Monday, September 16, 2019


"We tend to prefer the business which drowns in cash. It just makes so much money that one of the main principles of owning it is you have all this cash coming in. There are other businesses, like the construction equipment business of my old friend John Anderson. And he used to say about his business 'You work hard all year, and at the end of the year there’s your profit sitting in the yard.' There was never any cash. Just more used construction equipment. We tend to hate businesses like that." --Charlie Munger (2008

Never Mind About That Lumber Buyout (LINK)

Activist Investor Webb Proposes Change for Hong Kong's Voting System (video) (LINK)

Great Talks Most People Have Never Heard [H/T @BrentBeshore] (LINK)

The Acquirers Podcast: Thomas Braziel on distressed activism (LINK)

The Meb Faber Show (podcast): #175 - The Biggest Valuation Spread In 40 Years? (LINK)

The Ezra Klein Show (podcast): Randall Munroe, the genius behind XKCD (LINK)
Related book: How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
The Peter Attia Drive Podcast: #71 - Katherine Eban: Widespread fraud in the generic drug industry (LINK)
Related book: Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom
Book of the day [H/T @jasonzweigwsj]: Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and How It Brought on the Great Depression

Saturday, September 14, 2019


How a stealthy insurance tech startup bootstrapped its way to a $2.35B acquisition in less than 4 years [H/T @BrentBeshore] (LINK)

FRMO Corp. - 2019 Shareholder Letter [H/T @colemanrhawkins] (LINK)

How to Factor Fickle Markets Into Your Portfolio - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Immutable Truths and Arguing Fools - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Mohnish Pabrai on The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns (video) (LINK)

Of Ben Graham, Investing, and Eternity (LINK)

Only the Shadow Knows - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

Joe Nocera's 2002 story on T. Boone Pickens (LINK)

International conflict isn't declining, new analysis finds (LINK)

Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: A conversation with the Dean of High Yield (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #386: Ken Burns (LINK)

The Game That Made Rats Jump for Joy - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Scientists taught rats to play hide-and-seek in order to study natural animal behavior—but it was also fun, for both the researchers and the animals.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


"You’ve got to remember that it’s the nature of things that most small businesses will never be big businesses. It’s also in the nature of things that most big businesses eventually fall into mediocrity or worse." --Charlie Munger (2008

The iPhone and Apple’s Services Strategy - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Battle of the Bubbles [H/T @ShaneAParrish] (LINK)
The early darling of fizzy water is losing ground to big soda, and shareholders are questioning its management.
T. Boone Pickens, the ‘Oracle of Oil,’ corporate raider and billionaire philanthropist, dies at 91 (LINK)

Decrypted Podcast: Is Your Amazon Habit Wrecking the Planet? (LINK)

With ‘Talking to Strangers,’ Malcolm Gladwell Goes Dark (LINK)
Related book: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know
Malcolm Gladwell on Talking to Strangers (video) (LINK)

Would you eat an animal if you knew it was as old as the U.S. Constitution? (LINK)

Book of the day (released next month): The Body: A Guide for Occupants - by Bill Bryson

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


"It's a terrible mistake to kind of sleepwalk through your life, because unless Shirley MacLaine is right, it’s the only one you’re going to have.... When you’re in a position to make choices, I always tell the kids that come visit me, 'Go to work for an organization you admire or an individual you admire.'...  It's a lot easier to behave well when things are going your way and you are enjoying your work and you’re thinking about things every day that are the kind of things that you like to think about." --Warren Buffett (2008)

The Mind of Bill Gates, Revealed on Netflix ($) (LINK)
A new documentary [Sept. 20] profiles the tech-titan-turned-philanthropist. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Gates reflects on his shifting public image.
The Power of Questions (LINK)

Untangling the Threads: Stitch Fix is a Bargain - by Steve Vafier (LINK)

Stitch Fix: A Useful Case Study For Retail's Digital Transformation (LINK)

Seeking Alpha Interview: Value Investing With The Boyar Value Group (LINK)

Runaway Story or Meltdown in Motion? The Unraveling of the WeWork IPO - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

Sam Zell weighs in on WeWork's office-sharing business model (video) (LINK)

EconTalk Podcast: Daron Acemoglu on Shared Prosperity and Good Jobs (LINK)

The James Altucher Show (podcast): 486 - Everything Doctor’s & Hospitals are Afraid to Tell You: Dr. Marty Makary on How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills, Advocate For Yourself & Restore U.S. Healthcare (LINK)
Related book: The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care--and How to Fix It
When a Human Liver is Supercooled to -4 C - by Sarah Zhang (LINK)

The Iconic Electric Eel Is Actually Three Species - by Ed Yong (LINK)

‘We May Have to Shoot Down This Aircraft’ [H/T Linc] (LINK)
What the chaos aboard Flight 93 on 9/11 looked like to the White House, to the fighter pilots prepared to ram the cockpit and to the passengers.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


Knowing If You Can Stomach the Next Big Market Swing - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

From Shareholder wealth to Stakeholder interests: CEO Capitulation or Empty Doublespeak? - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

The Time Netflix Considered Selling Itself to Amazon for Peanuts ($) (LINK)

Without state bond, PG&E needs money — and hedge funds await CA’s largest utility (LINK)

RA Conversations: Robert Shiller Explains Narrative Economics (video) (LINK)
Related book: Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events
The Jolly Swagman Podcast: #71: Markets and The Madness of Crowds — Robert Shiller (LINK)

Five Good Questions Podcast: Mark Simpson - Excellent Investing (LINK)
Related book: Excellent Investing: How to Build a Winning Portfolio
Masters in Business Podcast: Kara Swisher Discusses the Tech Industry (LINK)

Planet Money Podcast: #938: The Marshall Plan (LINK)

Neil deGrasse Tyson chats with Joe Rogan (podcast) (LINK)

What’s it like to live on less than $2 a day? (LINK)

A History of South Asia, Told in Ancient DNA - by Sarah Zhang (LINK)

An Astronaut Reared the World’s Highest-Flying Birds - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @ChrisBloomstran]: Mentor: Life and Legacy of Joe Rosenfield

Thursday, September 5, 2019


"What we really like at Berkshire is buying good-sized to very large first-class businesses with first-class management and just sitting there. Because the nice thing about that is you don’t have go from flower to flower. You can just sit there and watch them produce more and more every year and give you capital and you can buy more businesses." --Warren Buffett (2008)

Good Reading — 10th Anniversary Edition - by Phil Ordway (LINK)

Investors and Operators: Lessons I've Learned From Both Worlds - by Brent Beshore (LINK)

A reexamination of ownership in the age of the public corporation - by Roger Lowenstein (LINK)

The Horse Story - by Chris Mayer (LINK)

How U.S. Banks Took Over the World ($) (LINK)
A decade ago, they almost brought down the global financial system. Now they rule it.
Freakonomics Radio (podcast): 388. The Economics of Sports Gambling (LINK)

a16z Podcast: From the Internet’s Past to the Future of Crypto (LINK)
What can we learn from the history of the internet for the future of crypto? In this episode of the a16z Podcast, general partner Katie Haun interviews a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen.
Recode Media Podcast: The epic battle for Uber, with Mike Isaac from the New York Times (LINK)
Related book: Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber
A Radical Guide to Spending Less Time on Your Phone - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

One of Nature’s Greatest Spectacles Is Coming Undone - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Corals release their eggs and sperms with perfect synchronization. But a new study suggests their incredible timing is starting to slip.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


"You might have good reason to pray for a tornado, whether it comes in the shape of swirling winds, or a politician. You imagine the thing doing the damage you would like to see done, and no more. It’s what you fail to imagine that kills you." --Michael Lewis ("The Fifth Risk")

What Is a Tech Company? - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

GMO Quarterly Letter | Bigger’s Been Better (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter, September 2019: Is Ageing Inflationary? Really? (LINK)

The Exclusive Inside Story Of The Fall Of Overstock’s Mad King, Patrick Byrne [H/T @pcordway] (LINK)

Fairfax to invest $5 billion more in India in next 5 years (LINK)

Odd Lots Podcast: Why Value Investing Has Been Doing Terribly (LINK)

The Product Science Podcast: Tim O’Reilly Hypothesis: Build a Market by Building an Ecosystem (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show: #384: David Allen — The Art of Getting Things Done (GTD) (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Making Culture, Making Influence — Dapper Dan! (LINK)

Tweet of the day, via @MebFaber, which is also probably why my watch list is filled with UK and other European names:
Over the past 10 years the UK stock market has underperformed the US by about 200 percentage points. 0% return last 12 years...ouch! The good news? UK stocks trade at half the valuation of US stocks across every long term valuation metric.
Book of the day (released next week): The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care--and How to Fix It

Sunday, September 1, 2019


Warren Buffett shares his opinion on China, Costco, Elon Musk, College, and more (video) (LINK) [This appears to be the complete video interview from earlier this year, in which Yahoo Finance had previously released some shorter clips.]

Robin Hood has put up some videos from conferences over the years [Tepper, Druckenmiller, Einhorn, etc.] (LINK)

Blue Sky - some notes and an agenda for ASIC - by John Hempton (LINK)

Flying Blind - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

The Funds That Make You Buy Low and Sell High - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Venture-Capital Stalwart Battles Washington’s Crypto Crackdown ($) (LINK)
Andreessen Horowitz, known for Facebook investment, says digital currencies can cure what ails web
The Investor’s Podcast: TIP258: Current Market Conditions and Value Investing w/ Tobias Carlisle (LINK)

The most dangerous thing about the Amazon fires is the apocalyptic rhetoric - by Matt Ridley (LINK)

The Opportunity Paradox (LINK)

The Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness (LINK)