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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No One Knows Why a Mystery In-N-Out Burger Was Found Abandoned in Queens, 1,500 Miles from Home by Morgan Phillips (Mediaite)

How on earth did a fresh In-N-Out Burger make it from Kansas City (if not much further afield) to the streets of Queens early in the morning? [Link]

Chicago’s Real Signature Pizza Is Crispy, Crunchy, and Nothing Like Deep Dish by Jason Diamond (Bon Appétit)

You’ve been getting pizza all wrong. Specifically, the thick, deep dish sausage and cheese cakes are less genuine than thin, cheap, and crunchy bar snacks. [Link]


The Patsy, Revisited by Rusty Guinn (Epsilon Theory)

An ode to the combined importance and utter impossibility of knowing who else owns the assets you own, be they stocks, bonds, or anything else. [Link]

The Cannabis Opportunity by Meb Faber (Meb Faber Research)

A long read on the investing approach that might lead to owning cannabis stocks and why that bet may well be correct in the long term. [Link]

Mercy Withheld

Businessman: Wyoming Valley West board president denied 22K school lunch debt donation offer by Bob Kalinowski (The Citizens’ Voice)

After a Pennsylvania school board received national attention for its zero-tolerance approach to school lunch debt, a Philadelphia businessman offered to cover the debt but was rebuffed by school board officials. [Link]

Trump administration proposed rule would cut 3 million people from food stamps by Tom Polansek and Humera Pamuk (Reuters)

In 43 states, residents can become eligible for SNAP (commonly referred to as food stamps) if they already qualify for another benefit program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. A new rule would end that practice. [Link]


Inside the Democrats’ Podcast Presidential Primary, Where Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang Rule by Oar Sanchez (The Wrap)

With more than 20 Democrats running for the top of the Presidential ticket, they’ve collectively logged more than 1200 podcast appearances. [Link]

22 Books That Expand Your Mind and Change The Way You Live by Darius Foroux (Pocket)

A range of interesting reads ranging from novels to history to philosophy that open up new worlds for readers. [Link]

The moon landing was a giant leap for movies, too by Jake Coyle (AP)

Touching down on the moon stimulated the national imagination in all kinds of ways, but the wave of movies before and after the moon landing drove a public fascination with space that has continued to this day. [Link]


Citroën Sabotaged Wartime Nazi Truck Production in a Simple and Brilliant Way by Jason Torchinsky (Jalopnik)

One small change to oil dipsticks meant French-produced trucks broke down at the worst times, but it was such a small change that it was easy to effect and basically undetectable. [Link]

Ford F-150 EV pickup prototype tows more than 1 million pounds by Dalvin Brown (USA Today)

An electric version of Ford’s classic pickup has demonstrated epic torque capable of moving a million pounds 1000 feet, a performance that would be literally impossible with traditional fuels. [Link]

Regulation & Competition

Equifax Data Breach Settlement (Federal Trade Commission)

A settlement with the FTC has created a series of benefits for the nearly 150mm consumers impacted by the Equifax Data Breach. [Link]

Justice Department to Open Broad, New Antitrust Review of Big Tech Companies by Brent Kendall (WSJ)

Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple are all in the crosshairs of Washington, reversing a light-touch regulatory approach to competition that has prevailed inside the Beltway for years. [Link; paywall]


In Hong Kong Protests, Faces Become Weapons by Paul Mozur (NYT)

In a war fought between protestors and authorities, identification and correlation between what’s said online and offline are key battlegrounds. [Link; soft paywall]

The #NoMarriage Movement Is Adding to Korea’s Economic Woes by Jihye Lee (Bloomberg)

Korea’s government has tried to boost birth rates, but more citizens are dying than being born, but many women feel the patronizing and sexist approach is making motherhood even less attractive. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]


Billionaire Behind Victoria’s Secret Built His Version of the American Heartland by Sophie Alexander (Bloomberg)

There’s a certain kind of rich that sparks a taste for buying things far beyond what most can imagine. For instance: an entire town. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Yacht Owners Ditch Life on Land for the High Seas by Emily Nonko (WSJ)

For some retirees, no fixed address and constant access to the open ocean means cutting ties with land and moving permanently into the nautical world. [Link; paywall]


Why dynamic and personalized pricing strategies haven’t taken over retail — yet by Ben Unglesbee (Retail Dive)

E-commerce has allowed companies to show consumers different prices in order to maximize the revenue from sales, but there still isn’t much of that in the real world. [Link]

Internal Trade in Canada: Case for Liberalization by Jorge Alvarez, Ivo Krznar, and Trevor Tombe (IMF)

A quantification of the barriers to trade between Canadian provinces, which unlike American states are not governed by a uniform commercial scheme. [Link]


The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams 2019 by Kurt Badenhausen (Forbes)

More than half of the most valuable franchises are American football teams, which are magnets for valuation in a way that global soccer teams just can’t manage to match. [Link]

Central Banking

The New York Fed Has a Black Swan Hunter by Craig Torres (Bloomberg)

A special unit inside the New York Fed is charged with questioning orthodoxy, arguing against convention, and trying to pick out the biggest threats to the economy before they become visible. [Link; soft paywall]

Swiss policymakers caught in crossfire over franc by Eva Szalay (FT)

Efforts to reduce the value of the Swiss franc may catalyze an international reaction against the exchange rate-obsessed Swiss National Bank. [Link; paywall]

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Have a great weekend!

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