What Follows the End of History? Identity Politics [H/T @JonHaidt] (LINK)
The Very Hot, Very Hungry Caterpillar - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Some interesting comments from Warren Buffett at the Berkshire annual meeting in 2000, given that Berkshire today has as much capital as they do invested in a railroad and airline stocks:
Historically, the transportation field, I mean, it’s been a terrible place to have money, and, whether it’s been in airlines or in the rails. If you — we’ve mentioned Value Line from here — from time to time.
If you go to the rail transportation section and just run your eye across on the revenues and look at the capital investment, the amount of capital required to produce incremental revenues is just — is horrible.
And on the other hand, there’s not much alternative here in the game to doing that. So there — many railroads will spend hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. And it will not move the top line hardly at all. The ones where the top line has changed is where there’s been acquisitions or mergers.
Airlines, you’ll see just the opposite. You’ll see this great movement in the top line, but again, a disastrous amount of capital investment and very little in the way of returns. So, it hasn’t been a great field.
Most fields that require heavy capital investment, most of the time, they don’t turn out very well over time. There are plenty of exceptions to that.
But if you find a business that has to keep adding up huge sums of money every year, there always will be a reason why they’re doing it. But the net result, after five or 10 or 20 years usually isn’t very good.