Wednesday, May 31, 2017


“The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest.” -Benjamin Franklin [H/T CIO]

The Knowledge Project podcast: Rory Sutherland on The Psychology of Advertising, Complex Evolved Systems, Reading, Decision Making (LINK)
Rory Sutherland (@rorysutherland) is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Group, which is one of the largest advertising companies in the world.  This interview was recorded live in London, England.  Rory started the behavioral insights team and spends his days applying behavioral economics and evolutionary psychology to solve problems that conventionally advertising agencies haven't been able to solve.  In this wide-ranging interview we talk about: how advertising agencies are solving airport security problems, what Silicon Valley misses; how to mess with self-driving cars, reading habits, decision making, the intersection of advertising and psychology, and so much more.  Enjoy this amazing conversation.
Proximate vs Root Causes: Why You Should Keep Digging to Find the Answer (LINK)

London Value Investor Conference Notes 2017: Parames, Roden, Channon & More (LINK)

Invest Like the Best podcast: The Human Blitzkrieg, with Dave Chilton (LINK)

Debt pile-up in US car market sparks subprime fear (LINK)
Strains have been evident for at least a year at the bottom end of the auto-loan market, in the world of subprime. But in prime debt, too, delinquencies are beginning to pick up, forcing big banks such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to pull back. 
Carmakers are now boosting discounts and cutting production to address rising inventories on dealer lots. Falling used car values, in turn, are pushing up defaults, as people find themselves stuck in loans they cannot afford but can’t trade out of because they still owe more than the vehicle is worth. 
“Here we are again,” says Janet Tavakoli, president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based consulting firm. Car loans are a smaller market than mortgages, she notes, which total about $9tn. But they could still do a lot of damage if consumers keep missing payments. 
The share of auto debt more than 90 days overdue rose to 2.3 per cent in the first quarter, the highest in six years, according to the New York Federal Reserve. “It’s a new mini-Big Short,” she says, alluding to traders who made billions by betting on a housing collapse a decade ago. 
...Some of the most rapid growth has occurred at specialist subprime lenders such as Exeter Finance of Irving, Texas, owned by Blackstone, and Skopos Financial, also of Irving, which is owned by Lee Equity Partners, a New York private equity firm. Lenders like these have pumped out billions of dollars of loans, which have been bundled together, then sliced into securities by the likes of Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

According to Morgan Stanley, the share of auto securities tied to “deep subprime” loans — those given to borrowers with scores below 550 on the commonly-used FICO creditworthiness scale — rose from 5.1 per cent of total subprime deals in 2010 to 32.5 per cent last year.
Ways to Dismiss Technology and Predict Change - by Benedict Evans (LINK)

Mark Zuckerberg's Commencement Address at Harvard (video) (LINK)

Token Summit I - Final Fireside Chat with Fred Wilson and William Mougayar (video) (LINK)

Faceless Publishers - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Choosing your spot - by Seth Godin (LINK)

Odysseus and the Epicureans (LINK)
Related book: From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought
The Spider Web That Gets Stronger When It Touches Insects - by Ed Yong (LINK)