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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Banking regulator kicks of Volcker Rule rewrite process by Pete Schroeder (Reuters)

Public comments on a revised rulemaking for the Dodd-Frank Act’s Volcker Rule ban on proprietary trading are back under way. [Link]

How China’s biggest bank became ensnared in a sprawling money laundering probe by Angus Berwick and David Lague (Reuters)

A sprawling read on the long process of busting money laundering organized criminals who funneled billions back to China from illegal imports into Spain. [Link]

Financial Products

Sneak Preview in the Works for Timing of U.S. Libor Alternative by Alex Harris (Bloomberg)

Libor is being replaced, with the bank poll of overnight funding rates being still yet to find a substitute benchmark for the trillions in financial products which reference it. [Link; auto-playing video]

CBOE plans to launch bitcoin futures, announces agreement with Winklevoss brothers’ digital currency exchange by Evelyn Cheng (CNBC)

As crypto-currencies gain prominence, derivatives based on them are coming to the US. Futures will be settled in cash, but it’s still a huge step forward for the space. [Link]

Social Media

Facebook Shuts Down AI System After Bots Create Language Humans Can’t Understand (Gadgets 360)

In a strange development, Facebook recently shut down one of its bot systems because various programs fueled by AI had created a new language to converse in. [Link]

This Is Probably The Only Story You Didn’t Hear About First From Bradd Jaffy And Kyle Griffin by Steven Perlberg and Charlie Warzel (Buzzfeed)

Background on two tweeters who have developed massive followings and some competition to be crowned the king of breaking news. [Link]


Driving Tesla’s Model 3 Changes Everything by Tom Randall (Bloomberg)

“Glowing” doesn’t quite capture the degree of enthusiasm in this review of the Model 3, which is now entering production; while ~$40k segment of the sedan market it’s targeting is crowded and seeing weak demand, the car sounds incredible to us. [Link; auto-playing video]

Netflix is on the hook for $20 billion. Can it keep spending its way to success? by David Ng (LAT)

With 104mm global subscribers (+25% YoY), demand for Netflix’s service has exploded. But the company has also levered up, creating the possibility that its popularity and content stable won’t be enough to fund debt it’s issued to make shows. [Link]


The Hungriest Man On Earth by Joon Lee (Bleacher Report)

A sad but ultimately positive story of the heaviest NFL player in the league’s history. [Link]

Escaping Kakuma by Louis Bien (SBNation)

Amidst the tents and shanties of the world’s largest refugee camp in northwest Kenya (which borders both Sudan and Somalia), soccer is an escape and a passion. [Link]


Millennials Unearth an Amazing Hack to Get Free TV: the Antenna by Ryan Knutson (WSJ)

An amusing survey of the recent trend of 20- and 30-somethings rediscovering the original means of television broadcast: the humble antenna. [Link; paywall]

An Honest Business News Update by Morgan Housel (Collaborative Fund)

Here’s what the news would read like if we were all being perfectly honest about what goes on at the top level in the world of finance and economics. [Link]


Why We Can’t Have the Male Pill by Emily Anthes (Bloomberg)

Inside the long-running and thus far futile effort to develop a male birth control pill. [Link]

How ‘Bout Them Apples?

Good Will Hunting: An Oral History by Janelle Nanos (Boston Magazine)

A fun and informative romp through the making of the classic drama about human capacity, relationships, and community. [Link]


Austin Luxury High-Rise Tenants Swiped Left On Bumble’s Code-Violating HQ by Joseph Bernstein (Buzzfeed)

It turns out the neighbors get annoyed when you try to run your successful dating start-up out of a luxury apartment complex. [Link]

Have a great Sunday!

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