"Ben Franklin said, 'If you want to be miserable, you know, during Easter or something like that,' he says, 'borrow a lot of money to be repaid at Lent,' or something to that effect. And similarly, being short something, which keeps going up because somebody is promoting it in a half-crooked way, and you keep losing, and they call on you for more margin — it just isn’t worth it to have that much irritation in your life. It isn’t that hard to make money somewhere else with less irritation." --Charlie Munger
Bethany McLean talks with Hank Paulson and Chris Dodd about the financial crisis (video...starting at the 9:54 mark) (LINK)
Mohnish Pabrai's Interview with CNBC – TV18 on Investing Opportunities in India (video) (LINK)
The Pitfalls of Early Success – A Personal History (LINK)
The Ezra Klein Show: Doris Kearns Goodwin (live!) on how great presidents are made (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Leadership: In Turbulent Times
Famed short seller tells Dallas investors where they shouldn't put their money (LINK)
Jeffrey Gundlach: I don't read a lot of commentary. I think I learned the most from Richard Russell, who was a newsletter writer from 1958 and he did it continuously until a few years ago when he passed away in his late 80s. He had a lot of experience and a lot of ideas and methods and I learned a lot by reading those letters. I don't subscribe anymore. I think his children have taken over. But I really liked Richard Russell.
And I read Jim Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. Every now and then there's an issue with a real gem of an idea. Sometimes there isn't, but very few publications ever have a true gem. He has them in there.
I read the newswires more than anything else. What I'm looking for is these magical moments when the data doesn't change but the interpretation of it does. That's very interesting, because it tells you that something has shifted in terms of mood, or attitude, or emotion or sentiment. The opposite happens too, which is equally interesting. That is that the data does change but people don’t realize it and the narrative stays the same. And that happens a lot too. So I always look for things that used to be true that are no longer true, but people don't realize it yet.
My biggest lesson that I've learned... I have the same flaw that every human being has and that is: As you're growing up and getting older, you believe that everybody's like you. You just extrapolate your personality traits and proclivities on other people. Then you start to realize increasingly, that that's not true. And I believed, therefore, that everybody was intellectually objective and honest and wanted to figure things out for themselves. And I didn't understand, for probably as long as 20 years, why I couldn't convince people of almost mathematically analytical arguments regarding markets. And it was finally after years of this that I realized that people actually want to be told what to think.
It took me a long time to understand that. Not me, see, I don't want to be told what to think. And so I figured nobody wants to be told what to think. But indeed, I think almost everybody wants to be told what to think. That creates a tremendous advantage in managing money. Because in that window of time between a fact and people being told what the fact means, you have a window if you're capable of figuring out what it means - and don't need to be told what it means – where you can actually act before other people and I found I've made a lot of money that way.
I remember when Ben Bernanke announced the Fed funds rate was going to stay at 0% for three years, and the markets didn't move. And I had my traders look for this asset class in the bond market that would be the primary beneficiary of rate staying at zero for three years. And I said, “How much of the prices up?” And they said, “They're not up at all.”