East Coast Asset Management 2015 Letter - Twin Lights (LINK) [Chris Begg's letters are always one of my favorite reads, and this particular letter even more so, as I think the insights discussed relating to business culture are both important and enduring models of how the world works.]
The foundational understanding where we are looking to arrive at is to determine the compounding merit of the investment–superior returns, asymmetric risk, and ideally a long-duration. We value the important truth that almost any advantage can be copied away eventually and that the only truly sustainable long-term competitive advantage lies in the culture of a business.
The more businesses we study, the more we find that these insights apply perfectly to what determines an outlier organization. The common thread that connects our greatest investments over the longest durations has been one of greater structural organization leading to the ability to scale those businesses whereby greater and greater amounts of work are attracted to that system. Intuition might suggest that the great investments came from being early to a revolutionary product or an early entrant into a huge market opportunity. This has not proven to be the case. What we have found is that an evolved system that values persistent incremental progress eternally repeated (PIPER mindset) has delivered the greatest return, while taking the least amount of risk over the longest duration.
A Dozen Things you can Learn from the Anti-Models that are Bernard Madoff and his Victims (LINK)
FPA Crescent Fund's Q4 2015 Webcast Replay and Transcript (LINK)
Heed the threats to globalization - By Edward Chancellor [H/T @ChrisPavese] (LINK)
Opalesque.TV talks to Michael Lewitt, whose new book, The Committee to Destroy the World: Inside the Plot to Unleash a Super Crash on the Global Economy, comes out next month (video) [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)
Mohammed El-Erian on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)
Sebastian Thrun on Charlie Rose (from December) (video) (LINK)
One friend and blogger's list of books read in 2015 is a good place to start if you're looking for your next read (LINK)
George Washington, the Whiskey Baron of Mount Vernon (LINK)
Related book: Washington: A LifePBS Nova: Memory Hackers (video) [H/T Linc] (LINK)
How Jaguars Survived the Ice Age (LINK)