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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Companies Start to Think Remote Work Isn’t So Great After All by Chip Cutter (WSJ)
As the great experiment in working from home moves forward, some of the longer-term costs of giving up office space are starting to emerge after companies noticed immediate benefits up front. [Link; paywall]
When Work Goes Remote by Adam Ozimek (UpWork)
Global freelancing platform Upwork identifies large gaps between high cost metros and the rest of the country, creating a huge opportunity for higher real wages from remote work, as well as lower costs for employers. [Link; 13 page PDF]
Wall Street Firms Consider Moving Jobs from NYC, Study Says by Henry Goldman (Bloomberg)
One in four firms in New York’s financial and professional-services industries intend to reduce their headcount footprint by at least 20%, with 16% expecting to move jobs out of the city. [Link; soft paywall]
NYC is now the worst place to do business, retailers say by Lisa Fickenscher (NY Post)
National retailers report a slower bounce in New York than the rest of the country, driven by fewer tourists and commuters in Manhattan; while locals are out and about, travel and commutes are being shirked aggressively. [Link]
How corporations are buying up houses — robbing families of the American Dream by Larry Getlen (NY Post)
Corporations bought one out of every ten suburban homes that traded hands in 2018, putting pressure on affordability around the country. Buyers are snapping up anything that costs less than it would to rebuild. [Link]
Yelp says more than half of restaurants temporarily closed are now permanently shuttered by Sasha Lekach (Mashable)
Less than a quarter of restaurants which were closed on Yelp back in March were permanently shuttered. That number is over 50% today. [Link]
Goldman Spots A Historic Inversion In The Market (ZeroHedge)
A recent report from Goldman Sachs showed that the daily notional value of single-stock options traded exceeded the daily value of actual stocks traded. We should note that notional value is always much higher in dollar terms than the direct exposure (delta) to the underlying stocks in dollar terms. Still, this is an unprecedented inversion. Goldman also identifies an extreme tilt towards very short-term options focused on calls. [Link]
Everyone’s a Day Trader Now by Michael Wursthorn, Mischa Frankl-Duval and Gregory Zuckerman (WSJ)
Exploding brokerage account openings, higher volatility, and an expanded universe of equity market investors are driving the stampede into stocks by every day people. [Link; paywall]
BlackRock Quant Sees Stock Valuation a Mystery Not Worth Solving by Justina Lee (Bloomberg)
The senior quantitative analyst at BlackRock argues that valuation based on traditional metrics is no longer worthwhile, and argues alternative data is a better source of signals for how stocks will move. [Link; soft paywall]
How Do Restrictions on High-Skilled Immigration Affect Offshoring? Evidence from the H-1B Program by Britta Glennon (NBER)
The author finds that restricting access to H-1B visas force multinational firms to increase the number of employees and their use, with Canada, India, and China specifically benefitting. In other words, restricting H-1B visas does not raise American employment but employment in other countries. [Link]
Michigan man used phony faces to steal over $100G at casinos, feds say by Caitlin McFall (Fox News/NY Post)
A Michigan man used faked drivers licenses to pose as elderly customers of casinos, taking out cash advances using the casino’s customer loyalty program kiosks to get access to the cash. [Link]
Deep Dive: Stacking in Season-Long Fantasy by Mike Leone (Establish The Run)
“Stacking” fantasy lineups to include both high-performance quarterbacks and the players which catch their passes tend to create edge over the course of a full season. [Link]
On The Lighter Side
Pentagon Has ‘Off-World Vehicles Not Made on This Earth’ by Andrew Daniels (Popular Mechanics/Yahoo!)
The agency that tracks UFO sightings for the Pentagon has been instructed to submit a report to Congress detailing what they know about “unidentified aerial phenomena”. [Link]
Dog Influencers Take Over Instagram After Pandemic Puppy Boom by Tracy Alloway (Bloomberg)
With a surge in dog adoptions and purchases thanks to COVID, Instagram has becoming a booming venue (as well as big business venture) for the canine influencers of the world. [Link; soft paywall]
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Have a great weekend!