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)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Welling on Wall St. interview with Mark and Jonathan Boyar [H/T @chriswmayer] (LINK)

Two Important Investment Principles - By John Huber (LINK)
Related previous post: Glenn Greenberg on zeroing in and not getting caught up in the minutiae
Big Names Take Hit on Theranos (LINK)
High-profile private investors gave startup much of its funding but could see their stakes wiped out
Bill Walton, Old Einhorn Enemy, Makes a Comeback With Trump Role [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)
Related book: Fooling Some of the People All of the Time
Sebastian Mallaby on Charlie Rose discussing his latest book, The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan (video) (LINK)

The Man Behind Shake Shack Explains Why You Love It So Much (podcast) [H/T @iddings_sean] (LINK)

How Otto Defied Nevada and Scored a $680 Million Payout from Uber (LINK)

Tools of Titans: Josh Waitzkin Distilled - by Tim Ferriss (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers  
Related previous post (with other links): Josh Waitzkin on The Tim Ferriss Show
Video: How We Get Hooked, & How to Unlearn Our Patterns - By Leo Babauta (webinar) (LINK)

Seneca was a man, not a Sage - by Massimo Pigliucci (LINK)
Related free Kindle book (published in 1920): The Stoic: A biography of Seneca

Sunday, November 27, 2016


A Dozen Things Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Learned From See’s Candies - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Some of the Wisest Words Ever Spoken About Investing - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Five Good Questions for Sundeep Bajikar about his book Equity Research for the Technology Investor: Value Investing in Technology Stocks (video) (LINK)

Robert Cialdini on the Innovation Ecosystem podcast (LINK)
Related book: Pre-Suasion
50 Things That Made the Modern Economy podcast: Concrete (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Drones for Delivery in Healthcare (LINK)

The Need to Read (LINK)

How Surgeons Stay Focused for Hours [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Inside the Private Lives of Orangutans (LINK)

Friday, November 25, 2016


Mohnish Pabrai Lecture at Boston College (Carroll School of Mgmt) - Nov 3, 2016 (video) (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Lucifer Effect (LINK)

James Simons’s Foundation Starts New Institute for Computing, Big Data [H/T Will] (LINK)

Joshua Foer: "Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Jupiter Unwrapped (LINK)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Audible's "Treat Yourself Sale 2016"

Audible's latest sale is a big one, with some great titles. Below are some that stood out to me (prices range from $4.95 to $6.95):

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. - by Ron Chernow

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance - by Ron Chernow

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - by Alfred Lansing

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World - by Michael Lewis

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers - by Ben Horowitz

Think and Grow Rich - by Napoleon Hill

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else - by Geoff Colvin

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know about Leadership - by Richard Branson

Freakonomics: Revised Edition - by Steven D. Levitt,  Stephen J. Dubner

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data - by Charles Wheelan

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works - by Dan Harris

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions - by Brian Christian,  Tom Griffiths

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't - by Simon Sinek

Lincoln - by David Herbert Donald

John Quincy Adams - by Harlow Giles Unger

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris - by David McCullough

The Graveyard Book (Full-Cast Production) - by Neil Gaiman

The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - by J.R.R. Tolkien


As a reminder around holiday shopping season, you can support this blog by shopping on Amazon through THIS LINK (also available on the right side of the homepage). If you choose not to use the link for this blog, consider using the link for one of your other favorite blogs. Overall, it's a good way to support the bloggers of the world without directly using their sites' donation tabs and tip jars.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Surprise! Warren Buffett turns out to be more prescient about stocks than politics - by  Carol J. Loomis (LINK)
...Buffett’s prediction concerned what magnitude of total returns—stock appreciation plus reinvested dividends—U.S. investors would reap in the 17 years that began as 1999 was moving to its close. Buffett made the prediction originally in July of that year in a speech he gave at an Allen & Co. conference; repeated it in several speeches over the next few months; and worked with this writer to turn the speeches into a Fortune article, “Mr. Buffett on the Stock Market,” that ran in our Nov. 22, 1999 issue. You will notice that today is precisely 17 years later. 
...Net of the trading and management costs that investors incur, he said—implying that these costs could strip investors of a percentage point in their return—he predicted they might realize annual returns in the 17-year period from late 1999 to late 2016 that would be a so-so 6%. 
Today, with the 17 years having passed, what is the answer? 
First of all, be reminded that the stock market—as it is presented by the Dow and Standard & Poor’s indices, for example—does not deal in “net” returns. What you monitor on your computer screens are gross returns, before any trading and management costs are deducted. 
But the record shows that the period’s gross returns are anemic enough to confirm Buffett’s general accuracy. From mid-November, 1999, to last Friday’s trading day, the annualized total return to investors from the Dow Industrials was 5.9%.
Q&A With Jack Bogle: ‘We’re in the Middle of a Revolution’ (LINK)

Ackman Admits Mistake, but Chipotle Bet Could Be Another [H/T @HurriCap] (LINK)

Ed Yong "I Contain Multitudes" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
David Macaulay: "The Way Things Work Now" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: The Way Things Work Now
Mars Is Going Through a Bit of a Dry Spell. How Do We Know? Rusty Meteorites. (LINK)

These Web-Footed Monkeys Are Built For Swimming (video) (LINK)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


How I Built This is a podcast - Southwest Airlines: Herb Kelleher (LINK)
Related book: Nuts!: Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success
Fairholme Capital Management Public Conference Call Transcript [H/T Will] (LINK)

Alfred P. Sloan on Automobile Distribution (LINK)
Related book: My Years with General Motors
Don’t Be A Chicken - by Ian Cassel (LINK)

Reflecting on Mass Customization - by Shai Dardashti (LINK)

In the game of life, anything times zero must still be zero - by Rory Sutherland (LINK)

Edge #482: Glitches - A Conversation With Laurie Santos (LINK)

Monday, November 21, 2016


Notes from Warren Buffett’s Meeting with University of Maryland Students (LINK)

25iq: Why Moats are Essential for Profitability (Restaurant Edition) - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Morgan Creek Capital Management's Q3 Letter (LINK)

Udemy: Value Investing, Taught by Six Superinvestors [H/T @HurriCap] (LINK)

Mohnish Pabrai's Interview with ET NOW on Trump, Demonetization and Value Investing (LINK)

Decoding Amazon's Fashion Ambitions [H/T @BaseHitInvestor] (LINK)

Inside a Moneymaking Machine Like No Other [H/T Matt] (LINK)
The Medallion Fund, an employees-only offering for the quants at Renaissance Technologies, is the blackest box in all of finance.
The Big Short: is the next financial crisis on its way? [H/T Hurricane Capital] (LINK)
Steve Eisman saw the last crash coming and was portrayed in an Oscar-winning film. Now he believes Europe’s banks, especially Italy’s, are at risk
50 Things That Made the Modern Economy podcast: The Shipping Container (LINK)
Related book: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

Friday, November 18, 2016


Capital Allocation Outside the U.S. -- Evidence, Analytical Methods, and Assessment Guidance - by Michael Mauboussin, et al. [H/T @HurriCap] (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Porter’s Five Forces Analysis (LINK)

An interview with Guy Spier (Part 1, Part 2)

Family Feuds: The Promise and Peril of Family Group Companies! - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

The Strange Consequences of India’s Banknote Ban (audio plays) [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Valeant's Pharmacy Ties Get Even Murkier (LINK)

Valeant and Philidor after the criminal charges - by John Hempton (LINK)

Wal-Mart Tackles Food Safety With Trial of Blockchain [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Exponent podcast: Episode 096 — Sins of Commission and Omission (LINK)

The Economist reviews the book The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization (LINK)

Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency - by David Remnick (LINK)

Professor Stephen Hawking: Humanity will not survive another 1,000 years if we don’t escape our planet [H/T Will] (LINK)

Charlie Munger flashback of the day.... At the 2015 Daily Journal Annual Meeting, Munger was asked a question relating to how he reads. His response:
"I've never taken notes. I never kept notes when I was a student. I just read what I please when I feel like reading it, and I think what I think when I feel like thinking it. And that's my system. I don't think it's the right system for everybody, but it seems to have worked well enough for me to enable me to get by."

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Microsoft Founder Bill Gates addressing India's top policy makers (video) [H/T @oraunak] (LINK)

A Perfume that Smells Like Poop? - By Bill Gates (LINK)

Sustainable Sources of Competitive Advantage - by Morgan Housel (LINK)
Someone with a 110 IQ but the ability to recognize when the world changes will always beat the person with a 140 IQ and rigid beliefs. The world is filled with smart people who get nowhere because their intelligence was acquired 20 or 30 years ago in a vastly different world than we live in today. And since intelligence has a lot of sunk costs – college is expensive and hard, for example – people tend to cling to what they learn, even while the world around them constantly changes. So the ability to realize when you’re wrong and when things changed can be more effective than an ability to solve problems that are no longer relevant. This seems obvious until you watch, say, Kodak or Sears trying to solve 1980’s problems in the 2000s. 
Marc Andreessen promotes the idea of “strong beliefs, weakly held,” which I love. Few things are more powerful than strongly believing in an idea (focus) but being willing to let go of it when it’s proven wrong or outdated (humility).
Quality Companies, Compounders and Value Traps (LINK)

Jim Chanos on Trump's Election Win and Stocks [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

Theranos Whistleblower Shook the Company—And His Family (LINK)’s Marketplace Concept Spreads to Other Retailers [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Unmoored From Reality: DryShips Halted After 1,500% Post-Election Rally [H/T Matt] (LINK) [It dropped quite a bit when it re-opened, though still up significantly from where it was before the election.]

Default Clouds Hang Over Commercial Property Sector [H/T @IntrinsicInv] (LINK)

Want to Really Make America Great Again? Stop Reading the News. - By Ryan Holiday (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio: How to Make a Bad Decision (audio) (LINK)
Some of our most important decisions are shaped by something as random as the order in which we make them. The gambler's fallacy, as it's known, affects loan officers, federal judges -- and probably you too. How to avoid it? The first step is to admit just how fallible we all are.
TED Talk - Steven Johnson: How play leads to great inventions (LINK)
Related book: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Reflections on the Trump Presidency, One Week after the Election - by Ray Dalio (LINK)

Bill Gross' November 2016 Investment Outlook: "Populism Takes a Wrong Turn" (LINK)

James Montier says nothing is cheap and his GMO is holding cash ($) (LINK)

TED Talk - Bettina Warburg: How the blockchain will radically transform the economy (LINK)

Fake News - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time (LINK)

If you're looking for a health/diet book, Mark Sisson just came out with an updated version of his main book: The New Primal Blueprint

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Warren Buffett's Berkshire makes surprise U.S. airline bet (LINK) [While Mr. Buffett may have just changed his mind, it seems likely it was Todd Combs or Ted Weschler that made the investment, given Buffett's comments over the years on airlines.... Such as: 1) "We have no ability to forecast the economics of the investment banking business, the airline industry, or the paper industry."; 2) "When Richard Branson, the wealthy owner of Virgin Atlantic Airways, was asked how to become a millionaire, he had a quick answer: 'There’s really nothing to it. Start as a billionaire and then buy an airline.'"; 3) "The worst sort of business is one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender the growth, and then earns little or no money.  Think airlines.  Here a durable competitive advantage has proven elusive ever since the days of the Wright Brothers.  Indeed, if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down."; 4) "I have an 800 number now that I call if I get the urge to buy an airline stock. I call at 2 in the morning and I say: 'My name is Warren, and I'm an aeroholic.' And then they talk me down."]

Chris Mayer's September MicroCap Leadership Summit presentation on 100-Baggers (video) (LINK)
Related books: 1) 100 Baggers: Stocks That Return 100-to-1 and How To Find Them; 2) 100 to 1 in the Stock Market 
Related video presentation: Mohnish Pabrai's Lecture at Peking University: "The Quest for 10-100 Baggers"
Sanjay Bakshi: Rental Yield vs. Dividend Yield (LINK)

Bill Gates Talks to Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee (LINK)
Related book: The Gene: An Intimate History
Marc Andreessen on Change, Constraints, and Curiosity (video) [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

How Two Trailblazing Psychologists Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down - by Michael Lewis (LINK)
Related book: The Undoing Project - by Michael Lewis
Book of the day (just released): Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations - by Dan Ariely

Monday, November 14, 2016

Howard Marks Memo: Go Figure!

Link to: Go Figure!
Think back to just before last week’s election.  What did we know?
  • The polls were almost unanimous in saying Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote by about 3%.
  • FiveThirtyEight, an analytical website whose forecasts had proved quite accurate in the two prior presidential elections, gave Clinton a 71% probability of winning, and almost everyone else was between 80% and 90%.
  • Clinton was favored in most of the “swing states” that would make the difference in the Electoral College.  Thus she was expected to win more than 290 electoral votes, leaving just 250 or so for Donald Trump.
  • Clinton was the obvious choice of the people who move the markets.  This could be seen in the fact that the markets went up when Clinton’s odds improved in late October (recovering from some unpleasant Wikileaks disclosures), and then they fell after the FBI’s James Comey announced the discovery of an additional cache of Clinton emails on October 28, lifting Trump’s chances.
  • Thus there was a near-universal belief that a Trump victory – as unlikely as it was – would be bad for the markets.
So what happened?  First Clinton didn’t win.  There’s much soul-searching, particularly among the forecasting fraternity.  Everyone knew intellectually that Trump had a non-zero chance of winning, but few people thought it could actually happen. 
And second, the U.S. stock market had its best week since 2014!  The Dow Jones Industrials rose almost 5% for the week, taking them to a new all-time high.  The Dow was up every day last week.  It rose on Monday and Tuesday, when Clinton was expected to win.  And then it rose Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, after she had lost. 
That behavior calls to mind my January memo, “On the Couch,” on the subject of the market’s irrationality.  Clearly, the election was the biggest event last week, so it must have been the main influence behind the changes in stock prices.  But how could the expectation of a Clinton victory make stock prices rise, and then the reality of her defeat make them rise further?


Farnam Street - Remembering More of Everything: The Memory Palace (LINK)
Related previous post: Memortation, or One Way to Put What You Learn to Practical Use [There was also a nice sentence in The Daily Stoic that describes how I essentially use "Memortation" as a form of preparation for the day: "The Stoics were pioneers of the morning and nightly rituals: preparation in the morning, reflection in the evening."]
You might not like the TPP. You are going to like the alternative less. - by John Hempton (LINK)

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited: Reduction in Defensive Equity Hedges (LINK)

How T. Boone Pickens Sits Tight in the Riskiest of Businesses [H/T @iancassel] (LINK)

50 Things That Made the Modern Economy podcast: The Haber-Bosch Process (LINK)
It has been called the greatest invention of the 20th Century – and without it almost half the world’s population would not be alive today. A 100 years ago two German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, figured out a way (worked out how) to use nitrogen from the air to make ammonia, which makes fertiliser. It was like alchemy; “Brot aus Luft”, as Germans put it. “Bread from air.”
Tim Harford on EconTalk (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives
Why Facebook Rules the World - by Jonah Lehrer (LINK)

Investing book of the day: Frontier Investor: How to Prosper in the Next Emerging Markets

Investing thought of the day, via Seth Klarman in Margin of Safety:
The single most crucial factor in trading is developing the appropriate reaction to price fluctuations. Investors must learn to resist fear, the tendency to panic when prices are falling, and greed, the tendency to become overly enthusiastic when prices are rising. One half of trading involves learning how to buy. In my view, investors should usually refrain from purchasing a “full position” (the maximum dollar commitment they intend to make) in a given security all at once. Those who fail to heed this advice may be compelled to watch a subsequent price decline helplessly, with no buying power in reserve. Buying a partial position leaves reserves that permit investors to “average down”, lowering their average cost per share, if prices decline.   
Evaluating your own willingness to average down can help you distinguish prospective investments from speculations. If the security you are considering is truly a good investment, not a speculation, you would certainly want to own more at lower prices. If, prior to purchase, you realize that you are unwilling to average down, then you probably should not make the purchase in the first place. Potential investments in companies that are poorly managed, highly leveraged, in unattractive businesses, or beyond understanding may be identified and rejected.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


One-on-one with Warren Buffett after the 2016 election (video) (LINK)

That Big Berkshire Hathaway Railroad Deal [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Five Good Questions for Jeremy Miller about his book, Warren Buffett's Ground Rules (video) (LINK)

Do You Really Have the Stamina to Be Wealthy? - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Curse of Knowledge (LINK)

Don't Confuse Cheap with Value (LINK)

Videos from the 2016 DealBook Conference (LINK)

No Shortcuts to Long-Term Business Success (LINK)
Related book: Intelligent Fanatics Project: How Great Leaders Build Sustainable Businesses
Nasty Gal’s Path to Bankruptcy (LINK) [I never listened to the interview Tim Ferriss did with Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso last year, but it may be worth listening to now (HERE) in order to try and learn a few more lessons, as nothing teaches quite like failure.]

Exponent podcast: Episode 095 — The Backlash Has Arrived (LINK)

a16z Podcast: The Business of Creativity — Pixar CFO, IPO, and Beyond! (LINK) [Levy also talked with Barry Ritholtz on the Masters in Business podcast this week.]
Related book: To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History

Friday, November 11, 2016

Charles Darwin and avoiding prejudice

Upon my latest re-read of the  passage below from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, I was once again struck by the effort Darwin took in his work to remain an objective observer of facts. Many investors avoid publicly, or even privately, discussing investment ideas in order to avoid the Commitment and Consistency bias so well explained by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. And Darwin seems to have understood this bias well when he mentions being "so anxious to avoid prejudice, that I determined not for some time to write even the briefest sketch of it." 

The excerpt, in which he describes some of how he came across one of the most important discoveries in the history of science:
From September 1854 onwards I devoted all my time to arranging my huge pile of notes, to observing, and experimenting, in relation to the transmutation of species. During the voyage of the Beagle I had been deeply impressed by discovering in the Pampean formation great fossil animals covered with armour like that on the existing armadillos; secondly, by the manner in which closely allied animals replace one another in proceeding southwards over the Continent; and thirdly, by the South American character of most of the productions of the Galapagos archipelago, and more especially by the manner in which they differ slightly on each island of the group; none of these islands appearing to be very ancient in a geological sense. 
It was evident that such facts as these, as well as many others, could be explained on the supposition that species gradually become modified; and the subject haunted me. But it was equally evident that neither the action of the surrounding conditions, nor the will of the organisms (especially in the case of plants), could account for the innumerable cases in which organisms of every kind are beautifully adapted to their habits of life,—for instance, a woodpecker or tree-frog to climb trees, or a seed for dispersal by hooks or plumes. I had always been much struck by such adaptations, and until these could be explained it seemed to me almost useless to endeavour to prove by indirect evidence that species have been modified. 
After my return to England it appeared to me that by following the example of Lyell in Geology, and by collecting all facts which bore in any way on the variation of animals and plants under domestication and nature, some light might perhaps be thrown on the whole subject. My first note-book was opened in July 1837. I worked on true Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale, more especially with respect to domesticated productions, by printed enquiries, by conversation with skilful breeders and gardeners, and by extensive reading. When I see the list of books of all kinds which I read and abstracted, including whole series of Journals and Transactions, I am surprised at my industry. I soon perceived that selection was the keystone of man's success in making useful races of animals and plants. But how selection could be applied to organisms living in a state of nature remained for some time a mystery to me. 
In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic enquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory by which to work; but I was so anxious to avoid prejudice, that I determined not for some time to write even the briefest sketch of it. In June 1842 I first allowed myself the satisfaction of writing a very brief abstract of my theory in pencil in 35 pages; and this was enlarged during the summer of 1844 into one of 230 pages, which I had fairly copied out and still possess. 
But at that time I overlooked one problem of great importance; and it is astonishing to me, except on the principle of Columbus and his egg, how I could have overlooked it and its solution. This problem is the tendency in organic beings descended from the same stock to diverge in character as they become modified. That they have diverged greatly is obvious from the manner in which species of all kinds can be classed under genera, genera under families, families under sub-orders, and so forth; and I can remember the very spot in the road, whilst in my carriage, when to my joy the solution occurred to me; and this was long after I had come to Down. The solution, as I believe, is that the modified offspring of all dominant and increasing forms tend to become adapted to many and highly diversified places in the economy of nature.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


What Ben Franklin Could Teach Us About Civility and Politics [H/T @rationalwalk] (LINK)
Related books: 1) A Benjamin Franklin Reader; 2) Benjamin Franklin: An American Life - By Walter Isaacson; 3) Benjamin Franklin - By Carl Van Doren (a little longer than Isaacson's biography)
John Malone on CNBC (Video 1, Video 2)

a16z Podcast: What’s Next for Technology and National Security? (LINK)

To Understand Facebook, Study Capgras Syndrome  - by Robert Sapolsky [H/T The Browser] (LINK)

Book of the day (which I've seen several fund managers recommend over the last few weeks): Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Today's Audible Daily Deal ($2.95): TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

Jonathan Haidt: Can a divided America heal? (TED video) (LINK)

Scott Adams on Predicting President Trump (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast: How Much Does the President Really Matter? (audio) (LINK)

Mohnish Pabrai Lecture at Peking University - Oct 14, 2016 (video) [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

Sebastian Mallaby at the LSE discussing his latest book, The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan (audio) (LINK)

How Blockchain Will Change Your Life - by Ginni Rometty (LINK)
Related books: 1) The Business Blockchain; 2) Blockchain Revolution
Stephen Dubner on Tim Ferriss' podcast (audio) (LINK)

Brain Pickings: Carl Sagan on Moving Beyond Us vs. Them, Bridging Conviction with Compassion, and Meeting Ignorance with Kindness (LINK)
Related book: The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

GMO Quarterly Letter

Link to: GMO's Q3 2016 Quarterly Letter
Ben Inker looks at today’s low yields and high valuations across almost all asset classes, which seem to guarantee returns lower than those measured historically. Will valuations revert to normal levels or will they remain elevated? Along with a discussion as to whether the US market is in classic bubble territory, Jeremy Grantham offers a series of “thought experiments” around the question as to whether asset prices will return to normal levels and, if they do, will the move be fast or slow?


Using Multidisciplinary Thinking to Approach Problems in a Complex World (LINK)

Leaked documents shed light on the defunct pharmacy that brought Valeant to its knees (LINK)

CVS warns it may lose 40 million prescriptions next year as competitors create networks that exclude CVS stores (LINK)

Jim Grant on CNBC (video) (LINK)

Phil DeMuth interviews Robert Cialdini (LINK)
Related book: Pre-Suasion
Why Twitter Must Be Saved - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

The psychology of self control and the virtue of temperance (LINK)

Howard Marks Memo: Implications of the Election

Link to: Implications of the Election
I’m starting this memo a week before Election Day. I promise to try to stay away from the merits of the candidates and the question of who will win, and instead confine myself to the important messages that we should take away from the election and the actions we should push for as a result. The outcome of tomorrow’s election won’t change these things as far as I’m concerned. 

Monday, November 7, 2016


Steve Ballmer Says Smartphones Strained His Relationship With Bill Gates (video) (LINK)

David Tepper on CNBC (video) (LINK)

Why C.E.O.s Are Getting Fired More - By James Surowiecki [H/T The Rational Walk] (LINK)

New podcast: Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy (LINK)

Arnold Schwarzenegger's forward to Tim Ferriss' book, Tools of Titans (LINK)

Strength Training is Learning from Tail Events - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb [H/T The Rational Walk] (LINK)
Related book (though not the edition Taleb wrote an intro for, which doesn't appear to be released yet): Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Joel Greenblatt on WealthTrack (video) (LINK)

The Money Management Gospel of Yale’s Endowment Guru [H/T @awealthofcs] (LINK)

Clayton Christensen talks with Peter Day about his latest book, Competing Against Luck (audio) (LINK)

Barry Ritholtz talks with Bill Miller on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)

25iq: A Half Dozen Reasons Why Venture Capitalists Prefer Missionaries to Mercenaries (LINK)

Friday, November 4, 2016


Stan Lipsey, longtime News publisher and community leader, dies [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Warren Buffett's Clayton Homes snags top Kansas City, MO builder Summit Custom Homes [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Ludic Fallacy (LINK)

Big Hit on Drug Stocks Caps $26 Billion Decline for John Paulson (LINK)

Sebastian Mallaby’s biography of Alan Greenspan - by Ben Bernanke [H/T Barry Ritholtz] (LINK)
Related book: The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan - by Sebastian Mallaby
Hank Paulson: "It’s the People Skills that Matter" (video) [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)
"Getting anything done requires working with others. It’s all about interpersonal relationships," shared Henry "Hank" Paulson, 74th Secretary of the Treasury and Founder & Chairman, Paulson Institute. During his View From The Top talk on Thursday, October 27, 2016, Paulson shared life and career advice with Stanford GSB students as well as discussed his experience leading during the financial crisis. 
Five Good Questions for Jeff Gramm about his book Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism (video) (LINK)

Four Things I Learned from the Book “What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars” - by Morgan Housel (LINK)
Related book: What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars 
Related previous posts (excerpts): 1) Quote (on success, failure); 2) Risk, Exposure, and Probability; 3) Speculating and planning...; 4) Analysis and rules... [This one is especially good, and can be applied to all types of investing philosophies.]
Exponent podcast: Episode 094 — Should Apple Buy Netflix? (LINK)

Peter Kaufman quote

“I think one of the largest determinants of investment success over the long-run is the ability to think and act contrary to the group without being concerned about looking foolish.” - Peter Kaufman, Chairman and CEO of Glenair Inc

Thursday, November 3, 2016


The David Rubenstein Show: Warren Buffett (video) [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

Measuring the Moat (Updated) - by Michael Mauboussin, et al. [H/T Hurricane Capital] (LINK)

Fall 2016 Issue of Graham & Doddsville (LINK)

An interview with Murray Stahl (LINK)

Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Nassim Taleb on CNBC (video) (LINK)

'Brexit' Will Require a Vote in Parliament, UK Court Rules (LINK)

How the shock of Brexit could make the British economy stronger - by Tim Harford (LINK)

A Conversation With Steven Pinker [H/T The Browser] (LINK)

Thera Incognita - by Phil Plait (LINK)
In my never-ending quest to show you every volcano on the planet as seen from space, I present the gaping wound in the Earth’s crust called Santorini, Greece.
Ant genomes rewrite history of Panama land bridge (LINK)

Book of the day (Part 1 of a Trilogy on Roosevelt) [H/T Cal Newport]: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt - by Edmund Morris

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Anatomy of a Hostile Takeover (video) [H/T Tamas and Undervalued Japan] (LINK)

A short Howard Marks video from a couple of weeks ago (Originally aired on October 19, 2016) (LINK)

Amazon is bringing Prime to China, where it has struggled for market share (LINK)

Asset Bubbles From Stocks to Bonds to Iron Ore Threaten China (LINK)

Inside the Affordable Care Act’s Arizona Meltdown [H/T @rationalwalk] (LINK)

Big Ideas in Social Science: An Interview With Robert J. Shiller on Behavioral Economics [H/T @HurriCap] (LINK)

How I Built This podcast - Samuel Adams: Jim Koch (audio) [H/T @mikedariano] (LINK)
Related book: Quench Your Own Thirst 
Related video: Jim Koch: "Quench Your Own Thirst" | Talks at Google
Lessons in How to Create and How to Succeed (audio) (LINK)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


The Audible Daily Deal ($2.95) is a book I've seen recommended in several places: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

The Deutsche Bank Downfall: How a Pillar of German Banking Lost Its Way [H/T @chriswmayer] (LINK)

The Competitive Advantage of an Owner-Operator - by John Huber (LINK)

Mutual Fund Observer, November 2016 (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter - November 2016 (LINK)

Inside Harry Houdini's Entrepreneurial Legacy, on the 90th Anniversary of His Death [H/T @CravenPartners] (LINK)

Charles Darwin and the pleasure of observing and reasoning

The below excerpt is from a current re-reading of The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, and it reminded me of a recent post on Malcolm Gladwell and the most important decision he ever made
The above various special studies were, however, of no importance compared with the habit of energetic industry and of concentrated attention to whatever I was engaged in, which I then acquired. Everything about which I thought or read was made to bear directly on what I had seen and was likely to see; and this habit of mind was continued during the five years of the voyage. I feel sure that it was this training which has enabled me to do whatever I have done in science. 
Looking backwards, I can now perceive how my love for science gradually preponderated over every other taste. During the first two years my old passion for shooting survived in nearly full force, and I shot myself all the birds and animals for my collection; but gradually I gave up my gun more and more, and finally altogether to my servant, as shooting interfered with my work, more especially with making out the geological structure of a country. I discovered, though unconsciously and insensibly, that the pleasure of observing and reasoning was a much higher one than that of skill and sport.