax receipt gains are one beneficiary. [Link]


How to Take a Crazy Risk Without Going Insane by Jason Zweig (WSJ)

A review of how one investor is handling – and thriving – in the volatile bubble markets that are crypto currencies. [Link]

Tudor’s New Event Hedge Fund Gaining 9% Is Bright Spot for Firm by Hema Parmar (Bloomberg)

Weak returns in macro (down 1.2% YTD through the start of June) are being offset by strong returns in the event-driven equities strategy Tudor also operates. [Link]

Good Stuff

El Capitan, My El Capitan by Daniel Duane (NYT)

A shocking achievement was recorded recently at El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley, where a climber made it all the way to the top without any rope or rest. [Link, soft paywall]

Prankster Tricks Tech Incubator Into Supporting Homeless People by Matthew Gerring (Broke-Ass Stuart)

A rundown of Pinboard founder Maciej Ceglowski’s run to the top of a Hacker News contest designed to provide VC investment to a startup, which Ceglowski handed directly to a homeless shelter instead. [Link]

Bad Stuff

Pakistani man sentenced to death for posting ‘blasphemy’ on Facebook by Colin Lecher (The Verge)

A man in Pakistan will be killed by the state for making “negative remarks” about religious figures, including the prophet Mohammed. [Link]

Mastermind of Lottery Fraud Will Tell How He Rigged Jackpots by Ryan J. Foley and Todd Richmond (Bloomberg/AP)

A former lottery computer programmer and his former judge brother face jail time after defrauding the Multi-State Lottery Association of $3mm. [Link]


U.S. Exports to Mexico Fall as Uncertainty Over Nafta Lingers by Jacob Bunge (WSJ)

US farmers are having a harder time selling south of the border as less grain and meat moves from the US heartland to its largest export market, all driven by a desire to diversify supply in the face of possible restrictions on trade. [Link, paywall]

Islamic Finance

Islamic finance industry frets as Dana Gas deems its sukuk invalid by Bernardo Vizcaino (Reuters)

Sukuk bonds help companies access financing without violating sharia law, which bans charging interest. Dana Gas, listed in Abu Dhabi, decided this week that $700mm of its bonds are no longer compliant with sharia, and that they won’t be repayed; investors will be offered lower-return alternatives. [Link]

End Of An Era

McDonald’s ends Olympics sponsorship deal early by Liana B. Baker and Karolos Grohmann (Reuters)

After 41 years of sponsorship, the Golden Arches is ending its sponsorship of the Olympic Games, preferring to focus on individual athletes and saving hundreds of millions. [Link]


The end of the valedictorian? Schools rethink class rankings by Carolyn Thompson (AP)

American high schools are starting to phase out the final ranking of students, with only half of schools still reporting final class ranks. [Link]


Jets Launch All New Jets Boarding Pass (NY Jets)

Like heading to stadium and chanting J-E-T-S, but hate sitting in the same seat every time? The Jets have a deal for you. [Link]

Mergers and Amiquistions

Message Startup Slack Draws Interest From Amazon.com by Alex Sherman, Eric Newcomer, and Alex Barinka (Bloomberg)

While Amazon closed the week out by dropping almost $14bn on Whole Foods, earlier in the week all the speculation was over whether the company would be buying Slack. [Link]


2.2 billion people are overweight and sick, but we’re still measuring them by a terrible metric by Sara Chodosh (Popular Science)

Inside the deeply flawed Body Mass Index and the alternative measurements which are more accurate as predictors of health trouble. [Link]

Have a great Sunday!

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