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.

Labor Markets

Stigma of Criminal Record Fades as U.S. Employers Get Desperate by Steve Matthews (Bloomberg)

As the supply of available workers declines, employers are increasingly willing to give a shot to Americans with a criminal record or the formerly incarcerated. [Link]

Wall Street’s Endangered Species: The College Jock by Justin Baer (WSJ)

A pedigree that included college athletics used to be a ticket to a job in finance, but as the industry has become increasingly quantitative other skill sets are replacing former college athletes. [Link; paywall]

Thanks for Your Job Application—Shall We Begin at the Squat Rack? by Christina Rexrode and Serene Ng (WSJ)

We’re not clear that requiring a workout as an interview venue is entirely legal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening as fitness-oriented companies seek good fits. [Link; paywall]

Will Robots Take My Job

Pretty self-explanatory: type your job, see if the alleged rise of the machines puts you in danger. [Link]


Has science cracked the peanut allergy? by David Crow (FT)

Clinical testing is in the final stages for drugs that could help treat peanut allergies. [Link; soft paywall]

6 reasons why scientists are so excited about gravitational waves by Brian Resnick (Vox)

You may not have felt it, but back in January a tiny ripple in space time passed through Earth on its multi-billion year journey. [Link]


Steven Cohen’s Hedge-Fund Comeback Shoots for a Record Target: $20 Billion by Rob Copeland (WSJ)

With the end of Cohen’s ban from the securities industry looming, he’s targeting a massive hedge fund launch that would be made up mostly of his own 10 figure family fortune. [Link; paywall]

An Amazon engineer is letting thousands of Twitch users play the stock market with $50,000 of his own money by Matt Weinberger (Business Insider)

In a unique experiment, it’s now possible to vote on what happens next in a modestly sized portfolio of stocks owned by a brave Amazon engineer. [Link]


The Disinvestment hypothesis: Don’t blame state budget cuts for rising tuition at public universities by Jason Dellsle (Brookings)

There’s lots of debate over whether increasing student subsidies increases tuition, but not much debate over whether lower per student appropriations raise it. There should be. [Link]


The Botmakers Who Rule The Obsessive World Of Streetwear (Wired)

A fascinating dive into the exclusive world of Supreme, a brand we’d never heard of until this article, that inspires an arms race of bots used to purchase its merchandise online. [Link]

How Paul Newman’s Legendary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Was Found—and Where It’s Going Now by Michael Clerizo (WSJ)

The story of the race car driver’s watch, passed down to his daughter’s partner and now going up for auction. [Link; paywall]


Wal-Mart employees can now deliver your online orders on their way home from work by Courtney Regan (CNBC)

Headed home for your shift? Might as well drop something off on the way. So goes the thinking from the nation’s largest retailer. [Link; auto-playing video]

Best Buy And Retail’s Long Road Back By Kevin O’Marah (Forbes)

A case study on why Best Buy has been able to flourish despite a brutal brick-and-mortar environment. [Link]

Bleecker Street’s Swerve From Luxe Shops to Vacant Stores by Steven Kurutz (NYT)

The story of New York’s most unlikely retail district, from Sex and the City fame to insane rents that make it impossible for even the strongest brands to have a profitable presence. [Link; soft paywall]


EU presses plan to bundle debt of eurozone countries by Jim Brunsden and Guy Chazan (FT)

As the Eurozone has become more friendly to integration with the departure of the UK from the EU and the election of Macron in France, an official proposal on combining debt across countries has been offered. [Link; soft paywall]

After Brexit: the UK will need to renegotiate at least 759 treaties by Paul McClean (FT)

One of the most overlooked areas of the Brexit process is the fact that the UK will no longer be a part of mutually negotiated treaties entered into as an EU member. [Link; soft paywall]

Emerging Markets

EM sovereigns: Buy defaultlessness by Gabriel Sterne (FTAV)

Changes in the composition of dollar versus local currency debt burdens in EM creates new incentives in the event of default. [Link; registration required]

Investing In Asia

Fretting over savings, Mrs Watanabe turns to bitcoin by Minami Funakoshi and Joyce Lee (Reuters)

On the exploding popularity of bitcoin as a trading vehicle in Japan, Korea, and other Asian financial markets. [Link]

‘Ghost collateral’ haunts loans across China’s debt-laden banking system by Engen Tham (Reuters)

Loans “secured” by hard assets like metals stockpiles may be held up only by collective faith. [Link]

Real Estate

The Housing Market Is Ripe for Tech Disruption by Barry Ritholtz (Blooomberg)

An outline of where tech may be able to step in and simplify the process of buying a home. [Link]


Going Out for Lunch Is a Dying Tradition by Julie Jargon (WSJ)

As workers feel more and more urgency to be at the keyboard for the whole day, lunch at the desk has displaced sit-down mid-day meals to an increasing degree. [Link; paywall]

Have a great Sunday!

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