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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Registrations for electric vehicles soar, signaling increasing mainstream acceptance by Jayme Deerwester (USA Today)

Electric vehicle sales industry-wide were up 60% YoY in Q1 despite an 18% drop in overall registrations. Fully electric vehicles in the US are just below 5% of total passenger sales in the US with roughly 60% of sales driven by Tesla. [Link; auto-playing paywall]

Monthly car payments have crossed a record $700. What that means by Brittany Cronin (NPR)

The combination of car price inflation and more feature-laded vehicles along with soaring interest rates are driving a surge in the monthly payment required to cover a car purchase. [Link]

New York Waterways

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Pods of Dolphins—New York Welcomes New Immigrants by Alyssa Lukpat (WSJ)

As the rivers around New York have gotten cleaner, dolphins have returned to New York harbor in pursuit of a snack. Fins have been spotted from Brooklyn to Harlem, delighting residents. [Link; paywall]

She died in a Manhattan penthouse but was buried on an island for the poor by Mary Jordan (WaPo)

A tiny one mile slice of Long Island Sound is the largest public cemetery in America, serving as the final resting place for more than 1 million souls interred since 1869. [Link; soft paywall]

Real Estate

Roaring US Rental Market Shows Early Signs of Slowing Down by Paulina Cachero (Bloomberg)

High frequency indicators suggest that rents are starting to fall in a range of markets that were absurdly hot during 2020 and 2021, with large drops for 1- and 2-bedroom apartments alike. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

The Suburban Lawn Will Never Be the Same by Brian Eckhouse and Siobhan Wagner (Bloomberg)

As drought wracks the American West, homeowners have started to replace dead, dried out grass with artificial turf which doesn’t have the same thirst for scarce water that real blades would soak up. [Link]


‘It’s Ruined Me’: Voyager Customers Fear Life Savings Gone After Crypto Firm’s Bankruptcy by Maxwell Strachan (Vice)

A crypto brokerage that promised huge yields for deposits of fiat currency has suspended withdrawals and declared bankruptcy, leaving customers holding the bag. [Link]


World Cup stadiums in Qatar to be alcohol-free – source (i24)

Thirsty footy fans are going to be totally out of luck at the World Cup this fall, with host country Qatar banning alcohol consumption in public…including the stands of matches at the iconic sporting event. [Link]

Fiscal Policy

Was the Paycheck Protection Program Effective? by William R. Emmons and Drew Dahl (FRB St Louis)

As COVID smashed the US economy in 2020, Congress traded off speed for precision. The consequence is that Paycheck Protection Program loan/grants were much less useful in supporting workers than unemployment insurance or economic impact payments. [Link]

Energy Shortage

Germany dims the lights to cope with Russia gas supply crunch by Guy Chazan (FT)

Russia is cutting off natural gas supplies to Germany, and the result is a nationwide energy crisis that is forcing rationing and massive price inflation onto households used to cheap and reliable gas supplies. [Link; paywall]

That’ll Leave A Mark

Markets Had a Terrible First Half of 2022. It Can Get Worse. by James Mackintosh (WSJ)

Stocks collapsed in the first half of the year, but the pessimist’s perspective offers little hope of a major rebound in the second half given how much risk still remains. [Link; paywall]

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Have a great weekend!

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