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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Congress Just Passed a Big Climate Bill. No, Not That One. by Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic)

In addition to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act this week, Congress passed the CHIPS Act earlier this summer, with as much as one quarter of its $280bn in outlays aimed at accelerating zero-carbon and climate-relevant industries. [Link; soft paywall]

The Sinema-Manchin split that shaped Dems’ deal by Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine (Politico)

A tick-tock recap of the furious dealmaking which allowed Democrats to move their climate and taxation bill through the Senate and in to law with no margin for error. [Link]


Oil is back on the menu as energy majors return to exploration by Robin Millls (The National News)

While the oil industry capex response to higher prices has been at best tepid so far, there are signs of rising interest in new large-scale projects, including deep offshore exploration. [Link]

The Place With the Most Lithium Is Blowing the Electric-Car Revolution by Ryan Dube (WSJ)

Left wing politics, a history of environmental exploitation, vocal indigenous communities, and booming demand for lithium make the process of extracting it in South America fraught at best as electric vehicle production explodes. [Link; paywall]


China Graft Probes Stem From Anger Over Failed Chip Plans (Bloomberg)

An effort to build domestic capacity in semiconductors manufacturing and development has been relatively unsuccessful in China, which has so far failed to keep up with American intellectual property that underpins global chip use. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

China’s Current Account: A Very Nerdy Investigative Thread by Adam Wolfe (Thread Reader/Twitter)

A detailed dive into why the huge increase in the Chinese goods trade surplus hasn’t led to a similar increase in the country’s current account surplus. [Link]


RIP Big Bull Market (1982-2022) by Andy Kessler (WSJ)

A history of the massive trend towards capital appreciation dating from the early 1980s which may finally be coming to a close with the end of ever-lower interest rates. [Link; paywall]

Hedge Funds Face SEC Demand To Share More About Their Strategies by Lydia Beyoud (FA Mag)

A new SEC proposal would see a requirement that hedge funds provide regulators with more details about their strategies, which would allow the SEC to better understand risks in the financial system. [Link]


The Snowballing US Rental Crisis Is Sparing Nowhere and No One by Maria Paula Mijares Torres and Jonnelle Marte (Bloomberg)

Across the country, rents are soaring far above incomes thanks to low vacancy rates and a dearth of new buildings as well as pandemic-era high demand for housing that hasn’t faded much yet. [Link; soft paywall]

Richer people are eating more at Applebee’s and IHOP by Danielle Winer-Bronner (CNN)

Down-market but still full-service restaurants are seeing improving foot traffic and consumer spend as higher-income consumers trade the steakhouse for a more humble meal. [Link]

Labor Markets

Business Is Booming for Layoff Specialists: ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’ by Maxwell Strachan (Vice)

Tech companies used to ramping up hiring rather than reducing headcount are scrambling for expertise  as they look to fire staff that were added as part of over-optimistic expansion plans pre-dating the recent collapse in valuations. [Link]

Iranian charged in alleged plot to kill ex-Trump adviser John Bolton by Ellen Nakashima and Perry Stein (WaPo)

A Justice Department investigation uncovered an Iranian IRGC member attempted to book a $300k hit on Bolton; the suspect is presumed to have fled back to Iran. [Link; soft paywall]

Social Media

Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022 by Emily A. Vogels, Risa Gelles-Watnick, and Navid Massarat (Pew)

Use of Facebook among teens has plunged, with Twitter also down. Instagram and Snapchat are more popular while TikTok is second-place to YouTube; 95% of teens say they’ve used Google’s video site. [Link]


A vaccine for Lyme disease is in its final clinical trial by Bill Chappell (NPR)

As Lyme disease spreads across a greater territory of the US, a vaccine designed to prevent it has entered Phase 3 trials and could be available as soon as 2025. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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