Gustavo Ballvé on November 7th, 2011
Capital goods, Food for thought, Home, Industries, Investment Themes, Media, Mental models, Portfolio Management, Risk management, Tech

Always great to be able to catch up on reading, or almost, and here are a few articles that caught our attention. First and foremost is “The man who inspired Steve Jobs“, about Jobs’ “hero”, Edwin H. Land of Polaroid. The parallels between both men are very interesting, as is the article’s “warning” to Apple from now on. Next: two reading lists and more.

The reading lists come one from Seth Godin and another from the Financial Times. The FT named “Poor Economics” its 2011 Business Book of the Year, but other finalists also look pretty interesting. In this page you can see how the process works, excerpts from all finalists and the winners of past editions. One of the 2011 finalists, Daniel Yergin’s “The Quest”, was reviewed recently in the New York Times. Mr. Yergin is the famous author of “The Prize”, about the “history” of oil – reviewed by the NYT in 1990 – while “The Quest” is about its “future”.

Last but not least, an article that says something we’ve been saying for a while, although they only apply it to “western sovereign debt”: that one should question the “risk-free” status associated with it. In this asset class’ case, it has regulatory implications that could have a huge impact. In summary, it’s generally OK for banks to assume ‘zero’ risk for a western sovereign bond, so it’s collateral for huge leverage for riskier assets, loans, trades etc. – what happens when this ‘safe’ part of your balance sheet isn’t safe anymore? You can check out our articles on the subject below:

Life without a risk-free benchmark – July 22nd, 2011

Beware of safe havens – July 29th, 2011

Don’t panic – August 9th, 2011

The “risk-free” conundrum – September 7th, 2011

Is high volatility the new reality? – September 14th, 2011

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