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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U.S. household wealth suffers record drop in second quarter by Dan Burns (NASDAQ/Reuters)
Rising interest rates and falling asset prices are unwinding many of the huge wealth gains from the pandemic period when soaring prices sent US net worth above $150trn. [Link]
Gulf States, Rich From Oil, Spread Influence With Financial Lifelines by Chelsey Dulaney and Rory Jones (WSJ)
Oil-rich economies are seeing a massive inflow of cash amidst high energy prices. Some are using that cash to support other countries that are reeling under balance of payments stress and natural disaster crises. [Link; paywall]
Tesla Shifts Battery Strategy as It Seeks U.S. Tax Credits by Rebecca Elliott and Mike Colias (WSJ)
The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act earlier this year is already driving companies to re-think their approach to offshoring and supply chain design as the world’s largest EV maker may be switching battery production from Germany to the US. [Link; paywall]
Ford Reveals New EV-Selling Rules to Dealers by Nora Eckert (WSJ)
The Big Blue Oval is rolling out a new approach to selling EVs which will require no-haggle prices. New infrastructure for charging will also be a must. [Link; paywall]
I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller by Chris Gayomali (GQ)
Men who want to be a little bit taller are undertaking a dangerous surgery designed to lengthen their legs and add a few inches via broken femurs, titanium rods, and a lot of pain. [Link]
An ACL Tear That Heals Itself? by Aylin Woodward (WSJ)
Imagine your body re-growing its own ACL? A new generation of biologic treatments that create a scaffold for the ligament to grow on is being used to replace the injured tissue. [Link; paywall]
Scarcity & Abundance
Low-Paid Workers Face Worst-Ever Financial Crisis, Study Finds by Alan Jones (Press Association/Bloomberg)
The Living Wage Foundation surveyed low-wage workers and discovered more than half have used a food bank over the past year with almost as many regularly skipping meals. [Link; soft paywall]
From Shortage to Glut: Scotts Miracle-Gro Is Buried in Fertilizer by Thomas Gryta (WSJ)
The huge boom in consumer demand during the pandemic convinced goods producers and importers to ramp up their inventories. Now, that demand isn’t appearing to the same degree that was expected, a glut of inventories and over-production remains. [Link; soft paywall]
Global Food Supply Faces Fresh Turmoil With Rice Set to Climb by Patpicha Tanakasempipat, Pratik Parija, and Mai Ngoc Chau (Bloomberg)
Export controls in India are expected to drive up the price of rice globally. Global production has already been curtailed by weather and the shock of other crop prices soaring earlier this year. [Link; soft paywall]
Ukraine Pulled Off a Masterstroke by Phillips Payson O’Brien (The Atlantic)
The offensive that let Ukraine retake large swathes of Kharkiv Oblast in a dramatic breakout was part of a broader strategic feint which has played out over the entire summer. [Link; soft paywall]
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Have a great weekend!