Friday, December 9, 2016


Michael Lewis on Charlie Rose discussing his new book, The Undoing Project (video) (LINK)

Latticework Of Mental Models: Hyperbolic Discounting (LINK)

Robert Shiller on CNBC (video) (LINK)

Tim Ferriss on CNBC discussing his new book, Tools of Titans (video) (LINK)

What Comes After Mobile? - by Benedict Evans (LINK)

Speaking Truth to Power: An Interview With Peter Buffett (LINK)
Related book: Life is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment

Serenity and stability...

From The Daily Stoic:
“For if a person shifts their caution to their own reasoned choices and the acts of those choices, they will at the same time gain the will to avoid, but if they shift their caution away from their own reasoned choices to things not under their control, seeking to avoid what is controlled by others, they will then be agitated, fearful, and unstable.” —EPICTETUS 
...Epictetus is reminding you that serenity and stability are results of your choices and judgment, not your environment. If you seek to avoid all disruptions to tranquility—other people, external events, stress—you will never be successful. Your problems will follow you wherever you run and hide. But if you seek to avoid the harmful and disruptive judgments that cause those problems, then you will be stable and steady wherever you happen to be.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Information on the documentary "Becoming Warren Buffett," that airs January 30th on HBO (LINK)

Google Makes So Much Money, It Never Had to Worry About Financial Discipline—Until Now [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Facebook's Investors Criticize Marc Andreessen For Conflict of Interest (LINK)

Why active fund managers should cheer the rise of ETFs (LINK)

A Short History Of The Most Important Economic Theory In Tech (LINK)
Twenty years ago, W. Brian Arthur popularized a concept that forever changed Silicon Valley—with a little help from Cormac McCarthy.
Freakonomics Radio (podcast): Bad Medicine, Part 2: (Drug) Trials and Tribulations (LINK)
How do so many ineffective and even dangerous drugs make it to market? One reason is that clinical trials are often run on "dream patients" who aren't representative of a larger population. On the other hand, sometimes the only thing worse than being excluded from a drug trial is being included.
Brain Pickings: Tim Ferriss on How He Survived Suicidal Depression and His Tools for Warding Off the Darkness (LINK)
Related book: Tools of Titans
Massimo Pigliucci on Seneca's essay "On the Shortness of Life" (LINK)
Related book (which includes a couple of other essays): On the Shortness of Life 
Related audiobook: On the Shortness of Life, On the Happy Life, and Other Essays: Essays, Volume 1
National Geographic’s Best Photographs of 2016 (LINK)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Warren Buffett Says Donald Trump Won't Derail the Economy [H/T Will] (LINK)

Transcript of the 2016 FRMO Corporation Annual Meeting of Shareholders [H/T Daniel] (LINK)

OpenDoor: A Startup Worth Emulating - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Tim Ferriss on the James Altucher podcast (Part 1) (LINK)
Related book: Tools of Titans
From Deep Tallies to Deep Schedules: A Recent Change To My Deep Work Habits - by Cal Newport (LINK)
Related book: Deep Work
Scientists Turn Nuclear Waste into Diamond Batteries That’ll Last for Thousands of Years (LINK)

Covering the Cops - By Calvin Trillin [A 1986 article described by Charles Duhigg (on the James Altucher podcast) as being "one of the best-written pieces on the face of the planet."] (LINK)

[Trillin is also the author of Messages from My Father, a book one of Charlie Munger's children once sent to him, and in which Munger then sent to the rest of his family. See pages 44-45 of Poor Charlie's Almanack for the story.]

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


My Favorite Books of 2016 - by Bill Gates (LINK)
The books: 1) String Theory - by David Foster Wallace; 2) Shoe Dog - by Phil Knight (also a great audiobook narration); 3) The Gene - by Siddhartha Mukherjee; 4) The Myth of the Strong Leader - by Archie Brown; 5) The Grid - by Gretchen Bakke
The Bad Side of a Good Idea - by Morgan Housel (LINK)
The number of publicly traded U.S. companies peaked in 1996 at 7,322. Today there are just over 3,700, according to Wilshire Associates. The U.S. population has risen nearly 50% since 1975, and real GDP has tripled. But the number of public companies has declined 21%. 
Understanding why this happening, how we got here, and what we can do about it is an important topic we wanted to tackle. So we put together a report.
Bill Gross' December 2016 Investment Outlook (LINK)

A chat between T. Boone Pickens and Joe Nocera (video) (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Health Data — A Feedback Loop for Humanity (LINK)

Edge #483: How Should a Society Be? - A Conversation With Brian Christian (LINK)
Related book: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
Michael Lewis on CNBC (Video 1, Video 2) [Lewis' comment about Amos Tversky's advice for people to get out of anything they don't want to be doing: "[Tversky] said don't worry about making up an excuse for not being there. Just get up and start walking, and it's amazing how quickly your mind will formulate the words as to why you have to leave."]

As Michael Lewis makes the rounds for his new book, Jeff Gramm linked to a couple of his older articles that may of interest: 1) Milken's Morals, and Ours - By Michael Lewis (1990); and 2) The Master of Money - By Michael Lewis (2009) [a review of The Snowball, Alice Schroeder's biography on Warren Buffett]

Also released today: Tools of Titans - by Tim Ferriss

Book of the day: My Voice Will Go with You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson

Monday, December 5, 2016


From Michael Lewis, a Portrait of the Men Who Shaped ‘Moneyball’ (LINK)
Related book (released tomorrow): The Undoing Project
Video: Author Michael Lewis on "The Undoing Project" [H/T Linc] (LINK)

There’s a Big New Investor in Stock Markets: The State (LINK)
Two of the world’s most important stock markets have a big new investor—the state.
About 30% of all the companies in Japan’s three main equity indexes now count the country’s central bank as one of their top 10 shareholders, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data as of the end of September. Six years ago, the Bank of Japan’s presence in the market was trivial.
In China, two major state-owned investment funds that are part of the so-called national team have become top 10 shareholders in 39% of listed companies over the past year, according to UBS, which analyzed shareholdings as of the end of September.
Huawei’s Hard-Charging Workplace Culture Drives Growth, Demands Sacrifice [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Stephen Hawking: This is the most dangerous time for our planet (LINK)
We can’t go on ignoring inequality, because we have the means to destroy our world but not to escape it
A few notes I took after reading Michael Mauboussin’s Base Rate book - by Stefan Cheplick (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Illusion Of Control (LINK)

The myth of quick - by Seth Godin (LINK)

Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News (LINK)

Some nice thoughts about reading in a Tweetstorm from Patrick O’Shaughnessy (LINK)

For Kindle readers, I just noticed that some of the books that Charlie Munger has recommended have been made available in Kindle format over the last few years, such as: Models of My Life, Ice Age, and A Matter of Degrees.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


The Formula for Valuing All Assets (LINK)

25iq: A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About Negotiation - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

John Carreyrou and Michael Siconolfi of The Wall Street Journal discuss the investigation of Theranos (video) (LINK)

Dallas Stares Down a Texas-Size Threat of Bankruptcy [H/T @pcordway] (LINK)

Southeastern Asset Management's fall webcast transcript [H/T @chriswmayer] (LINK)

Mutual Fund Observer, December 2016 (LINK)

James Gleick on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)
Related books: 1) Time Travel: A History; 2) The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood; 3) Chaos: Making a New Science (I remember Robert Sapolsky saying this was one of the first-ever books he immediately started re-reading when he finished it. He also assigned it to his students, in what I believe may have been his Human Behavioral Biology course.); 4) Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman; 5) Isaac Newton
Exponent podcast: Episode 097 — Google Versus AWS (LINK)

John Donahoe: Dump the Myth of the High Achiever (article and video) [H/T @anuhariharan] (LINK)

If you're looking for holiday gift ideas, Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools book is worth considering. He also has a Cool Tools blog and email newsletter.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Seth Klarman on liquidity

From Margin of Safety:
When investors do not demand compensation for bearing illiquidity, they almost always come to regret it. 
Most of the time liquidity is not of great importance in managing a long-term-oriented investment portfolio. Few investors require a completely liquid portfolio that could be turned rapidly into cash. However, unexpected liquidity needs do occur. Because the opportunity cost of illiquidity is high, no investment portfolio should be completely illiquid either. Most portfolios should maintain a balance, opting for greater illiquidity when the market compensates investors well for bearing it. 
A mitigating factor in the tradeoff between return and liquidity is duration. While you must always be well paid to sacrifice liquidity, the required compensation depends on how long you will be illiquid. Ten or twenty years of illiquidity is far riskier than one or two months; in effect, the short duration of an investment itself serves as a source of liquidity. 
...In times of general market stability the liquidity of a security or class of securities can appear high. In truth liquidity is closely correlated with investment fashion. During a market panic the liquidity that seemed miles wide in the course of an upswing may turn out only to have been inches deep. Some securities that traded in high volume when they were in favor may hardly trade at all when they go out of vogue.   
When your portfolio is completely in cash, there is no risk of loss. There is also, however, no possibility of earning a high return. The tension between earning a high return, on the one hand, and avoiding risk, on the other, can run high. The appropriate balance between illiquidity and liquidity, between seeking return and limiting risk, is never easy to determine. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Business Blunder: Pancake Flipper Al Lapin Jr. & International Industries (IHOP) (LINK)

IP Capital (Brazil) with a discussion on Amazon in its Q3 report (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter, December 2016 (LINK)

Michael Hudson and Steve Keen discussing macro (Real Vision TV transcript) (LINK)

Macro Voices podcast -- Art Berman: OPEC Production Cut, Crude Oil Outlook (LINK)

An interesting podcast worth checking out: The Distance [H/T Aaron] (LINK)
The Distance is a podcast by Basecamp about longevity in business, featuring the stories of businesses that have endured for at least 25 years and the people who got them there.
Freakonomics Radio (podcast) -- Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (LINK)
We tend to think of medicine as a science, but for most of human history it has been scientific-ish at best. In the first episode of a three-part series, we look at the grotesque mistakes produced by centuries of trial-and-error, and ask whether the new era of evidence-based medicine is the solution.
Brain Pickings -- Genes and the Holy G: Siddhartha Mukherjee on the Dark Cultural History of IQ and Why We Can’t Measure Intelligence (LINK)
Related book: The Gene: An Intimate History
It’s Personal: Five Scientists on the Heroes Who Changed Their Lives (LINK)

World's Largest Cluster of Sinkholes Discovered (LINK)

Seneca on Cato: the best quotes (LINK)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


How Google Is Challenging AWS - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Get Thee to a Brokerage! Low Rates Turn Nuns Into Traders (LINK)

Jim Koch on scary vs. dangerous (LINK)
Related book: Quench Your Own Thirst 
Related links: 1) How I Built This podcast - Samuel Adams: Jim Koch; 2) Jim Koch: "Quench Your Own Thirst" | Talks at Google
The Knowledge Project podcast: Samuel Arbesman on Complex Adaptive Systems and the Difference between Biological and Physics Based Thinking (LINK)
Related book: Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension
Meb Faber talks with Mark Yusko (podcast) (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Knowledge Builds Technology and Technology Builds Knowledge (LINK)
Related book: A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy
Your Most Important Thing Is Not Enough (LINK)