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.

Retail

This Space Available by Corey Kilgannon (NYT)

A photographic journal of open retail space around New York City that captures simultaneously the decline of traditional retail and the consequences of soaring lease costs. [Link; soft paywall]

Amazon’s treasure trove of data by Erica Pandey (Axios)

Arguably the most under-valued component of the online giant’s business is its massive trove of data on consumer behavior. [Link]

Football

Runs in the Family by Sarah Spain (ESPN)

The story of an adopted NFL coach and his journey to find his biological parents. [Link]

Healdsburg High Football Team Calls It Quits After Crushing Shutout Losses by Emily Turner (CBS)

A high school team in California suffered two losses so brutal that they decided to disband the team. With only 18 players, the team lost its first two games by a combined score of 102-0, and two of the 18 players quit. [Link; auto-playing video]

Nike’s online sales jumped 31% after company unveiled Kaepernick campaign, data show by Ciara Linnane (MarketWatch)

This week’s decision by Nike to release an advertisement featuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears to have been good business thus far, with a 31% increase in sales over the following week (versus a 17% increase the prior year). [Link]

US Dollars

One more reminder that the US dollar is dominant by Colby Smith (FTAV)

While the demise of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency is constantly proclaimed, in reality cross-border funding is overwhelmingly dominated by the greenback and if anything that dominance is growing. [Link; registration required]

Missteps

The Regrets of Lewis Ranieri by Cezary Podkul (WSJ)

A retrospective on the career and contributions (not all positive, mind you) of the man who invented bonds backed by mortgage backed securities in the 1980s. [Link; paywall]

What went wrong at Social Capital by Dan Primack (Axios)

The downfall of what was once the hottest investment vehicle in Silicon Valley appears to have been driven by pure hubris on the part of its founder. [Link]

Social Media

SEC Wants to Keep Tabs on Social Media Posts That Could Move Markets by Aaron Boyd (Nextgov)

In a recent solicitation the SEC has started looking for a tool to monitor social media posts that can have an effect on financial markets. [Link]

Americans are changing their relationship with Facebook by Andrew Perrin (Pew)

New survey data shows over 40% of users have taken breaks from the site for at least several weeks in the past year, suggesting much less intensive use than the relatively recent history. [Link]

Meltdowns

Elon Musk appears to smoke marijuana during an interview by Victor Reklaitis (MarketWatch)

While marijuana may now be legal in numerous states, consequences and stigmas from marijuana use are still in place as Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now discovering after toking up during an interview. [Link]

Italy’s Populists Begin Their Big Betrayal by Ferdinando Giugliano (Bloomberg)

Markets forced some harsh realities onto the populist coalition governing Italy, which has backtracked on anti-euro and anti-austerity rhetoric quickly. [Link; soft paywall]

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Have a great Sunday!

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