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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What if bitcoin went to zero? (The Economist)

An exploration of a hypothetical decline in bitcoin to $0, with ripple effects not just inside the crypto universe but across the global economy. [Link; registration required]


Ford slated to spend more on EVs than on internal combustion engine vehicles in 2023 by Jordyn Grzelewski (The Detroit News)

R&D is shifting rapidly away from ICE engines and towards EVs, with the iconic American car and truck brand spending more on electrical vehicle development as soon as 2023. [Link]

Tech Startup Financing Hits Records as Giant Funds Dwarf Venture Capitalists by Heather Somerville (WSJ)

Early rounds of venture funding are no longer the lonely preserve of VCs and angel investors, with other much larger pools of capital that typically stick with more staid investments playing a much larger role in early financing. [Link; paywall]

Apple’s iPhones Will Include New Tools to Flag Child Sexual Abuse by Jack Nicas (NYT)

Changes to iCloud and iMessage will allow Apple to identify illegal child pornographic material (a laudable goal) while also opening up previously ironclad safety and privacy infrastructure to government surveillance. [Link; soft paywall]

A Conspiracy To Kill IE6 (Chris Zacharias)

The story of how a rogue engineering crew inside YouTube destroyed Internet Explorer 6 with a simple banner announcement. [Link]


This Man Does Not Make Poppers by David Mack (BuzzFeed)

A series of legal loopholes and decisions to look the other way by regulators have left poppers, a staple of the gay party scene, one of the only party drugs that can be widely purchased. [Link]


How COVID-19 vaccine supply chains emerged in the midst of a pandemic by Chad P. Bown and Thomas J. Bollyky (PIIE)

A deep investigation into how vaccine production supply chains were developed and scaled, with detailed discussion of government and private sector entities and activity in the process. [Link; 60 page PDF]

Main Street Health July 2021 (Homebase)

With the Delta variant ramping up, employment and open locations have slowed, and there wasn’t any evidence that early halts to unemployment benefits in a range of states had a positive impact on employment at small businesses. [Link; 17 page PDF]


When All Else Fails, It’s Time to See the Olympic Body Mechanic by Scott Cacciola (NYT)

US track and field athletes have been turning to one of the best-kept secrets in performance sports, a chiropractor with a very unusual and effective approach to dealing with nagging injuries of all kinds. [Link; soft paywall]

Pricey Travel

Disney Releases Sample 3-Day Itinerary of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel Experience by Shannen Michaelsen (WDWNT)

Two days at the newest and most detailed attraction at Disneyworld are going to run into the thousands of dollars for a family of four, but the action-packed schedule may be well worth it. [Link]

The ‘$27.85 Beer’: High-Flying Prices at Airports Spur Port Authority Concessions Audit Order by Jose Martinez and Aria Velasquez (The City)

Airport vendor prices are famously high, but the gouging underway at LaGuardia and other New York airports is on a truly different level. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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