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.

Housing Booms

How tech jobs helped Rust Belt become house-flipping hotspot by David Randall (Reuters)

As tech firms spread their hiring footprint into old Rust Belt cities, condos and single family homes near downtown centers are becoming hot markets for home flipping. [Link]

Las Vegas is booming again, and bracing itself for next slump by David Randall (Reuters)

Trying to diversify away from gambling is a big challenge but Las Vegas has more than just the Strip going for it: health care, start-ups, and anything but construction. [Link]

Real Estate Busts

New York’s World Trade Center Struggles to Fill Office Space by Peter Grant (WSJ)

Despite a long and strong economic recovery, the high end of the New York City office market is underperforming and that’s the primary reason why the World Trade Center is 20% unfillled. [Link; paywall]

Building Boom Unravels, Deepening Turkey’s Economic Crisis by Georgi Kantchev (WSJ)

The massive building boom that fueled a Turkey’s economy for years has run out of foreign funding thanks to the collapse in the lira, and as a result projects are being halted with disastrous consequences for would-be buyers. [Link; paywall]

Trading Troubles

Trader blows €100m hole in Nasdaq’s Nordic power market by Philip Stafford and David Sheppard (FT)

Live by the vol, die by the vol. In extremely volatile Nordic and German electricity markets, one trader had such a bad run that stability funds in Nasdaq clearing have run up nine figure losses cleaning up the mess of horrible trades. [Link; paywall]

The Incredible Shrinking Hedge Fund by Katherine Burton, Melissa Karsh, and Sam Dodge (Bloomberg)

Very large firms that used to dominate the landscape with $10s of billions in assets are now shadows of their former selves, battling against industry-wide outflows as well as underperformance. [Link; soft paywall]


Stephanie Kelton Wants You to Rethink the Deficit by Ben Walsh (Barron’s)

A profile on the public face of modern monetary theory, an economic argument that government deficits matter much less than we usually think. [Link; paywall]

Whither Labor Force Participation? by Rene Chalom, Fatih Karahan, Laura Pilossoph, and Giorgio Topa (NY Fed Liberty St Economics)

Labor force participation has flattened out, despite an aging workforce. Per this analysis by NY Fed economists, since 2016 more than half of the trend has been due to labor market tightening. [Link]

Can Anyone Other than the U.S. Fund a Current Account Deficit These Days? by Brad W. Setser (Council on Foreign Relations)

The vast majority of current account deficits around the world are found in emerging markets, where currencies are collapsing in a fine that they can’t be funded. Is the US the only one that can still fund a deficit? [Link]

Strange News

Author of ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ arrested for allegedly killing her husband by Storm Gifford (SunSentinel)

Life is apparently just as strange as fiction; 27 years earlier, accused murderer Nancy Crampton-Brophy penned an essay “How to Murder Your Husband”. [Link]

Meet the other empty nesters. They’re dogs and they miss the kids, too by Beth Teitell (The Boston Globe)

Won’t someone think of the pups? When children head off to college or homes of their own, family pets often feel the sting of an empty house just as much as parents. [Link]

Unlikely weapon: petanque balls help disarm Paris attacker by Thomas Adamson (AP)

Petanque, which is similar to bocce or lawn bowls, is apparently a highly effective supply of weapons for citizens defending themselves against a knife-wielding attacker. [Link]

Hackers Can Steal A Tesla Model S In Seconds By Cloning Its Key Fob by Andy Greenberg (Wired)

While Tesla may have made remote access to its systems more secure, if a hacker were to gain access to a car’s key fob, they would be able to clone it and get access to the care very quickly – not so different from traditional car keys. [Link]


The Sports Pages’ New Clothes by Aaron Gordon (Slate)

The Athletic is making what is old (paid coverage of local sports) new again, hiring local talent and charging users for very high quality reporting on the teams that they follow. [Link]

Athlete Banned From All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant for Eating All That He Could by Tim Forster (Eater)

A German triathlete plunked down about $19 for an all-you-can-eat sushi dinner, consuming 100 plates or about 18 pounds of sushi. [Link]

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Have a great Sunday!

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