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.

After Brexit

UK existential moment: thinking about the economy, sovereignty and Article 50 by George Magnus

An excellent overview of Brexit’s economic impact and the overall damage done to the UK’s position following the last week or so of events. [Link]

Economic implications of Brexit by Ben S. Bernanke (Brookings)

Another excellent view on what Brexit means for the UK and the rest of the global economy following the vote and subsequent political mess, this time by the thoughtful former Fed Chair. [Link]

Don’t Panic, it’s just like EU 2012. by Polemic Paine (Polemics Pains)

A breath of relaxation over the tumultuous week’s long-term implications from pseudonymous blogger and market old-hand Polemic. [Link]

UK Politics

Here’s How The Internet Reacted To The Most Ridiculous Morning British Politics Has Ever Seen by Alan White (Buzzfeed)

The last day of June was probably the peak – though almost certainly not the end – of post-Brexit shakeouts in the political establishment of the UK. This guide provides a helpful overview for all the zany goings-on. [Link]


Russia is harassing U.S. diplomats all over Europe by Josh Rogin (WaPo)

Suspected Russian agents have done all sorts of strange things to US diplomats recently, with some incidents quite serious despite their strange headlines, including an unfortunate incident involving a carpet. [Link, soft paywall]

So you want to secede from the U.S.: A four-step guide by Phillip Bump (WaPo)

Amusing discussion of the secession process for US states, which doesn’t exist. Our favorite quote: “Asking the U.S. if you can secede from it is a bit like asking your iPhone if you can use it as an iron lung. It’s not built to do that, and also: No.” [Link]


Exclusive: China to tolerate weaker yuan, wary of trade partners’ reaction – sources by Kevin Yao, Nathaniel Taplin, and Lu Jianxin (Reuters)

Sources close to the PBoC are suggesting that a further rise in USDCNY would be tolerated by authorities, so long as the depreciation remained controlled.  This would likely follow the pattern we’ve seen over the last quarter or so: rallies in the broad dollar lead to declines in USDCNY, while selloffs keep USDCNY stable, pushing the CFETS index of yuan strength lower over time. [Link]

Writing China: The Compromise of China’s Millennials by Te-Ping Chen (WSJ)

One-third of China’s population are Millennials, and the group is often misunderstood – a condition which seems to be true in quite literally every country. This interview with Alec Ash, author of “Wish Lantern: Young Lives In New China” offers some interesting insights. [Link, paywall]

Ex-Lehman Trader Loads Up on Bad Chinese Debt (Bloomberg)

Bad loans are a way of life within the Chinese financial system and squeezing what value can be had from them requires a special approach (as it does anywhere else). The results are, for now, big returns. [Link]

Wealth Distribution

Not Just the 1%: The Upper Middle Class Is Larger and Richer Than Ever by Josh Zumbrun (WSJ Real Time Economics)

While much attention goes to the share of income that is taken in by the richest 1% of Americans, there’s been less attention paid to the fact that millions of people have transitioned up out of lower incomes and into the booming ranks of the upper middle class. [Link]

Capital Accumulation, Production and Employment: Can We Bend the Arc of Global Capital Toward Justice? by Richard C. Koo (WEA Conference Papers)

Koo’s work has broadly focused on the concept of the balance sheet recession, but this stab attempts to get a handle on the distribution of wealth and its importance for the global economy. [Link, 92 pg PDF]


The World’s Most Efficient Languages by John McWorther (The Atlantic)

A lovely overview of linguistics and efficiency, featuring phrases like “sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś” and “Ayam makan”. [Link]


Why the sun going blank means a ‘Game of Thrones’-like winter is coming (New York Post)

Solar activity is an often under-appreciated driver of terrestrial climate conditions, and the current lack of sunspots suggests that the sun is going to provide a lot less warmth in coming winters. [Link]


Welcome to Miami, the WORST city in America: Study claims Florida’s party hotspot has worse crime, income, and poverty levels than anywhere else in the US (Daily Mail)

Extreme inequality, wide-spread poverty, and high crime rates are key driver’s of Miami’s claim to the “worst” (an admittedly subjective) term city in America. [Link]

The Longform Guide To Manhunts (Longform)

This excellent collection of long reads about searches for the baddies will keep you busy for quite a while. [Link]


Millennials Are Pretty Cocky About Their Investing Skills by Ben Steverman

We’re shocked, just shocked to learn that young people in general are confident in their ability to do well in markets. [Link]


How 6 Bodega Owners Make An Honest Living In NYC by Steffanee Wang and Amos Barshad (The Fader)

Bodega culture is a uniquely New York phenomenon: the little shops stocking staple household goods and limited food selections along with a deli counter and tobacco or lottery ticket sales are an institution across most of the Five Burroughs. They’re also a way upwards in society for many recent immigrants. [Link]

Birth Rates

Japan and its birth rate: the beginning of the end or just a new beginning? by Olga Garnova (Japan Times)

While much is made of falling headline birth rates in Japan, the aging population is by far the largest driver; the elderly are never going to start having more children. However, there’s good reason to suspect that Japan is in the midst of a new mini-boom in fertility rates for younger women. [Link]

Modern Medicine

Chili Peppers Could Free Us From Opioids by Cynthia Koons (Bloomberg)

A new series of drugs that target pain directly instead of washing over it with chemical scrubbing as opiods do could lead to a revolution in how we treat pain. [Link]

Replacing Drivers and Workers

How Amazon Triggered a Robot Arms Race by Kim Bhasin and Patrick Clark (Bloomberg)

The story behind the 30,000 robots that Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos employ to maximize warehouse efficiency around the world. [Link]

The End of Traffic: How the Smartest People in the World Are Fixing Your Commute by Sam Grobart (Bloomberg)

The effort to end gridlock, in video form. [Link, auto-playing video]

The First Fatal Crash In A Self-Driving Car Has Happened; NHTSA Investigating Tesla by Raphael Orlove (Jalopnik)

An unlikely series of events led to the death of driver using Tesla’s Autopilot mode in Florida during the month of May. Here’s what happened. [Link]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email