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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America’s trash flow isn’t signaling a recession, CEO explains by Luke Carberry Mogan (Yahoo! Finance)
The CEO of a large trash hauler is reporting very strong demand from consumers, industrial customers, and commercial customers. Typically trash production leads or is at least coincident with weaker economic data that comes with a recession. [Link; auto-playing video]
A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 Million US Homes Are Behind on Energy Bills by Will Wage and Mark Chediak (Bloomberg)
Roughly one in six homes has fallen behind on utility bills, with unpaid utility balances rising through the pandemic and continuing to move upwards this summer. [Link; soft paywall]
The Family That Mined the Pentagon’s Data for Profit by Mark Harris (Wired)
How to build a family business based on national secrets? Step one is an aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act to fill your inventories. [Link; soft paywall]
How China Could Choke Taiwan by Chris Buckley, Pablo Robles, Marco Hernandez and Amy Chang Chien (NYT)
A detailed analysis of how the geography of Taiwan leaves it vulnerable to blockade by China…should China take that step as part of an effort to bring the island back under its control. [Link; soft paywall]
The Only Electric Car Worth Buying Right Now Is Used by Kyle Stock (Bloomberg)
As the EV supply chain ramps up, high prices and lack of availability may mean the best way to get your hands on a battery-powered car is via the used market. [Link; soft paywall]
California Approves Rules to Ban Gasoline-Powered Cars by 2035 by Mike Colias and Christine Mai-Duc (WSJ)
Wit the support of automakers, California’s Air Resources Board will phase out internal combustion engines over the next decade and a half as the nation’s largest auto market does away with engines. [Link; paywall]
Food At Scale
The Mysterious, Stubborn Appeal of Mass-Produced Fried Chicken by Adam Clair (Vice)
An investigation into the mysteries of industrially manufactured fried chicken and why it beats more artisanal approaches to deep fried bird. [Link]
There’s a Carbon Dioxide Shortage, and Food and Drink Makers are Scrambling by Jesse Newman (WSJ)
Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of ethanol and fertilizer manufacturing, which have both been disrupted by supply chain issues. The result has been a scramble for supplies across the food and beverage industry. [Link; paywall]
The Sellers Strike and Housing Inventory by Bill McBride (Calculated Risk)
The flow of new listings on to the market is slowing as potential sellers decide to hold supply back from housing markets where inventories have soared amidst weak demand; it remains to be seen how long the “seller’s strike” can continue. [Link]
Home Sellers Are Slashing Prices in Pandemic Boomtowns by Paulina Cachero (Bloomberg)
Almost three-quarters of homes on sales in Boise had price cuts in July as the soaring prices of the pandemic era Zoom town boom start to roll over and even reverse. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]
Great White North
The best places to live in North America (The Economist)
A ranking of major cities across 30 different metrics for education, culture, the environment, health care, infrastructure, and stability suggests Canadian cities are the most livable in North America. [Link]
Hurricane season on the verge of rarely seen August without a named storm by Chris Perkins (South Florida Sun Sentinel/ArcaMax)
Hurricane season is off to a slow start; it’s on track to be only the third August since 1961 without a named hurricane in the Atlantic. [Link]
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Have a great weekend!