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.

Market Mavens

Ivy Zelman: Housing Hazards and Opportunities by Leslie P. Norton (Barron’s)

The former Credit Suisse housing analyst who saw the last recession’s root cause thinks there are opportunities in housing but is worried about Miami and New York. [Link, paywall]

Joel Greenblatt: Don’t make this investing mistake by Kelly Evans (CNBC)

An insightful overview of Greenblatt’s investing process and views on the market overall. [Link; auto-playing video]


How to Teach Intermediate Macroeconomics after the Crisis? by Oliver Blanchard (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

A reasonable proposal on how to teach the basic framework of macroeconomics in the context of the global financial crisis and recent developments. [Link]

Growing like Spain: 1995-2007 by Manuel García Santana, Josep Pijoan-Mas, Enrique Moral-Benito, Roberto Ramos (Voxeu)

An analysis of how Spain managed to grow at excessive rates for over a decade despite falling total factor productivity. [Link]

Today In Tweeting

Why did I tweet that? by Duncan Weldon (Medium)

Former BBC Newsnight Economics correspondent gives an honest accounting of what Twitter means to him at both a personal and professional level. [Link]

Why Turkey’s Paying Attention to U.S. Attorney’s Oklahoma Thunder Tweet by Isobel Finkel (Bloomberg)

Only in 2016 could a tweet from a US attorney in New York related to an Oklahoma City basketball player could be politically sensitive in Turkey because of cleric living in Pennsylvania. Yeah, we’re confused too. [Link]

Internet Interests

Mary Meeker’s 2016 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis by Ina Fried (recode)

May Meeker of Kleiner Perkins compiles an annual report on the state of play for the online world. It weighs in at 213 pages, so recode provided its top three takeaways along with the full presentation. [Link]

Rise of Ad-Blocking Software Threatens Online Revenue by Mark Scott (NYT)

1 in 5 smartphone users have adblocking software installed, threatening the burgeoning advertising empires of Facebook and Google, let alone the revenues of other digital media companies. [Link, soft paywall]

Lending, Old & New

Dimon Says Auto-Loan Market Stressed, Sees Pain for Banks by Hugh Son (Bloomberg)

While by no means predicting a crisis, two major US banking executives have warned on the US auto lending market, which has gotten extremely competitive. [Link]

Inside Uber’s Auto-Lease Machine, Where Almost Anyone Can Get a Car by Eric Newcomer and Olivia Zaleski (Bloomberg)

In order to attract a supply of drivers, Uber has started leasing cars to drivers who want to drive but don’t have a car and can’t procure one on their own. [Link, auto-playing video]

Deloitte just trashed the hype around a $180 billion fintech market by Oscar Williams-Grut (Business Insider)

Specialists might be able to succeed in niches, but fintech likely won’t make a major dent in the business models of banks, according to Deloitte. [Link]


Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World by Keith Olberman (The Ringer)

A personal summary of four different encounters between the author and Ali, one of the greatest sports and cultural icons of the 20th century if not ever. [Link]

How many more homes is ESPN in than FS1 and NBC Sports Network? (June 2016 edition) (Sports TV Ratings)

An accounting of the narrow lead that ESPN has over its rival FS1 in terms of US home penetration. [Link]

Food & Drink

A Renegade Muscles In on Mister Softee’s Turf by Andy Newman and Emily S. Ruebb (NYT)

The iconic New York City soft ice cream brand has lost a battle on the ground in Midtown to a brash upstart. [Link; soft paywall and auto-playing video]

SodaStream Launches Homemade Beer System by SodaStream International (PRNewswire)

The Israeli upstart and challenger to the big two of global soda has shifted its eyes to another massive beverage market. [Link]

Tech Troubles

The Apple Watch is being shunned by Apple’s most important community by Julie Bort (Business Insider)

There’s a death of interest in the Apple Watch from developers, who Apple needs to keep engaged in order to develop new use cases of its hand-wearable computers. [Link]

These May Be the Only People Who Want Yahoo to Thrive by Andy Hoffman (Bloomberg)

While Yahoo’s core business may not have much value in total, specific units have a devoted, dependent user base…including Yahoo Messenger, which is beloved by crude oil traders. [Link]

Social Studies

‘Demographic dividend’ is under way with collapse in fertility by Sanjeev Sanyal (India Times)

India is the fastest growing major economy in the world, but much of that growth is due to rapid population expansion. Contrary to popular perception, the fertility rate in India is actually plunging, which probably makes eliminating poverty easier. However, it could create pain for growth. [Link]

The Tragic Side of Weddings by Amanda Foreman (WSJ)

What’s supposed to be the happiest day is often anything but. [Link, paywall]

Why I Was Wrong About Liberal-Arts Majors by David Kalt (WSJ)

A mea culpa admitting that some of the best, highest productivity, and most innovative coders come from a background that’s anything but computer science. [Link, paywall]

Conflicted Future

Business Leaders Share Their Biggest Concerns About The Future Of Business by Vivian Gang (Fast Company)

While we all like to worry about the future (don’t even get us started on the stock market angst we see daily!) the worries can sometimes be instructive. [Link]

States, Cities Clash on Pay and Benefit Rules by Anna Louie Sussman (WSJ)

With progressive cities raising minimum wages, state governments are attempting to prevent the local adjustments – an ironic inversion of the argument so often made to concentrate power in the hands of states. [Link, paywall]

The case for black holes being nothing but holograms just got even stronger by Bec Crew (Business Insider)

We aren’t astrophysicists and our lack of understanding was almost painful while we read this article. An interesting set of developments, however. [Link]

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