Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Buffett’s votes hold steady, despite gifts of shares [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Bill Ackman and Michael Pearson: The Inside Story (LINK)

Source of report on Bear Stearns finally revealed (LINK) [The FCIC interview transcript with Tom Marano mentioning Kyle Bass is HERE.]

Vanity Fair talks to Chamath Palihapitiya [H/T @TMFHousel] (LINK)
Even in Silicon Valley, the home of the ever-present origin story, Chamath Palihapitiya has a pretty incredible narrative. The Sri Lankan immigrant escaped a civil war in his homeland before eventually landing a job at a new company called Facebook. Then he started a venture-capital firm that is now among the most formidable in the Valley. He is also an owner of the Golden State Warriors, the defending N.B.A. champions, who are on pace to the achieve the greatest season in league history. 
[And one of the questions and answers from the interview that I thought was especially useful in trying to think about the great companies of the future...] 
What are the characteristics of the companies you see surviving a downturn?

If you look back, historically, companies like Microsoft or Apple have taken 25 to 35 years to get to the kinds of valuations that Facebook got to in 10 years. And the reaction to this in Silicon Valley is to try to find things that work really quickly. Over the last seven or eight years, Silicon Valley has really fallen in love with fast growth. Part of this is the risk aversion of the financiers, who themselves want to have short-term wins and want to fund things that look like they’re working in the short term.

But the problem with things that work really quickly is that they can stop working equally as quickly. Valuable companies take decades to build. We try to find businesses that are technologically ambitious, that are difficult, that will require tremendous intellectual horsepower, but can basically solve these huge human needs in ways that advance humanity forward. Those things don’t necessarily take lots of money, but they generally do take lots of time. And they require really mission-driven people. But when you build those companies, my gosh, they are so enormously valuable.

The businesses that, in my opinion, are worthless are many of these negative-gross-margin businesses that grow really quickly. Because the growth doesn’t indicate any long-term business value.
Chamath Palihapitiya also talked to Kara Swisher on the Recode podcast recently [H/T The Waiter's Pad] (LINK)

The Obama Doctrine (LINK) [This article was highly recommended by Ian Bremmer on Charlie Rose last week.]

It takes a network to defeat a network - by Niall Ferguson (LINK)

Quote of the day:
"Natural desires are limited; but those which spring from false opinion can have no stopping-point. The false has no limits. When you are travelling on a road, there must be an end; but when astray, your wanderings are limitless. Recall your steps, therefore, from idle things, and when you would know whether that which you seek is based upon a natural or upon a misleading desire, consider whether it can stop at any definite point. If you find, after having travelled far, that there is a more distant goal always in view, you may be sure that this condition is contrary to nature." -Seneca