Monday, April 22, 2019


"Doing nothing often leads to the very best something." --Winnie the Pooh

Warren Buffett says stock buybacks make 'nothing but sense' (video) (LINK) [I haven't seen the full interview yet, but Yahoo has slowly released some clips. There isn't much, but some of the others can be found mixed in with other things HERE.]

The Man Who SOLD The WORLD [John H. Patterson] (video) (LINK)

The Anatomy of a Great Decision (LINK)

Uber Questions - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

You, Dear Investor, Are Patient, Prudent and Calm - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Budweiser Boss's Recipe for Growth: More Time Away From the Office ($) (LINK)

Kraft Heinz Names New CEO ($) (LINK)

Mattel: Buybacks, Barbie and dead babies - by John Hempton (LINK)
I am short Mattel based on seemingly dysfunctional management and too much debt. I regarded these in part as flip sides of the same problem. Too much debt meant that Mattel found it hard to take risks, to invent new toys, to hire and nurture the talent that keeps a toy company fresh. 
Debt meant that Mattel had to "milk" brands, prioritising short-term cash for stock repurchase and eventually for interest payments. This led to cashing the iconic American Girl brand in for a short-term sugar hit when it was stocked in Toys R Us. 
I knew management were dysfunctional. Churn in the c-suite proves it. But recent stories leave me reeling. Mattel have morphed into a truly evil company. One that kills babies.
EconTalk: Paul Romer on Growth, Cities, and the State of Economics (LINK)

The First Sheep Farmers and Their 10,000-Year-Old Urine - by Sarah Zhang (LINK)