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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IRS Weighs Creating a Government-Run Tax-Prep Option (WSJ)
The IRS is considering the creation of a government-run tax preparation option to simplify the process for taxpayers. The option aims to provide free tax preparation services for individuals with simpler tax situations, reducing the burden of hiring third-party tax preparers and saving consumers a lot of money. [link]

NYC Skyscrapers Sit Vacant, Exposing Risk City Never Predicted (Bloomberg)
NYC office vacancies hit a record of 22.7% this year, or more than twice the historical average.  Worse still, is that the vacancy rate won’t drop below 19% until at least 2026. [link]

What if San Francisco never pulls out of its ‘doom loop’? (FT)
With accidental overdoses, abandoned houses, record crime, and a homeless population of 1% of the city’s entire population, San Francisco has fallen on hard times. What will it take for the city to break out of its doom loop? [link]

The ‘great resignation’ has become the ‘big stay,’ says economist: How Gen Z, millennials can benefit (CNBC)
After a year in which employees faced seemingly unlimited job opportunities, the labor market has softened. “The labor market is no longer in job switchers’ favor.” [link]


Nuclear Tests May Be Back on Moscow’s Agenda (Foreign Policy)
With their arsenals aging, the possibility that Russia and the United States will resume nuclear tests would undermine long-term nonproliferation efforts.  Any resumption could have serious implications on arms control agreements and overall stability. [link]

Japanese Stocks Have Hit a 33-Year High. Warren Buffett Helped. (WSJ)
Foreign investors have purchased a record amount of Japanese stocks over the last six weeks, and it appears as though Warren Buffett may have started the stampede. [link]

Science and Nature

Did Scientists Accidentally Invent an Anti-addiction Drug? (The Atlantic)
An increasing number of patients taking Wegovy (aka Ozemoc) have reported that the drug has not only suppressed their appetites, but it has also reduced the urge to drink, shop, smoke, or even bite their nails. [link]

A Scientist Says He’s Solved the Bermuda Triangle, Just Like That (Popular Mechanics)
Karl Kruszelnicki claims he has solved the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. He says that there is no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency than in other well-traveled regions of the ocean. [link]

‘Planet killer’ asteroids pose no threat to Earth for at least 1,000 years (Live Science)
Well, as crazy things have become these days, we can all take comfort in the fact that a world-ending asteroid blast will not be a problem…until at least the year 3000. [link]


Titanic: First ever full-sized scans reveal wreck as never seen before (BBC)
The first full-sized digital scan of the Titanic, which lies 3,800m (12,500ft) down in the Atlantic, has been created using deep-sea mapping. Check out the article for some great photos. [link]

Human-evolution story rewritten by fresh data and more computing power (Nature)
New research based on large-scale computer models is moving away from the theory that humans originated from a single region of Africa. [link]

What Happened in 2022: An Analysis of the 2022 Midterms (Catalist)
A detailed and long read look at national election results for House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races in the 2022 elections. The bottom line: results defied conventional wisdom and historical trends. [link]

Food and Beverage

Why it’s okay to ignore food expiration dates (Washington Post)
Most foods have them, but how accurate are the “sell by’ dates on most foods you buy, and will you get sick if you eat something that’s past its expiration date? The bottom line is that most of the dates have nothing to do with safety.  Best bet? If it doesn’t pass the smell test, don’t eat it. [link]

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Has Lost Its Wiener to Big Beef (Motor Trend)
Goodbye, Wienermobile. Hello Frankmobile.  After nearly a century, Oscar Mayer’s iconic Wienermobile is getting a name change to help draw attention to the company’s ‘100-percent beef’ new hot dog recipe Drivers of the Frankmobile will now be called Frankfurters (instead of Hotdoggers), and Wiener Whistles will be known as Frank Whistles going forward. [link]

The Health Menace Inside Your Sandwich (WSJ)
Recent studies have found that processed meats increase a person’s risk of diseases like cancer and heart disease.  The key ingredient in these products is large amounts of nitrates and sodium.  Is Boar’s Head the next target of the mass tort machine? [link]

AI & Technology

Everyone should use Personal Voice; it does in 15 minutes what currently takes several weeks (9to5mac)
Apple has developed Personal Voice which is a feature that can learn your voice in 15 minutes and turn text that a user types into the interface into audio of their own voice. So, now you really have no idea if the person on the other end of the line is a person or a machine. [link]

Apple Restricts Employee Use of ChatGPT, Joining Other Companies Wary of Leaks (WSJ)
Due to concerns that workers who use these types of programs could release confidential data, Apple is prohibiting employees from using Copilot. [link]

How ChatGPT will raise the bar for millions of entry-level jobs (Fast Company)
Tools like Chat GPT will have major impacts on the labor market in the future with a particularly large impact on the entry-level jobs market. [link]

Lawmakers put on pressure to protect AM radio in vehicles (The Hill)
Following last week’s article discussing how AM radio could become a casualty of the shift to EVs, lawmakers are pressuring car companies to keep talk radio alive. “If Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets to space, he can certainly afford to include AM radio in his Teslas”. [link]

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Have a great weekend!

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