Nielsen (of TV ratings fame) is set to make a return to the equity markets merely 4 years after being taken private. The former VNU was one of our international holdings that were LBO’d in the final stages of the booming markets in 2006 and early 2007, along with others. These cycles make for interesting opportunities to reacquaint ourselves with companies we admire in businesses we like, and hopefully our efforts to understand these companies in the past will again pay off.
The World Bank has released a huge wealth of data on developing economies. The impacts of such moves are never immediate and almost always underrated, and there’s the risk of data deluge. That said, things like Google indexing and an app development contest could lead to interesting uses for all this information.
The question in this article is: “who said that Strategy and Execution must be dealt with separately”? They don’t. It reminded us of the old Value vs. Growth debate, to which Buffett always replied that growth is a component of value. In fact, we probably wouldn’t point readers to this article if it wasn’t for the link to a free, 143-page e-book with a selection of the best Harvard Business Review articles on Strategy and Execution. Enjoy!
We came across a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation on the media usage of 8 to 18-year-olds and it’s loaded with interesting stats (highlights inside). Some things translate to Brazil better than others, and this report is full of “traps” in that regard. Overall, it’s quite useful for those interested in Media and Tech.
IP has just announced an annual art prize for Brazilian artists in a pioneering partnership with MAM-Rio, Rio de Janeiro’s modern art museum. The idea is to stimulate and recognize emerging artists with a relevant cash award and, in line with IP’s global view, an international residence program- all the while stimulating MAM-Rio’s continuous improvement efforts and the city of Rio de Janeiro.
This roundtable on “The Demographic Dilemma” by Booz & Co. reminded us of the informational challenge as Ms. Wang insisted on it: what are the actual measures of the “impact” of aging, what should we be looking at? Without information that leads to intelligence and then action, it’s just an empty debate. Our main point is that this informational dilemma occurs in plenty of other fields and that we must always be mindful of the fact that sometimes there’s simply not enough information to draw insightful, actionable conclusions.
Update (April 6th, 2010): Please see inside for Mike Burry’s op-ed in the New York Times ranting on the Fed. On tour to promote his book “The Big Short”, Michael Lewis interviews have been popping up all over the Internet. Required reading is the excerpt from the book at Vanity Fair. We especially liked this bit: “I hated discussing ideas with investors,” (Mike Burry said), “because I then become a Defender of the Idea, and that influences your thought process. Once you became an idea’s defender, you had a harder time changing your mind about it.”
Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico featured an article today on one of our global favorites: Thermo Fisher. It’s an opportunity to continue learning about a company that we’ve dealt with since 2006, and it’s always great when a global analysis effort pays unexpected dividends.