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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Liquidity Risk in $1.2 Trillion of Bond Funds Exposed by Covid by Sam Potter (Bloomberg)

An argument that bond ETFs are a source of systemic risk because authorized participants who facilitate ETF creation and redemption have funding constraints. [Link; soft paywall]

Credit Suisse’s #Zoltan Warns of Trouble Ahead in Money Markets by Julia-Ambra Verlaine (WSJ)

An alarmist interpretation of the insights offered by Credit Suisse money market maven Zoltan Pozsar, the dean of analysts who follow the complex flow of funds through short-term funding markets and between various financial institutions. [Link; paywall]

The Collapse of Overend, Gurney, and Co. by Global Financial Data (Threadreader App)

How a bank with a simple, predictable, and reliable business model turned into a massive failure on the back of rampant railroad speculation during the middle of the industrial revolution. [Link]

GOATs

Spelling bee champ Zaila Avant-garde is basketball whiz — and Guinness World Record holder by Scott Gleeson (USA Today)

The most impressive 8th-grader we’ve ever come across is Zaila Avant-garde, a teenage phenom who not only won the national spelling bee this week but is also an impressive athlete who can shoot a basketball better than most adults. [Link]

Column: Don’t miss it. Shohei Ohhhhh-tani is delivering the best season in baseball history by Bill Plaschke (LAT)

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani is not only leading the majors in dingers and nears the top in runs, RBIs, and slugging, but is also 4-1 on the mound with an impressive 3.49 ERA and 87 Ks. [Link]

Regulation

FACT SHEET: Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy (White House)

This week the Biden Administration announced a new initiative focused on raising competition, especially in the labor market. The list is exhaustive and includes some areas that more conservative voices have focused on for years. Regardless of the political content, this is an interesting new approach to regulatory policy. [Link]

SEC Charges Three Individuals with Insider Trading (SEC)

Insider trading charges have been leveled against individuals connected to Long Blockchain Company, a penny stock that pivoted from iced tea to blockchain, driving a massive spike in shares. Two are already in litigation related to a prior stock manipulation scheme. [Link]

A third of Wisconsin’s wolves killed after losing protections this year, study says by Douglas Main (National Geographic)

After wolves had their protected species status revoked, Wisconsin allowed hunting of the animals and the end result was roughly one-third of the species was killed in the state in just one year. [Link; soft paywall]

Q2 Reports

Startups have never had it so good by Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim (TechCrunch)

Second quarter data shows that strong venture dealmaking activity has continued with record dollar value for invested funds. As a result, deal multiples and overall sizes are surging. [Link]

Mall Index – Q2 2021 by Ethan Chernofsky (Placer.ai)

Compared to 2019, indoor mall visits were down 8.1% in June, versus a decline of as much as 29% in February 2021. Outdoor mall traffic has held up better but is still down versus 2019. [Link]

Research

Observing Many Researchers Using the Same Data and Hypothesis Reveals a Hidden Universe of Uncertainty by Breznau et al (MetaArXiv Preprints)

A hilarious paper that shows wildly different scientific results from the same initial data that cannot be explained by observable characteristics of models specified. The results suggest caution is warranted whenever interpreting scientific findings. [Link]

Stabbing

The Game That Ruins Friendships and Shapes Careers by David Klion (Foreign Policy)

A dive into the rough-and-tumble world of Diplomacy, a superficially simple board game that serves as a perfect training ground for the sort of realpolitik that dominates modern Washington. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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