Friday, September 20, 2019


The Netflix three-part docuseries, "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates," was released today.

A Taxonomy of Moats - by Jerry Neumann (LINK)

How We Should Bust an Investing Myth - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Three Things I Think I Think – Repo Madness! - by Cullen Roche (LINK)

Jim Chanos videos on CNBC on why he's shorting DaVita and shorting Grubhub.

Exponent Podcast: 173 — The Exponent IPO (LINK)

The Bill Simmons Podcast: Malcolm Gladwell (LINK)
Related book: Talking to Strangers
The Quiet Disappearance of Birds in North America - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Though the continent has lost 3 billion birds since 1970, those losses are hard to glean because it’s the commonest species that have been hit hardest.
The Real Danger of Booze-Making Gut Bacteria - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Microbes can produce so much alcohol that people become drunk—and sustain liver damage—without touching any booze.

Thursday, September 19, 2019


"The whole secret of investment is to find places where it’s safe and wise to non-diversify. It’s just that simple. Diversification is for the know-nothing investor; it’s not for the professional."  --Charlie Munger (2008

"And there’s nothing wrong with the know-nothing investor practicing it. It’s exactly what they should practice. It’s exactly what a good professional investor should not practice. There’s no contradiction in that. A know-nothing investor will get decent results as long as they know they’re a know-nothing investor, diversify as to time they purchase their equities, and as to the equities they purchase. That’s crazy for somebody that really knows what they’re doing. And you will find opportunities that, if you put 20 percent of your net worth in it, you’ll have wasted the opportunity of a lifetime, in terms of not really loading up. And we’ve had the chance to do that, way, way in our past, when we were working with small sums of money. We’ll never get a chance to do that working with the kinds of money that Berkshire does. We try to load up on things. And there will be markets when we get a chance to from time to time, but very seldom do we get to buy as much of any good idea as we would like to." --Warren Buffett (2008)

What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max? - by William Langewiesche (LINK)

Bob Iger Remembers Steve Jobs, the Pixar Drama, and the Apple Merger That Wasn't. (LINK)
Related book: The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Insights on VC Pricing: Lessons from Uber, WeWorks and Peloton! - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

Am I a market fundamentalist? - by Russ Roberts (LINK)

Steve Schwarzman talks with James Altucher about his new book, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence (podcast) (LINK)

Malcolm Gladwell talks with Oprah about his new book, Talking to Strangers (podcast) (LINK)

One Protein Makes Ebola Deadly. Scientists Can Turn it Off (LINK)

A final message from T. Boone Pickens shared before his passing on September 11, 2019 (LINK)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


"There have been...several times I had 75 percent of my net worth in one situation.... You will see things that it would be a mistake — if you’re working with smaller sums — it would be a mistake not to have half your net worth in. You really do, sometimes in securities, see things that are lead-pipe cinches. And you’re not going to see them often and they’re not going to be talking about them on television or anything of the sort, but there will be some extraordinary things happen in a lifetime where you can put 75 percent of your net worth or something like that in a given situation.... There’s quite a few people in this room that have close to a hundred percent of their net worth in Berkshire, and some of them have had it for 40 or more years. Berkshire was not in a cinch category. It was in the strong probability category, I think. But I saw things in 2002 in the junk bond field. I saw things in the equity markets. If you could have bought Cap Cities with Tom Murphy running it in 1974, it was selling at a third or a fourth what the properties were worth and you had the best manager in the world running the place and you had a business that was pretty damn good even if the manager wasn’t. You could have put a hundred percent of your net worth in there and not worry. You could put a hundred percent of your net worth in Coca-Cola, earlier than when we bought it, but certainly around the time we bought it, and that would not have been a dangerous position." --Warren Buffett (2008)

Warren Buffett Protege to Leave Berkshire, Start Own Firm ($) (LINK)
Tracy Britt Cool says she wants to work with companies ‘too small for Berkshire’
Q&A with Brandes: Why Look for Opportunities Overseas? [H/T @MebFaber] (LINK)

‘This Is Not the Way Everybody Behaves.’ How Adam Neumann’s Over-the-Top Style Built WeWork. ($) (LINK)
The skills that helped fuel We Co.’s breakneck growth are piling up as potential liabilities as the company prepares to go public
Is the Price of Gold Manipulated? (2018 video w/ Grant Williams) (LINK)

How billionaire philanthropy provides reproductive health care when politicians won’t [H/T @NicoleFriedman] (LINK)
This is how we’ve arrived at a point where Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, two of the biggest philanthropists in the world, are the leading providers of access to contraception worldwide, and Buffett is the leading provider of abortion access for poor women in the U.S.
The Case for Being a Multi-Hyphenate - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

Use ancient remains more wisely [H/T @edyong209] (LINK)

How Ancient DNA Can Help Recast Colonial History - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day: That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Bill Gates on Global Inequality, Climate Change and Big Tech (video) [H/T Will] (LINK)

Day Two to One Day - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Fat, Happy, And In Over Your Head - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

The James Altucher Show (podcast): The Art of Human Connection: Brian Grazer on How to Let Curiosity Lead You Forward (LINK)
Related book: Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection
The Joe Rogan Experience (podcast): #1352 - Sean Carroll (LINK)
Related book: Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
Record breaker: Astronomers find the most massive neutron star known. Probably the most massive one ever. (LINK)

Deep-Sea Explorers Find Rare Shapeshifting Jellyfish with a Prize Inside (video) [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Monday, September 16, 2019


"We tend to prefer the business which drowns in cash. It just makes so much money that one of the main principles of owning it is you have all this cash coming in. There are other businesses, like the construction equipment business of my old friend John Anderson. And he used to say about his business 'You work hard all year, and at the end of the year there’s your profit sitting in the yard.' There was never any cash. Just more used construction equipment. We tend to hate businesses like that." --Charlie Munger (2008

Never Mind About That Lumber Buyout (LINK)

Activist Investor Webb Proposes Change for Hong Kong's Voting System (video) (LINK)

Great Talks Most People Have Never Heard [H/T @BrentBeshore] (LINK)

The Acquirers Podcast: Thomas Braziel on distressed activism (LINK)

The Meb Faber Show (podcast): #175 - The Biggest Valuation Spread In 40 Years? (LINK)

The Ezra Klein Show (podcast): Randall Munroe, the genius behind XKCD (LINK)
Related book: How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
The Peter Attia Drive Podcast: #71 - Katherine Eban: Widespread fraud in the generic drug industry (LINK)
Related book: Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom
Book of the day [H/T @jasonzweigwsj]: Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression

Saturday, September 14, 2019


How a stealthy insurance tech startup bootstrapped its way to a $2.35B acquisition in less than 4 years [H/T @BrentBeshore] (LINK)

FRMO Corp. - 2019 Shareholder Letter [H/T @colemanrhawkins] (LINK)

How to Factor Fickle Markets Into Your Portfolio - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Immutable Truths and Arguing Fools - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Mohnish Pabrai on The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns (video) (LINK)

Of Ben Graham, Investing, and Eternity (LINK)

Only the Shadow Knows - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

Joe Nocera's 2002 story on T. Boone Pickens (LINK)

International conflict isn't declining, new analysis finds (LINK)

Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: A conversation with the Dean of High Yield (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #386: Ken Burns (LINK)

The Game That Made Rats Jump for Joy - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Scientists taught rats to play hide-and-seek in order to study natural animal behavior—but it was also fun, for both the researchers and the animals.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


"You’ve got to remember that it’s the nature of things that most small businesses will never be big businesses. It’s also in the nature of things that most big businesses eventually fall into mediocrity or worse." --Charlie Munger (2008

The iPhone and Apple’s Services Strategy - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Battle of the Bubbles [H/T @ShaneAParrish] (LINK)
The early darling of fizzy water is losing ground to big soda, and shareholders are questioning its management.
T. Boone Pickens, the ‘Oracle of Oil,’ corporate raider and billionaire philanthropist, dies at 91 (LINK)

Decrypted Podcast: Is Your Amazon Habit Wrecking the Planet? (LINK)

With ‘Talking to Strangers,’ Malcolm Gladwell Goes Dark (LINK)
Related book: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know
Malcolm Gladwell on Talking to Strangers (video) (LINK)

Would you eat an animal if you knew it was as old as the U.S. Constitution? (LINK)

Book of the day (released next month): The Body: A Guide for Occupants - by Bill Bryson

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


"It's a terrible mistake to kind of sleepwalk through your life, because unless Shirley MacLaine is right, it’s the only one you’re going to have.... When you’re in a position to make choices, I always tell the kids that come visit me, 'Go to work for an organization you admire or an individual you admire.'...  It's a lot easier to behave well when things are going your way and you are enjoying your work and you’re thinking about things every day that are the kind of things that you like to think about." --Warren Buffett (2008)

The Mind of Bill Gates, Revealed on Netflix ($) (LINK)
A new documentary [Sept. 20] profiles the tech-titan-turned-philanthropist. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Gates reflects on his shifting public image.
The Power of Questions (LINK)

Untangling the Threads: Stitch Fix is a Bargain - by Steve Vafier (LINK)

Stitch Fix: A Useful Case Study For Retail's Digital Transformation (LINK)

Seeking Alpha Interview: Value Investing With The Boyar Value Group (LINK)

Runaway Story or Meltdown in Motion? The Unraveling of the WeWork IPO - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

Sam Zell weighs in on WeWork's office-sharing business model (video) (LINK)

EconTalk Podcast: Daron Acemoglu on Shared Prosperity and Good Jobs (LINK)

The James Altucher Show (podcast): 486 - Everything Doctor’s & Hospitals are Afraid to Tell You: Dr. Marty Makary on How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills, Advocate For Yourself & Restore U.S. Healthcare (LINK)
Related book: The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care--and How to Fix It
When a Human Liver is Supercooled to -4 C - by Sarah Zhang (LINK)

The Iconic Electric Eel Is Actually Three Species - by Ed Yong (LINK)

‘We May Have to Shoot Down This Aircraft’ [H/T Linc] (LINK)
What the chaos aboard Flight 93 on 9/11 looked like to the White House, to the fighter pilots prepared to ram the cockpit and to the passengers.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


Knowing If You Can Stomach the Next Big Market Swing - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

From Shareholder wealth to Stakeholder interests: CEO Capitulation or Empty Doublespeak? - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

The Time Netflix Considered Selling Itself to Amazon for Peanuts ($) (LINK)

Without state bond, PG&E needs money — and hedge funds await CA’s largest utility (LINK)

RA Conversations: Robert Shiller Explains Narrative Economics (video) (LINK)
Related book: Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events
The Jolly Swagman Podcast: #71: Markets and The Madness of Crowds — Robert Shiller (LINK)

Five Good Questions Podcast: Mark Simpson - Excellent Investing (LINK)
Related book: Excellent Investing: How to Build a Winning Portfolio
Masters in Business Podcast: Kara Swisher Discusses the Tech Industry (LINK)

Planet Money Podcast: #938: The Marshall Plan (LINK)

Neil deGrasse Tyson chats with Joe Rogan (podcast) (LINK)

What’s it like to live on less than $2 a day? (LINK)

A History of South Asia, Told in Ancient DNA - by Sarah Zhang (LINK)

An Astronaut Reared the World’s Highest-Flying Birds - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @ChrisBloomstran]: Mentor: Life and Legacy of Joe Rosenfield

Thursday, September 5, 2019


"What we really like at Berkshire is buying good-sized to very large first-class businesses with first-class management and just sitting there. Because the nice thing about that is you don’t have go from flower to flower. You can just sit there and watch them produce more and more every year and give you capital and you can buy more businesses." --Warren Buffett (2008)

Good Reading — 10th Anniversary Edition - by Phil Ordway (LINK)

Investors and Operators: Lessons I've Learned From Both Worlds - by Brent Beshore (LINK)

A reexamination of ownership in the age of the public corporation - by Roger Lowenstein (LINK)

The Horse Story - by Chris Mayer (LINK)

How U.S. Banks Took Over the World ($) (LINK)
A decade ago, they almost brought down the global financial system. Now they rule it.
Freakonomics Radio (podcast): 388. The Economics of Sports Gambling (LINK)

a16z Podcast: From the Internet’s Past to the Future of Crypto (LINK)
What can we learn from the history of the internet for the future of crypto? In this episode of the a16z Podcast, general partner Katie Haun interviews a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen.
Recode Media Podcast: The epic battle for Uber, with Mike Isaac from the New York Times (LINK)
Related book: Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber
A Radical Guide to Spending Less Time on Your Phone - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

One of Nature’s Greatest Spectacles Is Coming Undone - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Corals release their eggs and sperms with perfect synchronization. But a new study suggests their incredible timing is starting to slip.